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  • Series Premiere Date: Jan 16, 2018
Black Lightning Image
Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 178 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) had retired from his secret identity of Black Lightning many years ago, but when danger threatens his twenty-something daughter, Jennifer (Nafessa Williams), and a promising student is being lured by a gang, he returns to the fight.
  • Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure

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Black Lightning
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Jan 4, 2018
    100
    It’s positive, it’s victorious, it’s complicated, and it’s badass.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jan 16, 2018
    83
    Not nearly as bright as “Supergirl,” as angst-ridden as “Arrow” or as campy as “The Flash,” “Black Lightning” lights its own path--by being a story about the debt we owe to our community and the importance of inspiration.
  3. Reviewed by: Eric Joseph
    Jan 8, 2018
    80
    To its credit, this young series has done a phenomenal job of finding its footing with the first two episodes, and trust me, it’s the second that’ll really hook you. Capable of warming hearts just as The Flash does while being more similar in tone to Arrow, Black Lightning stands as one of the more sophisticated additions to the DC TV landscape.
  4. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jan 16, 2018
    80
    The show is a fine example of what television might look like once we move past the more ceremonial aspects of diversity. This is a black show on a network filled with white superheroes, and it displays no insecurity or self-consciousness about that. It feels strong and confident, at least in the first two episodes.
  5. Reviewed by: Ira Madison III
    Jan 17, 2018
    80
    The series juggles police brutality, systemic racism, black youth culture, gang violence, and black parenting with aplomb, and all topics feel entirely new to The CW but also necessary for the network, where it can be paired with an equally pulpy series like Riverdale.
  6. Reviewed by: Kelly Lawler
    Jan 16, 2018
    75
    The series' tone ably walks a fine line between being relevant and pedantic. Its themes are a bit heavy for a superhero show, but it still features fun, dazzling action sequences. The show makes great use of light and dark visuals and vividly brings Jefferson's powers to life.
  7. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jan 4, 2018
    60
    While Lightning may sound like campy blaxploitation, it's no joke. [8-21 Jan 2018, p.13]

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 44
  2. Negative: 14 out of 44
  1. Jan 16, 2018
    10
    A great and freshing superhero tv show in this age of Superhero tv mash. It's unique in terms of unique, and has good performances by its mainA great and freshing superhero tv show in this age of Superhero tv mash. It's unique in terms of unique, and has good performances by its main characters. Expand
  2. Jan 17, 2018
    10
    O piloto foi maravilhoso e a série tem tudo pra continuar numa crescente e se tornar a melhor da CW.
  3. Jan 17, 2018
    9
    This is the most weighty of the CW superhero shows. It's hard to say how it will progress after only a single episode, but so far theThis is the most weighty of the CW superhero shows. It's hard to say how it will progress after only a single episode, but so far the situations appear to be grounded in a hyped reality with the superhero element added on top. The superb acting adds greatly to this effect. So many of the performances feel real.

    There is a strong vigilante element to Black Lightning. Pain is dealt out. Collateral damage occurs both unintentionally and intentionally, and not necessarily only to those 100% in the wrong. "Do the ends justify the means?" look to be a central theme to complicate its story. This is a show with a refreshing edge that should earn its audience.

    P.S. I thought the lit up lighting bolts on the costume were too much and out of touch with the style of the show.
    Expand
  4. May 20, 2018
    6
    Medium, just like other ""hero" tv shows from comics. Same thing happens in every episode, people with superpowers dress in letheat and fightMedium, just like other ""hero" tv shows from comics. Same thing happens in every episode, people with superpowers dress in letheat and fight with crime. Alos, Black Lightning's costume is a joke. Expand
  5. Feb 16, 2018
    4
    This show has potential but the main character needs some work. Mild-manner principal by day and angry avenger by night. That scenario hasThis show has potential but the main character needs some work. Mild-manner principal by day and angry avenger by night. That scenario has been played to death. The criminals are so stereo-typical from those awful 1970's black exploitation movies. I tried to like this show...I really did; but unfortunately I just cannot watch it anymore. Expand
  6. Jan 29, 2018
    3
    I don't understand the near-universal acclaim in the press - I suspect that too is driven more by politics than content. To me, this is theI don't understand the near-universal acclaim in the press - I suspect that too is driven more by politics than content. To me, this is the weakest of the DC shows on The CW. Much like Supergirl, it's more concerned with identity politics and firsts than telling a compelling story. People need to stop comparing this to Luke Cage - which is actually a good show. Expand
  7. Mar 13, 2018
    0
    Incredibly Racist, every white cop is a terrible person and of course the super racist leader is a white guy....oh and the protagonist has aIncredibly Racist, every white cop is a terrible person and of course the super racist leader is a white guy....oh and the protagonist has a white servant. Expand

See all 44 User Reviews

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