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The Pierce Family

    Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning 

Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2_67.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/27575195_534581863595823_19497.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/new_jefferson.png

Species: Metahuman

Played By: Cress Williams

First Appearance: "The Resurrection" (Black Lightning 1x1)

Appearances: Black Lightning (2018) | Crisis on Infinite Earths | The Flash

"Don't mistake my patience for weakness, boy."


A former vigilante turned high-school principal. He is forced back into heroics when the gangs he once fought target his family.

Jefferson can absorb and manipulate electricity.

see the Arrowverse: Other Earths page for his counterparts in two undesignated Earths
see the Smallville: Clark's Allies page for the Earth-167 character who bears his name

  • Action Dad: A father of two and a superhero.
  • Almighty Janitor: In Season Two, where he's forced to step down as principal, but stays on as history teacher.
  • Amicable Exes: With his ex-wife Lynn. There's still sparks of attraction between them and part of why Jefferson is reluctant to become Black Lightning again is that he believes there's a possibility of them getting back together.
  • "Angry Black Man" Stereotype: He usually tries to avoid being this, but when he's reached his limits, it'll be played straight. It's not natural, being a side effect of the serum that gave him his powers.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted—his new armor goes a long way in keeping him from getting full of bullet holes. However, it has its limits; getting shot at close range with a pistol is enough to give him a large cut (though that may have been from hitting an unarmored area).
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: As a principal, he's almost always dressed in a suit and tie, and can both fight and stand up to aggressive cops and the 100 with nary a blink while wearing it.
  • Badass Teacher: A high school principal who can shoot lightning bolts. He refuses to have metal detectors in his school because he doesn't want his pupils treated like criminals. Harm his students, and he will make you regret it.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Even when Tobias Whale prepared a countermeasure for his powers, Jefferson was still strong and skilled enough to take down the villainous albino in pure hand-to-hand combat.
  • Clark Kenting: A justified example. It is mentioned that he does something with his powers that makes it hard for people to look directly at his face; it also disrupts cameras, though of course this doesn't show on screen.
  • Cool Teacher: He's very supportive towards all his students, not just his current ones, but also the adults in the city who were his students at school years prior. He worries and cares about them, supports and encourages them and doesn't treat them like kids, but rather like young folks ready to take the first steps into adulthood and all they can achieve with it. In return, the majority of the students greatly respect him for this, working hard to achieve and exceed his expectations for them, and as seen in episode 11, they will not hesitate to confront the police when Jefferson gets accused of a crime, firmly believing in Jefferson's innocence.
  • Commonality Connection: Jefferson only starts to manage to reconcile himself to his situation during the Crisis when he speaks to Earth-1's Flash, who, despite his much greater power level and familiarity with the Multiverse, turns out to be an ordinary man with a past much like his own and a similar moral code he also inherited from his father. It's an especially comforting moment for Jefferson when Barry recognizes his reference to "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night", meaning Dylan Thomas (and other Real Life literature) is The Constant between his world and Earth-1, and something he loves still exists to defend.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: He does not deal well with the sudden knowledge that his universe is only one among many, and that everything in it has just been destroyed.
  • Dented Iron: His powers allow him to recover from injuries faster than most people, but his Healing Factor is not as good as it used to be.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Of all the heroes in the third hour of the Crisis Crossover he has the most reason to succumb to despair, being the Sole Survivor of his universe with not even any alternate analogues of his loved ones left in existence. But even knowing that he's joined the battle in its Darkest Hour, he quotes Dylan Thomas and resolves to spend his last day of existence still fighting.
  • Double Standard: Called out as a victim of this on the news; though other superheroes are confirmed to exist, Black Lightning is the only one treated as a vigilante, which is speculated to be because of his race. Though, as noted, he tends to lay out racist cops (not that they wouldn't have had it coming), which doesn't make him look good to the local police.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Despite being a well-loved pillar of the community, he's the suspect of racial profiling a lot — and he's fed up with it.
  • Electric Black Guy: Duh, given that his comics counterpart was the origin of this trope.
  • Elemental Punch: He can channel electricity into his fists in order to make his punches more effective.
