We’re hard-pressed to imagine The CW adding yet a fifth DC superhero to its airwaves, but the FOX-transplanted Black Lightning is nonetheless ready to strike. See for yourself in the first official production photo, as Hart of Dixie alum Cress Wiliams suits up in an electrifying costume.

The CW released its first look at Williams suited up as Jefferson Pierce, DC’s incarnation of Black Lightning. The costume was designed by The Jungle Book, Scott Pilgrim and Iron Man artist Laura Jean Shannon, as part of ongoing Atlanta pilot production.

Black Lightning CW Costume Photo
Warner Bros.

Says executive producer/writer/director Salim Akil:

I knew way too much about the world as a young boy growing up in Richmond, California. I was no stranger to violence, death, hopelessness or the feeling that no one cared about what was happening in my life. Comics were a great way for me to escape. I was about 13 when BLACK LIGHTNING was created, and finally there was a Black Super Hero that gave a damn about our neighborhood and our lives.

Resurrecting him at a time in our society when a sense of hope is lacking…BLACK LIGHTNING will be that hope. And in updating the suit, it will signal to a new generation that it’s time to harness and release our power, and become our own Super Heroes.

Produced by Greg Berlanti with The Game and Being Mary Jane creator Mara Brock Akil and her husband Salim Akil, Black Lightning’s synopsis reads:

Jefferson Pierce made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend — Black Lightning.

In addition to Christine Adams as Jefferson’s ex-wife, LynnBlack Lightning will see Twin Peaks star Nafessa Williams take the role of Jefferson’s older daughter Anissa Pierce, described as a twenty-something daughter who balances the demands of medical school with teaching part-time at her father’s school. China Anne McClain portrays Jennifer Pierce, described as “independent, outspoken scholar-athlete with a wild streak of her own,” while both in the comics later take on the identities of Thunder and Lightning.

Black Lightning is notable as one of DC Comics’ first major African-American superheroes, and would follow as one of the first to headline a live-action series.

It still remains unclear if the series would fall into the same multi-verse as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow, but what do we make of the Black Lightning costume?

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