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    Jefferson Pierce (UE-20)

    For other uses of Black Lightning, see Black Lightning (Disambiguation).

    My father had a saying, one that I even teach my students today. "Where's the future? Right here. Whose life is this? Mine. What are you gonna do with it? Live it by any means necessary."
    — Jefferson Pierce[src]

    Jefferson Pierce is the principal of Garfield High School and a semi-retired vigilante based in Freeland known as Black Lightning. Pierce is also the son of Alvin Pierce, the husband of Lynn Stewart, and the father of Anissa and Jennifer Pierce.

    Biography[edit | hide | hide all]

    Don't be a hero to the people. Be a hero for the people.
    — Jefferson Pierce (quoted by John Diggle)[src]

    Early Life[edit | hide]

    Jefferson Pierce was born to Alvin Pierce and was raised in Freeland; Georgia.

    Death of Alvin Pierce[edit | hide]

    Young Pierce

    In 1991, Pierce's father, Alvin, attempted to expose Tobias Whale for his crimes. He was then cornered in his house and beaten to death. A young Pierce was present during the crime, hiding under the bed and witnessed the entire process. He then grew up with hate and revengeful feelings towards Whale.[6]

    After an accidental murder of a 100 gang member, Gambi and Pierce buried the body. Since then, Pierce was afraid that he would become someone like Tobias Whale and Gambi promised to take care of him, teaching him how to use his powers meanwhile being his foster father.[7]

    Thunder and Lightning[edit | hide]

    Pierce eventually discovered his superhuman abilities, realizing that he was a metahuman. He then began operating as Black Lightning, with Gambi assisting him in his vigilantism. Later, Pierce fell in love and had two children with Lynn Stewart, whom they named Anissa and Jennifer, who he chose to take care of and decided to retire from vigilantism.[8]

    Return of Black Lightning[edit | hide]

    A family of heroes

    In 2018, Pierce returned to his life of vigilantism and donned the name "Black Lightning". His daughters were also told of his actions and his past, joining him and began operating as Thunder and Lightning respectively. Together, the Pierce family formed a team that defended Freeland from powerful threats, such as Tobias Whale's The 100 gang and the American Security Agency.[8]

    Crisis on Infinite Earths[edit | hide]

    Note: This section is a stub. Click the edit button to the right of the section title to expand it.

    In 2020, Pierce met Martian Manhunter, who restored his Pre-Crisis counterpart's memory into his body. Later, Pierce went to S.T.A.R. Labs to assist the heroes against the forces of a resurrected Anti-Monitor. After a Shadow Demon tried to attack Mick Rory and Frost when they were arguing who to defeat it, Pierce arrived and vaporized it. Frost complemented his suit and teamed up with him to fight more Shadow Demons. As the three of them worked together to vanquish a Shadow Demon, Rory asked where Pierce was from, nicknaming him "Sparkles". Pierce claimed he was from Freeland, and expressed his dislike towards the name "Sparkles".[1]

    Black Lightning and the Justice League

    After the fight, Pierce and some other heroes went to the Hall of Justice for a memorial of Oliver Queen. After the ceremony, Pierce asked Barry Allen why they used a condemned building for the ceremony. Allen answered that it was not and told them this could be a base of operation for their team. Pierce later questioned why they need it and how often does the world come to an end. Out of his expectations, the others hesitated to tell him the truth, and he realized it is a frequent event. Kate Kane later told him that she was the "new kid" last year, assuring him. Allen then showed them a table and chairs with their emblems on the back including Black Lightning's.[1]

    Returning to Freeland[edit | hide]

    After the Crisis, Pierce returned to Freeland and asked Gambi if he remembered the Original Multiverse. However, Gambi did not as his memories were not restored by Martian Manhunter. Luckily, Jennifer did as she was preserved in a safe place when the Crisis occurred.[8]

    War for Freeland[edit | hide]

    Markovia[edit | hide]

    Black Lightning leads the Freeland Resistance

    When Lynn Stewart got abducted by Markovians, Pierce was forced to bring his team to work with the ASA in order to rescue her. During the mission, Pierce met Gravedigger, who was an American until he was forcibly turned into a metahuman and became a Markovian military operative. During the fight, Pierce found Tobias Whale and nearly lost control on stopping his escape. However, he was stopped by his teammates. Later, he went back on the helicopter and returned home, though remained angered at Whale.[9] While Stewart was rescued, the mission laid seeds for future Markovian-American conflict, with the Markovian military led by Gravedigger plotting their attack on Freeland.[10]

