- "Do you remember what you said when we discovered my powers? You said it was a gift. A blessing from God. It's still a gift. It's still a blessing from God. And I intend to use it. Not just for the girls, but for all the other people out there who need me."
- —Jefferson to Lynn[src]
Jefferson "Jeff" Pierce (born 1970s) is the principal of Garfield High School, well-respected and influential in the community of Freeland, leading to him being nicknamed "Black Jesus". He possesses electricity-based powers, which he uses in secret as the vigilante Black Lightning.
Early life and tenure as Black LightningEdit
Pierce eventually returned to his hometown, Freeland, living with his wife, Lynn Stewart, and their two daughters, Anissa and Jennifer. Jefferson has the ability to harness and control electricity. He initially kept his powers a secret, with only two people knowing the truth – his wife, Lynn, and his friend, Gambi. However, with the rise of the criminal gang The 100, Jefferson decided to use his powers and became the vigilante superhero called Black Lightning, aided by Gambi who created his suit.
Several years of fighting The 100 took its toll on Jefferson and his family, and Lynn implored him to give it up. Jefferson decided to retire as Black Lightning to focus on his family, although Lynn ultimately divorced him. Jefferson refocused his efforts on educating the next generation as principal of Garfield High School in 2010, telling himself that he saved more lives that way than he ever did as Black Lightning.
Return of Black LightningEdit
In 2018, after Anissa participated in a violent protest, Jefferson went to the Freeland Police Department with Jennifer to pick her up. They made their way to a fundraiser at Garfield High School, but were stopped on their way by police, initially believing Jefferson to be a criminal from a nearby robbery. Eventually making it to the school, Jefferson was introduced by Senator Turner, before giving his own speech to motivate the students and faculty. While at the fundraiser, he talked to Henderson and Lynn, flirting with the latter. Jefferson soon headed home, finding Jennifer nowhere. He called Anissa, who explained that she'd gone to Club 100 with Kiesha. He headed there, seeing her being forced into a private room. He attempted to enter the room, but was stopped by a guard, who he was forced to electrocute. He then entered into a firefight with gang members, taking them all out. As he escaped, he was stopped by police, who he was forced to electrocute to unconsciousness to get away. Injured in the fight, he went to Gambi's Custom Tailoring, Gambi patching him up. He suggested that Jeff continue the fight as a vigilante, but Jefferson disagreed. Returning home, Lynn accused Jeff of taking up the Black Lightning mantle again, but he denied it. The following morning, Jefferson went for a run, being joined by Jennifer and Anissa. Arriving at work, Pierce was met by Miss Fowdy, who told him of the board's plan to implement metal detectors in the school. Hating the idea, he asked Fowdy to pass this on to the board. After watching some found footage of himself as Black Lightning, sent by Gambi, Jefferson was pulled outside to an altercation. He prevented Will from pulling a gun out and shooting anyone, telling him to leave. After the event, Pierce reprimanded Anissa. He then headed to Lala, asking that he keep Will away from his daughters. Despite this, however, Will still returned, kidnapping them. Jefferson talked to Henderson, before heading to Gambi for a new suit, deciding to reclaim the Black Lightning title. Donning his new suit, Black Lightning made his way to the Seahorse Motel. He beat up some thugs, before electrocuting Will and dropping him on his car. Jeff then headed home to see Anissa and Jennifer and comfort Lynn.
