Leave a Comment
Black Lightning is the latest superhero show to hit the airwaves on The CW, but it's not just another series set in the Arrow-verse. The superhero exploits of Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) as Black Lightning and the rest of the characters seemingly take place in the show's own Black Lightning universe, which could open the door for many other DC Comics heroes to appear on the series. Black Lightning can theoretically introduce its own versions of any of the heroes who have already turned up in the Arrow-verse or even heroes that haven't popped up on those shows yet. Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil recently answered the question of whether more DC heroes will appear, saying this:
Not right now. Not right now, to be honest. I really want everyone to get to know the Pierce family. People will say now 'Oh! I read Black Lightning!' But honestly, we hadn't heard anything about him until we started talking about doing this show. So I think it's appropriate for people to get to know him. They've got to get to know Anissa. Now they've got to get to know Lightning, his youngest daughter Jennifer. I think that's going to take a moment. You know what I mean? To let everybody have room to grow. I'm excited about those young women having powers and what they're going to do with them.
Instead of spending early episodes filling Black Lightning with other DC heroes, the show will focus on the core cast of characters in Jefferson Pierce's family and neighborhood. Black Lightning already has plenty going on with Jefferson Pierce and his daughters learning to use their powers on top of the crime on the streets of Freeland. The Black Lightning character from DC Comics canon isn't exactly the most well-known hero, and the show can't just assume that viewers can fill in the blanks of his backstory the way they could for a Batman or a Superman. Black Lightning is the story of a relatively little-known hero and his two daughters learning to accept their potential roles as heroes to their community. Who needs other masked characters turning up in Freeland? This is Jefferson and his family's fight.
That's not to say that Black Lightning will absolutely never introduce its own versions of other DC heroes; we just shouldn't expect to see other heroes turn up any time soon. It should be fun to see if any more nods to the Arrow-verse are dropped into Black Lightning episodes. Comparisons between Black Lightning and the shows of the Arrow-verse were inevitable, and it seemed at first that leading man's status as a metahuman meant that Black Lightning would have the most in common with The Flash.
Based on Salim Akil's comments at the recent WonderCon convention, Black Lightning has more similarities to Arrow, which kicked off the Arrow-verse without the need to incorporate other heroes back in 2012. Jefferson Pierce will seemingly get to occupy his own place in his own superhero universe, and that bodes well for fans who are already hooked on the story told about Freeland.
Tune in to The CW on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET for new episodes of Black Lightning. For more viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule. If streaming is more your style, take a look at our 2018 Netflix guide and our 2018 Amazon Prime breakdown. If you're not entirely up on which shows will and will not be back next season, check out our rundown of TV renewals and cancellations.