Between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, producer Greg Berlanti’s DC Comics television empire on The CW shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Despite those show’s popularity, acclaim and diverse supporting casts, however, the gallery of superheroes Berlanti’s brought to the fore isn’t all that diverse. Sure, Supergirl‘s Kara Danvers soars above her more famous male cousin’s alter ego in ways that critics won’t fully understand for generations, but she’s still white. So are most of the Legends of Tomorrow, Berlanti’s least uniform group.
According to Deadline, however, that’s all about to change with Black Lightning, a new series based on the African-American superhero of the same name. Along with Being Mary Jane and The Game creator Mara Brock Akil, who co-wrote the pilot with husband Salim Akil, Berlanti is currently pitching the new show to networks. Per the report:
Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce. He made his choice: he hung up the suit and his secret identity years ago, but with a daughter hell-bent on justice and a star student being recruited by a local gang, he’ll be pulled back into the fight as the wanted vigilante and DC legend Black Lightning.
The premise mirrors the character’s origin in the comics, which dates back to Black Lightning #1 in 1977 — five years after the debut of Marvel’s Luke Cage. However, unlike the Akil’s version of Jefferson Pierce, the original superhero had two daughters instead of one. What’s more, they both became superheroes later on in the comics, serving as DC’s Thunder and Lightning duo.
Aside from the pitch’s existence, no other details are known about Berlanti and the Akil’s potential new series. Though as Deadline points out, Black Lightning has been in development at Warner Bros. Television for over a year.