Black Lightning – Season 1 Review

Right from the get go Black Lightning has a different vibe to the other DCTV series. It’s a little more gritty, it’s a lot more street and it’s fantastic soundtrack really adds to its appeal and makes it stand out. It’s a different kettle of fish to what we’ve come to expect from Greg Berlanti.

Cress Williams takes the lead role of Jefferson Pierce. Jefferson is the head of Garfield High School and he’s long hung up his Black Lightening suit, now focusing on improving chances for the youth of quite a city with high levels of crime. His alter ego is called back into action due to the rise in criminal activity by a group called The One Hundred and the return of Tobias Whale who was responsible for murdering Jefferson’s father. His family dynamics are quite complex, after separating from his wife, Lynn, due to her inability to handle the pressures of being Black Lightning’s wife. He has two daughters who for me, make the series as good as it is. Anissa is the oldest daughter who attends medical school, but also teaches at Garfield High. Right from the first episode we see Anissa discover her meta abilities and come to terms with what is happening to her. She freaks out at first but quickly learns how to control her super strength and decides to use her powers to help people. She becomes ‘Thunder’ and after battling with her Dad before either knows who the other’s secret identity is, becomes his side kick. Thunder is just brilliant, and I loved her self made superhero costume way more than her official one. Jefferson’s younger daughter, Jennifer, is still at school. She’s feisty and rebellious and too discovers she has energy generating meta abilities. She has a very different reaction to her sister though, considering herself a freak. She decides that she doesn’t want to use her abilities and tries her best to ignore them. They do end up coming in very handy though.

Another main character is the man in Jefferson’s ear, Gambi. For most of the show you go back and forth in trying to figure out if he’s intentions are legitimate or bad. He’s got history with Jefferson having brought him up after his father’s death and along the way his shady past is revealed which has a huge impact on their relationship. Gambi continuously makes upgrades to Black Lightning’s suit and it gets more and more exciting seeing them being used.

The main storyline running throughout this season is Black Lightning trying to put a stop to the distribution of a drug called Green Light by The One Hundred. We see kids on the streets paying for the drug which has the possibility of triggering a meta gene in them. These kids are then taken to have tests run on them in the hope of using their abilities for bad. As the main villain, Tobias Whale fell a bit flat for me. Sure he’s mean, moody and takes a serum that makes him even stronger but there was just something lacking. Let’s put that down to it being the shows first season and finding its feet. Also, I felt like the final episode didn’t really deliver much and I didn’t think we got the big climax the show was heading for.

Forgetting those two little moans, I thought Black Lightning was brilliant and is cast amazingly well. It has some great humour added in to its gritty tones which were fun. I noticed something in one scene of the Pierce’s at home. They walk around the house barefoot. You never see that on tv and I know it sounds like something so stupid to pick up on but for me it made the show a little more ‘normal’. Someone please tell me they understand where I’m coming from, or is it just me being strange? When it started we were informed that it would be kept very separate from the other DC shows, but Stephen Amell recently announcing that Black Lightning will cross over is very exciting. He would be a fantastic addition to the yearly cross over episodes we have.

So to sum up, an awesome show and I can’t wait for Season 2!