Black Lightning's Arrowverse references don't mean that the show will be melding worlds with the DCTV universe anytime soon, the show's executive producer Salim Akil said.
With all Arroweverse shows - Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow - getting another season order, and Black Lightning locking in its sophomore year, there is a whole other TV season for the series to eventually make a crossover happen. Unfortunately, before fans get really excited about the idea, Black Lightning's executive producer is setting the record straight regarding those Arrowverse references in a recent episode and what they actually mean for the freshman series moving forward.
Speaking with EW to address growing speculations about the possibility of a Black Lightning/Arrowverse crossover after the former referenced superheroes Supergirl and Vixen, Akil explained that those name drops aren't anything more than Easter eggs. And if the show's characters ever participate in a crossover, other shows will need to come to Freeland, not the other way around. Akil said:
“We are in our own world. 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. ... We mentioned those other characters just to have fun. 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."
While Akil is doubling down that Black Lightning is and will remain separate from the rest of the DCTV shared universe, Arrow star Stephen Amell isn't buying it. The actor who kickstarted the whole Arrowverse believes it's only a matter of time before the Pierces join forces with all the other heroes on The CW, explaining that if the execs truly want to expand the existing franchise, adding new characters to make for a bigger (and more complicated) overall narrative is the only way to do so. In hindsight, the he isn't wrong. It's the same route that the MCU followed and they've continued to thrive even after 10 years. It would be odd to not take the opportunity of incorporating Black Lighting into the Arrowverse when it can be done.
Unless, of course, there is a specific reason the creatives behind the show don't want to mingle with the rest of the DCTV universe. While it's true that Black Lightning wasn't originally developed for The CW (its pilot was commissioned and then abandoned by Fox, only to be picked up by its current network), it's not necessarily enough reason to alienate it from the rest of the Arrowverse. Besides, Supergirl originally airing on CBS didn't stop it from crossing over with The Flash during its first season.
Perhaps Akil and his cohorts are building the series to create a brand new separate franchise known as the Lightningverse, which is a huge possibility considering it includes several running narrative threads and multiple interesting characters who could easily headline a spin-off. Nonetheless, it's a little bit off-putting that the show continues to reference other heroes from the Arrowverse and then say that if a crossover is to happen, those shows need to come to Freeland instead of them coming up with a middle ground (and a great narrative) that will benefit all parties involved.
Black Lightning airs its season 1 finale Tuesday April 17 at 9pm on The CW.