Black Lightning appears in DC Universe Presents #13-17 alongside Blue Devil. His dad is a reporter who has been investigating Tobias Whale as he feels that the police aren't doing anything because they are being paid off Whale. The high school teacher is operating as a superhero during the night to take out Whale's operations before his dad gets himself hurt. During one of these excursions, he comes into conflict with the Blue Devil, believing him to be on Whale's payroll. Their fight is ended when LAPD intercedes and Jefferson meets up with his father after classes the next day and tries to convince him to stop going after Whale. Refusing to do so, Jefferson dons his Black Lightning outfit and follows his father that night to watch over him. He protects his dad from Tobias's thugs though Blue Devil is the one who finishes them off. Before Blue Devil kills a thug that he dropped onto a car, Black Lightning reminds him that he is a hero, and Danny regains control of the suit.
They meet again, out of costume, at the funeral of Danny's grandfather and after the service, Danny, his old high school friend and teammate, reveals that he recognizes Jeff as Black Lightning, as his father did. After revealing that he is Blue Devil, Danny convinces Jeff to meet him at Graveyard Studios, which his grandfather left him. He reads his grandfather's letter, which reveals that all the props from his cheesy movies are real artifacts that he has been bleeding the power of by cheapening them in his movies. Jeff is uncomfortable with the idea of magic and recognizes that Danny's suit is a skin.
Jefferson Pierce is a graduate from Garfield High in Metropolis who goes on to be an Olympic decathlon star and later a teacher at the school. He graduates from Kent State University with a teaching degree in physics. As a teacher, he works for New Carthage and later at the same Garfield High that he graduated from. Jefferson wastes no time in getting into trouble with a gang of drug pushers who are connected with the 100 organization. He does this by trying to clean the school of the pushers. In a fight, a student named Earl Clifford helps Jefferson and is later killed for his efforts by a gang leader known as Joey Toledo. This is the catalyst that leads Jefferson into becoming Black Lightning.
Distraught over the death of Earl, Jefferson turns to a man named Peter Gambi. Gambi owns a tailor shop that Jefferson and his mother lived above while he was growing up and he became very close to as a child. Peter made a costume for Jefferson for when he came back, as if he knew that he would want it. When Jefferson returns, he presents it to him. With the addition of a mask and an afro wig, Jefferson's identity becomes secure, but he also disguises his voice and adds a lot of street slang while he is in his Black Lightning persona.
Modern Age/Black Lightning: Year One
Jefferson Pierce is a normal man who grows up in South Side, Suicide Slums, with a dream of success one day. After becoming an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon and a college graduate, he moves to Metropolis with his wife, Lynn Stewart. The main reason they move is the death of his father, Alvin Pierce. He is killed after trying to open the eyes of the public to the scams of local con man Tobias Whale. They have a daughter they name Anissa (Thunder), and later Lynn becomes pregnant with Jennifer (Lightning). Jefferson is a principal at several schools and is respected for all the good he has done in the neighborhoods and schools he had been in previously. The Wayne Education Trust gives him a grant to come back to South Side to try to do the same there. They look at him as "our last best hope for successful leadership in urban education reform." Jeff sees how bad it is, mostly due to the 100 and Tobias Whale, so he decides to do something with his hidden electricity powers discovered by his wife. He becomes Black Lightning after seeing the quote "Justice--Like Lightning-- Should Ever Appear To Some Men Hope, To Other Men, Fear." He fights local crime at night as a super hero. He is the principal of Garfield High School and he gets to know a student by the name of Earl Clifford. Earl is killed and this starts the end of the 100 and Tobias Whale. Black Lightning eventually defeats them both with the help of Superman.
Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eeden in Black Lightning #1 in April 1977. Black Lightning was the first African-American superhero to have his own solo series. Though short lived, the series is known as an iconic addition to DC's history.
Jeff is one of the founding members of The Outsiders team along with Batman, Geo-Force, Halo, Katana, and Metamorpho, and has been on and off the roster many times. He has been the leader of the team as well.
