Anissa Pierce (born June 28, 1994) is the oldest daughter of Jefferson Pierce and Lynn Stewart, the older sister of Jennifer Pierce and the girlfriend of Grace Choi. Shortly after manifesting her powers of strength and invulnerability, she initially began her vigilantism activities working independently until she was recruited by her father and Peter Gambi to join Black Lightning's team under the alter-ego Thunder. Later, she used a new vigilante identity called Blackbird.
Anissa was born on June 28, 1994, to Lynn Stewart and Jefferson Pierce. When she was 10 months old, she started to learn to walk, but every time she tried, she'd fall, cry, and then try again. A week later, she finally properly walked. In 2nd grade, she kicked her teacher in the leg after she thought he made one of her friends cry, this resulted in her getting suspended.When she first told her family that she is a lesbian, there was silence for a minute, and then nothing but hugs. She studied medicine while also teaching at Garfield High School as of 2018. She took part in a protest against The 100, but it became violent and she was arrested by the Freeland Police Department. She was picked up by her father and sister, the latter of whom gave her a dress to change in to. On their way to a fundraiser at Garfield High, her father scolded her, before they were pulled over by police. They made Jefferson get out of the car, believing him to be a robber they were looking for, but he was eventually let go. They made their way to the school, where they watched Senator Turner speak about the Pierces. Anissa noticed that Jennifer wasn't there, finding her instead of getting ready in the toilets with Kiesha Williams. She allowed them to go to their "houseparty," on the provision that her sister came home in time.
The following morning, Anissa went for a run with her dad and sister, before heading to school. As she got out of her car, she noticed her sister being harassed by Will. When she asked him to leave, he refused, instead of grabbing her. She knocked him down but was stopped by the girls' father before he could pull a gun on them. Later that day, Will returned with a posse, taking Anissa and Jennifer to the Seahorse Motel. They were ultimately saved by Black Lightning, and taken home by Inspector Bill Henderson, embracing their parents. They soon went to sleep, but Anissa was woken up, still shaken. Heading to the bathroom, her hands began glowing with electricity, before she accidentally broke the sink.
The following morning, Anissa stood with her father and company at Garfield High when he reassured a group of parents of the safety of their children against The 100, only to be interrupted by Lawanda White. Anissa stayed with her girlfriend Chenoa who offered to help her cope. Two days later, unable to sleep, Anissa went to purchase sleep medicine at a pharmacy which was being robbed at gunpoint. Once again shaken, her strength was triggered and she tossed the robber into several shelves. Happy to have stopped a crime, she smiled and took her medicine to the counter.
Anissa later began testing out her powers, initially having little luck, before learning to take breaths and hit her targets, filming it all. She headed to a library, where she began reading on genetic mutations. She was greeted by a woman who introduced herself as Grace, and she invited Anissa to a cosplay party at a bar she worked at. Shortly following, Jennifer convinced her older sister, Anissa, to join her in a march led by Reverend Jeremiah Holt on The 100's territory. She later attended the cosplay party, dressing in spandex and cat ears. She was interrupted by Chenoa, who thought her to be cheating. They took their argument outside, where the two broke up. Later joining the march, the group was stopped after Reverend Holt and Khalil Payne were shot, forcing them to be taken to the hospital. Anissa comforted Jennifer, before talking with her mother, admitting that she'd broken up with Chenoa. The family shortly found out that Khalil would likely never walk again.
Driving around, Anissa saw two of her students talking to drug dealers, Lashawn and Bam. She got out of her car and stopped the girls, making them get into her car, loosely threatening the two drug dealers. That night, Anissa attended dinner with her family and the Hendersons, arguing for Black Lightning's vigilantism. She left partway through, finding the two men and knocking them down with her super strength. Realizing she'd badly hurt them, Anissa called an ambulance. The following night, Anissa went to the Ruby Red Lipstick Bar, before leaving with Grace. They were stopped by former patrons, who harassed Grace before knocking her out. Anissa fought back, hurting them and flipping their cars, before taking Grace inside to recover.
