“It’s Wayne Brady, son!” Variety brings word that The CW’s Black Lightning has just recruited Wayne Brady to appear in several episodes of the show’s upcoming third season. He’ll play Tyson Spikes, a World War II veteran who uses the alias “Gravedigger.”
Brady is best known for his appearances on the long-running improv comedy series Whose Line Is It Anyway? He has also hosted Let’s Make a Deal on CBS since 2009. Aside from his unscripted TV work, Brady has made a name for himself on the theater circuit. He has starred in productions of Hamilton, Kinky Boots, and Chicago, to name a few.
Gravedigger first appeared in DC’s Men of War #1 in 1977. The first character to assume this mantle was Ulysses Hazard, a WWII enlistee who previously conquered polio as a child and trained his body to reach peak performance. Upon joining the army, he became angered by the military’s segregation practices that relegated him and his fellow black soldiers to menial jobs like digging graves. With this, he went straight to the Pentagon in order to prove himself worthy of combat. The government subsequently made him a one-man unit, codenamed Gravedigger.
It sounds like Brady’s character is going to have a similar backstory. However, his name is derived from Tyson Sykes, a Checkmate operative who became the second character to use Hazard’s codename. Black Lightning will re-imagine Gravedigger as a “super soldier” endowed with improved strength, agility, and intelligence. Variety also notes that Spikes defected to Markovia after the war to avoid returning to the segregated United States.
Interestingly enough, Brady’s Black Lightning role won’t be his first visit to the DC Universe. One of his earliest acting jobs was on a 1990 episode of Superboy, where he played a character named John. He also voiced Micron, a member of Justice League Unlimited, in two episodes of Batman Beyond.
Tyson Spikes will debut on Black Lightning in early 2020. What are your thoughts on Wayne Brady playing the character? Let us know in the comment section below!
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