Black Lightning made its television debut tonight - and brought about a new incarnation of an iconic DC Comics character.
Spoilers for Black Lightning's series premiere, "The Resurrection", below!
In the first act of tonight's episode, fans followed Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and his family at a school benefit dinner. As the episode showed, going to that benefit didn't go exactly as planned, as Anissa Pierce/Thunder (Nafessa Williams) was arrested for protesting the 100 gang.
Jefferson picked Anissa up from the police station, so they could go to the benefit. While at the benefit, Jefferson crossed paths with Inspector William Henderson (Damon Gupton), thanking him for helping with Anissa's arrest.
For some, Inspector Henderson is a pretty familiar face, as the character has existed in the DC Comics world for quite some time. He originated in the The Adventures of Superman radio series of the 1940s, in which he served as Superman's police contact. Henderson wasn't officially introduced in the comics until 1974's Action Comics #422, in which he served a similar role.
In the years that followed, Henderson appeared in the first Black Lightning run as well as issues of New Adventures of Superboy and John Byrne's Man of Steel miniseries. He was then reintroduced in 2009's Supergirl #37, which saw him as the leader of the Metropolis Metacrimes Division.
Henderson has also appeared throughout TV, although those portrayals have been pretty varied. The character appeared on The Adventures of Superman TV series as a white man wearing a fedora, but has since been portrayed as black in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman and Superman: The Animated Series.
Even with so many iterations of Henderson existing -- and the character's comic ties to Superman -- Gupton says that Black Lightning's version will be its own unique incarnation.0comments
"Originally, when [showrunner] Salim [Akil] first talked about it, I was curious as to whether it would be that guy that showed up in Superman or whatever," Gupton told ComicBook.com. "But he's his own thing, he's pretty separate from that. I think what I want to draw on is his steeliness; he gets to doing his thing, and he really gets to doing his thing. That's the one thing... And maybe the hat as well."
Fans will get to see what's next for Inspector Henderson when Black Lightning airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.