'Black Lightning' EP Addresses Arrowverse References

Black Lightning is not part of the Arrowverse, no matter how many references the show might make.

This is something we've been told since even before the series debuted on The CW, airing just after The Flash as the network's fifth superhero show. However, despite the repeated assertion that Jefferson Pierce and Oliver Queen exist in very different worlds there have been little teases and nods in Black Lightning that have had viewers wondering if a crossover is imminent. The show, which starts Cress Williams as the titular hero, has referenced Vixen -- a superhero that has appeared on both Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow -- as well as Supergirl. However, despite these nods, Black Lightning still stands alone.

Series executive producer Salim Akil told Entertainment Weekly that the references are just meant to be fun nods to DC Comics heroes and that the show remains its own world.

"We are in our own world," Akil said. "We're not in the Arrowverse. We're not in the Supergirl universe. We're in the Black Lightning universe. If there's ever a crossover, Supergirl will come to Freeland, or Green Arrow will come to Freeland."

While that certainly should make for an interesting crossover -- especially since the previous Arrowverse crossovers have almost entirely taken place on Earth-1, home of The Flash and Green Arrow (Supergirl lives on Earth-38) -- there doesn't appear to be any plans for that. Black Lightning may have teased Supergirl, but it's all in good fun.

"We mentioned those other characters just to have fun." Akil said. "I thought it was just fun to tease the fans and have fun with the fans. We're always trying to have a conversation with the fans and we're also trying to have fun with them, so that was part of that."

Akil as well as network president Mark Pedowitz have been asserting that Black Lightning is part of a standalone universe since very early on. Akil told the Wrap earlier this year that part of it was that Black Lightning and the Arrowverse weren't relevant to one another.

"I say this with all due respect, but they're not really relevant to the show that we're doing," he said. "The great thing that Warner Bros. and CW allowed us to do was create our own world. We really wanted folk to get to know this family before we started branching out."

Producer Greg Berlanti backed that claim up previously as well, noting that not only did Akil want Black Lightning to be a separate show, but that the studio and network agreed with him.

"As far as I know everyone's always wanted [Black Lightning to be separate'," Berlanti said. "Salim wants that. And the studio and the network want that. They're very different tonal shows. As people watch them, I'm not sure they could sort of ever quite imagine yet how we would be able to connect those things. It's always existed outside."

However, not being part of the Arrowverse doesn't mean the show has any shortage of drama and action. Black Lightning airs its season finale tomorrow night and, according to Marvin "Krondon" Jones III, who recently spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about the finale, it will deliver on every question viewers have this season.

"You don't want to miss the finale because it is going to answer every question that you have," Jones said. "You know what Tobias is out for, let's see if he gets it."


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

Are you still hoping Black Lightning will end up part of the Arrowverse? Sound off -- and give us your best crossover ideas -- in the comments!