  • Energy Absorption: Jefferson takes most of his powers from external sources. He is also immune to electric shocks, as Looker and her Sanges in Season 2 find out: Wrongly assuming that Black Lightning's powers come from his suit, they accidentally charge the drained Jefferson with electricity (believing it will torture and kill him), allowing him to fight back.
  • Experienced Protagonist: In contrast to other DC Comics superheroes on The CW, he's in his late 40s and long past his origin story.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He alongside Clark, Iris, Ralph, Nash and Diggle, is among the final survivors of the entire Multiverse to stand in defiance of the Anti-Monitor before being erased by Antimatter.
  • Famed In-Story: Jefferson is famous not only as an Olympic medal winner, but as one of the best, if not the best educator in the country.
  • Fish out of Water: Although he's a seasoned superhero in his own world, the concept of the Multiverse has him almost as in over his head as poor Ryan Choi.
  • Flight: As of "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light", he can use his powers for short bursts of flight.
  • Force Field: A new trick of his is to create a field of electricity that deflect bullets.
  • Friend to All Children: He is a teacher so it's a given.
  • Glowing Eyes: His eyes turn light blue and spark when his powers activate.
  • Good Is Not Soft: As Black Lightning; while a civil, model citizen, well-respected school principal and loving, dedicated father and family man, he is aggressive and relentless in his vigilante guise, shown to brutally beat up and electrify suspects to get them to give him what he wants.
  • Healing Factor: Jefferson's abilities also allow him to regenerate faster than a normal human.
  • He's Back!:
    • The whole point of the first season is that he's ending his retirement from being Black Lightning in order to take on the threats to his community. Indeed, the excerpt from Godholly's "Black Lightning", used for the opening title card, includes these lines:
    I saw a superhero and he was black
    He said
    "This is for the streets: Black Lightning's back!"
    • After 4 episodes of Heroic BSoD in Season 4, Jefferson finally puts the suit back on in "Picking Up The Pieces".
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Does this a lot. While not The Alcoholic, he's pretty quick to reach for a drink when he's upset or stressed about something.
  • Jive Turkey: Invoked and downplayed; much like the 70's comics, Jefferson in-character as "Black Lightning" acts more cocky and self-assured, uses more AAVE and slang, and has a thicker drawl than when he's out of costume, in order to disguise his identity further. But by the same token, his specific vernacular plays the trope back up; as an older man, he's not as in tune with what modern slang is. He drops the act whenever he's alone with somebody that knows.
  • Just in Time: For whatever reason, Pariah was only able to teleport Jefferson out of his reality right before it was destroyed.
  • Loved by All: Jefferson is said to be extremely popular (in his civilian identity) among the people of Freeland for his work with kids and the school. He's even nicknamed "Black Jesus". As for Black Lightning, except among cops and criminals, the people of Freeland hold him in awe.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: After one too many brushes with death, his wife divorced him and is part of the reason why Jefferson gave up being Black Lightning.
  • Messianic Archetype: There's a reason he's called the "Black Jesus" of Freeland.
    • He's never overtly harsh, extremely forgiving and patient, and dedicated to making the city a better place. As Black Lightning he's by and large seen as the city's savior.
    • In Season 2, he steps down as principal in order to convince the school board to keep Garfield open knowing that the price to pay will be to have his name and his reputation dragged through the mud.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When he realizes he just unknowingly beat up Anissa.
  • Never My Fault: Jefferson tends to blame everyone else for problems he is also partially responsible for. Anissa is frequently the one who calls him out on it.
  • Not Wearing Tights: In light of Henderson's death, he has stopped being Black Lightning and wearing the suit alltogether at the start of Season 4. Though he still uses his powers, which is pretty dangerous, as they can damage his nervous system.
  • Papa Wolf: To his daughters. He comes out of retirement when his daughters are threatened.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Subverted as one would think a simple mask isn't enough to keep either his best friend or his daughters from recognizing him up close. However, it's stated that his electrical aura makes it "hurt to look directly at him" and thus no one is able to get a really close look.
  • Parents as People: Played With — he loves his daughters, but he can be overly harsh especially on Anissa, who has a tendency to court controversy in doing what she believes is right, often lecturing her like a teenager even though she's a college student and technically an adult. It's played with because he almost always turns out to be right.
  • Powered Armor: Jefferson got a less bulky form of this through Gambi. There's an exoskeleton frame under all those plates of armor and that seems to give him a boost in strength, as he easily lugs around large thugs. The armor also gives him better control over his powers and requires a control module to fully work.
