What’s left of the Arrowverse now that Black Lightning is ending?

Black Lightning is ending with its fourth season, meaning many of the original Arrowverse heroes will soon be gone for good.

The news that The CW’s Black Lightning would end with its upcoming fourth season came as a shock to the show’s fans and stars, many of whom expressed disappointment with the decision to cancel the series. Not only does this mean fans will have to say farewell to one of The CW’s — and the Arrowverse’s — most diverse shows, but it means fans won’t get to see these characters’ storylines play out to their full potential.

In particular, fans questioned the decision to nix the series just as new shows began coming onboard. Given COVID-related delays and other factors, this makes it unlikely Black Lightning will partake in future Arrowverse crossover events, an opportunity the series has already been deprived of.

Of course, the news of a Painkiller spin-off offers some solace for Black Lightning fans, though it’s unclear if this series will play a significant part in the overall franchise. Additionally, fans have argued that other characters from Black Lightning might have made for more interesting spin-off leads. (With Painkiller reportedly headed to a new city, it sadly doesn’t seem like we’ll hear from the other characters much moving forward.)

Black Lightning’s cancellation also raises questions about the future of the Arrowverse, especially since it comes not long after the announcement that Supergirl will also be ending next year. With Arrow having wrapped its final season earlier this year, that leaves The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow as the last two older DC series standing.

That’s not to say there aren’t newcomers who could pick up the mantle of these beloved Arrowverse shows. Although Batwoman has gotten off to a rocky start, Javicia Leslie’s Ryan Wilder promises to become a protagonist that could spark all-new interest in the series and the Arrowverse as a whole. (And from what we’ve seen so far, we can easily see her leading the television universe into its future.)

Similar things can be said for Courtney Whitmore’s Stargirl, whose series of the name has already been met with massive praise from fans. Although there’s no word on when season two will arrive — and despite the fact that Courtney hasn’t been officially inducted into the Arrowverse via a crossover yet — she could add a much-needed teenage perspective to The CW’s group of DC heroes.

Two characters who have already debuted in the Arrowverse are Superman and Lois, two characters who are getting their own show early next year. It’s going to be a bit strange to have a DC icon like Superman involved in the DC TV universe, but it’s possible this new take on his story could revitalize it somehow.

The future of the Arrowverse has a big question mark over it currently, but hopefully, the end of Black Lightning and Supergirl don’t foreshadow the end of the television universe overall.

Black Lightning returns for its final run on February 8, 2021.

Are you upset about Black Lightning ending? How do you feel about the future of the Arrowverse? Sound off in the comments below.