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: 51


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2331

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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 (51) | 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

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

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…

Anissa shines as the first black lesbian superhero on TV and her significance can't be overstated.

Jan 10, 2020 | Rating: A- | 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…

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…

Audience Reviews for Black Lightning: Season 1

  • Aug 03, 2020
    It's story moves a bit slow but the cast is strong and the tale powerful.
  • May 19, 2020
    Couldn't even finish the entire season. Boring trash that I struggled to even keep my eyes open for.
  • Apr 09, 2020
    So no one could recognize who black lightning was because he wore a simple pair of glasses? Really? That was terrible 😂
  • Mar 22, 2020
    I wonder why some people seem to have such a problem with this show... It's very well acted. The plot gets a little messy and over the top at times, but that's par for the course with a superhero show.
  • Feb 29, 2020
    Highly disappointed. I was so excited to see this black superhero character on Netflix. I watched the first episode and I became extremely disappointed. The dialogue is not up to par. The acting in some points was good but the script is so off it almost makes it hard to follow the story line. For instance, the main villian's name is Lala. What? This in some cases reminds me of the early Tyler Perry movies. Where you have questions about how things happened in the movie/show. I think this show has potential but the script writer needs to step up their game. Really and some actors need to be either replaced or let go period.
  • Feb 15, 2020
    this first season is a breath of fresh air from the overly used cg fight sequences in the flash legends and supergirl it has an amazing story and better action. This show does not come without its flaws some of the characters exchanges seem forced and boring like most of the exchanges from Lynn and Jeff but when the family is all together it captures some of my favorite exchanges and jokes. I want to point out china I have only seen her in a few other movies and shows and never showed exceptional talent in acting she wasn't horrible but this show really gives her room too shine her exchanges are amazing and she captures the idk what too do with my powers vibe. This was really action packed with amazing acting from nearly all of the cast it feels realistic because it's grounded in real world issues. Over all this show is an amazing breath of fresh air from the cheesy garbage that is the other cw shows.
  • Feb 06, 2020
    Enjoyable, although thunders intake of breath to perform Her power is annoying
  • Jan 09, 2020
    Boring dry show. Why is is set outside the Arrowverse? Old broken down hero??? No thanks. Keep it fresh with young heroes just starting off coming into their powers. Gave up after 2 episodes.
  • Nov 26, 2019
    Very poorly acted, cheesy effects, plain obvious overbearing themes. I am shocked by the reviews.
  • 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.

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