I just got word from The CW that Black Lightning fan-favorite character Khalil Payne, a.k.a. Painkiller (Jordan Calloway) is going to get his own pilot spinoff in the seventh episode of the upcoming fourth season of BLACK LIGHTNING. Khalil has been through so much on the show. everything from being paralyzed, and then being genetically enhanced to having Tobias Whale rip his spine out. And then being mind-controlled by the ASA into killing a family member.! (Then tragically forced to remember it). Khalil has done the MOST on this show in a supporting role. I’m excited to see what’s next for the character. And it looks like Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil will direct this pilot as well. Here’s what the CW shared with me:
Khalil Payne (Jordan Calloway) is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale’s gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. 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 Khalil Payne and Painkiller. 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.
The character was created by Tony Isabella and Eddie Newell and first appearance in Black Lightning, Vol. 2 #2 in 1995. Learn more about Painkiller here.
It’s interesting that this character is a getting a pilot in the middle of Black Lightning’s next season as opposed to a full show run. Does that mean that the CW is looking for proof of the popularity of the character before they move forward with a full show?