If every online article written about the darkness of the DCEU was printed on paper, the world would be facing an ecological crisis of apocalyptic proportions. Fortunately though, the only universe that seems to be facing annihilation right now is the DCEU — that is, if the scathing reviews for Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice are anything to go by.
Those who criticize Warner Bros. for taking the fun out of super heroics often point to The CW as a shining example of how the DCEU should move forward, injecting moments of levity and humor into each of their four comic book shows. However, now that the new fall season is underway, Oliver Queen's return to murder on Arrow and Barry Allen's time travelling woes on The Flash seem to be taking a page out of the DCEU's rule book.
In a surprise twist though, the usually wholesome and lighthearted Supergirl could turn out to be the darkest of all The CW shows, if the new direction of Season 2 is anything to go by.
Cadmus V Supergirl: Dawn of Darkness?
We've known for a while now that Project Cadmus would be the new big bad of Season 2, using their shady government experiments to take out Supergirl. Season 2's sophomore episode, The Last Children of Krypton, finally revealed the company's true intentions.
With the gradual increase of more and more aliens on Earth, Project Cadmus and their mysterious leader (Brenda Strong) are hellbent on removing all extraterrestrial life from this planet, regardless of whether the aliens are dangerous or not.
Sound familiar? Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trod surprisingly similar territory earlier this year, depicting the Last Son of Krypton as a potential threat to international security following the destruction caused in Man of Steel. The whole reason why Batman started fighting Superman in the first place was because his alien powers were deemed too dangerous by both the Dark Knight and the government at large.
Whether you're a fan of Batman v Superman or not, the parallels between Snyder's movie and the new season of Supergirl represent a bold new direction for The CW's shining light, one which could backfire if not handled right.
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Will Supergirl Become Too Dark?
Evoking a number of topical concerns regarding immigration in the world today, Strong's character revealed her xenophobic motivations in Episode 2 during an attack on Alex Danvers:
"[You're] a brainwashed little girl that the DEO has brainwashed into believing that demons are angels, that your life should be sacrificed to them, our invaders. All I'm asking, Alex, is for you to think about what your life would be if aliens had never come, what it could be if they're no more."
Comparing aliens such as Supergirl and Superman to egotistical gods raises a number of complex moral issues regarding prejudice and the nature of power, some of which could ultimately lead to some hard-hitting real-world comparisons. This direction is a far cry from Season 1's focus on Supergirl as a fledgling hero finding her way in the world. Now that Kara's finally in control of what she wants, the show is set to take a darker turn as Supergirl's impact on the world is explored in more detail.
The preview for Episode 3, 'Welcome To Earth', reveals that Project Cadmus's mission will take centre stage in the coming weeks. Even the US President will become involved in the immigration debate, alongside another alien addition to the cast, Miss Martian.
Despite all of this though, Supergirl fans shouldn't worry too much. Sure, the Maid of Steel will certainly face some darker story lines that contain parallels with Batman v Superman. However, the CW's latest addition to the network has always stayed true to the character's essence in the past and there's no reason why it won't in the future. In fact, the highlights of Season 1 were those moments where Kara's inherently good nature overcame evil. By making National City a darker place, Supergirl's pure nature will become even more crucial in Season 2 — she'll need to stay true to herself in the wake of more adversity.
Check out the moment when Supergirl realises how Red Kryptonite turned her evil:
After all, Kara's relentless optimism has remained intact so far in Season 2, and the show's portrayal of Superman has captured a more wholesome version of Clark Kent that fans haven't seen in a very long time. There's no reason why this shouldn't continue as Season 2 develops further.
In fact, if the latest episodes are anything to go by, Supergirl has captured the perfect balance between light and dark, exploring more mature storylines without betraying the essence of Kara's character. Whether Zack Snyder performs a similar feat when Superman returns in Justice League remains to be seen, but it seems safe to say that Kara won't plunge to the dark depths of Henry Cavill's Superman — aside from the occasional run-in with red kryptonite, of course.