Varietyhas the news that Black Lightning will wrap up its run on The CW after the fourth season. The news comes as The CW has ordered a backdoor pilot for a possible spinoff from the series centering around the character Painkiller.
The series is notable as it features an African-American lead and primarily African-American cast in the otherwise rather white superhero television offerings.
The show centers around Jefferson Pierce, a high school principal who is forced to again don a superhero suit to take on local gangs. The show stars Cress Williams, Christine Adams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, James Remar, Marvin Jones III, Jordan Calloway, and Damon Gupton.
Season 4 of Black Lightning will air in early 2021.
The show is part of The CW’s block of DC Comics based shows such as The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl (which will also be wrapping up), Batwoman, and a new upcoming Superman series. The CW also has aired the only season of Swamp Thing and will air the second season of Stargirl. Arrow, which ended its run, might still get a spin-off series.
O’Connell and Rebecca
Romijn, the voices of Superman and Lois Lane, lead a heroic list of cast
and filmmakers slated to attend the East Coast Premiere of Reign of the Supermen,
the next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Movies, at Directors
Guild of America in New York City on Monday, January 28, 2019. Filmmakers and members of the voice cast will
attend the event for red carpet media interviews and a post-screening panel
O’Connell (Stand By Me, Carter, Bravo’s Play by Play) and Romijn (X-Men, The
Librarians) will be joined by Cress Williams (Black
Lightning, Hart of Dixie) , the voice of Steel/John Henry Irons; Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul), voice of Cyborg Superman and Hank Henshaw; Tony Todd (Candyman), voice of Darkseid; Charles
Halford (Constantine), voice of
Bibbo Bibbowski and The Eradicator; and Nyambi
Nymabi (Mike & Molly, The Good
Fight), voice of Martian Manhunter.
Reign of the Supermen filmmakers in
attendance will be Producer/Director Sam Liu (Gotham by Gaslight, Teen
Titans: The Judas Contract), screenwriters Jim Krieg (Batman: Gotham by
Gaslight) and Tim Sheridan (Scooby-Doo and the Gourmet Ghost),
executive producer James Tucker (Justice League Dark) and character
designer Phil Bourassa (Young Justice/Young Justice Outsiders).
Additional talent will be announced as confirmed.
The event is completely sold out – all
free fan tickets have been distributed. Fans who have applied for tickets, but
have yet to be notified, are currently on a wait list for cancellations.
The Directors Guild of America is located at 110
West 57th Street in New York City.
Reign of the Supermen
finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing
with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the
subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman
still alive? The question is further complicated when
four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the
Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end,
only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.
Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and
DC Entertainment, the feature-length animated Reign of
the Supermen arrives from Warner Bros. Home
Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray
Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019.
Check out this new clip from Reign of the Supermen featuring Steel (voiced by Cress Williams) and Jimmy Olsen (voiced by Max Mittleman).
The world must cope with the loss of Superman – and the sudden emergence of four would-be heirs to the title – in the all-new, action-packed Reign of the Supermen, part of the popular series of DC Universe Movies. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC, the feature-length animated film arrives from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment on Digital starting January 15, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack and Blu-ray Combo Pack on January 29, 2019.
Reign of the Supermen finds Earth’s citizens – and the Man of Steel’s heroic contemporaries – dealing with a world without Superman. But the aftermath of Superman’s death, and the subsequent disappearance of his body, leads to a new mystery – is Superman still alive? The question is further complicated when four new super-powered individuals – Steel, Cyborg Superman, Superboy and the Eradicator – emerge to proclaim themselves as the ultimate hero. In the end, only one will be able to proclaim himself the world’s true Superman.
Top illustrators, writers, and celebrities in the comics world will unite at Mid-Atlantic pop culture convention Awesome Con presented by LeftField Media, taking over Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center from March 30-April 1, 2018. Comics powerhouse DC Entertainment and other renowned publishers will present special programming like industry insider and celebrity-driven panels, share exclusive announcements, debut designs, and more at the show. Awesome Con is proud to mark its sixth year by working with comic book artist Patrick Zircher on the official show poster and original art in the con’s program guide, distributed to all show attendees.
