CW and Greg Berlanti expand the footprint of their DC Comics universe with this exploration of the intersection between family life and being a superhero.
As a younger man, Jefferson Pierce donned the suit of a vigilante and protected the streets of his city, but he believed he’d left those days in the past. He learns that life doesn’t always work out as planned when his daughter, Jennifer — a star student who is determined to achieve justice at any cost — gets recruited by a street gang. In order to protect his family, Jefferson sees no choice but to once again become Black Lightning.
We caught up with Black Lighting co-creator & series showrunner to talk the shows massive success and the recent season finale.
The Knockturnal: Were you a fan of the comics before starting this project?
Salim Akil: Yes, I was. As a kid, I was attracted to Batman but eventually lost interest through the years because there was nothing that reflected me or my community. My interest came up again when Miles Stone introduced their books. So, I was excited to bring Black Lightning to TV.
The Knockturnal: What about Black Lighting did you identify with for you to be apart of the show?
Salim Akil: I identified with Jefferson Pierce and Black Lightning’s attempt to better their community. I identified with him as a father trying to raise kids in a challenging world. I identified with the mask he puts on to navigate his surroundings, not the literal mask, but his emotional mask as an educator, father, and vigilante.
The Knockturnal: What about television do you like when it comes to storytelling?
Salim Akil: What I like about storytelling in television is that if you get it wrong, you have the opportunity to get it right next week.
The Knockturnal: How was it balancing the drama, comedy, and action in the show?
Salim Akil: It was challenge, but one me and the writers welcomed. We wanted to show all aspects of life in a high ended way, so we never ran away from the challenge and it was fun.
The Knockturnal: The family Dynamics are very important in the show how do you think the dynamic will be going into season 2?
Salim Akil: I think the family dynamic will be strength in season 2. Now that we have introduced all our characters and we know their characteristics, it will be easier to expand without having to do the explaining. So the family dynamic will be stronger.
The Knockturnal: Jill Scott’s character was such a fan favorite any chance we might see her come back?
Salim Akil: I hope so.
The Knockturnal: Will Jennifer get a suit next season and how do you think it will differ from the rest?
Salim Akil: Yes, Jennifer will get a suit in Season 2. Jennifer’s suit will reflect her youth and be fashion forward for a young woman.
The Knockturnal: The show has such a cult following do you worry about keeping the Fanboys happy?
Salim Akil: I don’t worry about it, I embrace it. My hardest critic is myself, so I’m always pushing myself and those around me so that we can expand the storytelling to make keeping everyone happy possible.
The Knockturnal: What would you like to see in a possible CW crossover with the other DCTV shows?
Salim Akil: I don’t think there will be a crossover.