8:15am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
'Black Lightning' Season 2: All the Details (So Far)
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning, and Fox's Gotham. There have been a lot of news, castings and announcements all summer long about the new seasons premiering this fall, so this week we're rounding up everything there is to know about Black Lightning season two ...
The father-daughter duo continues | As the critically lauded first season introduced the father-daughter superhero team of Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and Thunder (Nafessa Williams), it looks like Black Lightning season two is doubling down on what made the show work so well. The CW just released a short trailer with the first footage of season two (the extended Comic-Con trailer only included scenes from season one) and the first image is of Jefferson and his oldest daughter, Anissa, doing a slow superhero strut down in the Black Lightning lair. "Black Lightning and Thunder will always fight for justice," Jefferson says. And even though his youngest daughter, Jennifer (China Anne McClain), developed her metahuman powers at the tail end of season one, don't expect her to take up her Lightning moniker and suit up with her sister and father just yet. This is solely a duo ... for now.
Coming into her own | But just because Jennifer isn't suiting up right away that doesn't mean she won't be exploring her blossoming powers this season. In fact, a good chunk of season two will focus on Jennifer's journey to becoming Lightning and how it will be different from Anissa's development last season. As a social justice warrior, Anissa couldn't wait to use her powers for the greater good and get out on the streets with her father. But Jennifer, a younger teen still figuring out her path and what she wants out of life, is less excited about her powers and doesn't want to be a hero. How she comes to terms with her highly dangerous energy abilities and what it means for her future as a crime fighter will be explored in full this season, and executive producer Salim Akil warns that it "won't be an easy journey."
Same villains, different season | Black Lightning stood out from all the other CW superhero shows last season for a few reasons. It was the only DC series on the network not included in the Arrow-verse for one, but perhaps more importantly, it was less procedural and more serialized. There was no villain-of-the-week structure when it came to the problems Jefferson had to face. And based on the season two trailer, that will continue this year as Jefferson still fights against the same villains: Tobias Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III), his right-hand woman Syonide (Charlbi Dean Kriek) and newly promoted series regular Khalil Payne aka Painkiller (Jordan Calloway). "I don't want to introduce too many villains," Akil says. "I want us to settle in now that we know everyone. We know what the ASA is, we know who Tobias is, so now we can really tell some grounded stories about our villains, our heroes, the people in Freeland. So, yes, Tobias will be our villain but there will be other forces in Freeland and outside of Freeland that will rear their ugly heads." And while Tobias and Syonide are straight-up villains, Khalil presents a much more compelling emotional storyline as Jennifer's ex-boyfriend as she will search for a way to redeem the love of her life.
No crossovers ... yet | Because Black Lightning is not a part of the Arrow-verse, that means it will once again not take part in this fall's big crossover event. And despite a few Easter egg mentions of the character of Supergirl among other things, this show is still in its own world (and universe), but that doesn't mean the door is closed on any crossovers in the future. Just look at what happened with Supergirl just a few years back ... and now that series is firmly in the Arrow-verse despite having launched on a different network.
The keys to the kingdom | One of the dangling cliffhangers from season one is the mystery of what's in the glowing case Tobias stole from the ASA at the end of the finale. Akil previously told THR, "There is power in that box, power like Tobias has never had before. What he sees in it is horrible to us, but to him it's exciting. He feels it's going to make him the king of Freeland and beyond."
New heroes emerge | With the season two premiere, "The Book of Consequences: Rise of the Green Light Babies," picking up just one week after the events of the season one finale, it's clear that Jefferson and Co. will be in the thick of dealing with all the green light pod children newly discovered. With the drug green light having changed these kids into metahumans, the consequences of them waking up means Jefferson might have proteges to train ... or problems to put down. If any of the new metahumans cause problems in public, Black Lightning's approval ratings among the city's inhabitants might take a hit.
A new ally | Black Lightning season two has cast Sofia Vassilieva as DC Comics character Looker. A member of the Outsiders superhero team (which Anissa is destined to join, per the comic book source material), Looker's introduction to the series means Anissa's season one girlfriend Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) will likely have an even greater role this season, as she is also in the Outsiders in the comics. And it's also interesting to note that Vassilieva previously played a recurring role on Supergirl, and since her two roles have no connection to each other, that's more water thrown on a possible Arrow-verse crossover.
Check out the new season two trailer below:
Black Lightning returns for season two Tuesday, Oct. 9, on The CW.