Sometime following, Jefferson woke up with lightning coursing through his veins, causing him immense pain. He was found on the floor by Lynn, who comforted him, reminiscing of their earlier years. The following morning, Jefferson talked to a group of parents at Garfield High, reassuring them that their kids would be safe from The 100. He was interrupted, however, by Lawanda White, who talked about her daughter, Shaquandalyn, who'd been kidnapped by the gang. She asked Pierce if he could go in and rescue Shaquandalyn, but he refused. After that, he walked with Henderson, scolding him for letting the Seahorse Motel reopen, as well as for letting Will escape. Later that day, after Lala sent Malik to scare Jennifer, Jeff approached Lala, threatening him. Jefferson was beat to the ground, but decided not to use his powers. Jefferson headed to Gambi's Custom Tailoring, where Gambi encouraged him to take vigilantism back up, but Jeff emphasized that he only wished to take down Lala for good. That night Henderson stopped by Jefferson's house, checking in with him and letting him know that Lawanda had posted herself outside of the Seahorse Motel. The following day, Jefferson headed to the motel, imploring that Lawanda stop before she was hurt. He offered her 48 hours to help. That night, Jefferson walked in on Lynn and they discussed their girls, before sharing an intimate moment. Later that night, however, Jefferson was called by Henderson to tell him that Lawanda was dead. Angry that acting as a civilian had done nothing, he definitively decided to become a vigilante again. The morning after, Gambi called, having found Will's body. The following morning, having looked through Will's phone, Gambi gave Pierce Lala's address. That night, Black Lightning stormed the building, climbing the stairs and knocking out all of Lala's security. Finding Lala, he began beating him, only to be stopped by a squad of police, led by Inspector Henderson. Black Lightning ran for the ledge, jumping over it. Jefferson returned home, letting Lynn know it was over. She questioned whether he was going to remain a vigilante, to which he replied he would, causing her to leave. He later reminisced over old photos of Lynn.
Jefferson attended Lawanda's funeral at Freeland United Methodist Church, listening to Reverend Jeremiah Holt's request for people to march against The 100's tyranny. Following the service, Jeff and Henderson followed Holt around, trying to dissuade him from doing anything, but he refused. He left, going to Gambi's to try out modifications to his Black Lightning gauntlets. Initially he had no luck, but he persisted. The following day, Jefferson talked with Henderson in the halls of Garfield High. The inspector informed him that only a single police car could work the march, which angered Pierce. Because of this, Jefferson conferred with Gambi, who he asked to put up roadblocks to divert the crowds to minimize chaos. He returned home to have dinner with Lynn and Jennifer, the latter of whom told her parents that she wished to have sex with her boyfriend that weekend, which left both parents at a loss for words. Lynn met Jeff in his office the following day, offering to talk to Jennifer, while Jeff would talk to Khalil. Stopping him in the hall, Jefferson asked Khalil how he showered, requesting every detail, using it as an allegory for having sex with his daughter, leaving Khalil dumbfounded. That night, Jefferson and Gambi conferred, discussing their course of action during the march. Jeff suited up and headed out, watching the crowd from a rooftop. He noticed one of Tobias Whale's gunmen approaching, jumping down and using his powers to deflect bullets. He was able to knock the man out, only for the crowd to begin singing "Amazing Grace". During this time, Tobias rounded the corner, having his henchwoman shoot at him, instead hitting Reverend Holt and Khalil. Ensuring Holt was okay, Black Lightning escaped. Jefferson then made his way to St. Lewis Hospital, where he sat with Lynn while their daughters sat together. Later that night, Jennifer joined her family after having talked to a doctor, explaining that Khalil would likely never walk again.
