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Why Black Lightning is ending with season 4

After its upcoming fourth season, The CW's Black Lightning will come to an end in 2021. It will be joining its fellow fallen Arrowverse shows Arrow (which ended this year) and Supergirl (which will end in 2021). Currently, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow are still going strong, with the newest DC comics series Batwoman entering its second season next year with a new lead.

Black Lightning is DC's first Black-led superhero series (and was DC's first Black-led comic book). It centers on high school principal Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) and his daughters, Jennifer (China Anne McClain) and Anissa (Nafessa Williams), as he returns to his old superhero persona, Black Lightning. "When we first started the Black Lighting journey, I knew that Jefferson Pierce and his family of powerful Black women would be a unique addition to the superhero genre," series creator and showrunner Salim Akil said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. But while the series is coming to an end soon, this may not be the last you see of the characters.

The CW is planning a spinoff starring Painkiller

Black Lightning's fourth season will include a backdoor pilot for a spinoff show, Painkiller, which will focus on series regular Jordan Calloway's character, Khalil Payne, as he reckons with his dark past. "While season four may be the end of one journey, I'm extremely excited to usher in a new chapter and continued collaboration with The CW as we tell the story of Painkiller," Akil said in the statement. He'll write, produce, and direct the pilot. While they didn't give an exact reason for the show's end, it seems Black Lightning may be ending to give Painkiller its opening. Of course, it might also have something to do with Black Lightning's drop in ratings last season.

"The love that Blerds and all comic book fans around the globe have shown this series over the past three seasons proved what we imagined, Black people want to see themselves in all their complexities," Akil said. "Thank you to the phenomenal cast, writers and crew without whom none of this would've been possible. I'm incredibly proud of the work we've been able to do and the moments we've been able to create in bringing DC's first African-American family of superheroes to life for the culture."

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

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