44 years ago - Jefferson Pierce is born.
32 years ago - 12-year-old Jefferson's metegene first manifests. Peter Gambi, a family friend, teaches him to suppress & control it.
26 years ago - 18-year-old Jefferson goes to college on a full athletic scholarship, studying sports medicine.
25 years ago - 19-year-old Jefferson changes his course of study, becoming an education major.
22 years ago - 22-year-old Jefferson graduates and competes in the Olympics. He meets Lynn Stewart in the Olympic Village.
20 years ago - 24-year-old Jefferson marries Lynn, and they have their first daughter, Anissa. He returns home to finds a job as a high school teacher. When Peter Gambi is murdered, he becomes Black Lightning to find his murderers. He begins is crusade against Tobias Whale.
15 years ago - 29-year-old Jefferson's second daughter Jennifer is born.
11 years ago - 33-year-old Jefferson finally succeeds in sending Tobias Whale to prison.
10 years ago - 34-year-old Jefferson turns down Justice League membership and takes a job as a high school principal.
8 years ago - 35-year-old Jefferson is recruited by Batman into the Outsiders. Floyd Lawton turns himself in in exchange for his promise that he protect his daughter.
7 years ago - 36-year-old Jefferson and his wife Lynn are divorced.
4 years ago - 39-year-old Jefferson accepts a posting by President Luthor as secretary of education.
3 years ago - 40-year-old Jefferson's daughter Jennifer's metagene activates. She makes the same promise as her big sister to put off any superheroics until after she graduates college.
2 years ago - 41-year-old Jefferson assists in defeating Lex Luthor's presidency & joins the Justice League. His daughter Anissa starts college.
1 year ago - 42-year-old Jefferson leaves the Justice League with Nathan Adam to begin a Justice League Task Force for the American government.
DC's first black character lost a lot of his relevance when our collective gradual de-cavemaning led us to realize that that simply being black wasn't exactly a complex character trait. For a number of years he was simply a cool background character, featuring occasionally in some cool one-shots and backup stories until someone hit on the notion that he might have more to offer based entirely on the fact that he was one of the most experienced heroes in the game.
Lots of heroes have stepped up and used their powers to protect their neighborhood, but Jefferson has very much made that his thing. To really make that stand out, I've actually moved his career earlier, showing that he's been working for a LONG time, and also giving him a rare chance to actually succeed... We can establish that he actually defeated Tobias Whale. He gets to actually earn the role of responsibility that defines his later career.
While his daughter have heroic careers of their own in the comics, The DC Nation shorts featuring Black Lightning and his daughters are absolutely fantastic, and it's worth it to dial back on their stories just so we can see that relationship happen. They'll get their moment.
Just a quick note on his outfit... his modern look is a little bland, when you consider that his original look was so great. the costume with the coat to the right is just great. I understand that the afro might be a little much, but frankly, I think it's worth trying.