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Black Lightning Shows It's Never Too Late Join the Fight for Justice

Jefferson Pierce is The CW's first grown-up superhero

Liam Mathews

Black Lightning, The CW's latest DC Comics adaptation, struck the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Sunday. Stars Cress Williams, Nafessa Williams, China Anne McClain, James Remar, Damon Gupton, Christine Adams and Marvin Jones III and executive producers Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil were on hand to preview the superhero drama, which premieres Jan. 16.

The series follows high school principal Jefferson Pierce (Williams) as he returns to superheroism nine years after he gave it up when his family and community are threatened by a criminal organization called The One Hundred.

Black Lightning is the first CW superhero series about a grown-up -- Pierce has an important job and two daughters, one of whom is in med school -- and his age plays an important thematic role in the show of how it's never too late try to make a positive change in the world.

"In the times we are in, I hope we are asking ourselves, 'What am I going to do to make change for the better?'" executive producer Mara Brock Akil said. "At some point, we can't just keep sitting on the sidelines and hoping that we get to enjoy the fruits of other people's labor or being led by other people's greed. I hope that this sparks the idea not only to jump into change but also the idea that it's not just for the young people to do. Our history tells us change in our country comes with children and teenagers to young 20s. And the older generation -- and I guess I'd be part of that older generation -- but I feel young enough to do something. We don't have to age out and be so attached to our responsibilities that we're not willing to sacrifice a little something to make change. We've benefitted greatly from other people's fights, and I think it's time for us to jump in. I hope this show resonates in that way."

Check out our complete TCA coverage here

So if you're a 5o-year-old homeowner with a six-figure salary and you see injustice in your community, Mara Brock Akil wants you to ask "what would Black Lightning do?"

Black Lightning premieres Tuesday, Jan. 16 at 9/8c on the CW.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)