No, 'Black Lightning' Isn't Part of the Arrowverse

Tonight was the series debut for Black Lightning, The CW's latest DC Comics-inspired superhero series, and while there was a lot to take in with the series premiere, there's one question that keeps coming up -- is Black Lightning part of the Arrowverse?

While it would no doubt be amazing to see Black Lightning (Cress Williams) join forces with The Flash (Grant Gustin), Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), and the Legends either in regular episodes of any of the shows or in a big crossover event, fans holding out for such an event may be holding out forever. Black Lightning is officially not a part of the Arrowverse.

Black Lightning's executive producer Salim Akil, producer Greg Berlanti, and even CW president Mark Pedowitz have all been very clear that Black Lightning is a show apart from the network's popular Arrowverse of programs, and there's at least one very important reason why. In short, everyone wants Black Lightning to stand on its own.

Akil previously told the Wrap that it was important to create the world of Black Lightning separate from The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow.

"I say this with all due respect, but they're not really relevant to the show that we're doing," Akil 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."

Berlanti echoed the sentiment in a recent inverview with Variety, noting that Akil's vision for the show was unique and specific and that the show was always meant to be set apart.

"As far as I know everyone’s always wanted [Black Lightning to be separate]," Berlanti revealed. "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 ever connect those things. It’s always existed outside."

And as for even the tiniest of future hopes for some kind of event that would allow Black Lightning to cross into the Arrowverse? Arrow showrunner has noted that if it were to happen, it would need to be something to happen sooner rather than later.

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"My preference actually would be to start talking about it sooner rather than later," Guggenheim recently told ComicBook.com. "Because it really is like doing — I know there's now five shows along with Black Lightning, that's not to say that Black Lightning is a part of the Arrowverse, that's above my pay grade — but I will say whether you consider it four shows or five shows, doing the crossover is like doing a fifth or sixth show. And getting out as far ahead of it as possible is always good."

Black Lightning airs Tuesdays at 9/8c after The Flash on The CW.