Anissa's new Blackbird identity in 'Black Lightning' Season 3 is a sign that she's ready to step out of her father's shadow
While she is an integral part of the show, Anissa has grown into her role as a hero over the last two seasons and it's about time she got a chance to continue that evolution away from the shelter of home and the protective influence of her father.
Nafessa Williams' Anissa Pierce/Thunder has been one of the most popular characters on The CW's 'Black Lightning' and in the show's third season, she will be taking on a new secret identity. The official synopsis for Season 3's first episode, titled 'The Book of Occupation: Chapter One: The Birth of Blackbird', reveals that with her parents - Jefferson Pierce / Black Lightning (Cress Williams) and Dr. Lynn Stewart (Christine Adams) - in the custody of the A.S.A.'s Agent Odell (Bill Duke), Anissa is going to take up the name "Blackbird" as a second secret identity with the assistance of the ever-helpful Peter Gambi (James Remar).
In Season 3, the A.S.A has imposed martial law on Freeland in preparation for a full-scale invasion by the rogue nation of Markovia. While the A.S.A. probably do intend to keep the city safe, their oppressive actions have the whole city on edge. Freeland is calling out for a hero and it looks like Anissa is ready to answer that call, not as Thunder but as Blackbird.
The trailer for the third season gave us our first good look at Anissa's new Blackbird suit, which consists of a black hood and a mask that covers the lower half of her face. It's a cool new look for the superhero and we do hope she sticks with the identity even after her father returns from his time in A.S.A. custody.
Though Anissa's choice to move away from her old identity was probably necessitated by the A.S.A. knowing that she is Thunder, it distances her from her father without completely cutting ties with him, much like when Dick Grayson transitioned from Robin to Nightwing in the comics. Like Dick, it looks like Anissa might be ready to step out of her father's shadow and that opens up a lot of exciting new opportunities for the character.
Fans of 'Black Lightning' would no doubt love to see more of Anissa and her girlfriend Grace Choi, played by Chantal Thuy in the first two seasons and will reportedly be played by Stella Smith ('Stargirl') in the third. While she is an integral part of the show, Anissa has grown into her role as a hero over the last two seasons and it's about time she got a chance to continue that evolution away from the shelter of home.
A spin-off series focusing on Anissa and Grace might be a little too much to ask for considering The CW already has a lot of DC superhero shows on their slate. But that said, it's something the fans would love to see and considering how well Anissa has been received since her introduction, it may just be a matter of time before she strikes out on her own as a hero.
'Black Lightning' Season 3 will begin airing on The CW from October 7.