  • Power Incontinence: Going years without using his powers means he has less control over them when he's angry or upset. When two police officers terrorize him and his daughters and refuse to apologize, nearby electronics go on the fritz until he calms himself down.
  • Power Limiter: His suit acts as this, as it allows Jeff to withstand his own electricity, which would overwhelm him and damge his nervous system if he wasn't wearing it.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Turns out that being able to stimulate your partner's nervous system directly with low-level electrical discharges makes sex memorable, as he and Lynn demonstrate.
  • Prepositions Are Not to End Sentences With: Jefferson incorrectly informs a young boy that sentences shouldn't end with prepositions.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Jefferson's rage, even when he appears outwardly in control, messes up nearby electrical devices. And the more he uses his powers, the angrier he seems to become. This is because they came from a vaccine that was supposed to make people docile but instead made them into metahumans, making them angrier and irrational as a side effect.
  • Real After All: Jefferson is starstruck when he meets the two Supermen from Earth-38 and Earth-96, in a way that implies that Superman on his Earth is either an urban legend or pure fiction. (Note that alternate Earths being Mutually Fictional has a long history in DC Comics.)
    Black Lightning: The Superman thing is real?! After all these years...
  • Real Men Love Jesus: He's a devout Christian who honestly believes that his powers are a gift from God. Turns out they're due to the ASA's experiment with an illegal vaccine. However, he is the only one given that vaccine who didn't die, so perhaps it was a gift from God after all.
  • Retired Badass: Introduced in the series having been out of the superhero game for years, having given it up due to the toll it took on his marriage and family.
  • Save Our Students: He thought he could make more of a difference by ensuring his students have a decent education and be kept away from the One Hundred's toxic influence. He even relinquishes much of his authority over disciplinary matters just to save one student from being expelled.
    Vice Principal Fowdy: I mean, you do everything you can to help them succeed, but the students still have to do their part. If they don't, then those students choose for you.
    Jefferson: If my teachers had taken that approach, I never would've made it.
  • Secret Identity Vocal Shift: He gives his voice an echo at times (often in front of his daughters) to cover his identity. According to Jennifer, Black Lightning also does something with his powers that makes it hurt to look at him directly.
  • Shock and Awe: His powerset. Lynn compares him to a battery — he draws electricity out and then redirects it.
  • Shooting Superman: Or in this case, tasering the guy with electrical superpowers. When two officers try it, he just grabs the lines and returns the electricity.
  • Sole Survivor: Jefferson's worst nightmare has come true during Crisis — his entire family is dead, as is the whole community of Freeland, as is everyone else in his universe, and he wasn't able to do anything to stop it. At the end of Crisis he is reunited with his family and the rest of Freeland on Earth Prime.
  • Strong and Skilled: Jefferson has years of experience as a superhero and is a trained martial artist and athelete.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: Uses his powers to supplement his already formidable martial arts skills. He seems more inclined to fighting up close and personal than just zapping people from a distance.
  • Super-Toughness: He may have a problem with bullets, but Black Lightning can jump from three or four stories up to the street with no effect.
  • Survival Mantra: His famous call-and-response he used with his students in his own world becomes the set of words he clings to to hold himself together in the Cosmic Horror Story he's woken up in.
    Black Lightning: Where's the future? Right here. And whose life is this? Mine. And what are you gonna do with it? Live it by any means necessary.
  • Take Me Instead: He's furious with Pariah for choosing to save him just because the Earth-1 heroes need his powers to contain the antimatter wave, while letting everyone else in his universe die. (What makes this worse is knowing that his daughter Jennifer, whom he was just trying to save, has powers that would be more legitimately useful in the Crisis than his, but she died precisely because those powers left her trapped in the Void Between the Worlds when the antimatter arrived.)
  • Telekinesis: He can use his lightning to draw enemies in and lift them in the direction he wants. In the first episode, one punk found this out when Jeff lightning-lifted the guy over a motel banister and hurled him into his car.
  • Thou Shall Not Kill: Subverted — he became Black Lightning so he could kill Tobias Whale for killing his father. Nonetheless, his general rule is to not use lethal force unless it's necessary.
  • Totally Radical: Black Lightning uses a lot of antiquated mid-90s to early 00s slang when acting as a superhero. For instance, he opens a conversation with "Wassup?"
  • Twerp Sweating: Played for Laughs in Season 1, when he intimidates Khalil, who he knows is a guy his daughter Jennifer wants to sleep with.
  • Voice of the Legion: Heroic example. Jeff can turn his voice into this at will.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Blue, with his chestplate referencing both kinds.

