Black Lightning may not be fighting alongside DC’s other TV heroes, but he’s got a major connection to Green Lantern. The emerald, ring-slinging hero who even casual CW fans are probably aware of by now, given the amount of Hal Jordan easter eggs Arrow has dropped. All clues and teases intended only to excite and delight the comic book fans, most assumed. But with Black Lightning now joining the network, if not explicitly the same world as Arrow and The Flash, there may be the strongest link to Green Lantern yet.
The catch is, it ain’t the version that The CW has been teasing in the past. It’s the version of Green Lantern that fans of the animated Justice League series and related features have known for years, better known for his discipline and no-nonsense attitude in a fight. That personality may be something that Green Lantern John Stewart has in common with Jefferson Pierce, a.k.a. Black Lightning. But the two men share something more important in the comics – and possibly, the TV series.
Black Lightning is married to Green Lantern’s sister. Well, was married, anyway.
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Black Lightning’s Ex-Wife, Lynn Pierce
The premiere episode of Black Lightning may be all fans of DC Comics and The CW have to go on, but it makes an impact. Mainly for all the ways it’s unlike the heroes who came before. This superhero is older, experienced, and as a superhero, even retired. It wasn’t an easy decision for him to make, but as the episode reveals, it was Jefferson Pierce’s wife who convinced him to leave the vigilante heroics behind him. Not even for her sake – but for the sake of their two daughters. Jefferson turned to his family, but only after his wife turned to divorce.
The first episode is all audiences need to know that Lynn Pierce (the only surname we have to go on, based on cast listings) is not a woman to take lightly. Yet as has become the habit with comic book to TV adaptations, audiences and fans will wonder as to Lynn’s role in the comics. And, dare we say it, perhaps a superheroine identity of her own in future seasons. Well, the bad news is that Lynn Pierce’s role in the comics was primarily as Jefferson’s ex-wife and the mother to their two daughters (a combination that changed somewhat over the years).
The good news is that for fans of the larger DC Comics mythology, the shared ground between Jefferson Pierce and John Stewart as African-American superheroes is just the beginning. Not only were they introduced around a similar time in history (1971 and 1977), and designed to battle street-level crime in America’s cities (overlooked by the ‘grander’ superheroes), but they were linked by one of the most important women in their lives: Lynn Stewart.
At least, it was the plan for Black Lightning to be revealed as Green Lantern’s former brother-in-law. Will the TV show finally make a solid link to a Green Lantern on TV?