Black Lightning is set to end with its upcoming fourth season at The CW, Shadow and Act has learned. The news was announced Friday and comes on the heels of the network announcing that a spinoff, Painkiller (starring Jordan Calloway), had been set at a backdoor pilot.
Black Lightning stars Cress Williams as the titular character, Nafessa Williams as Anissa Pierce / Thunder and China Anne McClain as Jennifer Pierce/Lightning. Christine Adams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Calloway and Chantal Thuy also star.
“When we first started the Black Lighting journey, I knew that Jefferson Pierce and his family of powerful Black Women would be a unique addition to the superhero genre,” said executive producer Salim Akil in a statement.“The love that Blerds and all comic book fans around the globe have shown this series over the past three seasons proved what we imagined, Black People Want To See Themselves in all their complexities. Thank you to the phenomenal cast, writers and crew without whom none of this would’ve been possible. I’m incredibly proud of the work we’ve been able to do and the moments we’ve been able to create in bringing DC’s first African-American family of superheroes to life for the culture.
He continued, “I’m very grateful to Peter Roth, Warner Bros. TV, Mark Pedowitz, The CW Network and Greg Berlanti for their partnership and support of my vision at every step of this journey. While Season Four may be the end of one journey, I’m extremely excited to usher in a new chapter and continued collaboration with The CW as we tell the story of Painkiller.”
In Black Lightning, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man with many faces. He is a former Olympic athlete, respected educator and a father of two. He is also Black Lightning, superpowered protector of the fictional city of Freeland with the ability to sense and harness electricity. Jefferson is not the only one with powers and multiple faces. His oldest daughter, Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) is a medical student, health clinic volunteer and dedicated social activist. She is also the superhero known as Thunder who possesses the ability to drastically increase her density, giving her invulnerability and super strength for as long as she can hold her breath.
Finally, Jefferson’s youngest daughter, Jennifer Pierce (China Anne McClain), is a fiery teen who inherited her father’s athletic gifts but not his desire to be an athlete. Jennifer also inherited superpowers. Her body generates pure electrical energy and she possesses the potential to be more powerful than Anissa or Jefferson and is known as Lightning. Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams) is Jefferson’s ex-wife but they are still very much in love in addition to sharing the load as co-parents. She’s also an expert in metahuman medicine. Together, the Pierce family faces the challenges of a declined urban community, including a menacing gang that calls itself The 100 and infamous gangster, Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III). Worse, Freeland has been plagued by government-sponsored experiments and drug trafficking that have created metahumans and addicts while making Freeland a target of a dangerous foreign power, Markovia. Fortunately, the family has allies in their fight, Jefferson’s surrogate father and a former covert superspy, Peter Gambi (James Remar), as well as Jefferson’s friend and neighbor, the committed and scrupulously honest Deputy Police Chief Henderson (Damon Gupton).
Photo: The CW