Deadline just announced that DC Comics has a "Black Lightning" television series far enough along in development that they're shopping it around to networks. Under the hand of Greg Berlanti (see: "Arrow," "The Flash," "Legends of Tomorrow," "Supergirl") it's almost a sure thing. Berlanti is working with Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane) to develop the series. 

 

Black Lightning Issue 1

 

Black Lightning was one of DC Comics' first major African-American superheroes, around since 1977. He's been a member of the Outsiders (young heroes being mentored by Batman), and more recently the Justice League of America. Despite being a relatively minor hero as these things go, he's got a rich backstory and personal life, with two daughters and a career in education outside of superheroing. Several other heroes seem to have been inspired by him in DC's animated canon, including Black Vulcan from "Challenge of the Superfriends" and the popular Static Shock in the series by the same name. Traditionally, Black Lightning has been one who reflect and confront more realistic, more urban issues than other superheroes, fighting to take back the streets from druglords and corrupt city officials as much as costumed villains. 

 

Will "Black Lightning" be another DC Comics series on CW? Will it join the Arrowverse? Will it remain apart from the other series? Greg Berlanti's series have done well at increasing the diversity of the very white, very male traditional DC Comics roster, including more people of color, women, and LGBT characters. Adding a series with an African American hero as the lead seems like a natural extension of what they've already been doing. A big part of me wants to see Black Lightning alongside Arrow, Flash, Supergirl, and the Atom -- he deserves to be in that pantheon of heroes. Let's see what happens. 

 

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Tags: Justice League of America , Greg Berlanti , Black Lightning , Static Shock , DC Comics