Back in February, we learned that Greg Berlanti‘s Black Lightning series was moving from FOX to join Berlanti’s other DC heroes on The CW, shortly after former Hart of Dixie star Cress Williams landed the role, and production was already underway by March. Filming must have gone well because The CW has officially ordered Black Lightning to series, where he will join their ever-expanding superhero lineup.
The news also brings the first breakdown of the plot, which will follow Williams as Jefferson Pierce, a retired vigilante who hung up the super suit and his secret identity years ago to work as a teacher. But when his daughter becomes hell-bent on justice and a star student is recruited by a local gang, he gets back into the fight as the legendary Black Lightning.
In addition to the Black Lightning pickup, the network also ordered the Lucy Hale-led drama Life Sentence, which stars the Pretty Little Liars actress as “a young woman diagnosed with terminal cancer who finds out that she’s not dying after all and has to learn to live with the choices she made when she decided to ‘live like she was dying.'” Earlier today, The CW also ordered their Dynasty reboot to series starring Elizabeth Gilles and Fallon Corrington, as well as Kyle Jarrow‘s military drama Valor.
Black Lightning comes from writers Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, and will also star Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain and Christine Adams. If you’re unfamiliar with Black Lightning, here’s Allison’s handy summary of the hero’s comic book history.
Black Lightning’s powers are exactly what you would expect: He’s a metahuman who can control electro-magnetic fields around his body, and can use it to stun or even kill as necessary. He can also use it to launch projectiles, and it gives him limited flight abilities as well. In the comics, he’s helped re-start Superman’s heart, and has also honed his combat skills under Batman’s tutelage. So yeah, he sounds like a badass.
Pierce’s two daughters–Anissa a.k.a. Thunder, a member of the Outsiders, and Jennifer a.k.a. Lightning, recruited by the Justice Society of America–are also active vigilantes in the comics, and it looks like the TV series will be headed in the same direction.