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Black Lightning Just Cast Its Big Villain

Marvin “Krondon” James III

We already knew that The CW's new DC show, Black Lightning, was going to treat us to the first live action representation of Tobias Whale, a villain who goes way back with Jefferson Pierce and his superhero identity as Black Lightning. Now we also know that the character will be played by rapper Marvin "Krondon" James III during Season 1.

Black Lightning announced the casting today, and if you're wondering who Marvin "Krondon" James III is, he's currently known best for his work as a rapper and lyricist. The South Central L.A. native is a member of the underground hip hop group Strong Arm Steady, and he also works as a solo act, having just released his solo debut "Everything's Nothing." James is also known for writing songs for other acts like Xzibit, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. As an actor, he currently only has one credit listed, and that was a 2011 role on the legal dramedy Harry's Law.

tobias whale dc comics

Anyone who's read the Black Lightning comics will know that Tobias Whale has a long history with Jefferson Pierce. The character was actually first introduced in the "Black Lightning #1" comic in 1977, so he's been a part of this hero's story from the beginning. In the comics, Tobias Whale, an African American who's also albino, was formerly a local politician who used various illegal means to come to (and stay in) power. Jefferson's dad, Alvin, managed to bring down the corrupt politician, which led to Tobias killing Alvin and being driven into exile. While he's been ousted politically, though, he fully embraces his role as a criminal and becomes the violent leader of The 100, the gang whose activities will bring Pierce out of retirement on the show and lead to him taking up his Black Lightning mantle once again. Of course, when Black Lightning comes out of retirement, this will lead to Tobias Whale coming out of the shadows in the hope of taking the hero down once and for all.

If you're worried about the Big Bad of Black Lightning being portrayed by someone without much acting experience, it sounds like you shouldn't be. According to DC Comics, show executive producer Salim Akil noted how excited he was when he viewed James' audition, saying that the actor showed an "authentic street sensibility," "insightful intelligence" and "regal physical bearing." And all of that will absolutely make for a villain the audience will love to hate, who should be a worthy adversary for Black Lightning as the show goes on.

Unfortunately, Black Lightning won't hit The CW until sometime in mid-season, which means we have to wait until early 2018 to watch the battle between Tobias Whale and Jefferson Pierce. Be sure to check out our fall TV premiere guide to see what else you can watch on the small screen in the coming months.

Adrienne Jones
Adrienne Jones

Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.