    Anissa Pierce / Thunder / Blackbird 

Anissa Pierce / Thunder / Blackbird

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/anissapierce.jpeg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/11_3.jpg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blackbird.jpg

Species: Metahuman

Played By: Nafessa Williams

First Appearance: "The Resurrection" (Black Lightning 1x1)

Appearances: Black Lightning (2018)

"And I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired." (quoting Fannie Lou Hamer)


Jefferson's eldest daughter. She is a medical student, who also works at his school as a part-time teacher when not at college, and is much more politically active than her father would like.

Anissa can manipulate the density of her body, gaining superhuman strength and toughness when she holds her breath.

see the Arrowverse: Other Earths page for her counterparts in two undesignated Earths

  • Achilles' Heel: Anissa's powers are tied to how long she can hold her breath. A surprise attack when she is off-guard or waiting until she tires out are ways to harm her.
  • Adaptational Angst Downgrade: In the comics, Anissa coming out as a lesbian to her father caused friction between them. Here, she's already out and her family is shown to be perfectly fine with it.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: Anissa in the comics simply had the ability to increase her density. Here she has Super-Strength and is Nigh-Invulnerable.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Jennifer affectionately calls Anissa "Harriet", after Harriet Tubman.
  • Anti-Hero: Starting with Season 2, she starts acting a lot more angry and even downright ruthless. Fittingly, she abandons "Thunder" at the start of Season 3 and goes full-time "Blackbird", though she later goes back to Thunder again.
  • Beta Outfit: Her first costume that she assembles herself is a flashy, form-fitting spandex outfit complete with blonde wig and heavy makeup, a Mythology Gag to her original costume in the comics. She later gets a proper costume resembling her Outsiders incarnation provided by Gambi when she starts partnering with her father.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Judo flips a gang member who harasses her sister at school.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Whenever an injustice or someone in trouble catches her eye, Anissa cannot stop herself from jumping in to save the day. According to Lynn, she's been like this since she was a little girl.
  • Composite Character: The comic version of Thunder has the ability to manipulate her density, but that's it. The Super-Strength is her girlfriend Grace's power.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Her encounters with gang members and criminals become this, with nearly fatal results during one such encounter, but it becomes literal in "Black Jesus".
  • Daddy's Girl: Is close to her dad and do not even think about insulting her father or his superhero identity.
  • Die or Fly: Anissa's powers activate for the first time when a store robber threatens her with his gun and she starts to hyperventilate.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Jennifer has given her the nickname "Harriet Tubman" due to her political activism. On the other hand, it can also count as an Affectionate Nickname, since Jennifer really adores her elder sister.
  • Expy: In a show full of Biblical motifs, Anissa represents the disciples of Jesus Christ. She has a whole-hearted faith in Black Lightning as Freeland's salvation and wants to follow his example by becoming a vigilante, too; a decision which, due to her human flaws, has mixed results.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The responsible sibling to Jennifer's foolish sibling. However, when it comes to Anissa's attempts at being a superhero, she is clearly hotheaded and doesn't consider the bigger picture of what her powers can do to the innocents around her until after she's used them.
  • Girly Bruiser: She's very feminine and her civilian outfits tend to be very fashionable and brightly colored. However, her default fighting style, due to her power of Super-Strength, involves a lot of direct punching and brute force.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong:
    • Anissa's first attempt at being a hero in "Black Jesus", after encountering two drug dealers, she later finds them and punches them out with her super strength, but she quickly realizes to her horror that she seriously injured one man and nearly killed the other. And such things keep happening; moral of the story is... super-charged strength takes an awful lot of getting used to using, and is impossible to practice getting to know and stay private for more than five minutes. Until you do get it right, you'll keep accidentally putting either too much or too little into it.
    • In "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder", she destroys a statue of Robert E. Lee in response to a protester who had been killed. The statue explodes and the fragments end up injuring several nearby civilians who had gathered to mourn.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with her and her father. His electricity gives him long range attacks while she is limited to close range.
  • Healing Factor: She heals from bruises and concussions rather quickly, as an implied metahuman trait.
