Black Lightning showrunner talks about season 2 plans


Black Lightning wraps its critically acclaimed first season this Tuesday but Salim Akil is already thinking about next year.

The writer for the freshmen superhero drama announced on Monday that production had begun for the second season. Executive producers Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil recently sat down for an interview with Deadline to discuss the impact the series has had on viewers.

The latter quickly pointed out how important it was for the show to have an African American man lead the series. Like Marvel’s Luke Cage, this CW show deals with social issues affecting the average person as compared to a hero like Black Panther.

It’s a grounded approach, and one that helped make Black Lightning a big success for the network.

"“The show is anchored in putting the black man at the center of the conversation. Outside in the world, we’re talking a lot about black men, and a lot of times the images don’t see him as not just a father, but a man loving his women and as a principal, having to be a father to other children.”"

Mara Brock Akil’s statement could sum up this season of Black Lightning. The show has dealt with the real-life struggles of an African American man, as well as his experiences as a father and husband. They are just as much a part of Jefferson’s identity as his superpowers are as well.

Salim Akil also commented on the decision to tell a different type of superhero story compared to the rest of the Arrowverse.

"“I wanted to talk about the idea of being pulled back into your community. It seems like powers were always positive. I wanted to show the other side of powers and what they can take away from you, as well and how they can be a burden. We wanted to start him in a place where he was pushed to the side and was pulled back into the world and reluctantly became a hero again.”"

The idea of powers being both a gift and a burden was introduced for all of the superheroes in this season. Jefferson has been juggling a double life and the responsibility that came with it throughout his entire life.

Meanwhile, his eldest daughter was ecstatic at the discovery of her abilities while his younger daughter resents them. Thankfully, this is going to be a plot that carries into the second season of Black Lightning. 

"“Going into the second season, what I want to explore is the idea that you have these children and now you realize they have these powers. You have one daughter who loves the idea of having powers and you have another daughter who despises the idea of having powers, but she still has them. How does that affect your children? How do you deal with?”"

These superpowers have acted as a division in the Pierce family their entire lives. Black Lightning adopts a tone closer to Marvel’s X-Men compared to the other DC Comics.

These people, specifically Jen, never asked to have powers but still must reckon with them. Anissa embraces them, Jefferson uses them, but Jen rejects them. They offer a different perspective on the hardships of being powered and it’s a breath of relief compared to the typical Arrowverse formula.

Black Lightning has already been renewed for season two and fans can expect to see an exciting sophomore season.

Next: 10 Marvel superheroes who deserve their own TV series

Considering the show has already started production for next year, there’s a chance it gets moved from a midseason release to the fall. While waiting, be sure to watch the season finale this Tuesday on The CW.