    During the war, Jennifer impulsively decided to ambush Gravedigger, resulting in her being overpowered. Pierce attempted to rescue her daughter, though was outmatched by Gravedigger and decided to retreat. Jennifer was abducted during the duel and Pierce returned to the Sanctum. Working alongside the Freeland Resistance, Pierce split the team to different parts of the city to evacuate the metahumans, preventing them from dying in the hands of the Markovian military and the ASA's impending nuclear missile.[10]

    Soon, the team rushed to the Pit in order to prevent Gravedigger from getting the Metahumans powers. After they arrived, the ones staying at the Pit were unconscious as Gravedigger had arrived and made them sleep. Surprising Pierce, several Markovians soldiers ambushed him and were stopped by Bill Henderson, who later got shot to death. After they mourned, Pierce split the team once again, and he went to find Stewart. During the fight, Gravedigger was able to make Grace Choi fight Thunder, and he escaped. Luckily, Lightning and Brandon Marshall figured out that volcanic-lightning can penetrate Gravedigger's magnetic field. However, they were overpowered, and Pierce arrived to their rescue. After Gravedigger was shot with the Anti-Booster Serum made by Stewart, he was unable to access his powers and was knocked out by Pierce. The Pit was then destroyed under a self-destruct command and Pierce brought the team away. Chasing down Odell, Pierce found Khalil Payne ready to murder him. Pierce convinced Payne not to kill Odell, and he chose to shot him in a non-lethal position instead.[10]

    After the war, the team was invited to Gotham City for a trial against ASA. After the trial, the ASA was disbanded and Odell was arrested. However, Gravedigger survived the nuclear blast and was present at the trial. Pierce then led the team out of the courtroom and returned to Freeland.[10]

    One Year Later[edit | hide]

    Grief[edit | hide]

    Pierce at the cemetery

    One year after the Henderson's death, Pierce went to visit his grave and later witnessed a teenager being arrested. He then stepped up and defended the man, only to be apprehended as well. He was frustrated and angered by the violent actions of the officers, causing him to attack the officers using his powers. He quickly regretted his actions and wiped the officers' memories as well as security camera footage. Later, he attended couples counselling with Lynn Stewart, where they discussed how things have changed since the war.[2]

    Later that night, the Pierce family watched the news report of the return of Tobias Whale, who claimed to be a philanthropist and executed the Freeland Reconstruction Program in order to restore the city back to what it used to be prior to the war. As Whale is aware of the Pierces' secret identities as vigilantes, they felt threatened and proposed to kill him before he strikes. However, Pierce held them back and told them Whale was his, and untouchable to all of them.[2]

    Pierce soon received a phone call and realized that Henderson had a protégé, Hassan Shakur, who was told that Pierce could trust through Henderson's letter. Hassan visited Pierce alongside police chief Ana Lopez and confronted him on why a car's license plate caught in the crime scene security camera matched Pierce's. He then unconvincingly lied about his whereabouts at the time and the police left his office.[2]

    After Anissa and Jennifer's attack on The 100, the latter was injured and brought back to the Sanctum. Pierce and Gambi then investigated the shooter, and Pierce went to the shooter's apartment without his suit, later severely injuring him by shooting lightning bolts into his eyes and blinding him.[2]

    Pierce using her powers

    A few days later, Pierce woke up in the middle of the night and released his anger and frustration as lightning bolts. As his nervous system could not withstand such high energy, he fainted on the ground and woke up the next morning. This action concerned Lynn.[3]

    After Marcel Payton of Garfield lost his son in a gang war, Pierce talked to him and prevented him from quitting. As he left work, he was confronted by Tobias Whale, who is now immune to his electric shock blasts. Whale then promised Pierce that he would take revenge for his sister after he reinvents his status in Freeland.[3]

    Freeland will be lost without Black Lightning.
    Freeland is lost!
    — Peter Gambi and Jefferson Pierce[src]

    As Pierce attempted to ask for the person who targeted Jennifer, Gambi refused as he was busy infiltrating Monovista International. Pierce turned to TC for assistance and attacked Lydell Jackson, showing no mercy.[3]

