Is it time to rebrand The CW as The DC? The only broadcast network with four live-action superhero series has just added its fifth DC drama: Black Lightning has picked up a full season order.
The timing is fitting, because Black Lightning debuted in DC’s comic book universe 40 years ago. As envisioned by Tony Isabella, Black Lightning was Jefferson Pierce, a metahuman born with the ability to control electricity. Jefferson even lived in the Suicide Slum of Metropolis where he taught at a high school that was threatened by gang violence and the secretive group known as the 100. After the death of one of his star pupils, Jefferson took on the identity of Black Lightning and carved out a heroic legacy for himself.
This series was originally developed for Fox, so it begs the question of how Black Lightning can be integrated with the Arrowverse shows…or even if it should. Black Lightning could stand on its own, or even share a world with Supergirl, because Metropolis has already been established on that series. Thematically, it may fit in better with Arrow and The Flash, but the premise of the series is slightly problematic for those shows. In Black Lightning, Jefferson Pierce was in costume years before either Green Arrow or The Flash. The pilot episode will deal with Jefferson’s return to his superhero identity after hanging it up for years. It’s not an impossible fit, but it doen’t quite match up with the established history of superhumans in that world.
DC’s Vertigo imprint also received some good news, as the iZombie series was renewed for a fourth season. The Rob Thomas produced television series only lightly resembles the iZombie comic book that inspired it, but it’s renewal was far from certain before this week. The CW also renewed The Originals and added new series called The Sentence, starring Pretty Little Liars‘ Lucy Hale in the lead. The full schedule for next season will be revealed later this month at The CW upfront presentation.
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