Black Lightning is a superhero drama series created by Salim Akil based on the DC Comics metahuman character of the same name. It aired on The CW for four seasons and is available on Netflix. Although it was canceled in 2021 and its promised spinoff series Painkiller never saw the light of day, DC fans and superhero enthusiasts are still discovering this underrated Arrowverse show.

The amazing cast featured actors who were already established in the industry and also fresh faces — like Marvin “Krondon” Jones III as Tobias Whale, who’s mostly known for being a rapper. Some cast members saw their careers significantly progress after the show ended. Others have had their biggest roles before being cast in Black Lightning.


Why Black Lightning Ended With Season 4

Black Lightning’s show concluded after four seasons, but though it had low ratings, this is not why the Arrowverse series ended.

10 Christine Adams Plays Marsha in Hijack

Character In Black Lightning

Lynn Stewart / Lynn Pierce

The Actor Is Also Seen In

The Whole Truth, Ordinary Joe, Hijack

Christine Adams is a British actress born in 1974 and a naturalized US citizen since 2019. She’s been active in the industry since 1998 and got her first big role in 2004, starring as Katherine in the TV miniseries NY-LON. Other regular TV roles she had before Black Lightning include Kym in Home Again, Lena in The Whole Truth, Mira in Terra Nova, Agent Anne Weaver in Agents of SHIELD and Rie in Feed the Beast. On the silver screen, Adams played minor characters in major films such as a Wayne Industries secretary called Jessica in Batman Begins and ENCOM executive Claire Atkinson in Tron: Legacy.

After her main role in Black Lightning as Dr. Lynn, a neuroscientist who’s Jefferson Pierce’s ex-wife, Christine Adams played Regina in Ordinary Joe and Marsha in the 2023 thriller miniseries Hijack. She’s not seen as often in movies as she is in television series. Her latest movie characters were Monica in The Unholy and Jan in Moonshot. Adams will also play a character in the upcoming Jenna Ortega movie Miller’s Girl.

9 Chantal Thuy Plays Lia in Magnum PI

Character In Black Lightning

Grace Choi / Wylde

The Actor Is Also Seen In

Half Magic, Magnum PI


DC: 5 Marvel Villains Black Lightning Could Defeat (& 5 He Would Lose To)

If DC Comics’ Black Lightning was pitted against Marvel villains, which could he defeat and which would he lose to?

Chantal Thuy is a Canadian actress born in 1990 to refugee parents from Vietnam. She’s mostly known for playing Grace Choi in Black Lightning, the shapeshifter metahuman who’s Anissa Pierce’s love interest. The bisexual vigilante Wylde is one of the most interesting LGBTQ+ heroes in the Arrowverse, with a troubled origin story as she escaped human trafficking. Before the recurring superhero role, she starred in several short films and appeared in isolated episodes of prominent TV shows such as Pretty Little Liars, Matador and Madam Secretary.

The Vietnamese-descendant actress had a minor role in the 2018 movie Half Magic, which is Heather Graham’s directorial debut. More recently, Chantal Thuy starred in a 2023 movie that tells a story that is similar to her own family’s, called Ru. She’s also currently seen in the recurring role of Lia in Magnum PI.

8 The Late Charlbi Dean Plays Yaya in Triangle of Sadness

Character In Black Lightning


The Actor Is Also Seen In

Don’t Sleep, Triangle of Sadness

Charlbi Dean was a South African actress who tragically died in 2022 at only 32 years of age. Before playing the Black Lightning supporting character Syonide, Tobias Whale’s surrogate daughter, she played Amanda in the South African movie duology Spud and Shawn in the American horror movie Don’t Sleep. She also appeared in an episode of the procedural series Elementary.

Her recurring role in Black Lightning was her most well-known until Triangle of Sadness. The 2022 dark comedy movie directed by Ruben Östlund stars Charlbi Dean as Yaya alongside Harris Dickinson, Woody Harrelson and other amazing actors. Triangle of Sadness was her most critically acclaimed project to date, but the movie was unfortunately a posthumous release in Charlbi Dean’s filmography.

7 William Catlett Plays Lucky in A Thousand and One

Character In Black Lightning

Latavius Johnson / Lala / Tattooed Man

The Actor Is Also Seen In

Charm City Kings, The Devil You Know, A Thousand and One


Arrowverse: 10 Characters Stronger Than Their Comic Versions

Along with being promoted to live-action, these DC Comics characters got stronger when they joined the Arrowverse

William Catlett only had short appearances on TV before 2018. He’s in one episode of The Mentalist and four episodes of Giants, for instance. Then he embodied the drug-dealing supervillain Latavius in Black Lightning and Yasir in Love Is, both TV shows created by Salim Akil that premiered in 2018. The latter was co-created with Akil’s wife (Mara Brock Akil) and it’s based on their real-life relationship.

But since Black Lightning was canceled, Will Catlett’s movie career took off. He played Detective Rivers in Angel Manuel Soto’s 2020 drama Charm City Kings and Drew in the 2022 thriller The Devil You Know. His most relevant movie so far has definitely been 2023’s A Thousand and One, an award-winning heartbreaking drama featuring Teyana Taylor.

6 Jordan Calloway Plays Chuck In Riverdale

Character In Black Lightning

Khalil Payne / Painkiller

The Actor Is Also Seen In

Unfabulous, Riverdale, Always a Bridesmaid, Fire Country

Jordan Calloway was born in 1990 in Los Angeles. He rose to fame as a teen actor in Nickelodeon’s hit sitcom Unfabulous, in which he played Zach opposite Emma Roberts. Around the same time, he appeared in ER Season 11 and Season 12 as KJ Thibeaux.

