Following Supergirl‘s move from CBS to The CW, the network now has four superhero TV series on the air. The others are, of course, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow, but a fifth will soon be added in the form of Black Lightning. While that’s certainly exciting, those of you hoping that the titular hero will be seen standing side by side with characters from those other shows are going to be seriously disappointed.
That’s because he won’t be part of the Arrowverse, nor will he be included in any future crossover event. That also means we can probably rule out seeing Black Lightning make a cameo appearance in one of the other CW DC shows. Why have they decided to keep him separate, you ask? Well, that’s a very good question, and one that CW President Mark Pedowitz has an answer for.
While chatting to critics at a TCA panel this week, he explained the following:
“I’ve wanted to be in business with them [Mara and Salim Akil] for many, many, many years,” Pedowitz said, “It stems back to my days at ABC Studios. With Black Lightning, Fox had the pilot and they passed on it. So, Salim and Mara came in and said this is what we have. It was different from all of our other superhero shows and it was never designed to be a part of the Arrowverse.”
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Frankly, this makes a lot of sense. As Pedowitz says, the show didn’t originate at The CW and was never created with the intention of having it be part of the Arrowverse – unlike, say, The Flash or Legends of Tomorrow. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will never be any form of crossover between Mara and Salim Akil’s effort and the other series, but for the time being, it will remain very much its own thing.
Pegged for a premiere later this month, Black Lightning places Cress Williams in the boots of Jefferson Pierce, a retired vigilante-turned-family-man who walked away from a life of fighting crime in order to raise a family…only to be pulled back into the game.
Widely considered to be one of the first prominent black superheroes of the 1970s, a small-screen rendition of Black Lightning is no small matter, but it seems that all involved have pulled it off. At least, if early reviews are any indication. Our very own Eric Joseph, for instance, had nothing but good things to say about the show, concluding the following:
Capable of warming hearts just as The Flash does while being more similar in tone to Arrow, Black Lightning stands as one of the more sophisticated additions to the DC TV landscape.
That’s a glowing recommendation if we’ve ever heard one and only has us all the more excited to sit down for Black Lightning‘s premiere on January 16th.