First look at Black Lightning in new CW superhero series

Contributed by
Mar 30, 2017, 9:52 AM EDT

The CW has unveiled our first electric look at Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) suited up as the Arrowverse’s newest superhero, Black Lightning.

Williams plays Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning, one of the first African-American DC Comics superhero to get his own comic book title. Now, he's getting his own TV series. The character was created back in 1977 by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden. In the upcoming series, Black Lightning has long since retired. But, to save his daughters, he'll have to put on the suit again. Here’s the official synopsis:

Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with one daughter hell-bent on justice and the other a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend — Black Lightning.

The upgraded costume — which looks surprisingly close to the superhero duds the character wears in the pages of the comics — was designed by Laura Jean Shannon. She also worked on the upcoming Jumanji sequel with Dwayne Johnson, The Jungle Book, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Blade: Trinity and Iron Man.

Currently filming in Atlanta, Black Lightning is penned by Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil, who’ll serve as executive producers on the superhero TV series alongside Greg Berlanti. Here’s what Salim Akil (who wrote and is helming the pilot) said in an official statement:

“I knew way too much about the world as a young boy growing up in Richmond, California. I was no stranger to violence, death, hopelessness or the feeling that no one cared about what was happening in my life. Comics were a great way for me to escape. I was about 13 when Black Lightning was created, and finally there was a Black Super Hero that gave a damn about our neighborhood and our lives. Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking... Black Lightning will be that hope. And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own Super Heroes.”