‘Black Lightning’ made a rumble last year, when it debuted on The CW. It was the network’s highest-rated debut in two years and distinguished itself by keeping its storyline self-contained and apart from the Arrowverse shows.
Like those shows, however, the first season of ‘Black Lightning’ borrowed heavily from the comics. Jefferson Pierce found himself battling comic-based villains like Tobias Whale (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III), Syonide (Charlbi Dean), Lady Eve (Jill Scott) and modified versions of Tattoo Man, formerly Jefferson’s student Latavius “Lala” Johnson (William Catlett) and Painkiller, Jennifer’s (China Anne McClain) boyfriend Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway). Now it seems more comic additions appear to be on their way.
But here’s the thing. While it’s true Black Lightning was the first black superhero to star in his own comic book, that comic book lasted a measly eleven issues. The final twelfth issue was “lost” until it finally saw print in ‘Worlds Finest Comics’ #260. But after declining an offer to join the Justice League, Jefferson Pierce went on to star for several years in ‘Batman and the Outsiders’/’The Outsiders’. You may recall Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) showing Anissa (Nafessa Williams) a copy of a fictionalized version of the comic book ‘The Outsiders’ when they first met. When Anissa first debuted as a superhero in the DC Universe, it was in the pages of that very series. Expect the real DC ‘Outsiders’ to serve as a rich source of inspiration for ‘Black Lightning’ moving into Season Two.
It was revealed last week, that the ‘Outsiders’ character Dr. Jace would appear in BLS2. Here is the full character description:
“Dr. Jace” is a 40-something Caucasian woman who is incredibly smart and works as a computational chemist. Our heroes will have to make sure to watch out for this highly manipulative baddie who may or may not be a sociopath. This chemist is possibly focusing more on the ends as opposed to the means.”
Dr. Helga Jace was a heroic supporting character in ‘Batman and the Outsiders’, having been instrumental in giving Prince Brion of Markovia the superpowers he used to become the hero Geo-Force. She also granted similar powers to his adopted sister Tara Markov, who became the Teen Titan Terra, only to turn out to be a spy sent to infiltrate the team in an effort to destroy it.
On a similar note, during the crossover event ‘Millennium’, Dr. Jace was revealed to be a sleeper agent of the robotic Manhunters, who wanted to wipe out the heroes of Earth. Dr. Jace’s actions caused the Outsider Looker to lose her powers and put Halo into a coma. The team disbanded after the Manhunters’ plan was foiled.
It sounds as though ‘Black Lightning’ is going to base their interpretation more on the later villainous version of Dr. Jace.
The next two are guesses on my part, but here goes…
First up we have “Perenna”, an open ethnicity role who is somewhere between her 40s-50s. “Perenna” is a therapist who is a metahuman with telepathic powers. Her story revolves heavily around Jennifer Pierce as she will be trying to help the young Pierce daughter to understand her powers better, both physically and emotionally. “Perenna” doesn’t let any feelings or situations scare her off, so expect her to be a power player.
Just a guess, but this could be Looker, alias Emily “Lia” Briggs. Emily was a mousy bank teller until she discovered that she was descended from a race of subterranean beings. She gained the abilities of telepathy and telekinesis and she became more conventionally attractive. Yes, one of her superpowers is hotness. She later became a vampire. She appeared to die during ‘Infinite Crisis’ but afterward popped up alive, so nevermind that.
The biggest difference between the description of “Perenna” and Looker is their age. Perenna is clearly meant to be older, between 40-50. But they could be altering the character for the show. Or, of course, this could be some other telepath or even a brand new character.
“Zlovac”, a Caucasian man in his 30s who will be teaming up with the big bad Tobias Whale. Working as a real estate developer, “Zlovac” isn’t afraid to get violent when it comes to payback. “Zlovac” was born somewhere in Eastern Europe and has a lot of experiences in his toolbox as a money launderer as well as being slick within business.
This would also be a heavy modification, but “Zlovac” could be Baron Bedlam, real name, Frederick DeLamb. DeLamb’s father was a puppet dictator, who was installed by the Nazi party as the ruler of Markovia, during World War II, but after the war, he was deposed and executed. Frederick DeLamb gained support of the Soviet Union and killed King Viktor in an effort to claim the throne of Markovia. Bedlam’s actions led to the formation of The Outsiders. He later hatched a plan to clone Adolf Hitler.
Almost none of that is usable on ‘Black Lightning’, but the fact that they are specifically classifying him as Eastern European, leads me to think that however this character turns out, he will at least be partially inspired by Baron Bedlam.
There are two more new characters, but I don’t think they are based on comic book creations.
“Major Lowry”, which is for a male of any ethnicity between the age of 35-50. He is a big deal for one simple reason which is that he is the new principal of Garfield High School! This smart and brave individual isn’t going to have any problem with taking over for Jefferson.
“Zoe B” Open for any ethnicity, this 20-something young woman is social media savvy filled with confidence and edge.
Zoe B is being introduced as a love interest for Anissa. It’s unclear if Thuy’s Grace will be back but Zoe B is said to not be looking for a relationship. Will there be a love triangle? Or is Grace history?
If these guesses are correct, it’s going to be a busy season for ‘The Outsiders’ a team whose heyday was in the 1980s. The team is also being introduced on the animated ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’, the third season of the cult favorite series which will arrive on DC Universe in 2019.
‘Black Lightning’ will air at 9pm EST on The CW, with the new season kicking off on October 9.
Source: That Hashtag Show