Though Black Lightning
focuses primarily on Jefferson Pierce (AKA Black Lightning) and his fight to make Freeland a better place for all, his daughter Anissa is shaping up to be the standout character of the show. Anissa's just beginning her superhero journey (and we're seeing her mistakes, too, like her disaster of a first superhero outfit), but it's her character without powers that's transforming her into a superhero different from the rest of them.
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Anissa is the superhero for the millennial generation. From her history to her stance on social issues, she's becoming a very politically-minded individual. Pair that with her occasional lines that sum up everyone's feelings about being alone in dark, gross places (see the gifs below), and there's not much about Anissa that young viewers can't relate to.
She's the First Black and Lesbian Superhero
While a character's sexuality should never define them (and we see all too often that it normally becomes the center of their character), Anissa's journey thus far is breaking away from the typical way TV explores sexuality and LGBT characters. Instead of her sexuality being a big deal or an issue, it's just a part of her journey. Small comments are made about her attraction to women, but they aren't jokes or cruel comments, it's just to show how her family supports her unconditionally, which is rare to see on any TV show.
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Not only is Anissa a lesbian, but she's also a black woman, and the writers aren't shying away from showing the issues black people face. Anissa is focused on racial injustice (as we saw in the pilot and with her joining the protest) and standing up to the police and those who treat people of color unjustly, but she's doing so as an everyday millennial, not a superhero.
She's Got Potential
Currently on Black Lightning
, Anissa is looking into the origin of her powers, which no doubt will lead to her father, but right now, she's focused on her grandfather and the last story he was pursuing as a journalist before he was murdered (because of the story.) While this path is going to be dangerous, especially since Jefferson became Black Lightning to get justice for his father's murder and stopped because he almost died, it's interesting to see where Anissa is taking it.
It's clear her spirit is exceptionally strong because she's continuing to go down this dark path with no help to get justice for her grandfather and figure out what happened. And, as the box of her grandfather's belongings was left at the office those many years ago, it's also clear Jefferson never thought to use his father's evidence to continue searching for the story and the answers to what happened. Anissa is already using her knowledge and thirst for justice to take different, smarter steps than her father, which gives her potential to become a greater hero than Jefferson ever was.
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She Puts Family First
The Pierce family dynamic is arguably one of the best familial relationships on television, but especially between Anissa and her sister, Jennifer. As the show goes on, there's potential for this relationship to get a lot stronger, and they're lucky to have each other to lean on whenever they finally find out their father is the infamous vigilante running around Freeland. But, more importantly, Jennifer's powers are going to come in at some point, and Anissa is going to be the most important person to help her learn to use and understand them because Anissa is learning how to use her powers by herself.
What do you like best about Anissa on Black Lightning
? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. Like our Black Lightning
(Images courtesy of The CW)