    Reckless Actions[edit | hide]

    I can't be the man that I was. He thought he could change the world. I can't live with the decisions that I made.
    — Pierce to Dr. Bowlan[src]

    At the Pierce Residence, Pierce got into an argument with Stewart about her replications of Metahuman powers.[11]

    When Pierce went back to work, he saw Payton with bruises on his body. He lied to Pierce and raised his suspicion. He then followed Payton to a fight club and witnessed his fight against Behemoth. Pierce demanded Lala Johnson to stop the fight and Pierce chose to replace Payton in the arena to prevent his death. Pierce was able to defeat Behemoth without using his powers and brought Payton to his childhood home, offering a place for him to reunite with his family.[11]

    Later that night, Pierce returned home and found a bouquet of flowers alongside an invitation for dinner. He arrived at the restaurant, only to find Stewart having dinner with his nemesis, Tobias Whale.[11]

    Pierce confronts Whale
    This isn't over.
    — Pierce to Tobias Whale[src]

    Three days after the dinner, both Stewart and Pierce have not yet revealed their respective secrets to each other. Pierce had dreams of Whale attacking the house and killing him. Johnson then confronted Pierce on his regular appearances as a fighter and agreed to a final fight. During the final fight, Pierce's fight was shown online and TC was able to watch it. However, the censorship of face was removed when Jennifer asked TC to do so, this revealed Pierce's secret to the family.[12]

    As Pierce discussed his secrets with Stewart, they talked about how they both hid their secrets from each other. He then went to Two-Bits' bar and listened to Shakur's monologue on how Black Lightning saved his life. Later, Pierce apologized to Stewart and decided to work together against Whale.[12]

    Picking Up the Pieces[edit | hide]

    I guess we all could use a little bit of hope right about now.
    — Jefferson Pierce to Peter Gambi[src]

    After Jennifer's explosion in the Ionosphere, Pierce rushed to the Sanctum and informed the team that he could still feel her. Gambi then told him that S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City had a Hadron Particle Condenser and Pierce called a friend who could deliver the item quickly. He then donned the suit for the first time in over a year and flew to the Ionosphere to absorb Jennifer's energy. As he completed the process, he fell back to the surface of the planet and was able to regain consciousness in midair, surviving the process and transferred the energy in the condenser. The team then waited for the machine to convert the energy back into DNA.[13]

    As they wait, Pierce and Stewart argued on Jennifer's addiction to the Ionosphere, and he stormed off. Later, he attacked The 100 fight club as Black Lightning in search for Johnson, who allegedly murdered the mayor. However, Johnson denied all claims and told him that he was after Tobias Whale, meaning he had no motives to kill the mayor. Pierce believed him and let him escape from the police.[13]

    Returned to the Sanctum for results, TC and Gambi opened the condenser and found Jennifer in the machine. However, she had a different appearance and confused Pierce, who demanded answers.[13]

    Reconcile with his Daughter[edit | hide]

    Despite Jennifer's survival, Pierce was unable to believe that she was his daughter and refused to hug her. Pierce then questioned Gambi if Jennifer was an alien, referencing his past experiences with Superman during the Crisis. However, Gambi then told him that he was disappointed in his skepticism.[14]

    Later, Pierce was contacted by Shakur and discovered that the bullet that killed Mayor Black was magnetized. Hassan then warned Pierce on Chief Lopez's intention to invade suspicious homes and search for Johnson.[14]

    Afterward, Pierce and Stewart argued once more regarding Val Seong's powers, Whale's attorney. Pierce demanded Stewart to take the Meta Booster and discover the powers, ignoring her effort to fight her addictions.[14]

    During one of Lopez's invasions, Pierce intercepted the event and fought several police officers. He was then approached by Jennifer, now wearing a temporary suit and fought alongside her father. They then constructed an electrical shield and blocked the bullets, rescuing the residents of the building from the raid. They then returned home and discussed their next step on accepting Jennifer's new appearance.[14]

    Framed[edit | hide]

    The name Jefferson Pierce is trash in Freeland right now. People say you betrayed the entire city.
    — Hassan Shakur to Pierce[src]

