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The CW's roster of superhero series is getting even bigger in the 2017-2018 TV season with the addition of Black Lightning. As it happens, Black Lightning won't actually be part of the universe that includes all the other superheroes. The show will be set in New Orleans, but not a New Orleans that exists on Earth-1 or Earth-38. That said, star Cress Williams doesn't want to rule out an eventual crossover between Black Lightning and shows like Arrow and The Flash. He had this to say about potential superhero team-ups:
I think it would be interesting down the line. Eventually we're going to have probably three superheroes on our show with me and the daughters. Once we become some kind of team, it would be great to go as a team onto another show. It's going to be fun developing that, because with every good thing, there's going to be a lot of wrinkles.
Apparently, Cress Williams would like the characters of Black Lightning to establish themselves on their own before they start mixing with the heroes of the Arrow-verse. Of the four current superhero shows on The CW, Legends of Tomorrow arguably got off to the messiest start as it combined a motley crew of existing characters from Arrow and The Flash. By staying out of the Arrow-verse, Jefferson Pierce and his daughters will be able to develop into their own heroes without mixing it up with Oliver Queen and Barry Allen. Williams' comments to ComicBook.com indicate a Black Lightning that can definitely stand on its own.
Of course, if the day does come when The CW produces a gargantuan five-show crossover, it wouldn't be all that complicated to introduce Jefferson and his daughters to the rest of the heroes. If their world is established as one of the many in the multi-verse, they could simply jump over to Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow on Earth-1 or Supergirl on Earth-38 with the help of some handy dandy tech. Supergirl has gotten away with existing separately from the other three series, aside from very occasional crossovers; surely Black Lightning could do the same if it takes place on Earth-12 or Earth-25 or Earth-367.
If Jefferson and his daughters do ever join Arrow and/or The Flash or any of the others, it won't be for a while. The CW is holding Black Lightning until midseason, so the show won't even have premiered by the time the giant four-show crossover kicks off in November. Hopefully Black Lightning does well enough in its first season to earn a renewal order and then maybe one day cross over to another Earth. Luckily, the first trailer for the series looks pretty awesome, and the cast is filled with promising performers, so I'm optimistic.
Besides, the Arrow-verse is already complicated and sometimes nonsensical enough trying to keep the existing shows in sync. It might be best for all of the comic-based shows if Black Lightning is established in a world not already crowded with superheroes. At the very least, we won't have to wonder why Jefferson isn't calling up the Flash or Supergirl for an assist, and I know I'm relieved that I probably won't have to deal with time travel on yet another CW show. Sign me up for Black Lightning!
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