Show attendees can look forward to programming celebrating eight decades of Superman, marking the icon’s 80th anniversary since debuting in April 1938 from DC. Fans will be able to attend events and interact with special guests Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum, who played Clark Kent and Lex Luthor in beloved television series “Smallville,” during the weekend. Kids attending Awesome Con will also receive special keepsake badges featuring official Superman artwork from acclaimed artist and DC Publisher Jim Lee specially commemorating the weekend. Creators from renowned publishers like DC will meet-and-greet with fans throughout the weekend at booths on the Awesome Con show floor, making it easier than ever to meet the makers behind some of the most beloved characters in pop culture.
Comic fans will love events like Past, Present & Future: The 80th Anniversary of Superman, a panel bringing together DC artist Greg Capullo and writer Scott Snyder and comic book artist and writer Dan Jurgens, alongside Tom Welling and Michael Rosenbaum to retrace the iconic character’s history and discuss what’s next for the Man of Steel.
Attendees can also reserve tickets to special limited-access events during Awesome Con weekend to closely engage with the industry’s most celebrated creators. A DC Writer Panel and Meet & Greet on Friday, March 30 brings celebrated writers and artists Tom King, Frank Tieri, Joshua Williamson, Sam Humphries, Matthew Rosenberg, and James Tynion IV together for an intimate hour-long Q&A with attendees. Tickets for this special experience are available for $100, and include an autographed variant comic cover featuring each guest’s work, a photo opp with all the guests, and up to five autographs from each guest. Attendees must also have a Friday day pass or Weekend pass to Awesome Con.
The creative minds behind Batman comic miniseries “Dark Nights: Metal” come together at Awesome Con for a Batman Metal Q&A and Meet & Greet on Saturday, March 31. Artist Greg Capullo, writer Scott Snyder, and inker Jonathan Glapion host a private one-hour Q&A with attendees, who will each receive a color Greg Capullo Batman print, a black-and-white Greg Capullo Batman print, and an inked Batman variant comic book cover by Jonathan Glapion. The iconic trio of guests will sign the prints and comic cover along with up to five items per attendee. Tickets are available for $100; attendees must also have a Saturday day pass or Awesome Con Weekend pass.
Scott Snyder (Superman Unchained, American Vampire, Batman, Swamp Thing, Voodoo Heart)
Sean Gordon Murphy (Batman: White Knight, Hellblazer: City of Demons, Punk Rock Jesus, Shaun of the Dead, Teen Titans, The Wake, Tokyo Ghost)
Tom King (A Once Crowded Sky, Batman, The Sheriff of Babylon, The Vision)
Clay Mann (Batman, Batman Eternal, Gambit, X-Men)
James Tynion IV((DC’s Detective Comics, Batman, Teenage Mutant Turtles, The Backstagers, Red Hood and the Outlaws, Constantine: The Hellblazer)
Josh Williamson (Skybound, Flash Rebirth)
Frank Tieri (Wolverine, Ultimate Spider-Man, Marvel vs Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3)
Sam Humphries (Nightwing)
Matthew Rosenberg (4 Kids Walk Into a Bar, We Can Never Go Home, The Archies)
Jonathan Glapion (Superman, Batman, Curse of the Spawn, Elektra: The Hand)
Stephen Amell (Arrow)
John Barrowman (Arrow)
Tom Welling (Smallville)
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville)
Cress Williams (Black Lightning)
Will Friedle (Batman Beyond)
Phill LaMarr (Justice League Unlimited)
Awesome Con runs from Friday, March 30 until Sunday, April 1 in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. More information about Awesome Con and tickets are available at www.awesomecon.com.
The community starts to suspect that Black Lightning may have returned; Jefferson Pierce struggles with his decision; Gambi urges him to take up the mantle once more and return to life as Black Lightning.
I was impressed with the first episode of Black Lightning. The second episode is all about the small details and that helps make the series continue to stand out from the crowded field of comic adaptations on television.
