Tonight's episode of Black Lightning marked the introduction of Grace Choi to The CW series, and that introduction came with a clever reference to a well-known DC Comics team.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Black Lightning, "Lawanda: The Book of Burial," below.
Tonight, after spending some time in a junkyard exploring her newfound powers, Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) heads to a bookstore to do some research on genetic mutations. Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) asks her what she's doing, and, during the conversation, Anissa notices a comic book in Grace's pocket. The comic? An issue of DC Comics' The Outsiders.
While the comic itself is a nice nod to DC Comics, it's actually quite a bit more significant than that. In comics, the Outsiders have significant connections to not just Black Lightning, but to Anissa and Grace as well. Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce is a founding member of the Outsiders, a team largely comprised of superheroes with metahuman powers that don't really fit into the mainstream heroic community -- specifically the Justice League. The team, while name-dropped last week on Arrow, was founded by Batman.
In tonight's episode, it's interesting that Grace is the character to be talking about the Outsiders as, in comics, Grace herself is a superhero member of the team. Descended from a tribe of Amazons, Grace has superhuman strength, durability, and endurance which she uses to make a living as a nightclub bouncer. Once recruited to the Outsiders, though, she comes to embrace her heroic role and also enters into a relationship with one of her teammates -- Thunder, better known as Anissa Pierce, daughter of Black Lightning.
The reference to the team in tonight's episode certainly seems to hint that Black Lightning may be leading up to its own version of the iconic comic book team. It's an idea that Williams herself has spoken about previously, referring to the show having its own version of the team.
"The thing that's gonna be really, really interesting at some point is that there will be, we will on some level be like a super hero team down the line," Williams said. "So, it will be like our own little very small version of The Outsiders."
Black Lightning airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.