The Arrowverse midseason return trailer includes a cameo by The CW’s latest DC superhero addition, Black Lightning (Cress Williams). Arrow launched The CW’s shared DC TV universe in 2012, introducing viewers to Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and eventually spinning off Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) into his own TV series on the network. Although Supergirl debuted before DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (itself, an Arrow/Flash spinoff) in the fall of 2015, the show originally aired on CBS and didn’t officially become part of the Arrow multiverse until the season 1 episode “Worlds Finest” aired in March of 2016. Supergirl then moved to The CW for its sophomore season and has been firmly part of The CW superhero family since then.
Black Lightning won’t be part of the Arrowverse when its freshman season premieres next week, even though Arrowverse co-creator and chief architect Greg Berlanti is among the executive producers on the series. Black Lightning was originally setup at FOX and developed for the network, before The CW ordered its pilot instead and eventually picked it up to series. The extended trailer for the Arrowverse’s 2018 midseason return even references this by way of a funny cameo from Jefferson Pierce (Williams) at the end.
Related: Why Black Lightning Isn’t Part of the Arrowverse
The CW’s Arrowverse 2018 midseason return trailer “Suit Up” is an extended version of a previously-released Arrowverse midseason promo that showed characters from Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Kara Zor-El herself (Melissa Benoist) suiting up in their superhero gear in a locker room and preparing to get back to their crime-fighting occupations. You can watch that extended trailer, Black Lightning appearance included, in the space above.
All four Arrowverse TV series ended their 2017 midseason finales on cliffhangers, each of them quite different in nature. The Arrow midseason premiere picks up with Oliver struggling to figure out what to do with half of his trusted Team Arrow gone, while The Flash midseason premiere finds Barry framed for murder and attempting to prove his innocence without revealing that he’s secretly the Fastest Man Alive. Meanwhile, the Legends will be seeking out a longterm replacement for Team Firestorm, and Supergirl will be trying to regain consciousness after her first battle with the World Killer Reign (Odette Annable) left her in a comatose state.
Black Lightning showrunner Salim Akil appears to be going for something different from the Arrowverse with his own DC TV show on The CW. Trailers for Black Lightning have painted the series as being closer in style and form to Marvel and Netflix’s street level superhero TV shows (like Daredevil and Luke Cage) than the Arrowverse, though with enough of a family friendly bend that it doesn’t feel out of place on The CW. Considering that the Arrowverse will be introducing even more time traveling superheroes and similarly fantastical elements in the first half of 2018, it’s understandable that Akil would prefer to keep his more grounded family superhero drama separate for the time being.
Still, as this trailer calls attention to, fans of the Arrowverse would do well not to forget “the new guy” and give Black Lighting a shot when it premieres, its lack of connections to Oliver Queen and company aside. Jefferson Pierce won’t be on his own for long either, seeing as his daughter Anissa (Nafessa Williams) will suit up as Thunder on the show sooner rather than later, with her sister Jennifer (China Anne McClain) as Lightning probably not far behind.
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Supergirl season 3 continues Monday, January 15 @8pm. The Flash season 4 continues Tuesday, January 16 @8pm. Arrow season 6 continues Thursday, January 18 @9pm. Legends of Tomorrow continues Monday, February 12 @8pm. Black Lightning premieres Tuesday, January 16 @9pm.
Source: The CW