Female superheroes are only now starting to dominate the small screen.
This geek has been impatiently waiting six months for the premiere of CBS’s “Supergirl.” The reboot means a lot, not only to CBS, but also to comic fans everywhere.
Can this version of “Supergirl” be something that lasts for more than two episodes? I hope so.
My own journey with “Supergirl” started a time long ago…
Helen Slater played Kora Zor-El, the cousin of Clark Kent/Superman in the 1984 film. Slater’s turn in the cape inspired me to come out of the shadows and learn how to use my gifts.
The beginning of the movie reveals Kara as a woman who is unique, but afraid to embrace herself fully. Her cousin is known across the world; however, she does not believe the world wants another alien in the “saving people and stopping evil” business. She steps into herself only when she has no other choice. (This is a thread found with most female superheroes.) Kara begins to believe in her gifts and decides to be an active part of humanity.
If you were to watch it now, you might laugh at the cheesiness of the plot—Christopher Nolan wasn’t making films then—but you may find yourself enjoying the ’80s attempt to bring more female superheroes into our lives.
Thirty-one years later, I found myself rushing home today to watch the pilot of “Supergirl.” Going in, I knew there would be a campy vibe to the show (the previews set that up), but I wasn’t sure of how they would portray Kara’s transformation into the “other” Super.
The creators did not disappoint. Immediately, they introduce Kara to her new family on earth, the Danvers. Playing her new mother and father were Helen Slater (Supergirl 1984) and Dean Cain (Superman from “Lois & Clark”). I loved the nod to the old vanguard—something “The Flash” also has done.
This TV version of Kara also struggled with being the lesser Super; she thought she should just blend in. But life, as it always does, throws a wrench in her understanding of what participating in life actually looks like. Kara only steps back into her identity when she sees her sister’s plane circling National City, about to crash. Initially, her sister Alex tells Kara to not be like her cousin. (I won’t go in depth here, or I will spoil things for you.)
Kara does not try to keep her identity a secret from her friends, which allows the writers to jump straight into stories, instead of dealing with a subplot that always drags the story down. The creators have tweaked the mythos of Kara enough to keep fans of the comics entertained and a new audience hooked. The casting is fantastic (so far) and the overall setting for the show is colorful and recognizable. There were several lovely twists in the premiere, and even though I would love to give you a more in depth recap/opinion, I can’t because I haven’t figured out how to not spoil the joyful goodness that is “Supergirl.”
CBS has done something impressive with a thirty-minute show. Fans of “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Marvel’s Agents of Shield,” “Agent Carter,” “Smallville,” and “Lois & Clark” will enjoy this take on the “other” Super. If you are looking for a show that will leave you feeling unashamed for spending thirty minutes geeking out, this is your show. If you are looking to end your Mondays on a good note, please check out “Supergirl.”