The episode picks up on the first with Jefferson Pierce figuring out if he really wants to dive back into the superhero world. There’s kids being held against their world in prostitution and the cops don’t seem to want to do anything about it… at least they come up with shitty excuses.
While that story is interesting, an exploration of the community and what one can do in their dual roles, it’s the small details of the episode that’s great.
What’s particularly interesting is a scene with one of Jefferson’s daughters Anissa. In it we see Anissa with her girlfriend in bed talking. Anissa talks about her destroying her sink in the previous episode but says she did so when she went to “go pee.” While that might seem like a minor thing, I can’t think of too many shows, if any, admitting bodily functions yet having a woman being the one who did it. It’s a small detail, but a detail that adds authenticity to the show and weirdly feels groundbreaking in some way.
And that’s the thing the show exudes is authenticity.
One gets the feeling from the the dialogue, the interactions, this is the writers and creators’ world. There’s nothing about what happens that doesn’t feel like something that’d actually be said in the real world and the series doesn’t go overboard in all of that. It feels natural and reel. There’s another relationship moment with Anissa’s and a boy and the awkwardness again feels so realistic.
There’s also a real sense of emotion through it all. In the triple exploration of relationships. There’s acknowledgement of PTSD. You feel the sense of struggle within Jefferson. All of that is on the shoulders of the cast who raise what they’re working with to the next level (and what they’re working with is really good).
Black Lightning is great. It takes the superhero live action formula and shakes it up in positive ways that makes it leapfrog the competition. A fantastic addition to live action comic adaptations that will hopefully help raise the bar.
Retired vigilante Jefferson Pierce gets pulled back into fighting crime as his alter ego Black Lightning.
If there’s been one comic television property this season I’ve been excited and counting down to, it’s Black Lightning, the latest entry into the world of DCTV on the CW. Created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, the character debuted 1977 in Black Lightning #1 and featured a former Olympian returning home to teach at a school and dispense justice against a local gang called the 100.
With some small tweaks, the show so far has taken the basic building blocks of the original character and updated him. And that update, is an impressive one taking on today’s socio-political issues head on. Black Lightning’s greatest strength may be the fact at how unflinching it is at speaking the truth. The episode makes that apparent in its first few sequences with Jefferson Pierce and his kids being pulled over by police who have “mistaken” Pierce for a recent robber, at least that’s the excuse they give him. Police harassment and brutality isn’t a topic many television shows are willing to tackle but this one isn’t pulling punches.
At the recent “DC in D.C.” event co-creator Mara Brock Akil said the series was developed in a moment of what was happening in Black communities and that’s apparent from the first episode. But it’s the way that it’s done which is fascinating. While Pierce is battling for his community by creating a safe zone in his school, he’s dragged by his politicized daughter. And then pulled fully in due to activity of the gang. It’s a clash of generations in many ways and how this dynamic is explored going forward will be interesting.
How the show differs itself from the other DC Comics shows is fascinating as well. The use of music, the direction, the show’s style sets itself apart. It’s telling a unique story in a unique style compared to its sibling shows. The violence too differs with the prevalence of guns and the impact of those bullets. The show is willing to push things in interesting ways when it comes to its lead too. One particular scene has Pierce in a shower with the camera panning down delivering a sexy moment for the viewers.
The cast is fantastic with Cress Williams leading the show in the title role and coming off as a father and adult who’s of a different time and way. Again, the generational is emphasized as in how he conducts himself compared to his daughters. Everyone though is solid in their roles and hopefully everyone gets their moments as the series plays out.
The first episode is a solid one planting a flag and making a statement that’s clear as to what we can expect from it. This isn’t your typical comic adaptation, it has something to say and isn’t afraid to do so. A socially and politically aware debut that entertains as much as it gets you to think and take notice.
The CW has released a teaser image of Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning, the next DC Comics superhero to get the live action treatment. The suit was designed by Costume Designers Guild Award nominee Laura Jean Shannon.
It’s unknown how the series will fit into the current DCTV universe, so we’ll have to wait and see though statements in the past have indicated this will be a standalone series.