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black lightning and thunder

With Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War set to deliver the biggest big screen super-team of all time, fans can hold the Arrow-verse's ensemble high as the small screen's biggest band of heroes. But one CW badass currently outside the Arrow-verse's ranks is Black Lightning's Jefferson Pierce, and though the action drama has made its own reference to one of DC's current TV heroes, showrunner Salim Akil does not want anyone thinking that was a confirmation, or that Black Lightning is destined for Star City's streets. Here are Akil's superbly straightforward words.

We are in our own world. We're not in the Arrow-verse. We're not in the Supergirl universe. We're in the Black Lightning universe. If there's ever a crossover, Supergirl will come to Freeland, or Green Arrow will come to Freeland.

Salim Akil's assured thoughts on Black Lightning's place within The CW's superhero lineup are in line with how the situation has been laid out since the show's development days. But those were the days before all involved could be sure that Black Lightning would be successful enough to earn itself a second season. It wouldn't have been smart to automatically tether this completely new and refreshingly human superhero story to Arrow, The Flash and the others at that time. But now that Black Lightning has cemented its place among television's other comic book superhero series, there are a different set of expectations involved, somewhat like when Supergirl premiered on CBS as a standalone drama before the decision was made to bring The Flash to its Earth.

So we know that Vixen exists in some form within Black Lighting's world, and Arrow star Stephen Amell already seems certain that future crossovers are imminent. Interestingly, Salim Akil didn't just dismiss the idea entirely. He just made it clear that if and when it happens, he is determined that it will be heroes from other shows making the trip to Black Lightning's realism-driven Freetown, as opposed to Jefferson stepping into wackiness in S.T.A.R. Labs or aboard the Waverider.

When speaking with EW, Salim Akil pointed out that the Vixen reference, and others that may come, are mostly just for fun. In his words:

We mentioned those other characters just to have fun. I thought it was just fun to tease the fans and have fun with the fans. We're always trying to have a conversation with the fans and we're also trying to have fun with them, so that was part of that.

I'm sure some fans out there would think it would be more fun if the conversation was about Black Lightning and Thunder teaming up with Diggle (and maybe Oliver, depending on their relationship at the time). Maybe one day...

With or without more DC Comics shout-outs included, Black Lightning's Season 1 finale airs on Tuesday, April 17, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are on the way, head over to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV schedule.

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