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"They call us heroes, but the real heroes are you, the people who, despite the everyday struggles of life, continue to find hope, meaning, and purpose in what can be a challenging world. We've been given a gift, a blessing from God, and we intend to use it to protect this city and its people."
—Jennifer Pierce[src]

Jennifer "Jen" Pierce (born October 7, 2001)[2] is a student at Garfield High School. Jennifer is also the daughter of Jefferson Pierce and Lynn Stewart, the younger sister of Anissa Pierce, and the ex-girlfriend of Khalil Payne. Jennifer uses the Blackbird alias to heads to the abandoned Seahorse Motel to confront the runner. After coming to terms with her meta-human abilities, she joins Black Lightning's team under the alter-ego Lightning. Due to possessing similar powers to her father, Tyson Sykes nicknames her Baby Lightning.

Biography

Original multiverse

Early life

Jennifer was born on October 7, 2001[2] to Jefferson Pierce and Lynn Stewart.

When Jennifer was young, she came across her father in the bathtub, asking him why he was bloody.[3]

Attending Garfield High School

Jennifer went on to attend Garfield High School, where she once beat Lana in a track race.[4] In 2018, she texted her friend Kiesha Williams as she and her father waited to pick up her sister, Anissa, from Freeland Police Department. She handed her sister a dress to change into, before they left to go to a fundraiser at Garfield High. On their way there, they were stopped by police, who initially believed Jefferson to be a suspect from a nearby robbery. When they got to the school, Jennifer went to get ready to go clubbing with Kiesha. They were interrupted by Anissa, looking for her sister. Jennifer lied, claiming they were going to a house party, and Anissa allowed her to go, providing she was home in time. They got to Club 100, where Jennifer flirted with Will. The two were surrounded by gang members, before being taken to see Lala. Will continually attempted to refer to Jennifer as his "girl" while groveling for mercy, causing Jennifer to hit him in the stomach. They were interrupted by Jefferson Pierce, unbeknownst to any of them, who used his electrical powers to incapacitate the gang members. Jennifer ran home, where she was met by her mother, who helped calm her down. She was then reprimanded by Anissa.[3]

The following morning, Jennifer joined her father and sister for a run. She then headed to school, where she was followed by Will. She requested he leave, but he refused. It quickly escalated, but Will was sent off by Principal Pierce before he could pull a gun on Jennifer or Anissa. Jefferson talked to his daughters, scolding Anissa for altercating with him, before they left on the bell. Later in the day, Will returned with a group, kidnapping the girls. He took them to the Seahorse Motel, but they were soon rescued by Black Lightning. p together.[3]

Jennifer slept with her mother for comfort. The following day, talking with Khalil Payne on the phone, Jennifer was approached by Malik, who shot her with red liquid from a water gun, claiming it as a message from Lala. That night, Khalil came by, shyly asking Jennifer to be his girlfriend. She accepted and the two kissed. The day after, Jennifer and Kiesha sat above the bleachers at school, drinking alcohol. She took the bottle and met Khalil in the gym. He got angry that she was drinking and took the bottle from her, throwing it out, before comforting her.[5]

Jennifer attended the funeral of Lawanda White, listening and standing up as Reverend Jeremiah Holt implored the crowd to join him in a march against The 100. Khalil double checking with Jennifer that she was okay with losing her virginity, she spoke to her parents about it over dinner, leaving them speechless. After dinner, Jennifer convinced Anissa to join her at the march. The following night, Lynn took Jennifer to the march, the three women joining the crowd. They were stopped, however, when Khalil and Reverend Holt were shot. As they were rushed to the hospital, Jennifer was comforted by Anissa, before the doctors told her that he may never walk again, the bullet having hit Khalil's spine.[6]

Shortly following this, once Khalil began rehabilitation, Jennifer skipped school to help him. She overheard nurses talking about him being a hopeless case, which she called them out for. Jennifer then headed home, where her parents suggested she end things with Khalil, as she already had plenty on her plate. The following morning, Jennifer went to school to quit the track team, before going to Khalil and revealing the news, to his clear disappointment. The following day, Jennifer returned to the hospital with her father, who shortly entered with Khalil's mother, when he revealed the final diagnosis to Khalil: that he would never walk again.[7]

