Even though Black Lightning won’t actually premiere on The CW until 2018, we have a feeling that there is going to be plenty of buzz. It’s the newest addition to an enormous superhero universe on the network, and it’s the first with an African-American lead. It’s telling stories in a real-life city in Chicago, and it’s also not an origin story. Black Lightning already existed before the pilot, and the first episode of the show is going to be about how he eventually decides to put that mask back on and become the crimefighter that he once was.
Through much of the development process of the show, there’s been a larger question floating around out there as to whether or not this show will ever cross over down the road with any of the other editions of the CW superhero universe. For a while, the answer appeared to be a clear no; however, since that time it seems like there is a little more hope.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Salim Akil confirms that he’s not opposed to the idea of a crossover, but wants the show to start off in its own world and own universe first. Once he explains why that matters to him, you’ll get a further sense as to why it’s so important that the story be told this way:
“Jefferson is on planet earth 2017-2018. From my perspective, the reason that we walk down this road was because, let’s all be honest, the majority of people may know the title Black Lightning, but they don’t really know who Jefferson and Black Lightning is, and I felt like it was very, very important for us to get to know who he is and who this character is and what his wants and needs and vulnerabilities are before we start introducing a lot of other things into that. That’s the main reason: I want people to get to know this family. I want them to get to understand what kind of villains that he’s fighting. There ain’t many superheroes down in the ghetto, or so-called ghettos. The communities that Jefferson and Black Lightning is trying to save is the communities like Chicago, Watts, all of the things that we see on television, those are very real villains and very real heroes. We want to explore through Jefferson and Anissa and Jennifer’s eyes, and Gambi’s eyes, we want to try to understand these communities not just as victims, but as hard-working people, blue collar people, who are caught in some very f—ed up circumstances, but it doesn’t make them less than, and we shouldn’t ignore them. One of the things that Black Lightning will do, and Jefferson will do, is be able to introduce the humanity of the people who are caught in these communities. So I didn’t want to distract from that, and I didn’t want to distract from us getting to know Jefferson, Jennifer, and Anissa, or Black Lightning, Thunder, and Lightning. I wanted people to get to know them first.”
After reading all of that, it’s hard to feel anything other than THRILLED for what is going to be coming for this show. It’s a superhero story, and also a human story. There are also going to be plenty of opportunities for crossovers down the road, but we do hope the show stays somewhat isolated like Arrow did last season. The Dominator storyline was fun here and there, but it was far from the highlight of the season.
What do you think: Is a Black Lightning crossover with the other shows on The CW a great idea? Share now in the comments below. (Photo: The CW.)