Riverdale was such a massive hit before derailing, that many people associate grown-up Jordan Calloway with his recurring role as Chuck Clayton in Seasons 1 and 2 of the show. During the time he was portraying Painkiller in Black Lightning, he landed the co-lead of the supernatural horror film Countdown and also the romantic comedy Always a Bridesmaid. Calloway almost became the protagonist of a Painkiller spinoff, but the show was never made. He went on to star as Jake in the action-drama series Fire Country.

5 James Remar Plays Harry Morgan in Dexter

Character In Black Lightning

Peter Gambi

The Actor Is Also Seen In

Sex and the City, The Warriors, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, Dexter, Oppenheimer


Black Lightning Boss Had Plans Mapped Out for 1-2 More Seasons

Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil discusses the ideas he had in mind for two more seasons of the DC series, had it not been canceled.

James Remar has been active in Hollywood for over 40 years. He played many movie villains throughout his multifaceted career, most notably Dutch Schultz in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 gangster musical The Cotton Club and Quill in the 1996 superhero movie The Phantom. Among several roles in his equally prolific TV trajectory, he played Dexter’s adoptive father Harry in Dexter from 2006 to 2013. Another unforgettable James Remar character on television was Sex and the City‘s Richard.

After Black Lightning, Remar was seen in episodes of Magnum PI, City on a Hill and other series. In 2020, he starred in the action movie Dead Reckoning alongside KJ Apa, Scott Adkins and India Eisley. In the 2023 Christopher Nolan thriller Oppenheimer, James Remar played Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson.

4 Damon Gupton Plays Father Reuben in The Big Door Prize

Character In Black Lightning

Inspector Bill Henderson

The Actor Is Also Seen In

The Last Airbender, The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, The Big Door Prize

Damon Gupton is an American actor and orchestra conductor who studied drama at Juilliard and has been active in Hollywood since 1999. He played Charles Foster in Dick Wolf’s newspaper-themed show Deadline in 2000 and 2001. Other of his main roles on TV before playing Inspector Henderson in Black Lightning Seasons 1 to 3 include Evrard Valerio in Prime Suspect and Adam Page in The Divide. He was also Dr. Gregg Edwards in Bates Motel Seasons 4 and 5.

Gupton had fewer movie roles. He played Monk Gyatso in the live-action version of the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series, among other supporting acts in movies like Whiplash and La La Land. But his TV career continues at a steady pace. Gupton was in the main cast of the limited series The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey as Coydog and he’s currently playing Father Reuben in The Big Door Prize.

3 Nafessa Williams Plays Robyn Crawford in Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Character In Black Lightning

Anissa Pierce / Thunder

The Actor Is Also Seen In

One Life to Live, Twin Peaks, Black and Blue


Every Finale In The Arrowverse, Ranked According To IMDB

The Arrowverse has now reached its end with the ninth and final season of The Flash. Fans can look to IMDb scores to reflect on each finale.

Nafessa Williams had her big break on both TV and film in 2011. She played Nicole opposite rapper Meek Mill in Streets and Deanna in the ABC soap opera One Life to Live. Williams later had supporting roles in the movies The Man in 3B, Brotherly Love and Burning Sands. In the infamously divisive Twin Peaks Season 3, Nafessa Williams played Jade.

Since embodying Black Lightning’s daughter Thunder, Williams has only been seen in movies. She played Missy in the 2019 action thriller Black and Blue and Robyn in the 2022 musical biopic Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody. She’s currently working on the production of Rivals, an upcoming Disney+ series.

2 China Anne McClain Plays Jazmine in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne

Character In Black Lightning

Jennifer Pierce / Lightning

The Actor Is Also Seen In

Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, ANT Farm, Grown Ups, Descendants Franchise

China Anne McClain is a 25-year-old singer and actress whose career started when she was only 7. She played Jazmine Payne in Tyler Perry’s House of Payne intermittently from Seasons 1 to 4, 6 to 9 and is currently back in the role since Season 12. She was also a Disney Channel child star, appearing in several projects and starring as the lead in ANT Farm from 2011 to 2014.

She’s been playing Uma in the Descendants media franchise since 2017. After abruptly leaving Black Lightning in the middle of Season 4, McClain was replaced by Laura Kariuki but returned to the role of Jennifer a.k.a. Lightning for the series finale. Since the show ended, McClain played Chantal in the Adam Sandler horror-comedy Hubie Halloween and reprised her Descendants role in three different projects.

1 Cress Williams Plays Lavon Hayes in Hart of Dixie

Character In Black Lightning

Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning

The Actor Is Also Seen In

Veronica Mars, Grey’s Anatomy, Prison Break, Hart of Dixie

The charismatic Cress Williams has been acting for over two decades, but Black Lightning was his first leading role. Before becoming the superhero, he had minor participation in movies like Never Been Kissed, Little Black Book and Lowriders. His TV persona is more easily recognizable, though. Cress Williams played the short-lived roles of Officer Reggie Moore in ER, Nathan Woods in Veronica Mars, Tucker Jones in Grey’s Anatomy, Wyatt Matthewson in Prison Break and Ornette Howard in Friday Night Lights.

His biggest role before Jefferson Pierce was Mayor Lavon Hayes in the main cast of the Rachel Bilson-led series Hart of Dixie. Since the end of Black Lightning, Jeff Pierce has been seen in three episodes of The Flash and one episode of Legends of Tomorrow. Cress Williams has been landing central roles in movies as well, most notably Marshall in the 2022 independent drama What Remains.

“}]] From Charlbi Dean in Triangle of Sadness to Jordan Calloway in Riverdale, chances are you’ve seen Black Lightning cast members in other projects.  Read More