DC Database

Black Lightning is a member of the government agency Nightwing.

Francis Powell was a student attending West Point in which he was spared from the nuclear holocaust during the Cuban Missile Crisis as his entire family was killed in Florida. Since then, Powell joined the military and became a member of the Metal Men under the codename Black Lightning, when he played tailback in football.

Powell participated in the Czech War of 1968 in which his unit were sent on a recovery operation in extracting the Red Tornado warhead. Powell sided with his commanding superior Marcus Moore in deciding to use the warhead on Moscow to end the Czech War. Subsequently, Soviet soldiers raided on their position and Powell was permanently scarred from the firefight in which he was paralyzed to the waist. After the Metal Men disbanded, Powell became an operative of the secret organization Nightwing working underneath Marcus Moore, who is known as Deadman.