Despite expectations to the contrary, the CW's new superhero show Black Lightning will not be a part of the Arrowverse.
During a conference call with reporters ahead of the network's upfront presentation on Thursday, CW chief Mark Pedowitz revealed that the new drama, which stars Cress Williams as the masked hero, isn't connected to Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl or Legends of Tomorrow. Therefore, fans shouldn't expect any epic, five-way crossover between all of the superhero shows.
"We do not aim to do a five-way crossover," Pedowitz said. "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."
Black Lightning is the only one of the five superhero shows to debut midseason and the only one to film in Atlanta, as opposed to Vancouver. That means logistically, there would have been issues setting up a five-way crossover even if the new series was envisioned as a part of the Arrowverse. However, Pedowitz's use of the phrase "at this time" does leave things open for the network to incorporate Black Lightning into the Arrowverse at a later date. Of course, the question would still remain regarding which Earth Black Lightning belongs to, but let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
In addition to revealing that Black Lightning will exist in its own universe, the CW also released an extended logline for the drama:
"Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is a man wrestling with a secret. As the father of two daughters and principal of a charter high school that also serves as a safe haven for young people in a New Orleans neighborhood overrun by gang violence, he is a hero to his community. Nine years ago, Pierce was a hero of a different sort. Gifted with the superhuman power to harness and control electricity, he used those powers to keep his hometown streets safe as the masked vigilante Black Lightning. However, after too many nights with his life on the line, and seeing the effects of the damage and loss that his alter ego was inflicting on his family, he left his Super Hero days behind and settled into being a principal and a dad. Choosing to help his city without using his superpowers, he watched his daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain) grow into strong young women, even though his marriage to their mother, Lynn (Christine Adams), suffered. Almost a decade later, Pierce's crime-fighting days are long behind him...or so he thought. But with crime and corruption spreading like wildfire, and those he cares about in the crosshairs of the menacing local gang The One Hundred, Black Lightning returns -- to save not only his family, but also the soul of his community."
Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow will premiere on the CW this fall. Black Lightning will debut midseason.
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