Black Lightning: Season 1 (2018)


Season 1
Black Lightning

Critics Consensus

Black Lightning doesn't reinvent superhero TV, but it does give the genre a necessary jolt with real-world plots, scary new villains, and a star-making performance from Cress Williams.



Critic Ratings: 50


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2295
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Air date: Jan 16, 2018
Air date: Jan 23, 2018
Air date: Jan 30, 2018
Air date: Feb 6, 2018
Air date: Feb 13, 2018
Air date: Feb 27, 2018
Air date: Mar 6, 2018
Air date: Mar 13, 2018
Air date: Mar 20, 2018
Air date: Mar 27, 2018
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Black Lightning: Season 1 Videos

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Tv Season Info

High-school principal Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) suits up once again as Black Lightning to save his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) from trouble. In doing so, he breaks his promise to his ex-wife Lynn (Christine Adams) to retire from being a superhero for good. What Jefferson intended to be a one-time stint, however, becomes a full-time return to wearing the cape when he learns that he and his family are being targeted by the criminal organization that calls itself the 100 and the shadowy government agency ASA. James Remar, Damon Gupton, and Marvin "Krondon" Jones III join the cast as Pierce family friend Peter Gambi, police inspector Billy Henderson, and the 100 leader Tobias Whale respectively.


Cress Williams
as Jefferson Pierce
Nafessa Williams
as Anissa Pierce
China Anne McClain
as Jennifer Pierce
James Remar
as Peter Gambi
Damon Gupton
as Henderson
Marvin Jones III
as Tobias Whale
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News & Interviews for Black Lightning: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Black Lightning Season 1

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (21)

It all adds up to a magnificently-layered universe that fans of superhero TV have rarely seen before, a place where a black superhero not only takes on criminals but the stereotypes and prejudice that divide us all.

Nov 25, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The villains are scary, the dialogue is smart, and the actors are compelling. "Black Lightning" serves a welcome jolt.

Jan 11, 2018 | Full Review…

The journey to Black Lightning fully embracing its present could be one of the year's exciting TV evolutions.

Jan 16, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's all pulled off powerfully and artfully by principal executive producer Mara Brock Akil (Girlfriends, The Game), who's assisted by DC impresario Greg Berlanti.

Jan 16, 2018 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

... it's already managed to distinguish itself not only from the Arrowverse (which includes shows like Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl), but also from Marvel's Luke Cage, the series that's usually mentioned in the same breath.

Feb 13, 2018 | Full Review…

It's that real-world sizzle that gives this newcomer its snap, crackle and pop.

Jan 12, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Jefferson is still Black Lightning, but he is also Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland and every single black person who has ever known the fear of being black and confronted by the police for something you haven't done.

May 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The need to get what I will refer to as "the message" out took away from what could have been an awesome pilot.

Aug 26, 2018 | Full Review…

This episode was really a showcase for Williams. The sequence featuring his arrest and incarceration ran the gamut of emotions without being obvious or over the top.

Aug 10, 2018 | Full Review…

The '70s Incredible Hulk TV show established a formula wherein the Hulk was guaranteed to show up twice per episode; the best superhero shows stick to some version of that. And Black Lightning is surely among the best.

Jun 26, 2018 | Full Review…

Black Lightning puts an emphasis on his community, making the show a welcome addition to The CW lineup specifically, and to superhero television as a whole.

Jan 17, 2018 | Full Review…

Through a good story, a great tapestry is offered to talk about all kinds of social issues. [Full Review in Spanish]

Jul 30, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Lightning: Season 1

  • Nov 26, 2019
    Very poorly acted, cheesy effects, plain obvious overbearing themes. I am shocked by the reviews.
  • Nov 05, 2019
    Wow the racism among white folk on here is real. This is black panther as a tv series. Speaks to the black community and captures the struggle of black America as well as what blacks consider the ‘American Dream' when you look at the Pierce family.
  • Oct 31, 2019
    Hollywood will destroy the fanbase with their agenda driven shows instead of story driven shows.
  • Oct 29, 2019
    I thought it a wasted opportunity to make use of a largely black cast in an intelligent and innovative way. Instead, it made the central characters out to be middle class and white, then painted them black. The characters that capture attention are Tobias Whale (because of his weird motivations) and Lady Eve (because of her mysterious motivations). Cress Williams moves like a shambling, pigeon-toed, hunching bear, not the graceful athlete he appeared in the 70's comics I remember reading. He has a very large jaw and quite small eyes, things I do not usually think about. However, I spent so much time waiting for something to change on the geography of his face that I ended up focusing on these features. The women are, also, incredibly high maintenance, in a way that I cannot believe that anyone would put up with. To the point that I started to hope that a villain would actually deliver the punishment the petulant brat that is the youngest Pierce child, Jennifer. Do not watch this series. If it were food, it would be fattening, unsatisfying and flavourless.
  • Oct 20, 2019
    I liked some of the first episodes but by episode 12 I wasn't feeling it. Plotholes, overacting, and too many tacky stereotypes.
  • Aug 09, 2019
    cant believe a series like this exists in this day and age.. worst super hero series i have ever watched.superman wearing glasses to cover his identity was acceptable those days but this series bluffs about he wearing a stupid looking eye patch and people dont recognise him and his daughters. The series has good story line but very poorly executed and sometimes i just switch to something different bcos cant stand how it is presented. it is my personal view i am sure others could differ. sorry did not mean to hurt any ones feelings about this. I really wish they do good black superhero series. Luke is good love it.
  • Aug 03, 2019
    It was ok at best. A bit too much SJW crap for it to be really entertaining.
  • Jun 18, 2019
    I made it through five episodes before deleting the season pass from my DVR. I thought that the lead actor was good but the rest were awful. The acting was so poor that I found myself wanting to fast-forward through most of the show. I was a fan of the 70s comic and this was a huge disappointment.
  • May 19, 2019
    Terrible writting and acting , storytelling is almost boring, some good cgi effects here and there,the show comstantly promotes in every way black people stereotype. 1 star just for the effort.
  • May 12, 2019
    This is way too woke, especially for me, the villain is a Donald Trump ripoff and the sisters are so unrelatable it almost made me quit watching.

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