Given how popular and lucrative comic book properties have become over the past few years, we can expect no shortage of superhero TV and movies in the foreseeable future. And for the world of TV, The CW is at the top of the heap, with four shows in a shared universe that routinely cross over and reference itself. And the network will be adding another DC superhero series next season, as Black Lighting will premiere on the same network as Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow. But with the newest DC TV show actually take place within the Arrow-verse?
CW President Mark Pedowitz recently spoke to EW before the network's upfront presentation, where he revealed if Black Lightning will be set in the same shared universe as the other DC Properties. And fans will likely be disappointed with his answer.
We do not aim to do a five-way crossover. Black Lightning, at this time, is not part of the Arrowverse. It is a separate situation. But there will be a big fourth quarter crossover with all four of the shows that are on in the fall.
Bummer. It looks like we won't see Black Lightning teaming up with the rest of DC's heroes. At least for now.
While this initial announcement might be disappointing for Arrow-verse fans, keeping Black Lightning separate from the rest of the universe might be the best thing for the upcoming series. With such a huge cast of characters and locations, it might have been easy for Black Lightning to get lost in the shuffle of the other four DC shows. Instead, audiences will be able to truly focus on this new character, and allow the series to speak for itself.
Additionally, Mark Pedowitz didn't say that Black Lightning wont ever be included in the Arrowverse; it's just not happening this season. The CW already has the lengthy task of navigating a crossover with four shows, and adding a fifth might be overkill. And while the network has been fantastic about giving fans the crossovers they crave, it doesn't mean that every future superhero show has to be included in these events.
With Black Lightning functioning outside of the Arrow-verse, the showrunners, writers, and directors have the freedom to make any creative choices they see fit. While the other shows have to be cognizant of how its plot will affect the rest of the world, The CW's newest superhero show will be able to function outside of these limitations. And with the show revolving around a lesser known hero, this may be exactly what Black Lightning needs to be successful.