Black Lightning's Villain Has Been Revealed

The CW is bringing another superhero to the small screen in the 2017-2018 TV season with Black Lightning. Starring Cress Williams as the titular Black Lightning, the show will take the superhero action out of the Arrow-verse and into New Orleans. The first look at Black Lightning indicates that we're in for a pretty badass good guy. Now executive producers Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil have revealed the big bad guy of Black Lightning, and his name just so happens to be Tobias.

As Black Lightning won't actually debut until midseason 2018, Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil weren't about to give away all the details about the Season 1 antagonist already, but Salim did reveal at the ATX Television Festival in Austin (via IBTimes) that Tobias will be driven by hatred for himself and others that "comes from a real place." Unfortunately, they didn't reveal much about Tobias, but his name gives us enough reason to speculate. The Black Lightning Tobias could very well be the TV version of a DC Comics villain.

In DC Comics, Tobias Whale was an African American albino who more than lived up to his surname. He didn't need to be especially svelte to cause a great deal of trouble for innocent bystanders, however, as he worked his way up the ranks of the gang known as The 100 and became a notoriously ruthless crime lord who didn't abide by any rules. His weight also didn't make him entirely ungainly; he was quite skilled in hand-to-hand combat, even if he tended to leave the scuffles to his henchman. Oddly enough, his weapon of choice is a harpoon.

dc comics tobias whale

The Tobias Whale of comic lore made an enemy of Black Lightning once Whale decided to make an example out of one of Jefferson Pierce's students after Jefferson began speaking out against The 100's actions. The death of his student was enough to push Jefferson to take on the identity of the vigilante Black Lightning and seek justice. Given what we know of Black Lightning's Jefferson Pierce so far, a lot of the elements of Tobias Whale's villainy are already present. Surely the executive producers wouldn't introduce a supervillain named Tobias if he's not Tobias Whale, right?

Interestingly, Tobias Whale was actually introduced in the very first Black Lightning comic back in 1977. He would be the perfect villain to drive Jefferson Pierce into action as a vigilante again. Hopefully the executive producers won't leave us wondering if the show's Tobias is Tobias Whale for too long. Sadly, we have a while to wait before Tobias debuts on the small screen. Black Lightning is being held until midseason on The CW. Swing by our summer TV premiere schedule and our list of 2017 Netflix release dates to discover what you can watch to pass the time until Black Lightning premieres.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).