Comicbook: Black Lightning

Gimme gimme shock treatment.

Black Lightning was DC Comics' first black superhero with his own series. He was created by Tony Isabella and debuted in Black Lightning #1 (April, 1977), although his series only lasted a year before falling victim to a mass cutback that resulted in twenty DC titles being cancelled. He continued to make guest appearances, was a founder member of Batman and the Outsiders, and served with the Justice League of America. He got another series of his own in the 1990s, again written by Tony Isabella, which lasted slightly longer than the first one had. He has continued to make guest appearances since.

Black Lightning was Jefferson Pierce, who grew up in a slum in Metropolis, made good as an athlete, and returned to his old neighborhood to teach at the high school and help the next generation make something of themselves. Finding the neighborhood in the grip of organised crime, he became a costumed superhero equipped with a belt that gave him electrical powers. Later in his career, as so often happens, he developed the ability to manifest the powers without the belt.

Black Lightning did not appear in any other media for many years, with DC on several occasions choosing to create a new character where they might have used him (e.g. Black Vulcan in Superfriends and Soul Power in an episode of Static Shock). This changed when the Outsiders appeared in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Since then he has also appeared in the animated movies Superman/Batman: Public Enemies and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, the DC Universe Online video game, in a series of shorts for the DC Nation block (alongside his two daughters, Thunder and Lightning), and in the second season of Young Justice as a member of the Justice League who eventually offers to become Static(who was ironically replacing Black Vulcan)'s mentor.

Black Lightning provides examples of: