It's official: Black Lightning is coming to the Arrowverse. The CW announced that characters from Black Lightning will make their first appearance in the network's shared universe of DC Comics inspired shows in the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event Sunday morning during the Television Critics Association press tour.
While Sunday's announcement is the official one, the revelation isn't a big surprise for Black Lightning fans. On Saturday, series star Cress Williams took to social media to share a report that the hero would make his first Arrowverse appearance at some point during the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover event this fall. At the time, he shared the story on both Instagram and Twitter with a very simple caption: "You asked for it...you got it."
And, indeed, fans have been asking for this since Black Lightning's first season and even series creator Salim Akil has said in the past that he had thought about what Earth Black Lightning might take place on should it belong to the Arrowverse's multiverse, telling ComicBook.com during a past set visit "You know it." Still, even for the all the fan hope and creative consideration, it's been staunchly maintained that Black Lightning is its own world, which makes the hero and series' arrival in the Arrowverse something that appears to be uniquely timed to "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
"Crisis" is, functionally, the perfect time for Black Lightning to join the Arrowverse. In comics, the event changed the face of the multiverse in ways that are still being felt in comics to this day. It's a prime opportunity to bring the series into continuity, if you will, while still respecting and honoring the fact that show has, in a very real way, functioned entirely independently from the Arrowverse for its first two seasons. Black Lightning as a series is also in a good place going into Season 3 to lend a hero to "Crisis". Thunder/Anissa Pierce (Nafessa Williams) has been seen taking a much larger, much more visible and active heroic role on the streets of Freeland. With her prominence rising, it would in theory be workable for Black Lightning to head off to a whole different universe and help out while Thunder kept things running in Freeland.
It's the timing of things generally that network president Mark Pedowitz also echoed during the network presentation, noting that it wouldn't be happening if Akil hadn't agreed to it.
"This is a DC property we felt it might be the right time if [showrunner] Salim [Akil] was interested in it," Pedowitz says of the universe bending crossover. "He is doing his own thing, and we would not have done it if he didn't sign off on it."
The "Crisis" announcement brining Black Lightning into the Arrowverse wasn't the only big piece of news coming out of TCA for both Black Lightning and "Crisis" on Sunday, either. It was also announced that Kevin Conroy. star of Batman: The Animated Series and its spinoffs, will join the cast of "Crisis on Infinite Earths," presumably in the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman. The actor, who has been voicing the Dark Knight in almost too many projects to count for over 25 years, is the definitive voice of Batman for two generations of fans. The addition of Conroy comes on the heels of announcements at Comic Con that Burt Ward (Batman) would appear, and Brandon Routh would reprise his role from Superman Returns. It was also announced that Black Lightning's season premiere date has been moved up to be in line with the rest of the Arrowverse with the series now returning on Monday, October 7 at 9/8c following the second season premiere of All American.
Are you excited that Black Lightning is finally joining the Arrowverse and will be part of "Crisis on Infinite Earths"? Let us know in the comments below.