Supergirl: Similar Concept, Brave New Hero

“From the creators of…” is a well-known phrase in marketing. It’s similar to a friend saying, “If you liked this, then you are going to love this!”

That’s how it all started with CBS’s Supergirl and me.

I was already impressed with the creators’ past work, so I was definitely on board to see what they cooked up for Kara.

Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist  as Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin from the planet Krypton. As baby Kal-El is loaded into the rocket that will take him to Earth, Kara is given a rocket of her own with the instructions that she shall be Kal-El’s child protector with the great powers that the Earth will grant her. But, her rocket ends up in the phantom zone because of, well, science, and she makes it to Earth 20 years later after Clark.  Kara ends up hiding herself and her powers from the world until a particular accident forces her to come out of the shadows.  Now with the help of her sister and team of reporter buddies, Kara fights crime against those who escaped from the phantom zone. She is Supergirl!

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Now, for those who follow The CW’s  Arrow and The Flash, you will notice right off the bat after an episode of Supergirl that the intros are pretty much the same. In fact, to generalize it, Supergirl feels a lot like the first season of Arrow. It’s not a bad thing, just with season one the character was very rigid. Supergirl and her cast are still finding their footing around this beast of a show. Rules need to be established, including the fact that Superman is not coming to help, no matter what.

Luckily the fight scenes are getting much better since the leaked pilot, and Supergirl herself is just super adorable. So, as the format stays consistent, the show returned from its mid-season break at the timing of his report with the conclusion of the cliffhanger episode, and its big reveal. And of course the “reveal” happened in the same episode as the CW crossover episode, both expanding their ranks as it were.  My prediction is that in season 2 of Supergirl we should see how her past life on Krypton affects life on Earth, just as Ollie dealt with the demons of his past in season two of Arrow, and The Flash as of now is fighting a slew of past villains and issues from season 1. (FAN THEORY: Zoom is Eddie)

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As I’ve said before, I appreciate how Kara is portrayed as a strong female character. It’s a good choice by the creators not to over sexualize her which could have so easily been done. In the nine episodes I’ve seen, she’s only had one fashion montage and one nerd-girl-in-a-dress-becomes-hot moment. I believe this is because of what they are trying to get across with Supergirl, that she is not just a female version of the male product. She is her own hero, and she will stand and fight the good fight.

Similar to her counterparts on the CW, Supergirl has her own team of helpers. She has Winn the tech guy, her adopted sister Alex as backup in the battlefield., and Jimmy, or James Olsen (“Jimmy is reserved for the big guy and my parents.”) filling the confidant role. Similar to Barry Allen and Joe West in The Flash, the role of the confidant holds a high emotional bond to the main character.  Then there is Cat Grant as the Perry White/Harrison Wells /Obi Wan Kenobi equal in the show, our mentor.  While Kara is learning to become a hero, she looks towards Cat as her example of a strong woman. At first, it was very a “Devil Wears Prada” relationship between Kara and Cat but as the season moves on, they are moving more towards friendship.

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I am in. I am not as excited as I was when Flash had its first season and every episode was funny and fast, but I am interested in this show. Like Green Arrow and The Flash, I  barely knew anything about these characters from the comics besides what you get at face value, but the shows are working like book-to-movie adaptations that I have not read. I watch the movie, then find the book, love the book so much more, and am thankful for the movie for leading me to it. Like World War Z for example. (The audiobook is amazing. Mark Hamill can do no wrong.)

But, unlike World War Z, I don’t look back at the shows after reading comics like Quiver, Flashpoint, or World’s Finest in the new 52 and think “Well, that could have been so much better.” But, as I plow through the rest of the first season, I am curious to what lies ahead for our heroine.  As of this report there is still rumor in the air about a Flash and Supergirl crossover episode. Nothing definitive, but that would certainly be epic.

This is a guest post submitted by Randy Yarbrough (Houston based film and comic book podcaster @dogfinradio) If you’re interested in contributing to the site, please fill out this online form and send us your pitches!

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