Tobias Whale is a hefty African-American man with albinism who serves as the brutal and calculating leader of the 100 gang. In the comics, he is often called “the Great White Whale” due to his skin color and size.
“I was excited about Krondon when I saw his audition. He’s going to make a great Tobias!” said Executive Producer Salim Akil in a statement. “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.”
Per EW, we also have details on the character, who has a violent history with the Pierce family:
“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.”
Notably, in an effort to deeply develop Whale’s character, Black Lightning won’t be featuring a villain of the week like shows in the Arrowverse.
“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 on July 12. “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.”
Black Lightning is expected to premiere midseason on The CW.