This is a great time to be a superhero fan when it comes to television. Both DC and Marvel have invested heavily in bringing their characters to the small screen. The latest is the DC hero Black Lightning.
Black Lightning is really Jefferson Pierce, a former Olympic athlete and current principal of a high school. Instead of presenting an origin story, it starts nine years after Pierce has given up his Black Lightning role. He returns only because of the kidnapping of his daughters by the 100 gang.
I like the Black Lightning character. I used to collect Batman and the Outsiders and Black Lightning was one of my favourite members. He was strong, noble and intelligent. I had high hopes for this series.
I was pretty disappointed by the first episode. It overly relied on the contemporary frustration between black people and white police. That is an issue that needs to be addressed but this felt like a shallow treatment. It didn’t accomplish the purpose of engaging the audience.
The story felt very clunky. I understand that this is only the first episode, but it fell far short both of other Marvel and DC shows. It seemed like an attempt to copy Luke Cage that didn’t quite make it.
It is not that I’m overly critical. I really enjoyed both Iron Fist and Justice League, which the critics hated. I’m not that hard to please. But Black Lightning was a disappointment. It was everything from the horrible costume to the laughable villain of Tobias Whale. It reminded me of a superhero series from the 1980s.
I can’t say as I will spend my limited television time watching more episodes.