Anissa began researching special abilities online, watching a conspiracy theory video. She was interrupted by Jennifer, who she leaned her jacket. Finishing the video, she was given leads involving her grandfather, Alvin Pierce, and the Freeland Gazette. Anissa headed to the Gazette, where she was warmly welcomed by editor David Poe, a friend of her grandfather's. She proceeded to ask about his canceled articles on the mass disappearance of nine individuals with special abilities, but Poe refused to answer, kicking her out. She returned later, ambushing him. Poe gave in, giving her all of his files on the disappearances. Reading through the files, she eventually found a key for what she determined to be Anvil Storage Facility. Anissa, deciding to try vigilantism, went to put on her spandex costume, but it broke, so she headed to a retail store, where she was assisted by Ben. Donning the costume, Anissa headed to the facility, opening one of the storage spaces to discover some more files and a safe containing a substance.
Anissa participated in a protest to vandalize a culturally insensitive statue with paint-filled water guns, but she was arrested. When being picked up by her father, he lectured her on how she had to be uber-careful as a black woman in America. That night, after doing some research on superpowers, she had a chat with Jennifer, who admitted to feeling guilty of being with Khalil. The following morning, she took some of her grandfather's research to Bowman College, where she asked her mother to run some tests on chemicals she'd found. Her mother attempted to pry but simply made her promise to tell her what was going on when she could. The day after, Anissa watched a news report on a white nationalist who defended the culturally insensitive statue, plowing through a group of protesters and killing a girl who had protested earlier beside her. Angered, she destroyed the statue that night with a stomp-induced shockwave while citizens mourned for the losses there. With everyone freaked out by her powers, Anissa called her mother, asking if she could come by and explain everything. She arrived at Bowman College, only to find her mother having been tied up by some thugs. She easily beat them up, her mother instantly recognizing her. As she went to untie her mother, she was interrupted by Black Lightning, unbeknownst to one another that they were related. He believed her to be one of Lynn's attackers, and so fought her off. Anissa was soon overpowered before Jefferson realized his mistake. They took her home, where she was tended to and allowed to rest. As she woke up, she noticed her father in his Black Lightning suit, shocking her.
Having healed, Anissa returned to school, where she talked to her father. She suggested they go take down a Green Lighthouse, but Jefferson instead suggested she just focus on her regular life. He questioned her on how she'd gotten some of her grandfather's research, explaining she'd received it from David Poe. The following morning, Jennifer sensing something to be up between her sister and father, Anissa lied that Jefferson had forgotten to keep an appointment with her, thus the seemingly obvious tension. Anissa went to Gambi's Custom Tailoring. She attempted to contact David Poe, before being let downstairs by Gambi, dropping off some things for her mother. They talked a bit, Lynn accidentally revealing Jefferson's vigilantism to be the cause of their separation. Anissa left for the Freeland Gazette, where she was informed that Poe had been killed in a hit and run accident. She returned home, where she was consoled by her father. The following night, Gambi unveiled plans for a suit for her, for which she immensely thanked him. Later that night, after she called Grace, Jefferson promised to train Anissa.
Anissa began training with her father, making her think through all of her decisions precisely. Black Lightning having been framed for the murder of Lady Eve, Jefferson told her that proving his innocence would be her first mission. They headed to Freeland City Morgue, discovering Lady Eve to have burn marks consistent with that of nuclear power. They had Gambi locate the weapon responsibly, heading to Hampton Woods. They found Lady Eve's killer and his weapon, but they were interrupted by someone else. Anissa hid, while Jefferson attempted to sneak up on the man. Realizing the gun was about to explode, Anissa ran for her father, holding her breath and tackling him, protecting him from the explosion. Later, Anissa was visited at home by her sister, who revealed to her that she had powers.
Checking up on her sister, Anissa revealed to Jennifer that she had superpowers, demonstrating them by lifting her bed up, as well as revealing their father as Black Lightning. Jennifer was freaked out, running downstairs to her father, before walking off in anger when the claims were confirmed. Their parents harshly scolded Anissa for her actions, before she apologized for disrespecting them, leaving the room. She shortly returned, agreeing with her father to find the connection between Green Light and the vaccine that shared active ingredients. They ambushed Teddy Evans, a lawyer, gaining a key location. In the meanwhile, Anissa talked to Jennifer, who told her of how she had more online popularity than their father, particularly in regards to fighting against the patriarchy, which intrigued Anissa. Anissa shortly after headed to Gambi's, where he told her about his fight with her father, as well as his findings of them keeping meta-humans captive. Giving her a suit, Anissa suited up, meeting her father at the designated location. They watched as Martin Proctor entered a building, before exiting, Anissa discovering that they would be moving their lab and thus batch of Green Light. They followed Proctor, ambushing the lab and destroying everything.
