‘Black Lightning’ Cast Explains how Pierce Family Stands Out From Other CW Superheroes
As the newest entry into The CW’s superhero lineup, Black Lightning will need to stand out from the Arrowverse quartet.
Black Lightning follows former hero Jefferson Pierce as he comes out of retirement to take his neighborhood back from a growing gang threat.
At San Diego Comic-Con, the cast explained the importance of the Pierce Family dynamic to CBR.
“I think it creates more drama,” said Black Lightning himself Cress Williams. “I’m really excited to see it ripple out, you know? He hung up his suit for his family. So then he puts it back on again, and that’s going to create ripple effects throughout his whole family.”
“What is the ex-wife going to think? She’s not going to be happy about it, I can tell you that! And then once the daughters develop powers, how does that affect the family,” he continued. “Every single thing… It’s not just me, or it’s not this big world thing. It ripples through the family, and I’m really excited about that.”
Christine Adams, Jefferson’s ex-wife Lynn, thinks it’s the family’s mistakes that makes them special.
“I think what makes the show special is that you’ve got the fun superhero elements, but what makes it special is this family and this family dynamic that’s really real and actually, you know, they’re not perfect,” she said. “They make mistakes. Their marriage is over. They’re trying to figure it out. They’ve got teenage girls who want to do things they shouldn’t be doing. So, in that way, it feels really real and sort of grounded in reality. I think that’s quite unique, and I think that’s something that the audience is going to be drawn into, hopefully.”
China Anne McClain, who plays Jennifer Pierce, says the show strikes the right balance between superhero action and family drama.
“I would go as far as to say family is probably the most important aspect of this show, because we’re all dealing with our superpowers,” said McClain. “Our dad is the OG. He’s retired and he’s used to using his powers for good, but we’re just developing our powers.”
“So, instead of just dealing with normal teenagers that are getting into trouble, you’re dealing with teenagers that are getting into trouble with superpowers,” she continued. “So, you know, it looks great for Cress. He gets to be very dynamic in the show and show both sides of him: the really awesome side, when he’s fighting crime and everything, and then just being a father and helping us out with our struggles.”
Nafessa Williams explained Anissa’s hero-worship of her dad.
“Black Lightning is like Jesus to me. I want to be just like him. He inspires me,” she said. “I want to be everything that he is and, I’m sure you guys are definitely familiar with the comic book, it’s not something he wants her to get into, but she just loves her dad and she really looks up to him.”
“She admires what he does for the community. I’m even a school teacher at the school. I’m just really wanting to follow in his footsteps,” she continued. “He’s my idol. He’s my hero, in real life and in the comic world as well. She just really looks up to him. I like to think that she’s the boy that he never had. She’s got a little tomboy edge in her, so I like to think that Anissa is the boy that he never had.”
Black Lightning premieres on The CW in 2018.
Source: Comic Book Resources