Black Lightning's first season finale left the series in an interesting place. The threat of Martin Proctor and the A.S.A. had been dealt with, Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) no longer had to hide his superpowers or his heroic identity from his family, daughter Anissa (Nafessa Williams) had fully embraced her own powers as Thunder, while Jennifer (China Anne McClain) was still struggling to handle it all.
Now, with just a month left to go before the DC Comics-inspired series returns for its second season on The CW, we've been given quite a few hints as to what the Pierce family as well as the overall city of Freeland will be facing. Between new characters, new consequences, and new challenges, Black Lightning's second season is shaping up to be just as interesting and action-packed as the first. Now, it's time to run down what we know about that upcoming second season.
The first season finale saw the Pierce family come together to take down Martin Proctor and the A.S.A., but that victory won't come without consequences -- and the show will explore them on many levels.
According to an interview with TVLine, the opening arc of the season, titled “The Book of Consequences: Rise of the Green Light Babies,” will not only introduce new metahumans but deal with the overall fallout from the discovery of the missing children in stasis pods.
“We’re going to deal with the consequences of having discovered the pod children; the consequences of Green Light hitting the streets; and the consequences of Jefferson’s daughters discovering they have powers,” Akil said.
One of the consequences from the show's first season will be the introduction of new metahumans, thanks to the drug Greenlight.
"You know, one of the things I was saying about the upcoming season is that we're doing is I want to give a nod to comic books in a stronger way," Akil told reporters at Comic Con. "The first four episodes are called 'The Book of Consequences: The Rise of the Greenlight Babies.'"
Greenlight, of course, was introduced in season one and gave its users super powers -- at least for short periods of time. It has ties to the same scientific experiments that created Black Lightning and other metahumans decades before...and disproportionately, drug users are likely to end up on the wrong side of the law. It's something could play right into Tobias Whale's (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III) plans.
Black Lightning's first season finale left The CW series' primary villain Tobias Whale in an interesting place. With the Martin Proctor and the A.S.A. out of the way, Black Lightning's nemesis ended up with whatever secrets the sinister organization was using to experiment on citizens of Freeland and according to actor Marvin "Krondon" Jones III the mysteries of that briefcase will have a huge role in season two.
The contents of the case weren't revealed during the season one finale, but it was made clear that whatever they hold is deeply significant to the creation and preservation of metahumans in Freeland -- so much so that Jones explained it will send an already "diabolical" Tobias over the edge.
"My character is maniacal and very diabolical, so I think that this case is going to send him into an overdrive of those two traits and I look forward to it, to seeing it," Jones said.
In addition to more metahumans, the second season will also see the addition of another member of the comic book Outsiders team: Looker.
According to TV Line, Sofia Vassilieva is joining Black Lightning as the hero Looker for The CWshow's second season. Vassilieva previously appeared as Olivia, a member of Thomas Coville's Cult of Rao last season on Supergirl. As Black Lightning is not a part of the network's Arrowverse — despite being a DC Comics-inspired superhero show — the two characters are not expected to be connected.
Originally introduced in Batman and The Outsiders #25 back in 1985, Emily Briggs/Looker has had an interesting history. Kidnapped by an underground civilization called Abyssia, Emily was exposed to cosmic rays when Halley's Comet passed by Earth, revealing her heritage and unlocking her metahuman powers that made her incredibly beautiful and powerful. She joined up with The Outsiders heroically and later, was turned into a vampire, though her metahuman abilities spared her many traditional vampire weaknesses.
While it's not clear exactly how Black Lightning will portray their version of Looker, the character has been mentioned on the series. Early on in the first season, Grace Choi (Chantal Thuy) — herself a member of The Outsiders in comics — directly mentions the character, asking Anissa Pierce/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) if she wanted to cosplay Looker or Supergirl. Showrunner Salim Akil didn't elaborate on any details about Looker at this time, though he did say that the show would take an "interesting" approach.
"It's really going to be interesting, the way we approach that story... I think people will enjoy it, but also be challenged by it," Akil said.
The second season will also see some major challenges for the youngest Pierce daughter, Jennifer (China Anne McClain).
Throughout the series' first season, Jennifer's sister Anissa (Nafessa Williams) embraced her powers, becoming a superhero who operated more publicly and brazenly than their father, Black Lightning (Cress Williams). Jennifer largely tried to suppress her powers and hide from the issue, until a blow-out battle with members of The 100 street gang forced her to use them in the finale. Next up? Trying to get her head on straight and control her powers before somebody innocent gets hurt.
"I love that they're tackling it from that perspective of getting her a therapist because as you can see in Season One, Jennifer had so many psychological issues with getting these powers," McClain said. "She did not want them. She already felt like an outsider being a part of this amazing family, and living on the house on top of the hill, and so adding super powers on top of it just made things worse for her. So bringing the therapist in really is gonna help her control her powers. Because she's so powerful -- her cells create pure energy -- so if she gets really pissed off, that's not gonna be a good situation. I don't want to say too much on this topic because it's something we're filming right now."
There will also be the matter of her complicated relationship with ex-boyfriend Khalil...
...especially since we'll be seeing more of him.
Jordan Calloway, who plays Khalil Payne, will return for the show's second season as a series regular.
Calloway, whose Khalil fans got to know as an All-American track star with Olympic dreams only to have those dreams cut short when a stray bullet severed his spine, was a recurring guest on Black Lightning's first season. However, after taking up Black Lightning's (Cress Williams) archnemesis Tobias Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III) on the offer of the ability to walk again in exchange for loyalty, Khalil made a major return by the season finale -- as the villain, Painkiller.
Fans first got to see Khalil in action as Painkiller during the first season finale where he, on Tobias' orders, showed up at Garfield High School in an attack designed to lure out Black Lightning. While that doesn't quite go as planned, he had better results in his second outing with his powers when he accompanies Tobias and Syonide (Charlbi Dean) on an attack on the ASA facility.
"I'm thrilled to have Jordan upped to a series regular," Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil said in a statement. "He was a great asset to our show in the role of Khalil/Painkiller during season one, and now that he has evolved into Painkiller, I can't wait for you all to see him in season two."
The Season 2 premiere of Black Lightning -- "The Book of Consequences: The Rise of the Green Light Babies - Chapter One" -- will air on Tuesday, October 9 at 9/8c following The Flash on The CW.