Black Lightning has tapped a newcomer to play season 1’s big bad.
L.A. rapper Marvin “Krondon” Jones III is joining the midseason CW superhero drama in the series regular role of DC Comics comic book villain Tobias Whale, the leader of The 100 gang. Apart from a guest appearance on Harry’s Law, this is Jones’ first big TV gig.
Developed by executive producers Salim and Mara Brock Akil, alongside Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, Black Lightning follows metahuman Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams), who returns to the crime-fighting game after nine years away when his daughters are threatened by The 100.
Here’s the official character description for Tobias, which hints that the forthcoming conflict between Black Lightning and Tobias will definitely get personal:
“Tobias Whale, an African-American man with albinism, 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.”
“I was excited about Krondon when I saw his audition,” said Salim Akil in a statement. “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.”
Viewers can expect to spend some quality time with Mr. Whale because Black Lightning will not feature a new villain every week, which helps differentiate this from The CW’s other caped offerings. “A superhero is only as good as his villain, so I wanted to tell the story of the villain and I didn’t feel like I could do that if I was bringing a different villain in every week,” Salim told EW in July. “I really wanted to have the viewers understand why Tobias Whale is, was, and will be the way that he is. I think that makes the story that more dynamic and that more exciting.”
Rapping under the name Krondon (KRNDN), Jones is the frontman for Strong Arm Steady (SAS) and has written for several artists, including Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and Xzibit. In 2013, he released his debut solo album Everything’s Nothing.
Black Lightning will debut midseason on The CW.