    As Anissa and Grace returned from their honeymoon, they were interrupted by a series of door knocking. Pierce opened the front door and realized he was under arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who claimed that he was charged of embezzlement.[15]

    On the next morning, Pierce practiced Jennifer's "backstory" as J.J. Stewart before she left for school. However, she attempted to skip school as Pierce, was charged with embezzlement. TC then arrived and escorted her to school.[15]

    Later, Pierce received a letter that his father's house is wanted by Whale, who claimed to build a hospital in that area. Whale also offered another house for Marcel Payton in order to force him to move out. Pierce refused the offer and emphasized that the house would be inherited by his children. Hours later, Pierce and Gambi observed a Monovista International security camera live feed and found out the killer of the mayor is in fact, Red, Whale's employee.[15]

    Facing Ishmael[edit | hide]

    After Jennifer's constant use of Instagram as Lightning causing the Freeland Police to consider her a target, Pierce lectured her about the possible consequences of such actions. Jennifer then agreed to temporarily suspend her account until Pierce tells her otherwise.[16]

    Afterward, Pierce met with Shakur and asked the latter about Ishmael, a Meta hunter. Shakur prompted Pierce to take a shot at the basketball court, and he refused, eventually agreeing to do so and successfully made a shot.[16]

    Now kidnapped a Kobra Cartel member, Pierce sent a message to Ishmael and challenged him. They then fought in a warehouse and Pierce was able to use his powers to overwhelm Ishmael. However, he suddenly lost his powers as Whale turned on the Energy Field Emitter alongside a nullifier.[16]

    The Whale Strikes[edit | hide]

    Pierce discusses with his team

    With his powers gone, Pierce struggled to fight Ishmael until Gambi activated his suit's stealth mode. Luckily, the Meta Task Force was held back by Shakur and left the location, allowing an invisible Pierce to fight Ishmael and eventually escape. He returned to the Sanctum in his suit, which he could not get out of. Gambi then used a device that mimicked Pierce and Jennifer's electric current and disabled the suits.[17]

    Pierce and Lynn

    Pierce was then contacted by Shakur and went to talk to Stewart, who was arrested for experimenting on children. Keith Michaels, Lynn's ex-boyfriend and her attorney, then arrived and assured Pierce that he would get her out. Anissa then told Pierce that she was the one who called Michaels and paid him, which enraged Pierce and prompted him to pick Stewart up directly.[17]

    Rebirth of Black Lightning[edit | hide]

    Closure[edit | hide]

    Armageddon[edit | hide]

    Injustice[edit | hide]

    Powers and Abilities[edit | hide]

    Powers[edit | hide]

    Pierce's electrical constructs
    • Accelerated Healing Factor: Pierce was shown to have an exceptionally quick healing process and easily recovered from being severely injured by Tobias Whale.[7]
    • Electricity Absorption: Pierce has the ability to absorb electricity from external devices and machines, powering himself up enough to create electrical constructs and blasts.[10]
      • Electrokinesis: Pierce is capable of creating and manipulating electricity with ease.[1]
        • Electrical Constructs: Pierce is able to create electrical constructs that appear in different forms and shapes, including creating a shield to defend himself.[14]
          • Electricity Blasts: Pierce has the ability to generate electricity blasts from his hands. The blasts are capable of sending individuals flying backwards and severely injuring them.[1]
        • Electric Vision: With his connection to electricity, Pierce can see electricity flows behind walls and other solid materials, allowing him to trace the movement of energy.[7]
        • Memory Wipe: Pierce is able to wipe memories from individuals by manipulating the bioelectricity in individuals' brains.[2]
    • Superhuman Speed: Pierce was shown to possess exceptional speed and was able to utilize his momentum against Gravedigger.[10]
    • Superhuman Strength: Powering himself with electricity, Pierce can increase the speed and strength of his punches, severely injuring his opponents.[1]
    • Vocal Manipulation: Pierce has the ability to alter his vocal cords and deepen his voice to conceal his identity.[1]

    Abilities[edit | hide]

    • Peak of Human Physical Condition: As a former athlete, Pierce is in exceptional shape and condition for his age, allowing him to overpower his opponents with ease.[1]
      • Hand-to-Hand Combat: Pierce was trained to be a skilled combatant in multiple forms of martial arts.[1]

    Equipment[edit | hide]

