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The CW’s newest superhero show has cast a key villain for its first season. Warner Bros. Television has announced that they’ve cast Marvin “Krondon” Jones III in the pivotal role of Tobias Whale for the first season of Black Lightning.

Based on the classic DC Comics hero, Black Lightning centers on Jefferson Pierce, a former superhero who returns to crime fighting because of his daughter, Jennifer.

Here’s the official description of Whale’s character from the network announcement:

“…an African-American man with albinism, Tobias Whale is the leader of Freeland’s most feared gang – The 100. But in the days before Black Lightning, Tobias was a politician, rising up the ranks of local government through corrupt and illegal means. That was until he was brought down by Alvin Pierce, Jefferson’s father. Enraged, Tobias murdered Alvin and was driven underground into exile. It’s here he found a place to rebuild, growing into the violent and methodical leader of The 100 as we find him today. But Black Lightning’s recent return has ignited Tobias’ desire to emerge from the shadows and face his biggest adversary, Jefferson Pierce AKA Black Lightning.”

Whale was first introduced alongside Jefferson Pierce in 1977’s Black Lightning #1 and has gone on to serve as one of Black Lightning’s most persistent foes.

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“I was excited about Krondon when I saw his audition,” says Salim Akil, one of Black Lightning‘s executive producers. “He’s going to make a great Tobias! His authentic street sensibility along with an insightful intelligence is perfect for the Tobias character arc. Not to mention his regal physical bearing will be additive to making our show exciting and different.”

Krondon (KRNDN) is a rapper and the front man for the group Strong Arm Steady (SAS). He recently released his debut album, Everything’s Nothing.

Tobias Whale or Tobias Church?

Interestingly, Chad L. Coleman’s character last season on Arrow, Tobias Church, was said to have taken some inspiration from Whale, as well.

Officially, Black Lightning is not part of the Arrowverse, despite sharing a network and an executive producer in Greg Berlanti, so there’s technically no overlap here.

It’s always possible the show could become part of the Arrowverse later on, though, much like Supergirl was eventually revealed to take place on an alternate Earth.

Black Lightning is expected to premiere sometime in early 2018 on The CW.

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What do you think about Krondon’s casting as Tobias Whale? Should producers have avoided the character due to the inclusion of Tobias Church on Arrow? Share your opinions in the comments below!

  • PKFind

    I vote for another alternate world. This allows the CW to build this reality around Black Lightning and not just have him show up in the last 60 seconds of Arrow or Flash. It also pushes for the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline someday.

    • I agree. The Arrowverse is getting a bit crowded to be honest, and keeping Black Lightning separate allows new viewers a chance to jump in without the complicated backstory of 12 seasons of other shows to watch first.