Marvin “Krondon” Jones III has brought an undeniable sense of terror to Black Lightning and we are here for it.
Black Lightning may be the most relevant social commentary on television right now. The writers have given us episode after episode of black excellence, a soundtrack that slaps and they have done all of this through the lens of a superhero show. While the show is mainly centered around the hero, Black Lightning, there is no denying the impact of the show’s villains. Enter Tobias Whale.
Tobias Whale is a former politician turned leader of the 100 gang and the perfect opposite to Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce. While Jefferson seeks to uplift the people of Freeland, Tobias seeks to rule. As Black Lightning seeks to show his community that there is more and that they can all be more, Tobias seeks to crush any sense of hope and keep them in place.
“No disrespect, Lady Eve, but my life hasn’t exactly led me down a spiritual path.” – Tobias Whale (Black Lightning, CW)
No shade to the other Arrowverse CW super shows but…
The presence of cartoonish super villians on the other shows really puts Tobias into perspective. While they have Toy Man (SuperGirl and The Flash), Black Lightning gives us a genuine realistic small community tyrant. Davoe (The Flash) literally murders metas with his mind suck and it is still nowhere near as scary as Tobias’ dictatorship from the shadows.
“I love black people. I hate incompetent, thick-lipped, scratch-where-it-don’t-itch negroes like you,” – Tobias Whale (Black Lightning, CW)
Tobias does not hide behind a feigned veil of righteousness. He is blunt about his intentions, ruthless in his volition and, above all else, dedicated to his vision. This is not a man you want to play with. He toys with his subordinates because he can, because it’s fun for him. There is also a strange game of tug-of-war that he has with both caring about those he wants to rule and hating them, but why?
The season takes time to show you a bit of Tobias’ past. He was abused by his own father, abused by Lady Eve (another fabulous villain) and abused by his community for his albinism. The actor, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, has spoken extensively on how his albinism affected his upbringing and why this snippet of Tobias’ past helped him relate and create this character. It is gruesome but it is also very real.
“My question is: can you take care of this problem, or should I just kill you now and solve it myself?” – Tobias Whale (Black Lightning, CW)
Why we should love Tobias.
CW got it right with Tobias! They managed to create this obscenely visceral villain and, as a result, have created a show that slashes through what a conventional super hero show should be. There is a place for the cheesy, one-liner villains and there is a place for Tobias. One could write an essay on every episode, every character. No one is pointless in the grand scheme of the story therefore everyone drives the story forward. Furthermore, everyone on the show has felt the cold, pale gravity of Tobias Whale in some way.
Black Lightning has been renewed for season 2! That means more Tobias and more battling with Black Lightning! It also means more of his not-PG lines. Yikes!
“That’s why I hate these church going Negros, always singing and praying, praying and singing! They all want to go to heaven, but don’t none of them want to die!” – Tobias Whale (Black Lightning, CW)
What did you all think of the season 1 finale and who is your favorite character? Let us know!