Rather than alerting her father, Anissa followed up on Gambi's intel and found a building full of powered containers, containing what appeared to be meta-humans. Deciding to take caution, she returned home, where she told her father all about what she'd found. They returned but found nothing left but a few traces that the containers had been there. They were suddenly ambushed, but Anissa was able to knock out the thugs. The two of them returned home, where Jefferson explained how he and the others had gained their powers. Anissa also suggested that they needed Gambi's help, but Jefferson was still adamant on never associating with him again, suggesting they sleep. The following morning, after a visit from Two-Bits, Jefferson requested that Anissa stay home and keep watch of Jennifer, for her safety. During the day, Anissa attempted to convince Jen that her powers were a true gift but eventually started verbally attacking her, causing Jennifer to light up with energy and burn a pillow with electricity, much to the shock of both girls. They both went to Bowman College, so Lynn could run tests on Jennifer. Anissa apologized for earlier, before Lynn realized that Jennifer's cells were creating pure energy, effectively making her like a generator. Shortly following, after the A.S.A. learned of Jefferson's secret identity, the family moved into Jefferson's childhood home.
Thunder and Black Lightning went to a compound which Gambi had determined to be the location of the A.S.A.'s meta-humans, but all they found was weapons to be used against Black Lightning. They returned to base, where Gambi insisted Anissa needed to look after Jefferson. When Anissa asked about Gambi's bruises, he told her to ask her father. Grabbing some food back at their house, Anissa did that, and so Jefferson explained that he'd been tortured by the A.S.A., leading Anissa to believe that they truly could trust him. The following morning, Anissa drove to school with Jennifer, meeting their father, who requested that Anissa continue watching over Jen. Shortly into the day, Jefferson was arrested, much to the anger of Anissa, who Jeff told to stand down when she attempted to use her powers. Rushing to Gambi's, they attempted to find a way to prove Jefferson of his innocence. Gambi created some technology that created a hologram of Black Lightning, which they used that night. Thunder ran along the streets of Freeland, before being joined by the projection, which followed her every move. Returning home, the family were greeted by Jefferson, who had been exonerated. They were shortly joined by Gambi, who joined them for dinner.
Anissa is shown to be like her father. Anissa is an intelligent, open-minded young woman. She is not afraid in standing up for what she believes in such as protesting the 100. Anissa is also brave as she has stated she's not afraid of the 100, but this tends to get her in trouble with both the gang and the police as a result of her hot-headedness.
Anissa is also very protective of people, as Lynn mentioned that even when Anissa was little she would always try to protect people, whether if it was Jennifer or someone else on the playground. She once in the 2nd grade kicked her teacher in the leg because she thought that he had made one of her friends cry. She has also been shown to be very selfless, as she was willing to give up her normal life in order to become Thunder to protect the innocent citizens of Freeland.
Powers and abilities
Meta-human physiology: Inheriting her powers from her father, Anissa is capable of controlling the density of her body, without affecting her size or shape. She can trigger this through her breathing.
- Superhuman strength: Through the trauma of being kidnapped by the 100, Anissa manifested her meta-human ability of super strength, accidentally breaking a sink after getting overwhelmed by the event. She can trigger her strength through holding her breath, and has proven powerful enough to flip a car upside-down. She has shown to be quite powerful, also being able to leave her foot imprint in stone and take down two men with no effort. Whenever she uses her powers, her hands start to glow.
- Stomp-induced shockwaves: Anissa can generate shockwaves by stomping hard from where she is presently positioned, inducing loud tremors that can be heard and felt over a large area.
- Thunder Clap: Anissa can also produce shockwaves by clapping her hands together. These shockwaves produce enough force to push people away and knock them down, such as when she clapped at Syonide and she was blasted through a wooden door, and even objects like cars.