  • Immune to Bullets: Anissa is bulletproof so long as she keeps her power activated, but when she starts exhaling, she is vulnerable again. Gambi makes her suit bulletproof, fixing a fatal weakness of hers.
  • Jumped at the Call: About a week after discovering her powers, Anissa is raring to suit up and be a superhero. Unfortunately, this show doesn't beat around the bush that heroism and recklessness are a bad combination.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: You wouldn't realize it until it's casually mentioned in the second episode that she and Chenoa have been together for a year. She seems to have a new hairstyle or outfit in every single scene she's in.
  • Most Common Superpower: Hilariously subverted, as her first attempt at a superhero costume quickly breaks a seam due to "too much ass." And then her derriere becomes a Running Gag.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The first and second episode spend quite a bit of time with her in just her underwear, she's shown post-sex next to her girlfriend, and her early attempts at a superhero costume are deliberately skintight and revealing comics-accurate outfits. Of the female cast, she seems to be the one with most Male Gaze.
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: When her powers are activated, she's immune to small arms fire, concussive blasts and explosions, kinetic force and can shrug off bolts from Black Lightning unless he ups the voltage.
  • Politically Motivated Teacher: Often is seen at protests. Unfortunately for her they often turn violent (due to the 100) and her father chews her out even though what results isn't her fault.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Or gets you severely concussed by your own father and outed as a super to both your parents. Admittedly, clamming up instead of coming clean at every possible point before that to discuss the whole "I'm super-strong when I put thought into it, sometimes — and I think it has something to do with Granddad" thing is very understandable.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Anissa's metahuman abilities only activate when she takes deep breaths to calm down and focus. Syonide deduces this as her Achilles' Heel, taking advantage of her respiratory cycle to gain the upper hand in their fight.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Her first outfit.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: These words may as well be Anissa's life mantra; There is no boundary this woman won't cross or risk she won't take to do what she feels is right.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After her father tries to control her too much and brings up that she should do as she is told so long as she's living under his roof, she declares that she's leaving the house. They eventually make up, but Anissa still stays out of the house.
  • Secret-Keeper: One of the few people who know that Jefferson is Black Lightning.
  • Second Super-Identity: Aside from being the heroine Thunder, she also sneaks around at night in dark hoods, brutally beating up criminals and stealing money for those in need. The streets label her second alias "The Blackbird". In season 3, she uses this alternate identity to join the resistance, since the ASA knows who Thunder is.
  • Shockwave Stomp: Like her counterpart in the comics, Anissa can generate a localized shockwave, throwing her opponents off their feet, by stomping hard on the ground via Super-Strength; the same effect is present when she claps her hands together.
  • Smug Super: Anissa has the makings of one as of "Black Jesus" - her desire to save Freeland from the 100, combined with inspiration from Black Lightning, drives her to punch the crap out of criminals with powers she barely understands and hardly a thought to the consequences. When Jefferson takes Anissa under his wing, a frequent lesson in his vigilante curriculum is that she can't be this.
  • Soapbox Sadie: As noted, she's very political. She quotes civil rights leaders, goes to protests, and films the police when Jefferson is pulled over. It leads her to conflict with Jefferson, who believes she's taking unnecessary risks.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: While she doesn't inherit her father's Shock and Awe powers, Anissa's abilities far out-class Jefferson's on a physicality level, with Nigh Invulnerability as her greatest asset.
  • Super-Strength: She learns about this when she accidentally breaks the bathroom sink at the end of the pilot episode.
  • Super-Toughness: She has super strength, so having the toughness is par for the course (both her strength and toughness are the result of her being able to increase her mass while keeping the volume of her body). So long as her powers are activated, she has Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: The trauma from being kidnapped and threatened is what awakens her latent powers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Is often the one who calls out her father or Gambi for keeping things from her. In Season 2, when her father tries to partially blame her for Jennifer's elopement with Khalil, Anissa is fed up with her father's tendency to always see the fault in everyone but himself, and calls him out for his overprotectiveness that pushed both his daughters away.