Jennifer later went rollerskating with Kiesha, where she met her old nemesis, Lana. Lana expressed her hate for Jennifer since she beat her in a race at school. Lana tried to beat up Jennifer but she defended herself by countering Lana and her friend, and ultimately breaking Lana's wrist. Coming home to her parents talking to Lana's mother and aunt, Jennifer was scolded and punished by her parents for the act.[4]

After her sister was arrested for protesting once again, Jennifer accompanied her father to Freeland Police Station to pick Anissa up, watching on as Jefferson lectured her elder sister. That night she talked to Anissa, admitting her feelings of guilt regarding being with Khalil. The following day, she was made fun of on social media by Khalil, causing her to sit on her own in the school gym. Her father entered, comforting her. He took her to go see Khalil, but Khalil was nothing but bitter, blaming her for all that had happened to him. Jennifer left, regretting the choice to even see him.[2]

Sensing something up between her sister and father, Jennifer coerced it out of them, them claiming that Jefferson had simply not kept an appointment with Anissa.[8]

No longer having an after-school activity, Jennifer began helping her mother at Bowman College. She began by helping clean up the lab from a break-in, but her mother allowed her to go when she asked to help Kiesha put up posters around school. While at school, Kiesha attempted to put a poster up above some scaffolding where nobody could remove it. Believing her to about to fall, Jennifer yelled out at her, accidentally burning some posters and frying her phone. Unsure how she'd done it, Jennifer later tried again with her phone, realizing she had some sort of powers. She later went to her sister, showing her what she'd done.[9]

Feeling down due to her confusion over the emergence of her powers, Anissa visited Jennifer, hoping to ease her mind. She revealed that Jennifer was a meta-human, as were she and their father, both of whom were Thunder and Black Lightning, respectively. Jennifer initially didn't believe her, but when she lifted her bed up, freaked out. Putting it down, Jennifer ran downstairs into her father's arms. She mentioned Anissa's claims, Jefferson's silence confirming them, making her run off. Following this, Lynn let Jennifer know that she could talk to her whenever she felt like talking. Shortly after, Jen began searching Black Lightning and Thunder online, finding a video in which a man complimented Thunder's ass, a video she showed her sister. Admitting that Anissa did have more dignified fans, she offered to show her. Continuing to give her mother the silent treatment, Lynn decided enough was enough and sat her down. She profusely apologized, before Jennifer admitted that she just wanted to live a normal life, unlike Anissa, breaking down in tears. Not long following, her father apologized and the two watched a film, Princess and the Frog.[10]

Having gotten ready for school, Jefferson asked Jen to stay home for her own safety, a request which annoyed her but she followed. While at home, she argued with Anissa about her powers, growing angry when Anissa claimed that she had left Khalil. This caused her eyes and hands to glow, before generating an immense amount of energy, accidentally shooting some electricity at a pillow, burning through it. Following this, still feeling down at not being "normal", Jen's father comforted her, assuring her that while it was hard, she had to push through. After this, the two girls went to Bowman College, where they were able to determine that Jennifer's powers made her similar to a generator, in that her cells created pure energy. Later that night, the entire family moved into Jefferson's childhood home, as the A.S.A. discovered Jefferson's secret identity.[11]

Arriving at school with her sister, Jen was greeted by her dad. Early into the day, a number of classes, including Jen's, were interrupted when Jefferson's car was being broken into by police officers. Allegedly finding Green Light, Jefferson was arrested, much to the anger of Jennifer. Jefferson assured her everything would be fine, asking her to calm down so as to not provoke her untrained powers. Later that day, Jennifer expressed her concerns to her mother that her father would never return home, but Lynn quashed these fears, assuring her that he would. Sure enough, Jefferson was exonerated and returned home that night, much to the ecstatic surprise of his family. Jennifer quickly expressed her wish for ice cream, which the family shared, before they had dinner with Gambi.[12]

Becoming a meta-human

Jennifer started freaking out when she started developing powers, especially once she and her family soon found out her powers have been growing at an unusually fast pace. Unlike her sister Anissa, who quickly mastered her powers of superhuman strength and durability, Jennifer struggled to understand how her lightning-based powers worked, especially once she learned that, unlike her father, who was essentially a living battery, Jennifer was a generator whose cells were constantly creating large amounts of energy. Because of how unpredictable Jennifer's powers were and how little control she had over them, her parents decided to homeschool her out of fear that she may expose herself as a meta on accident, or worse, unintentionally harm someone with her powers. They also severely restricted her participation in activities outside of school as well, only allowing her to have friends over at the house rather than allowing her to leave.

