As the series premiere hinted at, Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and Whale (Marvin "Krondon" Jones III) have a shared history, with the two enemies both believing that the other is either dead or just gone until events lead them both to realize they were wrong -- Whale starts to get the inkling that Black Lightning is back right away while Black Lightning simply thinks Whale is out of the picture and discovers otherwise later on. But while the show is centered, in part, around the feud between the two men we also know that the show exists in a larger universe.
The pilot episode of Black Lightning, "The Resurrection," makes it clear that there are other heroes in the world around Freeland, and while we've speculated on just a few of the DC Comics heroes that might exist in Black Lightning's universe, you can't have heroes without villains. With Black Lightning having ties to both Superman and Batman in comics, there are limitless bad guys who might be prime to make an appearance or simply be name-dropped on Black Lightning, but some are more interesting options than others. Read on for 10 villains that could exist in the Black Lightning universe.
Baron Bedlam and the Masters of Disaster
In comics, Baron Bedlam (real name Baron Frederick DeLamb) is the son of the puppet ruler of Markovia the Nazi's placed in power during World War II. When the Markov family is restored to the throne at the end of the war, Baron Bedlam flees. He later gains the support of the Soviets and political manipulator Bad Samaritan, takes Markovia back, and, eventually, gets an assist from the Masters of Disaster, a group of villains who capture Black Lightning at the behest of the parents of a bystander who died accidentally during an altercation Black Lightning was involved in.
While Black Lightning probably doesn't have a lot of use for a throne-grabbing bad guy backed by Nazi's, the Baron Bedlam character might make for an interesting framework for a character with shady political ties, and the Masters of Disaster could be a template for a gang associated with The 100. Both would make sense when one considers that Tobias Whale was a rising politician before being exposed and brought down by Jefferson Pierce's father, Alvin.prevnext
Lex Luthor really needs no explanation. He's the ultimate bad guy with political and criminal ties and an extensive history at using both to create issues for the heroes in the DC Universe. Luthor has even been the President of the United States in comics, which might serve as a way to include a Luthor-esque villain. By giving the United States that Freeland is set in a leader whose values may be counter to those of Pierce -- especially should the federal government ever get involved in Freeland's vigilante "problem" -- the show would have another avenue it could use to explore issues of race, justice and society.prevnext
Another "hey isn't he part of the Arrowverse" character, Merlyn might make for a good villain template for Black Lightning. Much like Arrow's Thea Queen shares some connective tissue with DC Comics' Mia Dearden, a Merlyn-esque character would make for a compelling villain on Black Lightning due to ties to The 100.
In comics, Merlyn the Magician (then Arthur King/Malcom Merlyn) served under Tobias Whale as a member of the gang, so having the character appear or even be mentioned would tie the show back to its comic book history. It would also provide an opening should Black Lightning ever join the Arrowverse. While there are no current plans for that to happen and both showrunner Salim Akil and The CW network president Mark Pedowitz have both said that they want Black Lightning to stand on its own, with Merlyn -- specifically Malcom Merlyn and Tommy Merlyn -- having a presence in the Arrowverse it would be an easy connection, drawing the two universes together via shared villains.prevnext
With Lady Eve having already been mentioned in Black Lightning, an obvious villain who could have ties to the series is Kobra.
In comics, Lady Eve is a villain and a member of Kobra/Jeffrey Franklin Burr's Kobra Cult. Kobra has plans to use mind control on high-ranking officials of the US Army in comics with the intention of stealing a defense program satellite and blackmailing the government. While Black Lightning might not go that far with Lady Eve, Kobra Cult could very easily be reimagined as a group of corrupt leaders and according to the official character description for Lady Eve on Black Lightning, she will serve as a connection between Whale and a secret group of corrupt leaders. It wouldn't be a stretch for Lady Eve to be working with Kobra to manipulate Whale for their own, nefarious reasons.prevnext
Doctor Hurt/Simon Hurt
Best known as a Batman villain with affiliations to Black Glove, Club of Villains, and Religion of Crime, Doctor Hurt also has a connection to Black Lightning in comics. Thunder/Anissa Pierce, Black Lightning's daughter, is left comatose following an attack, and, in the aftermath, Alfred Pennyworth recruits Black Lightning to join a new version of the Outsiders.