    Jennifer Pierce / Lightning 

Jennifer Pierce

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jenniferpierce.jpeg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blacklightninglightning.jpeg

Species: Metahuman

Played By: China Anne McClain

First Appearance: "The Resurrection" (Black Lightning 1x1)

Appearances: Black Lightning (2018)

Jefferson's youngest daughter, who resents having to be the model student at school because her daddy's the principal.

Like her father, Jennifer can manipulate electricity, but her ability to generate electricity far outweighs Jefferson's.

see the Arrowverse: Other Earths page for her counterparts in two undesignated Earths
see the Arrowverse: Other Entities page for the Energy Being that impersonates her

  • Affectionate Nickname: The people that are close to her sometimes shorten her name to "Jenn". Khalil also calls her "J".
  • Alpha Bitch: Subverted; though she acts rebellious in school (including smoking weed and drinking in school), and the "Queen of Garfield" nickname would infer this, it's apparent she's doing this to try and avoid bullying for being the principal's daughter, with the Queen of Garfield nickname being used in jest. In the fifth episode, she has to defend herself from two rivals, and she admits to her dad that she's a "target" at school.
  • Back for the Finale: While she gets trapped in the Ionosphere for most of Season 4, she returns in the finale to kick her imposter's ass.
  • Badass Adorable:
    • Even Lala is amused in the pilot, when Jennifer lets Will know what she thinks of him - with her knee.
    • In "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light" two rivals from school attack, and Jennifer effortlessly takes both of them down, demonstrating that Jefferson and Lynn made sure both their daughters could handle themselves in a fight.
  • Being Good Sucks: Her attitude towards life at this point in time.
  • Big Sister Worship: Jennifer really looks up to Anissa. In Season 2, when Anissa has a falling out with their father, causing her to move out, Jennifer is disappointed, especially since she is basically in confinement and has no one to talk to who can understand her other than her sister, which is why she is drawn back to Khalil.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: She's at the age when she wants to act out — her dad also being her principal doesn't help.
  • Child Soldier: What Odell manipulates her into for him. She eventually calls it quits and tries to assassinate him.
  • Die or Fly: Sort of. Jennifer burns her phone and the poster in her hands, when her friend, Kiesha, starts to fall from a high place and Jennifer reacts in panic.
  • Elemental Shapeshifter: In "Shadow of Death: The Book of War" she appears to briefly turn entirely into electricity, as she does in the comics.
  • Elopement: In Season 2, she decides to run away with Khalil, after fearing to be locked in her house forever and seeing how Khalil can no longer work for Tobias.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: She makes no secret that she's greatly disturbed by the deeds of her Earth-2 counterpart. It's enough to convince her that Odell has nothing good planned for her.
  • Eye Color Change: When Jennifer's powers flare up, her eyes turn the same orange of her lightning.
  • Foil: To her older sister Anissa, when it comes to how they deal with their superpowers. While Anissa almost immediately decided to go out and find some bad guys to beat up, Jennifer wants no part of it and would make her powers go away if she could.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: The foolish sibling to Anissa‚Äôs responsible one in all ways except in their discovery of superpowers. While Anissa wants to use hers to crush the first wrong she sees, Jennifer would much rather her life remain safe and crime fighting-free, thank you very much. It's one thing to crash a club you're not supposed to be in to add spice to life, but powers are a whole other barrel of danger. It's probably because of her history of being a bit of a screw-up that she immediately spots how suddenly getting powers isn't going to be automatically a fantastic thing or become a universal solution to her life's problems.
  • Hidden Depths: She wants to be just a normal teenager, and so tries to act like one; however, even without her abilities, thanks to her exceptional parenting, she's clearly not average—she can defend herself against multiple targets in unarmed fights, has good enough grades and extracurriculars to apply to Harvard, is the one who figures out how Issa's powers work, and occasionally says things so profound that it takes Anissa aback.
    Jennifer: [Anything] can turn bad real quick if it becomes your only joy.
    Anissa: ...that's actually deep.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: She's horrified when she discovers she has powers, seeing it as ruining her chance for a normal life.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: A really bad trait of hers, combined with Smug Super. She is so overconfident of her abilities that she will charge into action without thinking of the consequences.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Jennifer inherited electricity-based powers similar to Jefferson's.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Jennifer was the last one of the family to learn about her own and their father's powers. Anissa eventually reveals it to her, soon after Jennifer asks Anissa for help after burning her phone with her powers.
  • The Nth Doctor: Subverted. After exploding into energy and being reassembled, she emerges in a completely different body, much to her family's shock. Or so we're initially led to believe. It turns out that this Jennifer was an impostor all along, actually an Energy Being native to the ionosphere. Having observed humans and grown envious of their corporeal existence, it attacked Jennifer, took her DNA and memories and left her disparate molecules for dead. The real Jennifer manages to reintegrate her body in the finale, and she's pissed.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: She spends way too much time on her phone.
  • Power Incontinence: It suddenly becomes an issue in Season 2, as her powers start to randomly activate with no way to turn them off. She floats in her sleep.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Like her sister, she gets power fluctuations. Except in her case, the more she tries not to use them and the more into denial she gets... the more of it she builds up and stores, until just getting frustrated, hyped or relaxing her guard too much = zappy-zap.
  • Refusal of the Call: In direct contrast to Anissa, Jennifer has no desire to be a hero. She just wants to be normal. Though she seems to have changed her mind when she discovers that her powers basically heals her dad.
  • Secret-Keeper: One of the few people to know who Black Lightning is.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: In Season 2, Jennifer struggles more and more to control her powers. Her parents forbid her from going to school and eventually decide that getting an in-home tutor for her would be best. Jennifer is not amused about this, and then runs away with Khalil.
  • Shock and Awe: Discovers she has the power to shoot electricity from her hands in the episode "The Book of Revelations." However her powers aren't exactly like Jefferson's — Lynn compares his powers to a battery; Jennifer is a generator since her cells produce pure energy.
  • Sole Survivor: Because her powers protected her from the Crisis, she's the last physical remnant of the series' pre-Crisis Earth.
  • Superior Successor: While she still as a lot to learn, her powers far surpass the ones of her father.
  • Superpowerful Genetics: Mixed with Lamarck Was Right, Jennifer inherits her father's metahuman traits, but it's implied she's potentially more powerful than Jefferson by the ability to generate electricity rather than having to absorb and store it like he does.
  • Telekinesis: Like her father, Jennifer can use her powers to make others float and throw them in the air.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Her powers are far more powerful than Jefferson's, but she lacks control over them.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: A large chunk of what happens in the premiere happens because she was stupid enough to sneak into the One Hundred's local club.
  • World's Strongest Woman: She surely has the potential for it, as her powers have virtually no limits.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: She dispels yellow-orange electricity, same as her comic counterpart.

