Cress Williams, star of his own CW superhero show, might just have gotten tricked into revealing a huge surprise. Black Lightning will join the Arrowverse crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths, at least according to Williams’ social media posts. The original source itself was somewhat dubious, but Williams seemed to confirm it when he shared it far and wide with his fans. Since the inception of Black Lightning, the producers decided to skip the annual crossover and stay out of the Arrowverse. The decision to keep this show separate from the others always struck fans as questionable, but there are some real-world logistics involved. Most of the CW shows, including Supergirl set on another Earth, film in Vancouver. Black Lighting, however, films in Atlanta. If Williams (or his social media team) got it right, the overcame that problem so the CW’s first majority black super show can join the party.
Was the Fact that Black Lightning Will Join the Arrowverse Crossover a Secret?
Fans asked for Black Lightning to crossover with the other shows in the Arrowverse for some time, if only for a one-off episode. With Crisis On Infinite Earths bringing back Brandon Routh as Superman and even former 1960s Robin Burt Ward, this move only makes sense. So, one has to wonder if Cress Williams wasn’t tricked into confirming something that was supposed to be a surprise. There are a handful of entertainment sites known for frequently publishing false reports. Whether their sources are lying to them or they are just making things up, one got lucky with this reveal. Citing sources close to its own site (which, is not how that works), this site claimed that Black Lightning would appear in the Crisis crossover.
CW has a press event scheduled for later today, which may have been when they planned to announce it. Yet, Cress Williams shared the article on Instagram and Twitter, deleted it and then posted it again. Other outlets are reporting that their sources close to CW confirmed Black Lightning’s inclusion. It’s possible the site got an actual scoop, or they made a lucky guess and Williams thought it was an official release of information. Either way, it means that Black Lighting is closer to joining the larger DC universe on the CW, which is a good thing for all involved. And rumors we’re hearing suggest that Ward and Routh’s Superman aren’t the only old DC faces we’ll see in this event. If the storytellers have their way, every former DC live-action (and possibly animated) project will join the Arrowverse crossover this year.
Tom Welling as the White Whale
As excited fans will be that Black Lighting will join the Arrowverse crossover, there are plenty of other characters they want to see. Yet, while fans hope for Batmen, Lanterns, and maybe Helen Slater’s Supergirl, there is one figure close to the DC TV family who they want more than any others. Tom Welling, who portrayed young Clark Kent on Smallville for ten seasons, is apparently hesitant to return for the crossover. Even Arrow actor Stephen Amell has publicly said they want him to be a part of it. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but if Welling agrees this is something we’ll hear about in advance. Because millions of Smallville fans will tune in to see Welling’s return, whatever form it may take. Without Smallville, there would be no Arrowverse.
Still, what this latest bit of news tells us is that the producers behind the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover are trying their best to include every corner of the DC universe they can. That Black Lightning will join the Arrowverse crossover is yet another sign that they are approaching this right. Done correctly, this could perhaps be the most ambitious superhero crossover of all time (pun intended). What the MCU did on the big screen is remarkable, but what the CW accomplished thus far with the Arrowverse is just as much a gift to long-time comic book fans.
What do you think? Who do you want to see return for the Arrowverse crossover?
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.