The CW has amassed a long list of live-action superhero shows over the years, with some that ran on a bit longer than others. You've got smash hits like Smallville and Arrow, and then ill-fated way-too-expensive-to-keep-producing projects like Swamp Thing. And then there are some programs that have managed to find a middle ground. And as of right now, it looks like Black Lightning is on the chopping block, but does that mean the hero will die by the series finale?
Does Black Lightning eventually die? It wouldn't be the first time.
In Season 3, The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Henderson's Opus, Jefferson Pierce (the school teacher turned crime-fighter who possesses the electrifying powers) dies twice: on Earth-1, he's shot in the chest by Agent Odell and on Earth-2, he's electrocuted to death by Jinn Pierce. However, this is part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline, the mammoth crossover event that featured characters from all of the CW's DC shows.
Longtime fans were delighted to see a variety of cameos and different "versions" of their favorite superheroes from what are essentially different "earths" — dimensions in the series, like the fact that longtime Batman voice actor Kevin Conroy was playing Bruce Wayne IRL for the first time in his career and Ezra Miller brought his Justice League version of the Flash in for a cameo.
So this means that a lot of the events that occurred in Crisis on Infinite Earths don't necessarily affect the main storylines of other series. Take Jefferson Pierce's Earth 1 death, for example. Although he *actually* dies in this alternate timeline, it doesn't affect the timeline in Black Lightning, the show's main storyline. The same goes for his Earth 2 death where Jinn Pierce is a villain and kills him in an electricity battle.
Is a "real" Black Lightning death imminent now that we know the show's being canceled after its fourth season?
A lot of Black Lightning fans were left asking why the show was getting the kibosh after four seasons and it seems like the main reason is because its viewership wasn't high enough to justify production costs at the end of the day. Also, the CW seems like it's preparing for a spinoff series starring Painkiller in the titular role.
Does anybody ever truly die on Black Lightning?! My gawd— Here We Go, CSI (@NerdyBiNature) December 18, 2019
BL fans need not worry, however, as it looks like characters from the show will make appearances in the upcoming spinoff.
But does this mean that Black Lightning is going to die? Possibly. From a narrative standpoint, it might make sense and give greater dramatic impact for Painkiller to "pick up the mantle" so to speak.
What's interesting to note, however, is that Berlanti Productions, which produced a slew of other CW shows, including Black Lightning, isn't involved in the Painkiller spinoff, according to Deadline.
The outlet gave a brief synopsis of the upcoming series:
"After attempting to bury the darker, devastatingly lethal Painkiller part of his persona, Khalil has distanced himself away from everyone he knows and loves in a new city, Akashic Valley, in order to find peace, but peace never comes easy for men with pasts like his. As his violent, destructive history crashes his idyllic new beginning, Khalil is thrusted back into action with a new mission: bring justice where he once gave out punishment. But to do that, he will first have to deal with and harness his darker side."