    Lynn Stewart 

Lynn Stewart

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lynnstewart.jpeg

Species: Human

Played By: Christine Adams

First Appearance: "The Resurrection" (Black Lightning 1x1)

Appearances: Black Lightning (2018)

Jefferson's ex-wife, a neuroscientist who left him because of his Black Lightning activities.

see the Arrowverse: Other Earths page for her counterparts in two undesignated Earths

  • Adaptational Job Change: Lynn is a lawyer in the comics. Here she's a neuroscientist.
  • Addled Addict: Agent Odell covertly gets her addicted to Greenlight both as a means to enhance her intelligence and productivity for the ASA and keep her loyal to them. As she becomes more dependent on the drug, her personality spirals out of control until she hits rock bottom. While Jefferson and her daughters help her through it and help her stabilize, it's clear that she has not fully kicked the addiction (and in fact may never) and it has put a significant dent in both her professional life and the progress she and Jefferson have made towards rebuilding their marriage.
  • Aesop Amnesia: How she feels about Jefferson being Black Lightning varies from episode to episode. One episode, she's unhappy but understanding that the city needs Black Lightning, the next she's berating Jefferson for putting himself in danger. However, this is well within character. She started out actively supporting Jefferson being Black Lightning, only souring on it over time as his injuries started stacking up. At the same time, she is still the activist fire-brand she's always been. The "protect my own" instinct clashes with itself more than once, because her family is not the only thing she is protective of. Note how she reacts if somebody tries to do unethical medical research near her, or tries to steal her research to do unethical things with.
  • Amicable Exes: She still loves Jefferson and there's still sparks between them; Jefferson hopes they can get back together. They make a point of having a family dinner every week. In episode 12 she outright seduces Jefferson, calling him to her place for a fake emergency only to be waiting for him wearing lingerie. He...didn't take much convincing. She moves back into the house in Season Two and she and Jefferson are more or less a married couple, without the actual marriage part.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Thanks to her research on Metahumans, she is able to create a serum that allows non-Metas to copy Meta powers temporarily. She has used it several times so far to give herself abilities to help herself and her family during Season 3, though her powers only last a couple of hours at at time.
  • Engineered Heroics: Discussed; Lynn believes, or has at least convinced herself, that Jefferson is addicted to his powers. Gambi, however, believes that his addiction wasn't to his powers at all but to her. Jefferson himself, on the other hand, disagrees with the whole idea of him having an "addiction" in the first place.
  • "Flowers for Algernon" Syndrome: Her use of Greenlight while working for the ASA greatly enhanced her intelligence and thinking abilities, though at the cost of her becoming addicted to the drug.
  • Good Parents: Loves her daughters very much and has joint custody of them.
  • Irony: She spent the early seasons blasting Jefferson for his supposed addiction, only to end up with an addiction of her own, though to be fair, it wasn't her fault, as Odell had her hooked on Green Light.
  • Jerkass Ball: Grabs it whenever she's around Gambi, whom she blames for Jefferson's vigilantism. She eventually comes to terms with their collective past.
  • The Last Straw: Made Jefferson promise to give up being Black Lightning because Lynn could not stand him coming home bleeding in the bath-tub every night. Jefferson went back on that promise, and Lynn divorced him after a very bloody battle with Tobias.
  • The Medic: Reluctantly to her husband when he suffers injuries too severe for Gambi to treat.
  • Only Sane Man: Played With. Her husband and daughters all have super-powers and inevitably find themselves in dangerous situations, leaving Lynn in an almost perpetual state of Anger Born of Worry. On the other hand, she almost always turns out to be wrong.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: She meant well when she made Jefferson promise to give up the hero gig, but it led to utter disaster. Sure your husband will no longer put himself in danger (at least, for a while), but the bad guys ended up basically taking over the city, which in the long run put every one of its citizens in danger, including Lynn and the girls.
  • Secret-Keeper: One of the few people who know that Jefferson is Black Lightning. Later extends to knowing Anissa is Thunder and Jennifer is Lightning.
  • Token Good Teammate: Literally the only one at the ASA who sees the pod kids as human beings worthy as respect instead of disposable assets.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Again, her making Jefferson promise to give up super-heroics allowed The 100 to take over the city.
  • Wet Blanket Wife: Played for Drama, as she insisted that Jefferson stop being Black Lightning. It smoothed out his relationship with her and their kids, but it also allowed crime to flourish in Freeland for years. She eventually comes to terms that Black Lightning is needed again, whether she likes it or not.

    Alvin Pierce 

Alvin Pierce

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/alvinpierce.png

Species: Human

Played By: Keith Arthur Bolden

First Appearance: "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder" (Black Lightning 1x6)

Appearances: Black Lightning (2018)

"The future belongs to those who prepare for it today". (quoting Malcolm X)


Jefferson's father, who was an investigative reporter. He looked into Tobias Whale's corrupt dealing when he was city leader that got him killed. But he also uncovered another secret, one that was much more dangerous than a crooked politician's dealings.


