Black Lightning CW Series: Yay or Nay?

Staff Writer: Liam Gillin 

Thus far, critics have expressed mixed opinions on the new CW superhero TV show, Black Lightning. Understandably, newcomers to the story of this DC Comics sparkblasting superhero may fall under the assumption that Black Lightning is a television show that will be automatically cheesy, and possibly race-preachy.  

While race is indeed a strong and defining attribute of the character, who is a high school principal and ex-crime fighter named Jefferson Pierce, many have claimed it to be not quite as over-the-top in preaching territory as the assumptions may lead someone to believe.  

Although, awareness to social issues is important, going overboard can turn people off quickly; but I digress. 

Currently standing at a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 79% on Metacritic, both fans and newbies are generally liking this show. 

black lightning 2

After all, with this cast, what’s not to like? It seems well-thought, both in rage and in appearances.


Granted, many of my favorite media critics online expressed an optimistic wariness about the great debuting episode. In fairness, that’s what any smart geek does. We reserve judgement for later, harsh or not. 

I must say that I, personally, have been quite satisfied with the cast and television actor Cress Williams’ overall performance and portrayal of the character.

cress williams

Cress Williams plays a wonderful, compelling, and astounding first on-screen portrayal of Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning.


I especially approve of the casting for one of the main villains, Tobias Whale, played by rapper and actor Marvin ‘Krondon’ Jones III. 

Occasionally, the lines from the heroes or villains may seem rather cheesy, but this is ultimately made up for knowing the background of the character, historically, throughout the DC Comics universe and that this is purely derived from comic book entertainment. 

Having seen the first three episodes myself, I can personally recommend, albeit with some geeky bias, watching Black Lightning the next time it airs on television or however else you can. 

Aside from the sci-fi superhero action sequences, there is also a considerable and realistic amount of drama based on real world issues about crime, violence, hate, racism, sexism, and more of that nature. The characters have understandable and relatable problems, such as teenage dating and the struggles of raising a family in a rough neighborhood.  

Among other forms of violence, the show uses a subtle form preaching for gun control, especially in the first few episodes. It is, indeed, a nice change of pace for many to get some of this on a less preachy level. While I have little to no problems with such, this is, arguably, more likely to grab people’s attention and sympathy. 

My unofficial rating for CW‘s Black Lightning 8/10. While most of it is brilliantly made, acted, directed, and produced; it seems a little fast-paced at times and a little too cheesy for a TV series, even one based on a comic book. Regardless, I strongly urge others to watch this show.

black lightning

Black Lightning is back! Don’t miss it, because I sure won’t.


Photos gathered by: Armando Carrillo-Rendon

Photos courtesy of:

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