DID YOU KNOW THAT …
- Originally developed for Fox, however the network executives decided not to exercise the “option” and passed on the series.
- The series isn’t officially a part of the Arrowverse, but is open for the potential.
- At 47 years old, Cress Williams (Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning) is the second oldest actor to make his debut appearance as a superhero in a live-action production. The oldest is Ron Perlman, who was 54 when he played the title character in Hellboy (2004).
- Cress Williams, who portrays Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce, previously appeared in the series “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” as the villain Baron Sunday.
- This is the first live action depiction of Black Lightning. The character was earlier featured in several DC Comics animated projects, and served as the basis for Black Vulcan in Super Friends (1973).
- In DC Comics, Peter Gambi is the brother of Paul Gambi, a supporting character and friend/reformed foe (but not confidante) of the Flash.
- James Remar starred in another DC comics television franchise: Gotham (2014).
- Black Lightning: The Resurrection (2018) features a cameo by former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner. The high school featured is Garfield High School and Garfield Heights is a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio.
- M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994) was a show with a similar concept of the protagonist, portrayed by Carl Lumbly, who goes to extremes to protect his community.
- This marks Fallyn Brown’s first TV appearance.
- James Remar (Peter Gambi) previously played Lord Raiden (credited as Rayden) in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), who possesses the power of lightning much like Black Lightning.
- The term “metahuman” or “meta-human” was used in Black Lightning: Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder (2018), a word which is used quite frequently in The Flash (2014).
- Jefferson adopts a more street-wise manner of speaking when disguised as Black Lightning. This is in keeping with the original comic books, where Black Lightning made use of 70’s era slang to disguise his identity.
- By episode four, Black Lightning: Black Jesus (2018), based on a packing slip, it is established that Freeland , the setting of series, is located in Georgia, which happens to be the primary filming location for “Black Lightning”. Even though the scene may have been left on the cutting room floor, it is implied in the opening sequence of the next episode, Black Lightning: And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light (2018).
- In the comics, Black Lightning’s base of operations was in the urban area of Metropolis called ‘Suicide Slum’.
- The graphic novel version was written in 1977, that was the height of the Black Revolutionary movement, and the push for the advancement of civil rights for all oppressed minorities, which was a cause for concern for certain factions of the Federal Government like the FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, which launched an investigation into these “subversive” movements via COINTELPRO, or Counter Intelligence Program, which the Bureau perceived was going to tear the country apart . It was this sentiment which the writers tried to convey, when Gambi stated “… make them passive and keep them docile in what was a very politically-explosive environment”
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
- In the beginning of Black Lightning: The Book of Revelations (2018), it was stated that the ASA was responsible for the “Green Light” epidemic. This is similar to concerns that the Central Intelligence Agency, engaged in Cocaine Trafficking into the United States, in the latter half of the twentieth century, to finance rebel groups fighting against Communism.
- The plot of the government experimenting on an African-American community is based on the Tuskegee Syphilis experiment, where impoverished African-American men were tricked into participating in a study to observe the progression of syphilis under the guise of free meals and medical care. The men were never told they had contracted the illness and were never treated for it; in some cases, they were even prevented from taking drugs that might have helped them.
- In Black Lightning: The Book of Revelations (2018), it is revealed Gambi’s real name is Peter Esposito.
- While produced by the same production team as the CW’s Arrowverse, no crossovers were announced between Black Lightning and any of the other CW superhero shows. However, first season episodes did mention the existence of other superheroes, including two from the Arrowverse (Vixen and Supergirl), leaving open the possibility of future crossovers.
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