Philadelphia (CW Philly) — The CW’s highly anticipated new series, Black Lightning, is creating quite the buzz. Television critics are commending the show’s ability to transcend the typical storyline of a superhero show, with controversial topics like race and justice at the forefront.
Alison Keene of Collider believes Black Lightning is different from every other CW superhero series. More importantly, Keene thinks the show sets a new precedent.
“It’s a superhero show, but it puts characters first and the super-powered stuff second. It’s not an origin story about a 20-something getting powers, either; it’s about rebirth for a man old enough to be their father,” said Keene.
James Poniewozik, the chief television critic for The New York Times, reflects on a scene where Jefferson Pierce and his daughter, Anissa, are pulled over by the police.
“Suddenly, they’re pulled over by police officers — one of them white — who suspect Jefferson in a liquor-store robbery, though he’s in a suit and driving a Volvo wagon. For a moment, his eyes flare with the glow of his suppressed power, but he reins it in,” explained Poniewozik.
To Poniewozik, this scene isn’t simply about a false accusation; rather, it illustrates a much larger issue about race.
“Here, the image — a powerful black man quelling his emotion and struggling to present as calm, smaller, nonthreatening — has the strength of parable,” said Poniewozik.
Tune in to The CW Tuesday, Jan 16 at 9.m. for the premiere of Black Lightning. Let us know if you think the new series is as ~electrifying~ as the critics do!