Cinema - TV

Black Lightning’s Painkiller Spinoff Is A New First For The Arrowverse

todayNovember 25, 2020

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The Arrowverse could be starting a new trend with the upcoming Black Lightning spinoff series Painkiller. Ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths, it closed the chapter on one phase of Greg Berlanti’s massive superhero TV universe that started in 2012. With the conclusion of Arrow, the end of an era had come to fruition as the franchise goes on without the Green Arrow. But throughout 2020, it has become clear that more changes are on their way for the Arrowverse. After 6 seasons, Supergirl will officially wrap up its big run on The CW in the later part of 2021.

However, in a surprising move, The CW revealed that they’re actually saying farewell to two DC TV heroes rather than just one. It was recently announced that Black Lightning will also be bowing out of the Arrowverse with its fourth and final season that is set to premiere in February 2021. Despite going through the Crisis saga which brought Jefferson Pierce’s world into the rest of the Arrowverse, Black Lightning is wrapping up its run in the ongoing TV season. With the news of a Wonder Girl series also being the works, The CW is entering its second phase of DC TV shows.

But while Black Lightning is coming to an end, the world of Freeland might get to live on through Khalil Payne a.k.a. Painkiller. Right before The CW announced the end of the DC drama, the network had just revealed that a spinoff was in the works for Jordan Calloway’s character. Currently, the plans are to air a backdoor pilot for Painkiller in the middle of Black Lightning season 4. The CW revealed that the seventh episode will be when fans get a taste of the Painkiller series. It’s important to remember that right now it’s only a pilot order, meaning that it’s always possible the series won’t get picked up.

However, should Painkiller go to series, it would be a first for the Arrowverse in the kind of show it would be. In the last eight years, The CW has developed DC shows based on traditional superheroes. But for any Black Lightning viewer, it’s evident that Khalil is no superhero whatsoever. While the Arrowverse has had vigilantes like Oliver Queen, The CW franchise hasn’t gone into the anti-hero route quite yet. That’s what Painkiller would add to the franchise as a new DC series for the first time since the Arrowverse was created. What the Black Lightning writers also did was to add the neat twist of Khalil having another character live inside of him.

While Painkiller is certainly not one of the bigger DC characters that the Arrowverse has introduced, Black Lightning fascinatingly reimagined him for The CW that could work as a TV show. Painkiller could also pave the way for other DC anti-heroes to eventually come to life in the Arrowverse. When Black Lightning’s seventh episode airs, fans will get a better idea of what could be in store for Khalil and Painkiller in the potential spin-off. As unfortunate as it’s that Black Lightning is leaving the Arrowverse, if Painkiller goes forward, it’d organically open the anti-hero angle for The CW’s ever-growing DC TV franchise.



Written by: New Generation Radio

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