How ‘Black Lightning’ Could Do The Outsiders

Grace Choi holding an issue of The Outsiders in Black Lightning episode 3, “The Book of Burial,” wasn’t just a nod to the character’s comic book roots. With the Pierce family superhero team almost in formation, the Easter egg could become a reality heading into the later half of Season 1.

grace choi the outsiders thunder black lightning Grace Choi telling Anissa Pierce about 'The Outsiders Vol. 2 #16.' DC Comics / CW

In Black Lightning episode 6, "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder," Anissa uses her new abilities (she can increase her body density to make her skin impenetrable and create shockwaves) in attempt to shut down Green Light operations in Freeland. In doing some research into her powers, she discovers her grandfather, Alvin Pierce, was looking into the existence of metahumans right before he was murdered. She later confronts her father, who doesn’t recognize her in her new costume and knocks her out. It was quite the family reunion. According to the episode 8 synopsis, we won’t have to wait long to see Thunder and Black Lightning team up. This is just the beginning of what could end up being a famous superhero group from the comic books: The Outsiders.

Black Lightning Outsiders thunder lightning grace choi cw Will Black Lightning ever introduce The Outsiders? CW / DC Comics

This vigilante group was founded by Batman and Black Lightning was one of the core members, joining in The Brave and the Bold #200 (July 1983) along with heroes like Geo-Force, Katana, Halo and Metamorpho. Black Lightning had turned down Justice League membership, which is why he was approached by Batman, who was not on the best terms with the League at the time.

thunder batman outsiders Thunder and Batman in 'The Outsiders.' DC Comics

It wasn’t until the third incarnation of the team where Thunder joins, in Outsiders Vol. 3 #1 (August 2003). Arsenal convinced her she could best use her powers with a team. She suited up right after she graduated college and hit it off with her new teammate, Grace Choi. They began a romantic relationship. As an Asian-American hero who is later revealed to be half Amazon, Grace carries the gifts of the gods—superhuman strength, durability, speed, stamina and healing. She’s tall, muscular, feminine and unapologetically bisexual. She had a far more traumatic upbringing than Thunder, surviving a human trafficking ring. When Black Lightning refused to accept Thunder’s desire to follow in his footsteps, it was Grace who was there for her through it all.

grace choi anissa outsiders relationship Grace Choi and Anissa Pierce. DC Comics

In Black Lightning episode 7,"Equinox: The Book of Fate," Jefferson Pierce agrees to train Anissa. This is a bit of a departure from the comic books, where Black Lightning’s hesitation to encourage Anissa’s vigilantism caused her to join The Outsiders. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the series, but it can’t be a coincidence that at the end of episode 7, Anissa finally calls Grace back for a date. It’s possible The Outsiders, or some other vigilante group, comes into play with Grace’s backstory.

black lightning thunder outsiders Black Lightning and Thunder in 'The Outsiders.' DC Comics

Grace, Anissa and Black Lightning were all members of The Outsiders at various points in the comic books. Black Lightning, who got numerous invites to the Justice League, wasn’t really feeling that team. Instead, he joined Batman in forming a low-key, street-level version and became one of the founding members.

lady eve black lightning Why is Lady Eve draining blood from people? CW

The issue Grace is holding in episode 2, (Outsiders Vol. 2 #16) actually presents some interesting theories regarding the villain on Black Lightning: Lady Eve. We saw her die in episode 7, but considering Latavius is back and Tobias Whale hasn’t aged in twenty years, these villains seem to have some sort of  “resurrection” formula available (probably related to why Lady Eve is draining blood from innocent victims).

lady eve batman outsiders Lady Eve was created by Mike W. Barr and Alan Davis, first appearing in Batman and the Outsiders #24. H DC Comics

In the comic books, Lady Eve is a member of the Kobra Cult, who are at constant odds with The Outsiders. They are a religious terrorist organization lead by Kobra (Jason Burr) and use science to bring about the “Kali Yuga” or Age of Chaos, in which the imperfect world will be swept away by a divinely-inspired, better version. Kobra is one of the only people in the DC Universe to crack Ra’s Al Ghul’s Lazarus Pit formula. He designs the pit to not only resurrect, but to control the minds of those he killed and revived.

tobias whale gambi black lightning outsiders Tobias Whale speaks to Gambi in 'Black Lightning.' CW

Black Lightning has yet to mention Kobra Cult, but it could explain the relationship between Tobias Whale, Lady Eve and Gambi, as well as the scientific experiments  that seemingly granted the power of resurrection to Latavius. And regarding The Outsiders, Black Lightning is going to need a team to take down a team.

Metahumans are already established in Black Lightning’s universe, so it’s possible he’ll meet another new powered hero willing to take on this fight. But there’s also promising news regarding Jefferson's youngest daughter, Jen. On Instagram, actor China Anne McClain teased her powers would develop in episode 8, "The Book of Revelations.” In the comic books, Jen develops electromagnetic abilities just like her father, eventually donning the name Lightning. The CW also released a “ Superhero family ” trailer that teases the team-up we’ve been waiting for. Add Grace into the mix, and The Outsiders will be well on their way.

Are you hoping to see The Outsiders come to fruition on Black Lightning? Let us know in the comments.