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– by David Kozlowski

Could you maybe, possibly find a little more time in your busy TV schedule for yet another superhero show? Well, Greg Berlanti and the CW are betting that you can! According to Deadline, the pilot episode for Black Lightning (based on the DC Comics character) is gaining traction, and appears headed for a full-season pickup. 

Berlanti had originally planned Black Lightning for the Fox Network, where he’d join their other DC properties, Gotham and Lucifer. However, the Fox deal fell through, so Berlanti went back to the CW and convinced them that the only thing better than six comic book series is seven comic book series… and given the success of Berlanti’s other CW/DC shows (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow), maybe that’s not as crazy as it sounds. 

NOTE: At this time, it’s unclear whether or not Black Lightning will be part of the pre-existing Arrowverse. Hard to imagine that this won’t be the case, but there’s been no official statement from Berlanti or CW. 

So, the question many comic book fans might be asking: how can Black Lightning differentiate itself from all of the other superhero shows on CW, Fox, FX, ABC, AMC, and Netflix? 

The show centers on Jefferson Pierce, played by Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie), as a retired superhero raising a teen-aged daughter, with vigilante aspirations of her own. Pierce quits the crimefighting grind to become a school teacher, until one of his students has a serious run-in with a violent street gang, forcing him back into the costume. The character is one of DC Comics’ earliest African-American superheroes, debuting in 1977. While Netflix’s Luke Cage, starring actor Mike Colter, established TV’s first black actor in a lead superhero role, more diversity in genre television is certainly still needed and welcomed. 

So far, there’s nothing particularly ground-breaking about Berlanti’s Black Lightning. However, it could be interesting to see a father-daughter superhero dynamic — for what it’s worth, the relationship between Barry Allen and his stepfather, Joe, on The Flash has been one of that series’ strengths. 

Are you ready, willing, and able to watch another DC Comics property on the CW? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: Deadline

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.