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Black Lightning: Salim Akil Talks Themes And Possibility Of Other Characters | WonderCon 2018

My favorite CW superhero show this season is without a doubt Black Lightning. This past Sunday at WonderCon during the Black Lightning panel inside the arena, audiences had the opportunity to get a first look at this week’s episode titled “Sins of the Father”. This was introduced by the executive producer and showrunner for the show Salim Akil. You can check out the promo for it above.

Here is the synopsis for the episode that we got to preview in full:

SECRETS AND LIES — Black Lightning (Cress Williams) attempts to rescue several long-missing children reveals a secret he did not anticipate, and its resulting connections. Gambi (James Remar) struggles to stay strong while in a compromising position. Jefferson begins to view things differently.

Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, Christine Adams, Marvin Jones III and Damon Gupton also star.

After the episode, Akil was joined on stage by the writers of the show Adam Giaudrone, Pat Charles and Lamont Magee. Unlike the other well-known superhero shows on the CW or other networks, Black Lightning deals with a lot of real-world issues that a lot of communities in our country face with drugs, guns, and violence.

On the subject, Akil said that:

“You have to ask yourself, how does that get into the community? We wanted to examine that in our own way. It’s timing. We’re talking about guns, we’re talking about kids, and we’re talking about the effect the government can have on your community.”

With that comment, he also said that although everyone, in the end, has to take responsibility for their actions, there are still outside factors that neighborhoods have no control over. The drugs have to get into a community somehow and it’s not the poor bringing them in.

Something else noteworthy about the panel was when they talked about Anissa Pierce aka Thunder, played by Nafessa Williams. It was pointed our that she was the first black female queer superhero in live-action, which actually is in line with her depiction in comics and not some gimmick to grab a certain audience. Talking about the character and the way he wrote her, Akil said that he hadn’t even taken that milestone into account when writing the script, that it just came naturally to the story. But he was worried about audience’s reactions saying, “When I finished, I was like, ‘Oh shit, this does not look like your regular superhero show, I don’t know how people are going to take it'”.

Akil was asked by an audience member what DC character he would want to bring to Freeland. His response was Batman, although he did not go into detail on how he would use him saying:

“I gotta keep that in my head, but I think it would be very, very dynamic. Reading the comics, the one thing I love about their relationship is, it was Batman who was almost like his therapist. I like that idea. We’ll see.”

He followed up this thought by saying that at the moment he is not looking to bring other heroes to the show he wants people to get to know Jefferson and his family. Since there are a lot of characters already on the show he wants to settle them in first. But he finished that statement by saying, “but anything is possible”.

It was a great panel that showcased what makes Black Lightning so special. You could easily understand why the show is separated from the rest of the Arrowverse as it is often called. If you haven’t got a chance to watch the series, I highly recommend it. What do you think of the first season of Black Lightning so far? Let us know in the comment section below!

CW’s Black Lightning can be seen Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW.


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