Jefferson arrived at school one morning, being alerted to a commotion in the toilets. He came across a high, temporarily superpowered Bernard Lewis. He was forced to use his powers to electrocute Bernard, barely knocking him unconscious, finding the drugs. Jeff conferred with Gambi, who recognized it as Green Light. Jefferson went to check on the family, before hitting the streets as Black Lightning, getting the location of its supplier, Two-Bits, from a low-level thug, Block. The following morning, Jefferson had a meeting with Bernard and his father, along with Vice Principal Fowdy, ensuring them that he would protect Bernard from expulsion. Bernard gave up his dealer's name, Ronald Wright, only for Gambi to inform him that Wright had overdosed on his own drugs. That afternoon, Jeff sat with Lynn as Jennifer came home, suggesting that she stop seeing Khalil, as she already had enough on her plate. Later on, they hosted Henderson and his wife for dinner. After Anissa went to leave, Jefferson check that she was okay, to which she replied affirmatively. Later, Jefferson visited Two-Bits at Tanner's Taphouse, asking that he stop dealing Green Light. Refusing to do so, Jeff returned as Black Lightning, striking fear into him, before knocking him out. The following morning, Jefferson was given an ultimatum by the school board: retain his final say on misdemeaning students and allow Bernard to be expelled, or be given a equal vote amongst the board along with Bernard's staying; ultimately, he chose the latter. That night, Black Lightning tracked down a warehouse with supplies of Green Light. Initially intending to investigate it, he heard what he thought to be explosions. He went to investigate, but found nothing but overturned cars and a cracked pavement. The following morning, Jefferson headed to the hospital to comfort Khalil's mother. They were then given news on Khalil's permanent paralysis, which he delivered directly to Khalil. In his office later, Jeff called Lynn to discuss the situation, but she ended their call short. He then received a call from Mr. Lewis, who told him that he'd followed Bernard to a dope house, where Bernard had hoped to get another fix, only for his father to be beaten up. Black Lightning headed there, beating up all of the thugs and rescuing Bernard. In the morning, Jefferson ensured Mr. Lewis that his son would get the right treatment and be set on the right path. After he left, Jeff received a call from Lynn, apologizing for hanging up and admitting her love for him.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Electrokinesis: Jefferson can generate electricity from his body which he can manipulate and control. He is also able to manipulate the electricity around him.
- Electric absorption: Jefferson can charge himself with electricity from nearby electrical sources, essentially draining them.
- Electric immunity: Jefferson is completely immune against any electric weapons and attacks, as exhibited when he was tasered by police officers.
- Electric shield: Jefferson can construct a shield that can protect him and others from harm. Using this mostly to block hails of bullets.
- Electric blast: Jefferson can create a blast of energy and launch it at his opponents. He can also throw them large distances, cause injuries and even hold his opponents in the air with it.
- Flight: Jefferson can use his electricity to give him the ability to fly and propel himself in the air.
- Peak of human physical condition: Jefferson is in top physical condition from his time as an Olympic athlete which he maintains by working out regularly.
- Parkour skills: Jefferson is skilled in parkour, using acrobatics to escape pursuit in his vigilante activities as Black Lightning.
- Master hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Jefferson is an extremely skilled close-range combatant/martial artist, able to compete against numerous opponents at one time.
- Expert marksmanship: Jefferson possesses impressive marksmanship skills, as he is able to easily fire electricity at several members of the 100 with ease.
- Second Black Lightning suit: After deciding to become Black Lightning once again, Jefferson began wearing a new suit, made by Gambi, to aid him in fights and to hide his identity. The suit appears to be bulletproof, as it was able to protect Jefferson from being injured by a bullet shot at him near the heart. The suit also appears to have a voice changer device built into the suit, so that no one will recognize his voice.
- First Black Lightning suit: When Jefferson first became Black Lightning, he wore a suit, made by Gambi, to hide his identity from enemies during fights. However, after giving up his career as Black Lightning, he left the suit in the secret lab in Peter Gambi's tailor shop.
- Headaches: Recently, Jefferson has begun to suffer severe headaches at inconsistent moments, leaving him incapacitated and vulnerable to attacks.
- "The Resurrection"
- "Lawanda: The Book of Hope"
- "Lawanda: The Book of Burial"
- "Black Jesus"
- "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light"
- Jefferson's Black Lightning wanted poster, from before he gave up his superhero career, gives his age as early 30s, and since Jefferson first became Black Lightning around 2005, that would put his birth year somewhere in the early 1970's.
- Jefferson seems to be fine with letting his enemies die, as he used one member of the 100 gang as a human shield to block several bullets being fired from another 100 gang member, thus killing him in the process.
- However, he only appears to let anyone die, when it comes to protecting people he knows or innocent civilians, as he only killed two gunmen members of the 100, in order to save the rally of marchers, and even then he doesn't seem to like having to kill.
- Jefferson has won at least one "Principal of the Year Award", which is on display in the trophy case at Garfield High School.
- Jefferson is left-handed.