Fan favorite Black Lightning character Khalil Payne, aka Painkiller, will be getting a pilot episode for a potential CW spinoff series.
Popular Black Lightning character Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) is getting a pilot episode for a potential spinoff series. The CW’s Black Lightning is part of the network’s Arrowverse. The series follows Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning (Cress Williams). While the retired superhero has settled into ordinary life as a principal, he returns to crime-fighting after his daughters are kidnapped.
Calloway plays Khalil Payne, aka Painkiller, and has appeared on Black Lightning since season 1. Khalil starts as a student at Garfield High School, who dreams of becoming an Olympic track star. Yet after being left paralyzed by a stray bullet, Khalil agrees to become part of Tobias Whale’s (Marvin “Krondon” Jones III) gang. In exchange, Khalil is fitted with cybernetic enhancements that transform him into Painkiller. Although Khalil is supposedly killed by Tobias later on, the season 2 finale reveals that he’s been resurrected. Even though the A.S.A. subsequently implant Khalil with an obedience chip, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) manages to free him in season 3.
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Variety reports that the CW has ordered a pilot episode for a Painkiller spinoff. Calloway is set to reprise his role as the teen, while Black Lightning veteran Salim Akil will write and direct the pilot. The pilot will premiere as a spinoff episode during season 4 of Black Lightning. In it, Khalil will struggle with his violent history as Painkiller. You can check out the pilot’s full description below:
“After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace. But peace never comes easy for men with pasts like his. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrust back into action with a new mission – bring justice where he once gave out punishment – but to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side.”
Painkiller first appeared in the Black Lightning comics in 1995. In the comics, though, he’s shown as little more than an enforcer who is tasked with taking out Black Lightning. While Painkiller sets a trap for Black Lightning, the former is ultimately killed after a lengthy battle with the superhero. That being said, it’s great to see more of Painkiller’s backstory in the CW show. Calloway does a fantastic job capturing Painkiller’s twisted origin story and manages to transform him into a sympathetic character. Although many details for the upcoming Painkiller pilot are still unknown, fans are excited to see what comes next for Khalil Payne.
It will be a while before the Painkiller pilot premiere. Right now, season 4 of Black Lightning isn’t set to return until 2021. As such, it will be quite sometime before fans see the Pierce family — and Khalil — back in action. Either way, though, it seems that Black Lightning is gearing up for its best season yet — and it’s only a matter of time before the popular CW show returns with a bang.
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