    Current Equipment[edit | hide]

    • Black Lighting Suit: Pierce wears a protective suit as Black Lightning that conceals his identity as well as powering his abilities to construct electricity.[1]
      • Watch: In his upgraded suit, Pierce can activate the nanotechnology through a mild electrical shock to his watch. It was later upgraded by Barry Allen to be capable of absorbing Speed Force energy without overloading.[18]

    Appearances[edit | hide]

    The Resurrection Appears
    Lawanda: The Book of Hope Appears
    Lawanda: The Book of Burial Appears
    Black Jesus Appears
    And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light Appears
    Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder Appears
    Equinox: The Book of Fate Appears
    The Book of Revelations Appears
    The Book of Little Black Lies Appears
    Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption Appears
    Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion Appears
    The Resurrection and the Light: The Book of Pain Appears
    Shadow of Death: The Book of War Appears
    The Book of Consequences: Chapter One: Rise of the Green Light Babies Appears
    The Book of Consequences: Chapter Two: Black Jesus Blues Appears
    The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry Appears
    The Book of Consequences: Chapter Four: Translucent Freak Appears
    The Book of Blood: Chapter One: Requiem Appears
    The Book of Blood: Chapter Two: The Perdi Appears
    The Book of Blood: Chapter Three: The Sange Appears
    The Book of Rebellion: Chapter One: Exodus Appears
    The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Two: Gift of the Magi Appears
    The Book of Rebellion: Chapter Three: Angelitos Negros Appears
    The Book of Secrets: Chapter One: Prodigal Son Appears
    The Book of Secrets: Chapter Two: Just and Unjust Appears
    The Book of Secrets: Chapter Three: Pillar of Fire Appears
    The Book of Secrets: Chapter Four: Original Sin Appears
    The Book of the Apocalypse: Chapter One: The Alpha Appears
    The Book of the Apocalypse: Chapter Two: The Omega Appears
    The Book of Occupation: Chapter One: Birth of the Blackbird Appears
    The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two: Maryam's Tasbih Appears
    The Book of Occupation: Chapter Three: Agent Odell's Pipe-Dream Appears
    The Book of Occupation: Chapter Four: Lynn's Ouroboros Appears
    The Book of Occupation: Chapter Five: Requiem for Tavon Appears
    The Book of Resistance: Chapter One: Knocking on Heaven's Door Appears
    The Book of Resistance: Chapter Two: Henderson's Opus Appears
    The Book of Resistance: Chapter Three: The Battle of Franklin Terrace Appears
    The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis Appears
    Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Three Appears
    Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Five Appears
    The Book of Markovia: Chapter One: Blessings and Curses Reborn Appears
    The Book of Markovia: Chapter Two: Lynn's Addiction Appears
    The Book of Markovia: Chapter Three: Motherless ID Appears
    Marathon Mentioned
    The Book of Markovia: Chapter Four: Grab the Strap Appears
    The Book of War: Chapter One: Homecoming Appears
    The Book of War: Chapter Two: Freedom Ain't Free Appears
    The Book of War: Chapter Three: Liberation Appears
    The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter One: Collateral Damage Appears
    The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Two: Unacceptable Losses Appears
    The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Three: Despite All My Rage... Appears
    The Book of Reconstruction: Chapter Four: A Light in the Darkness Appears
    The Book of Ruin: Chapter One: Picking Up the Pieces Appears
    The Book of Ruin: Chapter Two: Theseus's Ship Appears
    Painkiller Indirectly Mentioned
    The Book of Ruin: Chapter Three: Things Fall Apart Appears
    The Book of Ruin: Chapter Four: Lyding Appears
    The Book of Reunification: Chapter One: Revelations Appears
    The Book of Reunification: Chapter Two: Trial and Errors Appears
    The Book of Resurrection: Chapter One: Crossroads Appears
    The Book of Resurrection: Chapter Two: Closure Appears
    Blind Spots Mentioned
    Armageddon, Part 2 Appears
    Armageddon, Part 3 Appears
    Armageddon, Part 4 Flashback
    Armageddon, Part 5 Mentioned
    Road Trip Vision

    Gallery[edit | hide]

    Promotional Images[edit | hide]

    References[edit | hide]

    Other versions of Jefferson Pierce
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