Cast: Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams
Release Date: October 27, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7/10
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), respected educator and father of two, is also Black Lightning, superpowered protector of Freeland. And he doesn’t fight alone. He is joined by his superpowered daughters, Anissa (Nafessa Williams), aka Thunder, and Jennifer (China Anne McClain), aka Lightning, as well as his ex-wife, metahuman expert Lynn (Christine Adams). Together, the Pierce family combats the ills eroding their city, including a menacing gang that calls itself The 100 and infamous gangster Tobias Whale (Marvin Jones III). Worse, Freeland has been plagued by government-sponsored experiments and drug trafficking, creating metahumans and addicts while making Freeland the target of a dangerous foreign power, Markovia. Fortunately, the family still has allies in their fight: former covert superspy Peter Gambi (James Remar) and Jefferson’s neighbor, the scrupulously honest deputy police chief Bill Henderson (Damon Gupton).
Newcomers to ‘Black Lightning’ are encouraged to consider starting at the beginning due to the show’s serialized nature and various continuing story elements within. You can find our reviews of the previous season Blu-ray releases below!
The third season of ‘Black Lightning’ rejoins our heroes as the ASA has taken over the town of Freeland, blocking all communications in or out and controlling the events within under the claim of Martial Law. Jefferson, aka Black Lightning meanwhile is forced to undergo various tests in a hidden location in exchange for the continued freedom of his daughters in the town itself. Yet unbeknownst to him, the head of the ASA has begun to take actions toward recruiting his youngest daughter Jennifer, keen to take advantage of her immense power for the ASA’s benefit. But as the townspeople continue to grow enraged at their treatment and the actions of the government, more begin joining to form a resistance intent on sneaking metahumans out of the city before they can be taken and trying to formulate a plan to reclaim their city. But with the supposed threat of the Markovian forces who the ASA claims are poised and ready to attack, liberating their city could have unexpected results if they’re telling the truth.
Season three of ‘Black Lightning’ delves into a much more uncertain and tense situation for our heroes and the town of Freeland as a whole, and right from the get go sees the town locked down and under martial law by the ASA. As opposed to taking its time slowly building to what evolves into the lockdown, it instead opts for tossing us straight into the chaos at its peak, with metahumans including Jefferson locked in a secret facility and the military using any means necessary to find and capture every meta in the city while the enemy makes their own moves on the outskirts of town. It’s a tense, occasionally uncomfortable yet always thrilling and thoroughly entertaining season that never hesitates to up the ante in nearly every department, sending beloved characters off in dangerous and uncertain directions left and right. Nary offering a dull or uninteresting moment throughout, season three shouldn’t have any trouble keeping fans glued to the screen.
Curiously enough, with the recently announced news that ‘Black Lightning’ will end its run with season four on The CW, it also inadvertently makes this the show’s penultimate season; fortunately the insanity and extremes that season three delivers from the onset do help to make it feel worthy of preceding the final season, even if that might not have always been the plan. Fans who may have fallen behind but do enjoy the series will probably want to try and catch up whenever possible and season three certainly doesn’t skimp when it comes to huge events and revelations. Altogether it offers a tense, sometimes emotional and always enthralling season that once again pairs superhero fun and action with a number of timely subjects that merge quite nicely into the overall scope of the show and should not disappoint the fans.
Overall, season three of ‘Black Lightning’ once again manages to up the ante across the board, serving up a high stakes storyline with plenty of heart, tension and action around each turn, while also for the first time interconnecting the series with the key Arrow-verse group of shows for the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event which Black Lightning makes an appearance in. The Warner Archive Collection 3-disc Blu-ray release of ‘Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season’ brings home all sixteen episodes from season three with fantastic high definition video and audio presentations for each, and all split between three discs for in order to provide the best possible quality. Even with a lack of much in the way of bonus content included within, fans of the series who want to physically own each season on Blu-ray shouldn’t be even mildly disappointed by the quality it delivers. For anyone already considering a purchase, it’s definitely recommended.
The Warner Archive Blu-ray release of ‘Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation with the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the third season’s episodes. The video presentations look great once again, providing clean, richly detailed and altogether quite gorgeous high definition video presentations for every episode of the season, with no noticeable troubles or problems to be found within. They hold up without issue even during the various fast moving, heavily populated and darkly lit sequences throughout, never faltering or losing their way. Overall, these are top notch high definition video presentations right up with Warner Archive’s newly released season 2 Blu-ray and fans should be thoroughly pleased with the results.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 16 Season Three episodes. These multichannel soundtracks are right up there with the rewarding and hard hitting audio presentations included on the previous two Blu-ray season releases of ‘Black Lightning’, offering clean, aggressive and enjoyable audio presentations on every episode. They take full advantage of all five available channels on a regular basis to send our heroes along with action effects and a whole lot more frequently whipping throughout the various speakers, while making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously never become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is another magnificent batch of 5.1 DTS-HD MA soundtracks that repeatedly add their share of fun to the viewing experience while always sounding crisp and clear.
The Warner Archive Blu-ray release of ‘Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season’ includes one extra: ‘The Best of DC TV’s Comic-Con Panels San Diego 2019’ (running approximately 51 minutes in length).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 7/10
‘Black Lightning: The Complete Third Season’ is Now Available to Own on Blu-ray & DVD from DC Comics & Warner Archive Collection
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