Black Lightning Final Season Trailer Shows It’s Not Getting Easier For Jefferson Pierce
When Black Lightning debuted on the CW in January of 2018, it was a new kind of Arrowverse show. Technically, the series took place on an alternate Earth, but by the end of the Crisis On Infinite Earths event, all the shows were united. So, it’s extra bittersweet that this next season of Black Lightning is the final one. This show is responsible for many firsts. Along with being the first majority Black cast for a DC property, it also features the first Black, lesbian superhero on a TV show. So, as much as this series deserves a victory lap, the final season trailer for Black Lightning shows that Jefferson Pierce is a man in crisis.
Cress Williams shined both as Black Lightning and his civilian alter-ego Jefferson Pierce. He is a character that balances high morality with a unique kind of anger. (Unique, at least, for superhero TV series.) While other superhero series, like HBO’s Watchmen, have touched on the Black experience in America, Black Lightning does so in a way that can be more accessible to CW’s shipping-obsessed, primarily teenaged audience. And, like most of the Arrowverse series, Black Lightning strives to hit hopeful notes more often than not.
In the Black Lightning final season trailer, we see Jefferson ready to give up on his quest to ‘save the world.’ His children, Anissa and Jennifer, are now also fully-realized heroes. Nafessa Williams plays Anissa, who goes by Thunder and Blackbird, and emerged as an even better hero than her father. China Anne McClain plays Jennifer, who has struggled with her immense power but finally adopted the Lightning persona. Both of them are shown in the trailer to be actively working as heroes.
No Black Lightning In The Final Season Trailer
Image via CW
One of the most immediately noticeable things about this trailer is that we don’t see Black Lightning once. We see Jefferson Pierce, and he’s openly using his powers without his costume. This comes on the heels of the third season finale where he, Thunder, and Lightning all testified in a kind of tribunal, high court hearing about the events of last season. The ASA, a kind of evil SHIELD in the DC Universe, occupied the city in order to do experiments on the residents in order to develop a kind of meta-human creation serum. It seemed like Black Lightning was set up to be the kind of popular, public hero that Flash or Supergirl is in their series. Yet, something has changed, and Jefferson wants to give up his alter-ego in order to “save” his family.
What he has to save his family from, however, is still unknown. His kids are definitely still in action as their heroic alter-egos. We actually see Anissa as both Thunder and Blackbird, so she’s still using the two identities for her own reasons. We also see James Remar back as Peter Gambi, essentially the “Alfred” to Jefferson’s Black Lightning. He’s designed all of their suits and provides “guy in the chair” support when they are out doing heroic things. Yet his tailor shop, which has a hidden base of operations, was infiltrated by ASA agents in the previous season finale. And we don’t get anything beyond one shot of Christine Adams’ Dr. Lynn Stewart.
So, the final season trailer for Black Lightning does what a trailer should. It leaves us with more questions than answers.
The Most Bittersweet Part of the End of Black Lightning
Image via screengrab
Even before COVID-19 threw everything into disarray, we were not going to get much in the way of a crossover. Only Superman and Lois and Batwoman would crossover in 2021. However, now that the pandemic halted production and sent schedules into chaos, there will be no CW, DC crossover event in 2021. Hopefully, since there will be a spin-off pilot featuring Jordan Calloway’s Painkiller, we may see Cress Williams in the Black Lightning suit after the series ends. It would be really nice to see him team-up with other Arrowverse heroes in 2022 and beyond. Of course, with Arrow already over, Supergirl now canceled, and The Flash entering its seventh season…the reality that these series we love may come to an end set in.
Sure, many of us super-nerds hoped that all of the Arrowverse shows would “pull a Supernatural” and keep running for more than a decade. But while these characters will go on forever in the pages of the comics, TV series don’t have such luxuries. There’s also an argument to be made that it’s better for the legacies of these shows that they leave us wanting more rather than overstaying their welcome. And, if the final season trailer of Black Lightning is any indication, we’re definitely going to be left wanting more of these delightful characters.
Black Lightning premieres on The CW on February 8, 2021.
What did you think of the final season trailer for Black Lightning? Do think we’ll see these characters in future crossovers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image via Warner Bros. Television
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.