Black Lightning at SDCC 2018: Season 1 sizzle reel, new series regular, and more

Black Lightning -- "The Book of Little Black Lies" -- Photo: Annette Brown/The CW via CWPR
Black Lightning -- "The Book of Little Black Lies" -- Photo: Annette Brown/The CW via CWPR /

Black Lightning was the first of the CW DC shows to take to Ballroom 20 at SDCC 2018. Here is everything we learned, including the new series regular added to the cast.

Black Lightning has been the CW’s hottest freshman series, going from midseason to a fall one for its sophomore year. It’s not surprising that the cast and creatives, including Cress Williams, Nefassa Williams, Sali and Mara Brock Akil, and others, received a thunderous applause when they appeared. The panel was even strategically set, with Cress taking center stage flanked by his two girls. It’s something we’ve seen Barack Obama do, making sure neither one is left out.

There was a lot of ground to cover in the panel, which opened to an exciting season 1 sizzle reel that reminded fans exactly why this show is so amazing. We got to learn what to expect from Anissa and Jennifer next season, how the cast have been received by fans, and who the new series regular for Black Lightning Season 2 will be. Here’s everything we’ve learned.

How does Henderson not realize who Black Lightning is?

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One of the biggest questions was for Damon Gupton, who says he jumped at the chance to play a black cop who was from the streets he was trying to protect. Just how could he possibly not realize his friend is Black Lightning? Of course, Cress joked by taking his glasses off and putting them back on, with a Clark Kent/Superman joke.

While Gupton couldn’t answer the question, he did share that the titular vigilante will continue to be a bone of contention for the cop. It’s an uneasy and strenuous relationship. And Black Lightning is a “necessary evil.”

Nefassa Williams has a picture of Harriet Tubman

There have been times fans have referred to Nefassa Williams and her character Anissa as Harriet Tubman. Well, it turns out Nefassa keeps a picture of the Civil War powerhouse in her dressing room. Tubman is inspiration for Anissa and it’s beautiful.

The conversation moved onto playing a black lesbian superhero, which has been something that has helped many people. Nefassa has had people tell her how much easier they’ve found it to come out because of her. Inspiring people is part of her job, she later explained. When discussing playing this character, the actress shared; “We gotta be who we are unapologetically.”

Will we get to see more of Anissa and Jennifer together? China Anne McClaine doesn’t give away any spoilers for Black Lightning Season 2, but does say that the first season was about Jennifer finding herself. She wasn’t ready to be the heroine that Anissa was, but hopefully, there will be more of Jennifer becoming ready and standing up against evil in the second season.

Tobias overcame adversity in a dark way

Marvin Krondon Jones was at the panel and shared what he could about Tobias Whale. He’s been the bad guy that you sort of have a heart for. This is a guy who has had everyone against him for so long. And that’s what Marvin says the character represents: overcoming struggles but in a dark way.

While we won’t likely get to see Lady Eve (although I never say never with TV!), Marvin had high praise for working with Jill Scott.

Family will remain important

Most superheroes don’t have family ties. They have the odd person who helps, but they don’t make attachments because anything could happen. That’s not the case for Jefferson Pierce. He has a family who loves and cares about him and that’s going to continue being a part of the show for the second season.

In fact, Cress shared that it’s family that makes Jefferson stronger. He’s certainly going to have to be there for his girls in the second season. They need to learn how to handle their powers from him. We’ve already seen him help Anissa and now it’s time for Jennifer to join the fold.

However, Cress does admit that his life is going to take its toll. He has three jobs: principal, father, and hero. Will he be able to keep all the plates in the air?

Painkiller upped to series regular

The biggest announcement for Black Lightning Season 2 has been the addition of a new series regular. You likely fell in love with him in the first season. Jordan Calloway has officially been upped, which means more Khalil, aka Painkiller.

Just what could this mean for the Pierce family? After all, he has a connection to Jennifer. There’s going to be part of him that doesn’t want to hurt her.

There was no official Black Lightning Season 2 trailer, but there was the sizzle reel, which is always a good alternative. The panel certainly left us with plenty more questions but in a good way. This is a show with still plenty of buzz.

Next: Cloak & Dagger SDCC 2018 panel

What did you take away from the Black Lightning SDCC 2018 panel? What are you excited to see in the second season? Share in the comments below.

Black Lightning Season 2 will premiere Oct. 9 at 9/8c on The CW.