  • Education Papa: A rare positive example. What does he do when Jefferson got suspended for breaking another kid's nose during a fight for self-defense? Have him study the Constitution rather than waste his time watching TV and then quiz him before dinner.
  • Good Is Not Soft: When Gambi tried to get him to stop his very detailed articles about Tobias and the ASA's experiments less he get killed, Alvin's response was give him "The Reason You Suck" Speech for trying to use him as a way to assuage his guilt without putting his own life on the line.
  • Good Parents: A stern, but affectionate father who ultimately wanted his son to have a good future, and not to squander away his opportunities.
  • He Knows Too Much: His reports about Tobias Whale's corrupt dealing as a civic leader got him killed; the latter literally shoved his articles down his throat until he died. He also uncovered a Dark Secret about kids who were experimented on and disappeared. His editor buried the story after he was murdered. In truth, his death was orchestrated by the ASA, the government agency responsible for experimenting on those kids; Tobias was just a smokescreen and an enforcer.
  • Honor Before Reason: He knew that his articles would anger the wrong people and get him killed. He saw it as a necessary sacrifice to make Freeland a better place for his son.
  • Intrepid Reporter: He had a knack for uncovering things people wanted kept secret. It got him killed.
  • Like Father, Like Son: His relationship with Jefferson is exactly like the one Jefferson has with daughters now.
  • Papa Wolf: Part of his motivation for his reports was for what the ASA's vaccine did to Jefferson.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: His murder by Tobias Whale is what inspired Jefferson to become Black Lightning. However, it turns out Tobias was just the cover for the ASA.
  • Posthumous Character: He's been dead since long before the series began.

    Grace Choi / Shay Li Wylde 

Grace Choi / Shay Li Wylde

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gracechoi.jpeg
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wylde.jpg

Species: Metahuman

Played By: Chantal Thuy

First Appearance: "Lawanda: The Book of Burial" (Black Lightning 1x3)

Appearances: Black Lightning (2018)

A bartender and librarian who strikes up a friendship with Anissa. They eventually get together and even marry.

see the Smallville: Clark's Allies page for the Earth-167 character who bears her name

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Her hair is (presumably dyed) red in the comics, but brown here.
  • Adaptational Curves: Inverted; Grace Choi in the comics stands at a whopping 7' tall, a masculine-looking (literal) Amazon with a muscular frame. Chantal Thuy is neither 7' tall or muscular, nor does she look even remotely Amazonian.
  • Adaptational Personality Change: The comic book version of Grace is more physically aggressive than Anissa, whereas the TV version is not even a fighter. Justified because Grace isn't a metahuman in the latter, until she discovers her powers.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: In the comics, Grace is an Amazon with the usual Amazon abilities. Wylde is a guy who was merged with a bear by magic. Neither of them are shapeshifters.
  • Battle Couple: Eventually becomes a vigilante alongside her newly wed wife Anissa.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Gravedigger forces her to attack Anissa in the Season 3 finale, which in turn forces the latter to put her out of commission, which leaves her comatose.
  • Closet Geek: She enjoys reading comic books such as The Outsiders and admits that reading them is cool, advising Anissa that their powers might help her understand her "research on genetic mutation".
  • Composite Character: Of the comic book Grace Choi (name, relationship with Anissa) and Charlie Wylde (birth name, animal powers), although her powers don't actually match either of them.
  • Hot Librarian: She works as a librarian where Anissa ends up researching her latent powers on.
  • Put on a Bus: Despite being a vital character in Anissa's arc, Grace wasn't seen in Season 1 past the beginning and had been largely out of Anissa's life, especially once she becomes Thunder. She starts becoming prominent again in season 2. However, come the early half of Season 3, Chantal was busy performing in Linda Vista on Broadway. Grace wasn't used in the show often because of it, although it got around this in Anissa looking for her after she skipped town during Season 2. After the play was finished, Grace returned to the show proper.
  • Rape as Backstory: She was sold to a child prostitution ring at 16, disappeared after it got shut down, and reappeared as Grace Choi.
  • She's Back!: Finally awakens from her coma in Episode 4x3 and promptly marries Anissa.
  • Shapeshifting: Primarily, her power to manipulate her cells and alter her physical and genetic structure into a variety of shapes and sizes. This includes appearing as a human or as an animal such as a leopard.
  • Super-Strength: Her powers start to evolve in season 3 and she keeps getting stronger until it reaches superhuman levels.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She is visibly hurt when she sees Anissa again, flirting with a celebrity. She is hurt because she thought her and Anissa's relationship was more than just a fling and Anissa suddenly stopped contacting Grace after she discovered her powers.

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