Did 'Black Lightning' Die? Shedding Light On Tobias Whale's Vendetta

As the theme song for The CW's newest series makes very clear, Black Lightning is back. But was he [...]

As the theme song for The CW's newest series makes very clear, Black Lightning is back. But was he ever really gone?

In the series premiere of Black Lighting, Jefferson Pierce has been living the quiet life for nearly a decade, but his greatest enemy Tobias Whale is convinced that the hero is dead. So did Pierce simply retire his persona, or did something occur in their shared past that gave the mob boss the idea that his foe was truly vanquished?

In a conversation with TVLine, actor Cress Williams opened up about this historical discrepancy and teased that it would be further explored in the future.

"We will eventually get to [the why of] that, but yes, Tobias does legitimately think that Black Lightning is dead," said Williams.

Conversely, the principal formerly known as Black Lightning is also under the impression that Tobias Whale has left, but is it under similar circumstances? Does Jefferson Pierce think his enemy is dead? Williams cleared that up as well.

"[Black Lightning] doesn't think that Tobias is dead," Williams said. "He thinks he's just 'gone,' and it's not until really farther down the line that [he learns differently]."

Despite being a shorter, mid-season run, it sounds like Black Lightning will be playing the long con when it comes to this feud. A lot of seeds have been planted as far as the vigilante's heroic past, and though the hero seems to be revered by some in Freeland, there are others who vehemently denounce his actions.

Pierce's ex-wife Lynn Stewart obviously takes umbrage with his heroic deeds; not only because it could put her and their children in danger, but because of what it did to their relationship. There's also Detective Henderson, who doesn't see Black Lightning as an ally in the war against crime, but a nuisance.

With all of the odds stacked against Black Lightning, it will be interesting to see how he holds up in the conflict with Tobias Whale's criminal empire. Luckily, he might be getting some backup in the form of some family members who have a lot in common with the titular hero…

Black Lightning's next episode, "Lawanda: The Book of Hope," airs Tuesday, January 23 on The CW.