Black Lightning is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by writer Tony Isabella with artist Trevor Von Eeden, first appearing in Black Lightning #1 (April 1977) during the Bronze Age of Comic Books. He is a member of a fictional subspecies of humans born with superhuman abilities known as metahumans in the DC Universe. Born Jefferson Pierce, he grew up in the disreputable Southside section of Metropolis known as Suicide Slum. Returning to his hometown after an extended leave due to tragedy, Pierce becomes the principal at Garfield High School. Having suppressed his abilities since adolescence, he adopts his new alias and persona to combat the criminals and corrupt leadership in the area while protecting his loved ones from harm. He is capable of electrical manipulation and generation. Black Lightning is DC Comics’ first African American superhero and the first to star in their own series for the DC imprint.
Tony Isabella, an experienced writer having done work for the Luke Cage character at Marvel Comics, was signed on to develop DC’s first starring black character. He pitched the idea for Black Lightning and it was developed though only 11 issues were published in the first series due to the 1978 DC Implosion. However, the character continued to make appearances in other titles over the years, including a Justice League of America storyline in which Pierce is offered but turns down a position with the group. He does later become one of the founding members of the Batman-helmed Outsiders superhero team.
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