SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen the latest episode of ‘Black Lightning’, “The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis,” this contains MASSIVE SPOILERS so proceed with caution or turn back now.
‘Black Lightning’, the series, is not a part of The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover, but Black Lightning (Cress Williams), the character will be. However, the series wasn’t completely exempt from the effects of the crossover storyline in which the Anti-Monitor is destroying the various parallel universes, as the latest episode, “The Book of Resistance: Chapter Four: Earth Crisis” tied in heavily to the effects of the main story, and there will be repercussions.
In the ‘Black Lightning’ episode, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) came face-to-face with two Jennifers from parallel Earths, including Earth-2. But watchers of the other Arrowverse shows know that Earth-2 was wiped out just prior to “Crisis” officially kicking off.
Back in 1985-86, DC published the maxiseries ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’, which consisted of 12 issues, but almost the entire line of DC Comics felt the impact. Issues of various titles that connected to the ‘Crisis’ story featured a special banner across the tops of their covers, in which the DC logo was stylized with a “50” (in honor of the publisher’s 50th anniversary) and the label “Special Crisis Cross Over.” But that wound up being something of a joke, as many comics bore this special logo, yet the stories inside had nothing to do with ‘Crisis’ beyond the colorist rendering the sky as red, an element also present in the TV adaptation.
But in a sense, the latest ‘Black Lightning’ was the TV equivalent of the comics’ “Special Crisis Cross Over” issues. The sky turned red, and Jennifer/Lightning found herself in an interdimensional limbo, facing two alternate versions of herself, including one non-powered version, and one evil version.
At the end of the episode, the “real” Jennifer watched as her two doppelgangers were wiped out by a wave of anti-matter, as their homeworlds were deleted by the Anti-Monitor.
Meanwhile, on their home Earth (Earth-23), Black Lightning vanished in a flash of light, which appeared to be the same energy Harbinger (Audrey Marie Anderson) used to teleport the other heroes between worlds. BUT, the rest of the main cast? Anissa (Nafessa Williams), Lynn (Christine Adams), and Peter Gambi (James Remar)… and their ENTIRE EARTH appeared to have been wiped out by the anti-matter wave!
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I ask the same thing as I did after the apparent destruction of Earth-6, the setting of the ‘Titans’ DC Universe series: What does this mean?! Obviously, both ‘Titans’ and ‘Black Lightning’ are going to continue.
Unfortunately, I think this means that by the end of the “Crisis” event, the heroes will manage to restore everything to the way it was before. I know I wasn’t the only one hoping that The CW would use this event to integrate all of its shows, and move ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Black Lightning’ onto Earth-1. That’s how it has seemed at this point, as the few billion survivors of Supergirl’s Earth (38), migrated to Earth-1. Obviously, the survivors would have included all of the main characters from that show.
But I don’t buy them killing off Anissa and Lynn. And what about the ongoing storylines? With the planet wiped out, that would negate everything that the show was building.
So, unfortunately, this crossover does not look like it is streamlining The CW’s Arrowverse the way many of us had hoped. HOPEFULLY, once the dust settles, ‘Supergirl’ and ‘Black Lightning’ will be woven into Earth-1, making it easier to cross them over.
But on a practical note, ‘Black Lightning’ films in Atlanta, while the other shows film in Vancouver. So crossovers would be difficult anyway.
At any rate, Black Lightning jumps into “Crisis” on the third episode of the crossover, ‘The Flash’. The storyline wraps up on January 14, on ‘Arrow’ at 8 pm, and a special episode of ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ at 9 pm.
What do you think? How would you like to see “Crisis on Infinite Earths” turn out?