A New Arrow-Verse Show May Be Spinning Out Of Black Lightning Season 4

The DC Comics character Painkiller is getting a spin-off backdoor pilot.


With Arrow over and Supergirl flying toward its finish line, the Arrow-verse lineup of TV shows on The CW isn't slowing down anytime soon. Batwoman's second season is coming with new star Javicia Leslie as the helm, and the upcoming Superman & Lois is set to debut next year. What's more, there's another DC TV show in the works.

The CW has announced that it will be using the seventh episode of Black Lightning Season 4 as a pilot for a potential Painkiller spin-off, according to Give Me My Remote. In the comics, the character doesn't last long, being killed off two issues after his introduction as a supervillain in Black Lightning Volume 2, Issue #2. Painkiller has lasted much longer on The CW's series, though, with Riverdale alum Jordan Calloway in the role. You can see him in costume below.

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A logline from The CW reads, "Khalil Payne is a young man ridden with the guilt of his troubled past from his former life in Freeland City, where, as a super-enhanced killing machine known as Painkiller, he was both a member of Tobias Whale’s gang and a weapon of Agent Odell and the shadowy ASA. 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 Khalil Payne and Painkiller. 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, Painkiller."

Given that this is simply a pilot within Black Lightning, it's entirely possible nothing could come of it. After all, it wouldn't be the first time a backdoor pilot didn't materialize as a full-on series. You have to look no further than the farm-centric episode of The Office's final season (titled "The Farm") or Supernatural's two attempts at spin-off--Season 9's Bloodlines and Season 13's Wayward Sisters.

No other information about Painkiller has been revealed at this point, including potential casting and when it's expected to air, should it move forward. Black Lightning returns to The CW in early 2021.

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