The CW is getting a new superhero in January. Black Lightning is the latest DC Comics adaptation for the network and a new trailer gives potential fans unfamiliar with the character a look at his backstory. “Black Lightning is back,” the trailer declares, as retired superhero Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) once again suits up and puts his powers of electricity to use to save his city.
It’s a definite departure for The CW, which usually features much younger actors portraying their star superheroes. Whereas The Flash‘s Grant Gustin is 27, Williams is 47. Then again, it’s also a departure in that the origin of this superhero starts in the middle of his story. The series picks up long after Pierce’s first stint as a superhero–a job he gave up for his family.
As the trailer shows, though, he hasn’t lost a step. Between his fighting skills and the ability to shoot electrical blasts from his hands with little effort, Pierce is ready to take on the gang attempting to corrupt his community.
Black Lightning was originally created by Tony Isabella in 1977 and was the first black superhero to be given his own comic book. It’s only fitting that the character is also the first black superhero to lead his own TV show.
Williams is joined in the series by China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams, who play his daughters, along with Christine Adams, and James Remar. Black Lightning premieres on Tuesday, January 16, at 9 PM ET/PT, following The Flash. It’s important to note that at this point the series does not exist in the same universe as The CW’s other superhero shows.