Between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow not even The CW’s chief Mark Pedowitz expected superhero show number five, reported Variety. But you know these superheroes, once they have a mission, they simply cannot be stopped.
The Hollywood Reporter says that Black Lightning was originally in the works with Fox, but has since been handed over to The CW, which has already had success with its super lineup. This will be Greg Berlanti’s fourth superhero pilot, making him a major success story in the world of comics-to-television. It seems audiences are clamoring for heroes these days. Black Lightning will have some seriously powerful competition between Jessica Jones of Netflix, Agent Carter on ABC, and the ever popular Avengers franchise to name a few.
The next challenge for The CW will be staggering its meta-humans and vigilantes through the year to maximize watching potential. Though of course keeping these shows arranged separately only makes sense, a crossover between Black Lightning and Arrow is inevitable. In the original comics, Green Arrow and Black Lightning work together on more than one occasion; though Lightning does usually prefer to be the lone wolf protector of Suicide Slum and the students he teaches under cover of his secret identity as Jefferson Pierce. It appears all but inevitable that a powerful villain like Lex Luthor or Deathstroke will inspire two or more of our favorite vigilantes to join forces. In fact, a super get-together of all five CW heroes in something along the lines of Captain America: Civil War seems entirely possible (as long as the station has some super funding).
Another area of development for Black Lightning will be the hero’s daughters, one of whom takes up the family business as “Thunder.” In the past few years, The CW has been bursting with female power: Supergirl of course, Caitlin Snow, Sara and Laurel as Black Canary, Felicity as recently dubbed “Overwatch,” and even Thea and Moira Queen. Will Black Lightning reboot one of these making-of-a-vigilante stories for the hero’s daughter, or will they give her a more unique origin?
No doubt having a Black hero will help diversify The CW’s lineup of lead actors, and it will be exciting to see who lands the powerful role. Hopefully writers Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil can bring the show out of the 70’s and 80’s of the original comics and incorporate the complex systems and struggles of modern racism, without falling into stereotypes old and new.
Of course, all this relies on the show being launched for the 2017-18 season with a successful pilot. So if you want to see Black Lightning and Thunder flash across the air for long enough to battle some exciting villains, meet up with Arrow, and struggle to mask their true identities; keep an eye out for the pilot release date. Meanwhile, we can only wait, and imagine how Jefferson Pierce will come across a lightning-proof supersuit.
— ComicBook NOW! (@ComicBookNOW) February 3, 2017