This reaction to Jennifer's newly-revealed meta-human nature caused her to develop a great deal of resentment toward her family, believing that they pulled her out of her life as a high school student and athlete because they saw her as a monster who was at risk of hurting everyone around her. Though she did start seeing a therapist, a fellow meta-human named Perenna who possessed telepathic powers, Jennifer still felt as though she was all alone with no one who understood her, which ultimately caused her to rekindle her previous relationship with Khalil Payne, who was becoming disillusioned regarding his own life as Painkiller, the right-hand man of Tobias Whale, the leader of the 100 gang.

Becoming Lightning


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Anti-Monitor Crisis


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New multiverse


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Personality


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Jennifer is a strong, independent young woman with a wild streak. She loves to party and have fun, sometimes to the point of lying to her sister and parents. She also has a tendency to be a bit arrogant and stubborn, especially in regards to how others view her. Her temper can also cause her to make rash decisions, as she is quick to jump into a fight to defend herself and other times others. An example of this was when she quickly got into a fight with Lana. In spite of those negative qualities, Jennifer does have a caring side, which she mostly shows to her best friends and family. She is, in her own words, a "ride or die" type of person for the people she cares about, loving them unconditionally and doing everything she can to protect them. She hated the fact that she had powers when her meta-human nature was first revealed, and she initially refused to use them to help the town as vigilantes like her father, Jefferson Pierce and her sister, Anissa Pierce. However, she soon learned that her powers could be potentially helpful in defense of her loved ones continues to use them to protect those she cares about.

Jennifer has also demonstrated that she is not only academically gifted (as seen by the fact that she intended to apply to Harvard University for college), she also has a great deal of street-smarts, as evidenced by how she managed to save Khalil from being attacked by the 100, break into a Pyxis to steal medication from a hospital to treat his injuries, figured out that Cutter was using poisoned knives and had the antidote nearby, and realizing that Khalil had a tracker placed into the back of his head by Tobias Whale, all qualities that helped her survive while she and Khalil were on the run.

