'Black Lightning' Star Talks Series' Unique Universe

Black Lightning goes into its season finale tomorrow night and as the freshman CW superhero show closes out its first year, series star Cress Williams is reminding viewers that Black Lightning has its own, unique universe -- and that's a good thing.

In a recent interview with Innovation & Tech Today, Williams -- who plays Jefferson Williams/Black Lightning on the series -- explained that the show is so different from the rest of the network's superhero programs it is its own "Lightningverse".

"I think the producer/creator of the show, Salim [Akil], has been pretty clear that we're not really a part of the Arrowverse," Williams said. "I know everybody wants us to be, and I still see tweets going, 'another Arrowverse show.' But we're not part of it. I think he's even talked about it, it would be really great to create a new universe. I think he coined it the 'Lightningverse'."

The idea of a separate superhero universe anchored around Black Lightning the way the network's Arrowverse came from Arrow is an interesting concept. Even with Black Lightning being based off of DC Comics characters just like the heroes populating the Arrowverse, the show has some characters that would be natural fits for a wider "Lightningverse". Williams explained that he thinks that if other shows did spin off, they would share the same realism started in Black Lightning.

"Because I know a lot of people have been screaming about -- not screaming -- but chiming in that they would love to see Static Shock," Williams said. "With my daughters, you can tell in the early episodes that they're going to develop powers. It almost lends itself to other heroes and creating another 'verse that would, if it's rooted in Black Lightning, then all the other shows in the 'verse would be really socially conscious and kind of rooted in more real life."

That being "rooted in more real life" is also part of why Williams thinks Black Lightning wouldn't be a good fit with the Arrowverse -- or the Arrowverse with Black Lightning.

"Personally, I don't think it would really translate," he admitted. "If we tried to fit ourselves into the Arrowverse, we'd have to completely change the style of our show. If the Arrowverse tries to fit into ours, it's also changing the style of their show. They're very different."

That difference hasn't stopped fans from hoping for a crossover, though, and even executive producer Akil himself has considered where Black Lightning would fit in the multiverse even if it's not directly part of the Arrowverse. During a visit to the set of the show last year, ComicBook.com asked if he had given any consideration to what numerical designation his show's Earth might have.

"You know it," he said. "You know it. Yes."


Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW. The first season finale for the show airs April 17.

What Earth in the multiverse do you think the "Lightningverse" could exist on? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!