Black Lightning will be the newest DC show on The CW when it debuts this upcoming season. With crossovers between superhero shows on the network becoming quite common, fans are wondering if we might see Black Lightning join up with the rest of the Arrowverse.
Speaking to ComicBook.com, showrunner Salim Akil first discussed whether or not Black Lightning is a part of the shared universe of DC characters on The CW. Check out his quote below:
“Right now, we’re not a part of that universe. Unfortunately, I think people know Black Lightning the name, but a lot of people don’t know the character. What I wanted to do is let people get to know who he is, who Jefferson is first, who his family is, who his girls are first.”
So at the moment, they are focused on trying to develop the character of Black Lightning and his story before branching out. It is true that the character does not have the same ubiquity as Supergirl or The Flash, so building up the narrative of this particular universe makes sense. Akil continued:
“I thought, if we start bringing in other characters, then we’re going to start focusing on that sort of superhero movement. You know, ‘We’re fighting villains of the week,’ and we’re not doing that. It’s a more character-driven show, we focus on the family.”
We can thus expect a different sort of inaugural season than we have seen previously in some of The CW shows, which early in their runs were to some degree built on fighting ‘the villains of the week’. This new take could prove refreshing as the show goes on.
However, the show might not remain secluded from the other CW heroes for long. When asked about the possibility of incorporating Black Lightning into the Arrowverse after the first season, Akil said the following:
“I think after everyone gets to know who they are, then anything’s possible.”
Here’s the official synopsis for the Black Lightning series:
“Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce’s crime-fighting days are long behind him…or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns — to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community. Based on the characters from DC, BLACK LIGHTNING is from Berlanti Productions and Akil Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash), Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil (Being Mary Jane, The Game, Girlfriends), and Sarah Schechter (Arrow, The Flash). The Black Lightning character was created by Tony Isabella with Trevor Von Eeden.”
Black Lightning will premiere midseason 2018 on The CW.