Powers and abilities

Powers

"Yeah, I can control electricity."
—Jennifer Pierce to Lynn Stewart[src]
  • Meta-human physiology: Jennifer inherited the metagene from her father, Jefferson Pierce, granting her superhuman powers. The raw strength of Jennifer's powers were described by Perenna as "like nothing she's ever seen" in all of her years counseling meta-humans, suggesting that Jennifer is extraordinarily powerful even among her fellow meta-humans. According to Agent Odell, her powers help her achieve abilities that are beyond what her father could do. In addition, her powers even helped her survive the Crisis on her own, while the multiverse's greatest heroes needed outside help. It is implied that her powers are unique among her dopplegangers as she was the only one to survive being hit by the antimatter wave. Due to her unique powers, Jennifer is one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse, and, while she has gained a great deal of control over her powers, she has not yet reached her full potential.
    • Electrokinesis: Jennifer has the power to generate electric shocks and bursts from her hands. This power was first activated when her friend Keisha fell down a scaffolding, scaring Jennifer so much that she zapped the poster she was holding and caught it on fire. Later on, she accidentally lost control over her electrical powers and overcharged her cell phone with one of her shocks.[9] Whenever she utilizes or is about to utilize her electrical powers, Jennifer's eyes glow the same bright orange color as her energy, and an orange glow begins to appear under the skin of her hands and face. Unlike her father, Jefferson Pierce, whose powers essentially make him a large rechargeable electrical battery, Jen is a generator - her body appears to create pure electrical energy from her own cells at all times, storing it so that she can use it at will. However, if she abstains from using her powers for long enough, the energy in her body builds until she is seemingly forced to discharge it in some way, whether she wants to or not; this type of reaction has been shown to occur most frequently when she's in an emotional state. She could even generate enough amounts of electricity to "power-up" her father after he was completely drained of his powers, though it left her momentarily exhausted. As her understanding of how her powers work has grown, so has the raw strength of the energy she produces; after losing control over her powers due to grief at the impending death of her boyfriend Khalil, Jennifer began generating so much electricity that her father was unable to absorb it all, forcing her to have to regain control on her own (albeit with her mentor Perenna's help).[13] According to Jennifer, this power is still growing in strength, and if she does not release the excess energy on a regular basis, it causes her physical pain.
      • Electrical absorption: Similar to her father, Jen can absorb electricity from nearby electronics such as phones and light bulbs. She has also recently demonstrated an ability to absorb the electromagnetic energy that surrounds the earth, as evidenced when she flew high enough in the sky to absorb the cosmic energy in the magnetosphere using Odell's version of her suit. Absorbing this electrical energy from any source makes her more powerful and gives her more fuel to fight, just like her father, though her powers are not dependent on external energy sources. However, Jennifer can only absorb so much energy at a time before she is forced to discharge it in some way, otherwise it causes her physical pain; after absorbing the electromagnetic energy from flying, Jennifer was seen involuntarily discharging electricity from her fingertips as her body tried to rid itself of the excess energy.
      • Electricity detection: Similar to her father, Jennifer is able to sense and detect electrical signals in her immediate vicinity. She seems to also be able to "see" the electrical signals in a human body as they're being sent through the nervous system, allowing her to detect that Khalil was dying as a result of the decreasing number and slowed pace of the electrical impulses in his body. She was able to identify a power plant being used by the Markovian military by how much more electrical energy she saw in the facility compared to the surrounding area.
      • Electrical blasts: Just like her father, Jennifer can create blasts and bolts of electrical energy and project it at her opponents. This can be as mild as a small electrical shock or as severe as a fully-formed bolt of electricity.
      • Electrical-technopathy: Jen can use her powers to control the technology around her. She first used this power to break into a Pyxis and steal medication from a hospital in hopes of curing Khalil after he was poisoned by Cutter. She has since been seen using this aspect of her powers to gain access into the computer accounts of others, allowing her to bypass passwords and other identity-verification methods and giving her essentially free reign over a system; for example, she used this to "hack" into Brandon's computer, where she found he had surveillance photos of her mother Lynn as a result of his own mission to find and kill Dr. Jace. Her most impressive fear with this power was when she combined her powers with those of the technopath TC by transforming herself into her energy form and traveling inside of Khalil's brain where the computer chip keeping him alive was placed and putting Khalil's "Painkiller" persona behind a firewall using her electrical bolts to push him into a locked cell.
      • Electrical constructs: Using her electrokinesis, Jennifer can create constructs made of electrical energy. She first utilized this when she created an electro-rope/lasso to lift Martin Proctor into the air and bring him down. She is frequently seen using electrical whips to hold her opponents in place, to lash at them or to toss them around. She can also channel her electrical energy into ball shapes which are then thrown telekinetically at her target.
      • Electrical transformation: Jen can generate an electrical field, turning her into a being of sentient lightning.[11] At her greatest intensity, her transformation morphs from sentient electricity to what almost resembles plasma-like fire; Perenna refers to this aspect of her power as "the storm", as a reference to its similarity to an electrical firestorm. While in this form, Jennifer can make herself intangible if necessary, as evidenced when she and Brandon fought against the ASA after they had broken out of the armored vehicle; despite dozens of assault rifle rounds being aimed and shot at her, they all passed harmlessly through her torso without causing so much as a twinge, indicating that she couldn't even feel them. This also grants her an enormous amount of internal power if she contains it within her body, allowing her to overpower metahuman power-dampening technology and even heat herself up to the point where she burned all of Painkiller's poison from her body before it could seriously injure her.
      • Electro-telekinesis: Using her electricity, Jennifer can manipulate the matter of objects with electricity or electromagnetism. Jennifer's powers have advanced to where she can channel her electrical energy into a ball (ranging in size from a basketball to a large orb as tall as Jennifer is) and then use electrotelekinesis to direct it toward her target.
      • Flight: Jennifer can generate an electrical field around her body that allows her to levitate by pushing her electrical power under her. This power was first shown to be an unconscious response to the growing power within her body, causing her to levitate several feet above her bed while she slept, but she has since learned how to consciously use it, as seen when she sat cross-legged in a meditative position several feet above the floor in an effort to concentrate on pulling the power back inside of herself. Jennifer is so in control of her powers that she could focus to the point that she can fly on command and endure doing so even into the higher reaches of the atmosphere.
      • Accelerated healing factor: Jennifer possesses an accelerated healing factor, allowing her to heal from wounds much faster than a normal human, though she has admitted that it is not as effective as her sister or her father, forcing her to take an ice bath to deal with the injuries she sustained after a fight.
    • Photokinesis: Jennifer can generate balls of light of varying sizes and levels of brightness. These constructs were first shown to float in the air around Jennifer in a way that resembles fireflies during her bouts of sleep-levitation. She has also demonstrated an intense offensive use of this power that involves creating large, powerful balls of light that can be thrown some distance away, exploding and temporarily blinding those exposed to it. When Khalil asked her what she was upon first learning about her powers, Jennifer replied, "I am light", in reference to the photokinetic aspect of her powers.
    • Mental Projection: Jennifer was able to unwittingly teleport to her mind into her "safe place" during the Crisis, and helped her survive her world's destruction by the Anti-Monitor. After the Crisis and the multiverse was restored, she came to Earth-Prime and reunited with her family with her memories from the original multiverse still intact.

