During a recent interview with at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, Texas, Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil -- who also wrote and directed the series' pilot -- told the International Business Times that he hopes his character gets to hang out with some of the other heroes of the DC Universe eventually.
Specifically, he name-dropped Virgil Hawkins -- Static -- a young character originally published under the Milestone imprint in the '90s.
“I love the idea of Static Shock, and in success, hopefully, we’ll be able to pull other characters in in that way,” the producer said. “So I’m holding out hope because I love that character.”
Static was the lead on Static Shock, an animated series that ran from 2000-2004. Like Black Lightning, Hawkins has electricity-based powers -- and along with Black Vulcan from the Super Friends cartoons and Black Lightning's own daughters, there's been an ongoing conversation about how common that particular power set has become with black superheroes since the original introduction of Black Lightning in the comics.
Not long ago, Black Lightning's creator, Tony Isabella, argued against the idea of the characters appearing together.
"I confess I’m getting a wee bit annoyed by fan calls for Static to appear on this show," wrote Isabella, who developed the comic with Trevor Von Eeden, on his blog. "Now I love Static and the Static Shock cartoon series, but, were it my call (and it isn't), you would NEVER see Static in this series. Black Lightning doesn't need Static. Static doesn't need Black Lightning. They are great characters who can stand on their own."
Static may or may not be free to appear on TV anyway; besides a sometimes-complicated rights situation when it comes to the Milestone characters, Warner Bros. has reportedly been in development for a Static Shock webseries with Jayden Smith for years.
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Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad.
Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.