On the show Doctor Hurt could be an operative of Tobias Whale, either as a metahuman or simply as a heavy that Whale enlists to help take down Black Lightning as the pair's feud reignites with the fate of Freeland hanging in the balance. And, we have to admit, Doctor Hurt is such a good villain name. It just needs to happen.prevnext
Ghetto Blaster, a villain that, while we would like to see him or at least have him referenced, we kind of hope he gets a name change before doing so.
In comics, the Ghetto Blaster was a Gotham thief who was caught, did prison time, and then got out, got some armor, and started blasting buildings looking for the loot he had hidden prior to incarceration. Those buildings happened to be in the black ghettos of Gotham, and he claimed to be aiming to help the community by tearing down the ghetto, hence his name. He's never identified by his real name, so Black Lightning would have quite a bit of play in coming up with a less troublesome moniker, but the character would make a great reference for the good Black Lightning has done for his community. After all, in comics, Ghetto Blaster is stopped by Black Lightning, who makes him confess that his "reasons" for his actions were all a fraud, and Black Lightning doesn't like a fraud, especially if its preying on his community.prevnext
One of Metropolis' most powerful gangsters and the leader of the Intergang, Bruno Mannheim would be another villain that could easily have ties to Black Lightning. In comics, Black Lightning originated in Metropolis, and Whale led the city's arm of The 100. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to have the Mannheim be the leader of a gang in another city or perhaps even be part of an arm of The 100 in another city.
With Black Lightning establishing that Whale and The 100 have an extensive reach and tight grasp on Freeland, slowly revealing that their power extends far beyond Freeland would provide villains for the heroes Martin mentioned in his television commentary to deal with as well as provide Whale with allies as things with Black Lightning charge up. After all, every gangster has associates, and Bruno Mannheim would be a brutal one for Whale.prevnext
Created for Superman: The Animated Series and most closely associated with Lex Luthor -- she serves as his personal bodyguard -- doesn't have a traditional tie to Black Lightning. But as we've already seen on the series, Whale does have a female henchman. The show could reinvent Graves as another woman in his employ or even draw on the character's origins as the leader of a gang of female thieves and utilize the character as another facet of Freeland's criminal side. It would also make for an interesting twist if, should the show introduce a Luthor-esque president, Graves appeared as a politician, perhaps one in league with Whale.prevnext
Another criminal mastermind, Black Mask would be another great character who could exist in the universe of Black Lightning, but wouldn't necessarily have to directly appear. In comics, Black Mask (real name Roman Sionis) has strong ties to Batman, and in the DC Rebirth reboot, Sionis is one of Gotham's most powerful crime lords, teaming up with Penguin and Great White Shark to form an alliance know as "The Blacks and Whites." If Black Lightning did introduce a variation on Batman as one of the heroes in the universe, Black Mask would be a fitting choice as a villain for that version of Batman and, being a criminal mastermind, provide opportunities for The 100 and Tobias Whale as well.prevnext
In comics, Catalina Flores was an FBI agent who eventually left the bureau and went back home to Bludhaven where she eventually took over the vigilante mantle of Tarantula after meeting the first to wear the name, John Law.
While Tarantula is considered more of an anti-hero than a villain, the character could be reimagined as a corrupt FBI agent for Black Lightning. We already know that the law doesn't smile on Black Lightning. With the vigilante making a reappearance, Inspector Henderson may need to call in federal assistance, providing an opportunity for Flores to appear and serve as a problem for Black Lightning, especially if the opted to make the character corrupt.
Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.prev