When I first heard there was a Supergirl TV show in the works I was skeptical. Supergirl has never really held her own as a solo comic book character. Her comic series tend to get cancelled quite a lot but she’s a popular character when she shows up in ensemble books so it’s surprising they took a risk on a high budget solo series for her. I’m really glad they did though because it’s one of my favourite TV shows on right now and here are some reasons you should be watching too.
In the show Kara Zor-El is the cousin of Superman who was sent to watch over him on earth when he was a baby. However, something went wrong and she was lost in time for a while meaning when she arrived Clark had been there for 20+ years and he didn’t need her protection anymore. Her comic origin is a much more ridiculous and complicated story involving a shrunken city in a bottle (Yes really) so I can understand why they went with their own version. This leaves them free to develop their own universe without all the baggage Superman brings with him. He still exists in their world but they keep National City pretty separate from Metropolis. They have also inserted Supergirl into some classic Superman storylines and situations. Surprisingly they’ve picked a lot of the more “out there” stories and characters to deal with in their first season. The greater DC universe is filled with aliens but this is the first live action thing to even mention them outside of Kryptonians.
It Respects The Source Material
Now this is not to be confused with being overly serious about your story like Batman Begins or Man of Steel. In my opinion trying to make everything gritty and down to earth loses the very thing that makes comics so great. They’re fantastical, you routinely see things that could never happen in the real world. For some reason TV and movie execs used to think people weren’t ready to accept the wonderfully stupid world of comics. Thanks to shows like Supergirl, Flash, Arrow and the Marvel movies they’re starting to realise that there are literally decades of amazing storylines just waiting to be adapted.
Supergirl embraces it’s silly history, it’s not afraid to put bad guys and heroes in their actual costumes with their original origins. They’ve done what many people have tried and failed to do (looking at you Zack Snyder) over the years and made Superman’s villains interesting in live action form. It’s been a complete breath of fresh air not having them rehash the same old Lex Luthor crap every other Superman movie and show seems obsessed with. Supergirl has been working her way through an interesting mix of costumed aliens, robots and meta-humans. She’s teamed up with the Martian Manhunter, had her DNA stolen to create a Bizarro Supergirl and even wrestled with a mind controlling alien plant in an awesome re imagining of the “For The Man Who Has Everything” comic storyline. These are all the types of things comic fans have wanted to see Superman do for years but no one’s had the guts to do it outside of cartoons.
It’s Full of Positive Characters
One thing that immediately stands out about DC’s TV shows is that the main character is always surrounded by an incredibly supportive group. They really emphasize the value of friendship and working together. I think it’s important for younger fans to have these kind of positive heroes as role models. Too many young DC fans are going to grow up having only watched the misguided movies from Zack Snyder and thinking that these worst versions of DC Superheroes are the norm.
Supergirl is also one of the few powered female superheroes we have on film right now. She flies around going toe to toe with super powered aliens, regularly saves her male friends from danger and they don’t make a big deal out of it. James Olsen doesn’t sulk because he’s been emasculated or make a joke about being saved by a girl, he thanks her for her help and they go on being friends. She also has a much less overtly sexualised costume compared to her comic counterpart, her friend Winn makes her a less practical outfit in the first episode but Kara promptly rejects it.
It’s About To Become Part of a Bigger Universe
They recently aired an episode where The Flash made a cameo appearance on Supergirl because the parent company CBS owns them both. The set up for the episode was that Flash accidently creates an interdimensional portal and ends up stranded on Supergirl’s Earth. This was such a good reward for long term fans of both series. Seeing Flash and Supergirl excitedly geeking out about each other’s universe had me grinning ear to ear the whole time and it’s actually the thing that inspired me to write this post. That’s what fans want to see when superheroes meet up, we want them to be friends and to help each other. Not try to murder each other (Looking at you again Snyder).
We didn’t know at the time this episode was announced but it was actually the start of something bigger. Season 2 of Supergirl is moving channels in the US and will be joining The Flash and Arrow on The CW channel. This will mean that they’re free to cross them over whenever they want. If there’s anything comic fans love it’s a good crossover and I’m so excited to see what happens when the three tv shows are finally allowed to meet up.