How 'Black Lightning' Is Making TV History In More Ways Than One

How 'Black Lightning' Is Making TV History In More Ways Than One

"Extra" was at DC in DC for the world premiere of “Black Lightning” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

The CW TV show is making television history with Cress Williams as the first ever African American superhero to headline his own primetime network drama.

Williams, who stars as Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning, told us “I'm excited. Thankfully it came at a time when I could do it but at the same time I'm amazed that it hasn't happened.”

Apparently crime fighting runs in the Pierce family. Nafessa Williams plays his daughter Anissa, who follows in her father’s footsteps to become Thunder.

Nafessa gushed, “I'm just really, really excited to share it with the world and for you guys to meet my character, Thunder, she's badass and she's bold and she's fearless... I love her. She gives me strength.”

Thunder is also TV’s first ever African American lesbian superhero. Nafessa said, “That's amazing for young teenage lesbians, young lesbian women to see themselves when they see me on screen.”

The casts of The CW’s other hit shows were also at the DC event. We caught up with Russell Tovey to talk about joining “Arrow,” as openly gay superhero The Ray. He said, “Everybody has a voice and everybody has a right to see themselves represented in the world.”

“The Flash” star Candice Patton is the first black actress to ever play Barry Allen’s love interest Iris West. Patton explained, “A lot of young women come up to me and they say, 'I feel beautiful. You know, you're beautiful and I feel beautiful.' That's really important... it's really important in a climate where a lot of women of color are... are told that they're not.”

For more on “Black Lightning,” check out our Comic-Con interview below, and be sure to watch the show Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.