Published On: Sat, Jun 17th, 2017

Producer confirms Tobias Whale as villain during ‘Black Lightning’ season one

The CW superhero universe is expanding with another adaptation, Black Lightning, starring Cress Williams as the titular DC Comics hero.

Producer Salim Akil has confirmed to the IBTimes that Tobias Whale will be the overarching villain of season one.

“It’s a character driven show. I don’t know if there’s going to be a fight every week. There’s certainly not going to be a villain of the week. I don’t want to do that. We really want to explore the characters, even the villains”
Akil clarified: “I think one of the most interesting characters right now from a storytelling standpoint is Tobias. Because we’re not having him sort of twist his mustache. His hatred for himself and for others comes from a real place, so we want to know why he’s like that.”
Tobias Whale is an African American albino, who worked his way up from the rackets to head the Metropolis branch of the 100.

Akil also stated that, while there are currently no plans, he’d love to bring Static into the fold.

“I love the idea of Static Shock, and in success, hopefully, we’ll be able to pull other characters in in that way. So I’m holding out hope because I love that character.”

Mara Brock Akil is quoted as well, explaining the anti-racism themes: “Part of the reason they wanted to tackle Black Lightning’s story is because he’s a black father who defies the deadbeat stereotypes that are so often portrayed on screen. “That image of a father saving his daughters, protecting his family, protecting his school, protecting his community, it is happening, but it’s not the narrative [on most shows and movies],” Mara said.

Just like the other shows on the CW, fans can expect a “pro-gay” message and Black Lightning will maintain one character who is gay in the comic books.

Anissa (who will become the superhero Thunder) is a lesbian, just as she was in the comics, and it sounds like other characters who identify as something other than heterosexual will be included as well. The writers aren’t planning to tackle LGBTQ characters as a special issue, though. They’re just including the characters the way anyone would be included in life.

“You’ll definitely see that [LGBTQ] aspect of society,” Salim confirmed after an audience member asked about representation. “You know, I grew up, I had three uncles and … I loved Uncle Donald because he gave me dating advice and I was like 5,” Salim explained. “But the other thing that I found fascinating about my Uncle Donald is he dressed up like a woman. And so I grew up around all of these men who dressed like women, so when I hear that, I don’t hear a cause. I hear my family.”

Check out the full interview HERE

Cress Williams will be joined by Christine Adams, Kwajalyn Brown, China Anne McClain and Nafessa Williams.

Black Lightning will premiere midseason on The CW.

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About the Author

- Stephen is a contributor and writer on The Dispatch. Stephen is the founder and editor for the Steven Spielberg Fan Club website and contributes to pop culture stories on The Dispatch, especially upcoming movie news. Beginning in 2016, Stephen took the role of Managing Editor for the Tampa Dispatch.

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