A black lesbian superhero is set to be your new favourite TV character.
American channel The CW has been renown for bringing many of DC’s superheroes to the small-screen in impressive and visually appealing shows. We’ve had The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and now Black Lightning.
Black Lightning focuses on the title character, a father of two daughters: Thunder and Lightning. It is Thunder AKA Anissa Pierce, played by Nafeesa Williams, that is such a groundbreaking character as not only is she a woman of colour but she also happens to be a lesbian.
Speaking to Comic Book Resources about the role of Thunder, Williams said:
We’re the first black superhero family on network TV and I just feel like we’re going to reach so many people other than just black people. We’re a show who are telling real life stories of events that are going on within our country and we’re tackling those issues and you’ll see our family go through issues just like you and I have in our families.
Another thing I’m really proud of is that, with Anissa’s character, she’s pretty unique. She’s a lesbian, so little girls are going to be able to look up and be like, “Okay, I’m like her and hopefully my parents will accept me the way her parents accepted her.”
The show is determined to see through the roots of the comic book and its characters too, as it will also feature a love interest for Anissa – in the form of a character called Grace.
Chanal Thuy, most recognised for appearing on Pretty Little Liars, will take on the role of Grace, a bisexual comic book fan. In the original comics, Grace is revealed to also be a member of the same tribe as Wonder Woman.
Black Lightning is created by Salim and Mara Brock Akil, who have previously worked on Being Mary Jane and Girlfriends. The show debuted on Tuesday, January 16 on The CW in America. It is expected to air on Sky Atlantic in the UK later this year.