Jennifer Pierce as the Lightning, as she appeared in The Other History of the DC Universe #5 (July 2021), art by Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils), Andrea Cucchi (inks), and Jose Vallarrubia (colors)
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceKingdom Come #1 (1996)
Created byMark Waid (writer)
Alex Ross (artist)
Geoff Johns (writer)
Dale Eaglesham (artist)
In-story information
Alter egoJennifer Pierce
Team affiliationsJustice Society of America
  • Electric generation and manipulation
  • Flight
  • Plasmakinesis
  • Photokinesis
  • Electric detection

Lightning is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Not pinpointed with direct reference, Lightning first appears in the miniseries Kingdom Come in 1996, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Alex Ross. The character is given official introduction in Justice Society of America vol. 3 #12 (March 2008), written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Dale Eaglesham in the Modern Age of Comic Books.

Born Jennifer Pierce, she was born a metahuman in the DC Universe. She is the second child of superhero Black Lightning and the younger sibling of Anissa Pierce, the heroine known as Thunder. Forbidden to use their abilities until completing their educations, Pierce was put in contact and later becomes a member of the superhero team the Justice Society of America. Her father orchestrates this so Jennifer would not endure the hardships her sister did while transitioning into crimefighting. She possesses abilities similar to her father's of electrical generation and manipulation as well as flight. Thus far in her narrative, Pierce has not gained full control of her abilities.

Along with comic books, Lightning has made appearances in various television shows and the character was portrayed by China Anne McClain in the live action Arrowverse series Black Lightning, and with Laura Kariuki taking over the role in the remaining episodes of the final season. McClain returned in the final episode of the show.

Publication history

Lightning first appears in the DC Comics miniseries Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, a tale of a dystopian possible future. She is among the lawless generation of superheroes who arise after the retirement of Superman. Though not identified within the story, supplemental material in the collected edition of the series refers to her as "Black Lightning's metahuman daughter." During the course of the story, Lightning joins forces with Batman's covert team of heroes as they attempt to reclaim the planet for normal humanity. It is unclear whether she survives the bomb blast that kills most of the superhumans at the story's conclusion.

A version of Lightning is later introduced into the mainstream DC Comics universe by Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham, debuting in Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #12 (March 2008).

Fictional character biography

Jennifer Pierce is the younger daughter of the superhero Black Lightning (Jefferson Pierce) and his ex-wife Lynn Stewart. She inherits a metagene from her father which causes her to manifest superpowers when she becomes a teenager. However, like her father in his youth, she lacks the ability to properly control her electrical powers. This results in the shorting out of any electronic device that she touches. This side effect has left her feeling alienated and freakish among her peers, who have access to cell phones, televisions, the internet, and other conveniences of the modern world.[1]

Jefferson initially forbids his daughters from following in his footsteps as a costumed hero until after they complete their education. After seeing the rough road that his eldest daughter Anissa follows when she disobeys this order as the heroine Thunder, Jefferson decides that Jennifer will need guidance. He contacts the Justice Society of America, who are in the middle of a recruitment drive.

Upon joining the Justice Society, Jennifer immediately forms a bond with fellow teen heroines Stargirl and Cyclone. She also attracts the romantic interests of Jakeem Thunder, another younger member of the team. Jennifer is at first unsure of a superhero codename, believing that her sister will "kill her" if she adopts the name Lightning as a counterpoint to Anissa's own. Nonetheless, this is the name she eventually settles on when she first goes into battle with the JSA.

Blackest Night/Brightest Day

During the events of Blackest Night, Jennifer is seen desperately trying to fight off the Black Lantern invasion of Manhattan alongside her teammates. Jennifer and Stargirl try to Lightning is shown on the cover of the upcoming JLA/JSA crossover, battling a crazed Alan Scott alongside her teammates and the Justice League of America.[2] Writer James Robinson mentioned that he specifically wants to use Jennifer, and that he considers her "a very underused, but great character".[3]

She later appears alongside fellow teen superheroines Stargirl, Supergirl, and Batgirl, as part of a team of heroines created by Wonder Woman to repel an alien invasion of Washington D.C.[4]

Lightning later plays a key role during the team's first encounter with the new villain Scythe, using her electrical abilities to help defeat him.[5] When the JSA chooses to stay and help rebuild the city of Monument Point (which had suffered massive amounts of damage during the battle with Scythe), Lightning is attacked and nearly killed by a villain named Doctor Chaos,[6] but she is eventually revived by Doctor Fate.[7] Chaos had been hired to evict all heroes from Monument Point.

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (May 2011)

When the members of the JSA arrive at the home of Anissa Pierce and her girlfriend Grace in an attempt to arrest the fugitive Black Lightning, Lightning sides with her teammates and engages in a brawl with her sister. It is revealed that there is apparently some friction between the two siblings, with Anissa stating that Jennifer was always considered the favorite while also expressing jealousy over Jennifer being allowed to pursue heroics at such a young age. Doctor Fate eventually breaks up the fight, and Black Lightning turns himself over to the authorities.[8]

Powers and abilities

Like her father, Lightning possesses the power of electricity manipulation. She is able to generate electrical energy and project it as concentrated bolts from her hands. Lightning is also able to fly by generating a localized electromagnetic repulsion field. When manifesting her powers, Jennifer's body is surrounded by a glowing electrical aura with lightning-like spikes on her head and back. This effect is involuntary, though she has demonstrated the ability to revert to a more human appearance. She is also able to absorb electromagnetic energy in the Earths atmosphere. She tends to be the strongest meta-human in the city she lives in known as Freeland.

Still a young inexperienced heroine, Lightning does not have full control of her powers and will short out any electronic device or appliance she touches.

In other media



Lightning makes cameo appearances in DC Super Hero Girls, voiced by Kimberly Brooks.


  1. ^ "The Unofficial Lightning Biography". Archived from the original on 2009-12-31.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. Retrieved 2010-04-18.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Newsarama | GamesRadar+".
  4. ^ Wonder Woman #600
  5. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #44
  6. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #46
  7. ^ Justice Society of America (vol. 3) #47
  8. ^ Outsiders (vol. 4) #36
  9. ^ "'Black Lightning': Nafessa Williams & China Anne McClain to Star as Jefferson's Daughters in the CW Pilot". 2 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Young Whitsett actress in today's premiere episode of 'Black Lightning'".