- Superhuman Durability: Anissa was able to take the hit of debris landing on her from a large height, seemingly not taking any injuries from the impact. It can also make her bulletproof, as she was able to withstand being shot in the chest by several bullets. She can also render herself immune to electricity, such as Black Lightning's blasts.
- Accelerated healing factor: Anissa possesses the ability to regenerate her cells at an accelerated rate.
- Skilled medic: As a medical school student, Anissa possesses medical skills.
- Expert hand-to-hand combatant/Martial artist: Anissa has been shown to possess impressive martial arts skills, as she was able to single-handedly flip a member of The 100 onto the ground, and also nearly hold her own in a fight against her skilled vigilante father. Anissa's fighting style seems to appear to include kickboxing, tae kwon do, karate, aikido, muay thai, and judo.
- Pedagogy: Anissa possesses teaching skills, specifically on the subject of health, as she works as a health educator three days a week at Garfield High School.
- High-level intellect/Expert investigator: Anissa is very intelligent and an excellent investigator, as she follows every lead and rumor to discover the truth.
- Lip reading: Anissa has been shown to be good at reading lips, after having taken a lip reading class so that she would know what the police are saying if she is in a protest. She was able to easily read Martin Proctor's lips and figure out what he was saying.
- Breath control: All of Anissa's powers, except for her accelerated healing factor, are triggered when she inhales deeply. Because of this, when she is in between breaths, she is as vulnerable as a human as seen during her fight with Syonide.
- Thunder suit: After Anissa decided that she wanted to use her powers to help people, she bought herself a makeshift suit to protect her and hide her identity from enemies she fought. This was later replaced when her parents discovered her powers, with Lynn having Gambi make her a suit. According to Gambi, the suit is made of a breathable Kevlar weave, so that when Anissa's "not bulletproof, she'll still be bulletproof." The suit is also fireproof, water-resistant, and has state-of-the-art neural interface technology stitched into the lining so that Gambi is able to monitor Anissa's vitals from the tailor shop's basement.
- Motorcycle: Anissa has been given a motorcycle to be about to travel around town easily.
- Vigilante suit: Anissa chose to wear a purple and yellow leather jumpsuit along with a blonde wig when operating as a vigilante. The suit also appears to be bulletproof, as when Anissa was shot right in the chest, she wasn't harmed at all, due to her suit.
- Flashlight: Anissa also carried a flashlight with her when she was out as a vigilante, which she kept in in the left boot of her costume.
- Blackbird suit: After seeing how bad things were getting for the people of Freeland and realizing that they weren't exactly going to depend on vigilante's like Black Lightning and Thunder, Anissa decided to create a new persona to help the innocent to steal money from criminals and give it to those in need. When out as Blackbird, she wears a black hoodie and mouth cover to conceal her identity.
Behind the scenes
- In DC comics, Anissa Pierce is the superhero known as "Thunder".
- In DC comics, Blackbird is a superhero from Earth 36 and a member of the "Justice 9".
- In the episode, The Resurrection, the quote "This was the night, in the rain, with thunder and lightning as a witness, that Black Lightning was born again.", said by Jennifer, may have been foreshadowing for Anissa and Jennifer later become Thunder and Lightning as both them and actual thunder and lightning witness the events that cause Black Lightning to be born again.
- This first time Anissa's alter ego is reference as "Thunder" is during a Season, Episode 8, Revelations.
- This might just be a writing mistake or a scene that was later deleted for time, but unlike her other alter ego Blackbird, her alias "Thunder" doesn't seem to have been properly introduced in the story and instead just glossed over it.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Three Sevens: The Book of Thunder"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Lawanda: The Book of Burial"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "The Book of Revelations"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Equinox: The Book of Fate"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 "The Resurrection"
- ↑ "Lawanda: The Book of Hope"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Black Jesus"
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 "And Then the Devil Brought the Plague: The Book of Green Light"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 "The Book of Little Black Lies"
- ↑ "Sins of the Father: The Book of Redemption"
- ↑ "Black Jesus: The Book of Crucifixion"
- ↑ "The Book of Consequences: Chapter Three: Master Lowry"
- ↑ Black Lightning (2018) s01e01 Episode Script
- ↑ Black Lightning (2018) s01e08 Episode Script