In the most recent version of the the team, Alfred recruits him along with Geo-Force, Halo, Metamorpho, Katana, Creeper, and Owlman to go under the radar and take on missions they normally wouldn't be able to take. The main enemies at this time are The Insiders who are unknown to the rest of the world. The team stops them and moves on to tracking down Killer Croc, Clayface, and Mr. Freeze.
The team survives the Blackest Night and tries to pick up the pieces of the operation. Jeff has trouble with Geo-Force whenever he starts to act strange, rude and pompous. Geo-Force makes decisions for the team without consulting them and sends Black Lightning on a mission for Markovia as a secret agent. This eventually leads to Geo-Force and Black Lightning fighting and splitting the team apart. Black Lightning, Owlman, and Metamorpho leave and find Simon Stagg and Freight Train. Metamorpho gets stuck inside Chemo by Java, Simon Stagg's assistant. Chemo is defeated and they go into hiding.
Later Solo Series and the Early 2000's
Black Lightning has fought in the Suicide Slums for a long time and it looks like an uphill battle. He and his wife Lynn divorce and Jeff grows lonely. He eventually moves to Brick City after the divorce to work at a new school. He is attacked by Painkiller at one point, but defeats him. He is also framed for rape by his enemy Broadstrip. He teams up with Gangbuster and fights many new enemies like Warthog. He is eventually cleared and encouraged by his friend Batman to keep on fighting. He becomes Secretary of Education under President Lex Luthor and this blackens his name to some heroes. He is once again framed and put in Iron Heights prison. He is eventually broken out by a version of The Outsiders, which includes his daughter Thunder.
Justice League of America
Jeff is invited to the Justice League of America during its Satellite years and at first turns down the offer. He joins a new version of the League later. He fights alongside Geo-Force, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Red Arrow, Vixen, Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, Black Canary and Hal Jordan against Amazo and Solom Grundy. He stays with the team for a good time until he is traded to The Outsiders at the request of Batman.
- Height: 6'1"
- Weight: 200 lbs (91 kg)
- Eyes: Brown
- Hair: Bald/Black
- Alvin Pierce (father, deceased),
- Lynn Stewart (ex-wife)
- Anissa Pierce ( Thunder , daughter) Anissa Pierce is Thunder, one of Black Lightning's super powered daughters. Thunder has the ability to control her density. Thunder was a rookie heroine recruited to be in Nightwing's Outsiders.
- Jennifer Pierce (Lightning , daughter) Jennifer Pierce is the daughter of Black Lightning. She has absolute control of the electricity, however she can't interact with anything electrical.
- Joanna Pierce (niece, deceased)
Powers and Abilities
Pierce has the ability to generate unlimited amounts of electricity from his body. He projects the electricity in varying types of blasts and can create electrical force-fields. He can use electricity to propel himself through the air, giving him flight. He has learned how to use magnetism with his powers as well. He can absorb and transfer electricity to anywhere he needs to, he doesn't have to do this though. He can disrupt electronic items with a thought and can use his power in multiple forms at once. He has control of electricity at a subatomic level and has shown to master his abilities. He can use his powers in water as well. He has considerable fighting skills after being taught by Batman in hand-to-hand fighting. He has agility and stamina on an Olympic level and has human durability, but creates a force-field around himself to boost this to an unknown level. His blasts are various colors (Blue and Yellow), but recently Black Lightning unlocked a power boost in himself and he now uses black electricity.
Black Lightning can generate raw electricity which courses through his body, which he has learned to control, to sense sources of electric energy, electricity and administer as a wide range of attacks with several uses; he can charge devices with electricity, and alternatively drain the energy from them into himself.
Electric Current Control
Black Lightning can choose to keep the electric energy that he currently holds in his body by controlling the Current and Voltage for whenever he wants to use it.
Black Lightning can also absorb the energy of electrical equipment such as a power plant to increase his powers further.
Ability to project his electricity through his hands to stun his enemies. The amount of voltage and/or wattage that Pierce can generate and control is unknown but appears to be far greater than a lightning storm. Probably on the order of hundreds of trillions of watts of power. Pierce can further increase his electrical projections by simply ionizing the hydrogen atoms in the atmosphere so in effect creating ultra-high level static discharges and having the potential to create electrical storms that have hundreds of lightning strikes per minute (the average lightning strike contains a billion volts of electricity).
