DC's newest superhero show, "Black Lightning", premiered earlier this month with a strong pilot episode. Joining "Arrow," "The Flash," "Supergirl," and "Legends of Tomorrow," this is one of many comic-inspired series picked up by the collaboration between DC and The CW.

A departure from the 'Arrowverse'

The four shows, together making up "the Arrowverse," have been running on CW's network since 2012 with the premiere of Arrow. Unlike these other shows, however, "Black Lightning" stands alone. The events of the show take place in an entirely different universe, sharing no characters or major events.

Sadly for some fans, this means that there will be no crossover with the other four shows.

Well, probably. "Supergirl" also started as part of a separate universe when it premiered under a different network, CBS, in 2015. The writers managed to make it work when the show was acquired by its current network. Some fans have wondered if "Black Lightning" might eventually merge with the Arrowverse. Others seem certain that the series will continue to stand apart. It seems likely that The CW is using this show to develop a more serious tone that stands out from its other superhero shows.

A cousin to Marvel's 'Luke Cage?'

Premiering on January 16, "Black Lightning" hit the screens with a pilot episode that, in many ways, mirrored the look and feel of the Marvel series on Netflix.

Some might say it was a little too similar. Both series take place in a similar setting, that of a primarily black neighborhood facing struggles with crime and gang violence. Likewise, the villain in the first two episodes of "Black Lightning" is a local gangster who grew up in the same neighborhood as the protagonist.

However, the series stands out through strong allusions to modern-day political issues, as well as the protagonist's career as an inner-city school principal.

The protagonist and his family deal with modern-day questions about race, partly through Jefferson Pierce's (Cress Williams) struggle to engage with an inner-city community ravaged by crime, and partly through the dangerous life of his newly re-emerged alter-ego, Black Lightning, who comes out of retirement to fight crime.

Of course, Black Lightning's similarity to the Netflix series may be a good thing, giving it a more serious vibe and artful style than its CW counterparts.

Hopefully, it will be able to maintain this high quality, unlike the other CW shows which have been known to decline in quality over time. The second episode took on some of the campy elements present in the other four shows, so it remains to be seen what the overall look and feel of the show will be.

The emergence of the black superhero

Along with "Luke Cage," "Black Lightning" represents a surge of black superheroes which has previously been a demographic not often featured in the comic genre. The theatrical release of "Black Panther" is just around the corner, with more than 34 million trailer views on YouTube. We finally got to see Cyborg in "Justice League," and The CW's other superhero shows currently feature black actors in a number of supporting roles - including a few characters who are not black in the source material.

Growing interest in seeing these characters shine has led to speculation about which characters we might see next. Is it possible that we might see Static appear on The CW, a move that would please many of the 90s kids watching "Black Lightning?" Will we get to have John Stewart as our next Green Lantern in DC's theatrical franchise?