Abilities

"His younger daughter, Jennifer, is a standout scholar-athlete just like her father."
Turner[src]
  • Peak of human physical condition: Jen possesses impressive athletic prowess, as it has been mentioned that she is a stand-out scholar-athlete, just like her father, Jefferson.[3]
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Jen possesses impressive fighting skills, having been taught how to fight by Jefferson. She was able to defend herself against two teenage girls, and break one of their wrists with ease.[4] Jennifer's combat skills have improved very well over a month, where she bested two teenage boys. Jennifer's fighting style seems to appear to include kickboxing, karate, and aikido.
  • Skilled tactician/Steath: Jennifer possesses a high degree of street-smarts in addition to her already impressive academic intelligence. While she and Khalil were on the run, her skills were critical to their ability to survive as long as they did, with Jennifer managing to come up with getaway plans in mere seconds and escaping with her boyfriend while the others were distracted by the fighting. This included finding good places to hide out, stealthily breaking into the hospital and stealing medication from a Pyxis machine without being caught, gaining the upper-hand in a fight with Giselle Cutter and figuring out that she coated her knives in poison and kept the antidote with her in her necklace in case she was harmed by her own weapons etc.
  • Lip reading: Jennifer is able to read lips, due to Anissa teaching her.

Weaknesses

  • Power instability: Jennifer's biggest weakness is that her powers are unstable since she is a natural generator of electricity. Her emotions fuel her power and if she can't keep them under control, she could risk going nuclear and exploding.[1] According to Jennifer, if she doesn't use her powers often, they start to hurt her.[14]
  • Antimatter: Due to Jennifer's cells being able to generate pure energy, she is more susceptible to the effects of antimatter, because of this, she unwittingly teleported herself to her "safe space" to protect herself against the antimatter wave that later destroyed Earth-TUD5.

Equipment

  • Lightning suit: After the death of Khalil, Jennifer decided to use her powers to help people, Jefferson and Lynn later had Gambi make Jennifer a suit.[15]
  • Camouflage device: Gambi gave Jennifer a Camouflage device to help her stay hidden.

Former equipment

  • Blackbird suit: Jennifer uses the Blackbird persona to heads to the abandoned Seahorse Motel to get revenge on Tobias Whale for murdering Khalil.

Appearances

Black Lightning

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


The Flash

Season 6

Gallery

Promotional images

Black Lightning

Season 1
Season 2
Season 3
Season 4


Trivia

  • According to Will, Jennifer has an Instagram account.[3]
  • Jennifer is applying to Harvard.[9]
  • Jennifer has mentioned that she smokes weed.[10]
  • According to Lynn through her CAT scan, Jennifer is like a generator; her cells can create pure energy.[11]
  • Jennifer has a driver's license.[12]
  • Unlike her father, Jefferson Pierce, Jennifer generates orange-colored electricity, instead of blue-colored electricity.
  • She is a stand-out scholar-athlete, just like her father, Jeff.
  • In Season 2, Jennifer had been home-schooled as a result of not being able to control her powers. However, as of Season 3, she is back in school.
  • Jennifer is the most powerful meta-human on Black Lightning's team and in Freeland, which was demonstrated when she was able to disable the power-dampening collar on herself and on Brandon without much effort, and used her electrical powers to heat her body up enough to burn off all of Painkiller's poison before it could have a negative impact on her health. Only Markovia's metahuman containment cell has been shown to be strong enough to prevent Jennifer from escaping.
  • Since she survived the Anti-Monitor Crisis, Jennifer is one of the few individuals who naturally retains pre-Crisis memories.

Behind the scenes

  • In DC comics, Jennifer Pierce is the superhero known as "Lightning".
    • Jennifer's quote regarding Black Lightning's return, "with thunder and lightning as a witness" is a reference to both sisters' superhero identities from the comics; Anissa as Thunder and Jennifer as Lightning.

References


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