Black Lightning can fly by charging his lower body with energy. Pierce can theoretically fly at speed of light.
Black Lightning can also generate highly concentrated electric force fields that are powerful enough to deflect bullets and very high levels of impact such as oncoming vehicles, physical attacks from metahumans, grenades, explosives, artillery fire, missiles, fire, and most energy attacks.
Black Lightning can even assume an electric form which he can use to travel quickly and discreetly. He can also glide over power lines by using the electricity contained therein for propulsion, and has on occasion been shown to actually ride on lightning bolts.
Black Lightning is able to track the resonance of a broadcast frequency to a location of where its coming from, but if its too subtle then he won't have much success.
Black Lightning can even interact with electric form which he can use to gain more power.
Black Lightning is able manipulate all form of electricity.
Black Lightning is able assume an electric form which he can use to travel quickly and discreetly at the speed of light
Black Lightning can charge objects with electricity, heating them and/or making them conduct electricity. He can create balls of Lightning, project electrical shockwaves, and project electrical beams. May be able to generate enough power to destroy and/or vaporize matter. He can also enhance his physical combat by charging his limbs with electrcity.
Black Lightning as application of super-speed, and denotes an individual's physical reaction time in correlation to his body movement. This power is almost always involuntary, though some individuals, allowing him greater control over their reflexes.
Peak Human Conditioning
Olympic-level athlete. Excelling as a runner, sprinter, swimmer, track & fielder, and gymnast. Swimming and Acrobatics.
Peak Human: Black Lightning is able to lift double one's own body weight up to the 800lb level.
- Electric Power Belt: Black Lightning had to access his powers through a belt; he has since internalized these powers.
- Electrical Form: Electricity transportation through power lines or even lightning bolts.
Batman: the Brave and the Bold
For further details: Batman: the Brave and the Bold
In the episode "Enter the Outsiders," a teenage Black Lightning (voiced by Bumper Robinson) appears as a member of the Outsiders with Katana and Metamorpho. At first, he appears as an enemy, but soon changes sides to help a dying Wildcat. They later appear in the teaser for "Duel of the Double-Crossers!" to fight a simulation of Despero. In the teaser for "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!", he gains a costume similar to his original one and is now part of an Outsiders line-up consisting of the founding members (including Halo and Geo-Force). They help Batman defeat the Kobra cult and prevent them from unleashing the Kali-Yuga, but mistakenly forgot to take out the bridge to the cult's fortress to prevent reinforcements from arriving.
Justice League Unlimited
For further details: Justice League Unlimited
He appeared in an issue of the show's tie-in series.
For further details: Super Friends
On the "Challenge Of the Super Friends" version on the show, a character named Black Vulcan is based on Black Lightning. He serves on the Justice League along with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, Robin, Hawkman, Apache Chief, and Samurai. He had many powers including projecting electricity/lightning from his hands, flight, time travel, moving at the speed of light, and welding. He was used instead of Black Lightning due to a dispute between the producers of the show and Tony Isabella.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
For further details: Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
Black Lightning made a small appearance in the movie as one of the Justice League reserve members called in by Batman to battle Superwoman and her cohorts. He was voiced by Cedric Yarbrough.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
For further details: Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Black Lightning was one of the many heroes looking for Superman and Batman when they became wanted. He was voiced by LeVar Burton.
Thunder & Lightning
Black Lightning appears as the main characters in the series of shorts about his two daughters. The short are for Cartoon Network's DC Nation block.
Young Justice: Invasion
Black Lightning is seen as one of the new recruits who has joined the Justice League during the five years since the final episode of the original Young Justice.
Batman: the Brave and the Bold (video game)
For further details: Batman: the Brave and the Bold
He appears as one of the jump-in heroes. He attacks with a charging bolt that covers the entire screen.
For further details: DC Universe Online
Black Lightning is in DCU online.