Blu-ray Review: BLACK LIGHTNING: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON

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.

BLACK LIGHTNING stars Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Damon Gupton and James Remar. Based on the DC character created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von EedenBlack Lightning is executive produced by Greg BerlantiSalim and Mara Brock Akil and Sarah Schechter.

Black Lightning follows Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community.

The first season serves as an introduction to the two major factions in this small urban setting. Jefferson Pierce had given up his secret identity as Black Lightning years earlier and moved on with his family life but he ends up getting drawn back into the dark world of crime fighting because a new threat has entered the picture – The One Hundred. Something to mention is that when he uses his ability, it’s like using an addictive drug because there are some dangerous side effects that he has had to deal with.

What happens is, crime and corruption is back in full force and it’s up to Jefferson to do something about it. The menacing gang is calling the shots and Black Lightning takes the battle straight to them. The thing is, there’s more than one enemy that he has to deal with plus they also have superpowers. There’s a strong supernatural element surging throughout this small town and some of these gangsters are also locked and loaded with special abilities. Surprisingly, the urban hero finds out that his electrifying powers also run in the family and his two daughters join the fight to take down the sinister threat that has entered their community. And this is only the beginning!

The packaging comes with a nice slipcase – the same kind all of the other home video release like this from WBHE come in. The front features the artwork you see up top and the back includes season one details, an image and list of special features. There’s also an insert inside that includes a list of the episodes with synopsis and original airdates. The two Blu-ray discs feature etched artwork that includes the titular hero and series logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Black Lightning: The Complete First Season was an exciting debut for this electrifying urban superhero who is also a family man as well as a high school principal. The writing is the series’ strong suit because it shows kind of a different side of things as far as all of these DC and WB superhero series go, but sometimes your strength can be your biggest weakness. There were a few agendas thrown in (just like the other series) that were ripped right out of the headlines and they weren’t really necessary. You have to be careful when doing this because it has the potential of hurting others and alienating some of your audience. Simply put, I’d keep things a little more family friendly and keep politics, religion and history completely out of it. With that said, I did like the grounded approach to this urban superhero and the family drama he has to deal with. Oh yeah, it’s definitely a family affair when it comes to Black Lightning and I thought the cast did a great job with their characters. This series also features some well choreographed action scenes and stunts along with some fantastic special effects that rival anything we see on the big screen. All in all, I’d say this was an impressive debut for this newest crime fighting superhero even though it did have a few flaws. Black Lightning: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray (plus Digital) on June 26th.

Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Run Time: 2 Discs / 13 Episodes / 554 Minutes

  1. The Resurrection
  2. LaWanda: The Book of Hope
  3. LaWanda: The Book of Burial
  4. Black Jesus
  5. And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light
  6. Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder
  7. Equinox: The Book of Fate
  8. The Book of Revelation
  9. The Book of Little Black Lies
  10. Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption
  11. Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion
  12. The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain
  13. Shadow of Death: The Book of War

Rated: Not Rated

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: The extras include SDCC panel footage from 2017, two featurettes, two public service announcements, a gag reel, deleted scenes and a digital copy of the first season.

  • Black Lightning Comic-Con panel (17:25)
  • A Family of Strength (07:09)
  • Art Imitating Life: The Pilot Episode (05:02)
  • Two Black Lightning Come Visit Georgia PSA’s (05:13) and (06:02)
  • Gag Reel (02:15)
  • Deleted Scenes (32:28)
  • Digital HD Copy

 

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