In anticipation of the premiere of the Black Lightning TV Show on the CW, I (Lost Boy Tricky Rick) decided to give all the Neverlanders a rundown of the character and his history.
Black Lightning was created by Tony Isabella and Trevor Von Eden, in Black Lightning #1 (April, 1977 DC Comics). Jefferson Pierce was a Gold medal winning Olympic decathlete, and high school teacher, later a high school principal. He grew up in the Suicide Slum neighborhood of Metropolis. He returned as a teacher years later, he had left following his father’s murder. He was born with his abilities and once lost his electrical powers after the death of a bystander. Batman assisted him in regaining those powers. He was a member of Batman’s team the Outsiders, which was created due to the Justice League only involving themselves in huge global crises. Since, he has been a member of the Justice League.
He has two superpowered daughters who are known as the superheroes Thunder and Lightning. Thunder was a member of the Outsiders and Lightning was a member of the Justice Society of America.
The Super Friends character Black Vulcan was created, because Hanna-Barbera was going to use Black Lightning. Due to legal issues with creator Tony Isabella they would have had to pay a fee. That resulted in their creation of Black Vulcan.
Static/Static Shock is not related to Black Lightning nor has he been his sidekick. In the comics this confusion is frustrating to Jefferson. Since the Milestone character was merged into the DC Universe, he was inspired by Black Lightning. In Young Justice, Static teamed up with a group of teen heroes that bore a resemblance to the other ethnic heroes from the Super Friends, Apache Chief, Samurai, and El Dorado. That might be another reason for confusion with Black Lightning, Black Vulcan, and Static/Static Shock.
Jefferson was President Lex Luthor’s Secretary of Education. He had to resign due to his causing the death of a villain. He was pardoned by the President that succeeded Luthor, Pete Ross. In the New 52 he was younger and without a wife or kids. He teamed up with Blue Devil.