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Black Lightning Season 1 Blu-ray Review


While uneven, “Black Lightning” is a refreshing change of pace for the CW DC TV series.

“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.”

Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, the 13 episode debut season of “Black Lightning” focuses on the titular black hero AKA Jefferson Pierce. Earlier in his life, Pierce donned the Black Lightning persona to clean up the streets, but he gave it up for his family. In modern times, violence, drugs, prostitution and murder on the rise due to the 100 Gang (led by Tobias and evil mastermind Lady Eve) which causes Pierce to return to being a hero to help save his community. While conflicted about being Black Lightning again, his mentor and friend Peter helps him get back into the swing of things. Unfortunately, things become very complicated as he not only faces off against Tobias and his minions as well as the shady Government organization the A.S.A. (led by Martin). On top of that, Jefferson also discovers that his oldest daughter Anissa has begun to develop powers…and she may not be the only one. Other key storylines in this season include Jefferson’s cop ally friend, Jefferson’s youngest daughter Jennifer (who is a bit of a troublemaker), Jennifer’s boyfriend Khalil, Lynn (Jefferson’s ex-wife), the villainous Lala, the community embracing Black Lightning, and corrupt cops.

“Black Lightning” comes out of the gate strong in that it firmly separates itself from the rest of the DC and comic book shows out now. First of all, there’s no origin story here. It jumps into a different time period of Black Lightning’s life as a family man and a man who is getting back into heroics. Secondly, this is a show about something. It tackles timely social issues and ideas about race, sexual identity, crime, and more. Even though it’s a fictional sci-fi series, it feels more grounded and socially relevant. Third, this is a show about a family. Most of the comic shows you see are about heroes and teams. This has a team element to it to a certain extent, but it’s all about the Pierce family. I’m not going into spoiler territory here, but Black Lightning is only a part of the show’s focus as Anissa and Jennifer are a big focus of the show as well. Anissa is, in my humble opinion, the best character in the series. She’s a lesbian activist/med student/teacher who develops powers. Not only is this a groundbreaking character, but her well developed arc is expertly played by the scene stealing Nafessa Williams.

As engaging as “Black Lightning” can be, the series is not without problems. The writing of the series will likely leave viewers frustrated at times as the story and character arcs go in circles. How long will characters keep major secrets from one another? How many times will Tobias’ plans be thwarted? How many times will Tobias get the upper hand on Black Lightning? How many times will Lynn and Jefferson’s relationship go back and forth? The answer to these questions is A LOT. The series can definitely stall out when it needs to move forward more. Additionally, there are far too many villainous threats and factions in a mere 13 episodes. It felt a bit unwieldy at times.


Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? This is far and away the best the show has looked.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? From the music to action, this is a dynamic audio track for a TV series release.

Extras: * Digital copy * 2 “Come Visit Georgia” PSA ads featuring cast and crew members * Nearly 33 minutes of deleted scenes * Footage from the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panel. * A 2 minute gag reel. * “A Family Of Strength”- A featurette that contains clips, interviews, character discussions, etc. * “Art Imitating Life: The Pilot Episode” – A featurette about the real life parallels and the opening scene.

June 21, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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