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Cress Williams and Christine Adams Talk Black Lightning's Grounded Heroism

It's a superhero story for 2017

Megan Vick

Black Lightning is storming on to television screens sometime next year, but it will be different from The CW superhero shows you've seen before.

The network announced during their Upfront presentation in New York City on Thursday that the latest Greg Berlanti-produced DC adaptation won't immediately be part of the same universe as the other CW superhero shows -- Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, which have all crossed over with each other. Instead, Black Lightning will launch at midseason and use its freshman run to establish its own identity before looking into any crossover potential.

That's an important fact for Black Lightning stars Cress Williams and Christine Adams, who spoke to TVGuide.com on The CW Upfronts red carpet. The new series is the first of the DC CW shows to take place in a real city -- Atlanta -- not a comic-book location.

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The show will also tackle real issues like police brutality, gang violence and inner-city crime from the jump street. Though Supergirl constantly preaches feminist values and Arrow dared to tackle gun violence earlier this season, Black Lightning will live in a space of real and relevant issues in its week-to-week episodes.

Williams and Adams explain how being able to not only represent the African-American community in a superhero show but provide strong, positive examples for young people is a dream come true. Black Lightning will strive to be a source of light for young children of color looking to find themselves on screen during a turbulent time in our society.

Black Lightning launches midseason on The CW.

Additional reporting by Alex Zalben.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies)