Tonight's episode of Black Lightning will serve dual duty, not only continuing The CW series' final season storyline but also kicks off a potential spinoff series, Painkiller, by catching up with Khalil Payne/Painkiller who fans last saw leaving Freeland at the end of Black Lightning's third season as he struggled with the two personalities inside of him. With the Painkiller personality being a highly trained killer, viewers can expect a ton of action and for star Jordan Calloway, that action is letting him live his dream.
"I grew up watching Jean-Claude Van Damme, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Michael Jai White," Calloway told TVLine. "Jean-Claude is my favorite of the three, Come on now, Kickboxer, Bloodsport. All of that. This is why I'm living my dream. Because I grew watching these movies as a kid, I'm excited about giving that same energy to the next generation. They want to see their heroes doing the stuff that makes them heroes."
Announced back in November, if Painkiller goes to series it will follow Khalil as he tries to make a new life in a new city, Akashic Valley "But peace never comes easy for men with pasts like his. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrust back into action with a new mission – bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side." The series will also star James Roch (Cousin Donald) and Alexander Hodge (Philky) and according to Calloway, the series would differ from Black Lightning in both tone and style.
"It's a completely different tone from Black Lightning, which was what made me extremely excited about it too," Calloway said. "We're showcasing other cultures and other types of people, which I think is a blast. It feels good to showcase that for other audience members to be drawn in for them as well. In the pilot, Philky tells Khalil he's not an Asian tech sidekick and that was right on time. But the ladies will also love seeing Asian Bae. Even my sister was like, 'Slip me his number,' And I was like, 'You're married. What is going on?'"
You can check out the synopsis for the Painkiller backdoor pilot, which is the seventh episode of Black Lightning's fourth and final season, below.
"PAINKILLER – Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale’s gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace…but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like Khalil Payne and Painkiller. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted back into action with a new mission - bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side, Painkiller. The episode was written and directed by Salim Akil."
Black Lightning airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW. "Painkiller" airs April 12th.