Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain join The CW’s Black Lightning cast as Anissa and Jennifer Pierce
The latest DC Comics series is moving forward rapidly as Deadline today reveals two new additions to the Black Lightning cast. China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams are set to play Jennifer and Anissa Pierce, the daughters of title superhero Jackson Pierce (Cress Williams). The CW series, which should be entering production shortly, hails from Greg Berlanti (producer on the network’s Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow) and The Game and Being Mary Jane‘s Mara Brock and Salim Akil.
Black Lightning, created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden, made his first appearance in 1977’s Black Lightning #1. The story follows Jefferson Pierce, a former Olympian, who was secretly born with the ability to create and manipulate electromagnetic fields. Although he had abandoned his hometown in Metropolis’ Suicide Slum after the murder of his father, Pierce returns there with his wife and daughters, taking a job as a high school principal. It is after losing one of his students to the gang violence that threatens the city that Pierce decides to take advantage of his powers. Adopting the identity Black Lightning, he becomes a costumed superhero who goes on to serve as team member of both the Outsiders and the Justice League.
Black Lightning has never before appeared in any live-action DC Comics adaptations. He has appeared in a number of animated projects, however, voiced by the likes of Levar Burton and Blair Underwood. He also made a memorable appearance in a 1992 Saturday Night Live sketch, played by Sinbad. Airing just after the iconic “Death of Superman” hit the stands, the sketch sees Black Lightning attempting to crash Superman’s funeral. You can watch the full sketch on NBC‘s official SNL site.
Nafessa Williams’ Anissa Pierce is described as being “passionate and quick-witted” while attempting to both study medicine and work part time at her father’s school. China Anne McClain’s Jennifer Pierce, meanwhile, is said to be “an independent, outspoken scholar-athlete with a wild streak of her own.”
In the comics, Anissa and Jennifer become the super-powered, crime-fighting duo Thunder and Lightning. You can watch the characters in a DC Nation animated short in the player below.
What do you think of the addition of Nafessa Williams and China Anne McClain to the Black Lightning cast? Is there anyone else you’re hoping joins the Black Lightning cast? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
(Photos by David Livingston / Getty Images / Leon Bennett / WireImage)