Why the Lightningverse would be the best place to introduce Batman


Creator Salim Akil wants to expand the world of Black Lightning with superheroes like Static, but there’s one other guy who would be the perfect fit.

Black Lightning‘s premiere season is off to a great start, thanks to how boldly it’s willing to dig into heavy topics, like gang violence and human trafficking. Simultaneously, it focuses on the Pierce family and keeps their unique family dynamics at the forefront.

Both critics and fans love it, so it’s probably here to stay for the long haul.

Which means, the world of superheroes will eventually expand in what creator Salim Akil recently referred to as the “Lightningverse” in an interview with Yahoo! Movies UK:

"We want to entertain. I know this show is topical and it has some political merit to it, but we also want to entertain and make people laugh and get them excited about the fight sequences, and the characters that are coming in, as well as the villains that are coming in. We hope it will be a well-rounded experience so yes, we’d love to see other superheroes come through."

Though Akil named the other electric superhero Static Shock and further reiterated that Thunder and Lightning are also on their way, Black Lightning’s comic history ties very closely with one superhero in particular that I’m sure fans are dying to see.

Bring in the Batman

On TV, Black Lightning/Jefferson Pierce lives in Freeland, an urban city meant to resemble the comics’ Suicide Slum just outside of Metropolis. (Yes, Superman’s Metropolis.) Geographically, we can assume that Black Lightning at least takes place on the same coast as Gotham City.  Also in the comics, Black Lightning appears as a member of the Justice League. Other times, he appears with the Outsiders — a crime-fighting group of metahumans first founded by Batman. So, it won’t feel too farfetched to envision them as acquaintances either.

To its benefit, Black Lightning has established that it doesn’t take place within the Arrowverse or adhere to its continuity. So any of those Arrow hints at Batman’s existence immediately become irrelevant. Likewise, Gotham airs on FOX and features a younger version of Bruce Wayne. But since a majority of the DC superheroes (and their fans) depend on The CW for exposure, the Lightningverse would be a great place to explore an adult Batman.

From a narrative standpoint, Black Lightning has already established itself as a superhero show that can handle its dark thematic elements without sacrificing the morality of its characters. More importantly, the show spends a diligent amount of time exploring the nuances of being a leader in the community, too. This means it can handle the grit of Batman and the glam of Bruce Wayne.

Plus, at the end of the day, Black Lightning understands that the most important role is fatherhood. If the Lightningverse approaches Batman/Bruce Wayne this same way, it would also be the perfect opportunity to introduce members of the Bat-family as well.

All of The CW superhero shows have tried to make the person beneath the suit as important as the hero in the costume. Unfortunately, none of them make me feel as invested in the heroes’ civilian counterparts as well as Black Lightning does.

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It’s really not an issue of having too many Batman iterations on TV either. If Clark Kent can make an appearance in the Arrowverse, and receive two Superman-less prequels with Krypton and Metropolis, there’s no reason the Lightningverse can’t use the Caped Crusader in a supporting role somewhere.

And frankly, the Lightningverse is the only TV universe I trust to do it right now.