In the last episode of Supergirl, "Resist," Kara faces off against her nemesis, Rhea, in a titanic battle of wills. This works in her favor right up until Superman swoops in and save the day for Rhea. In a shocking twist, Superman has (for some reason) betrayed the side of good and opted to fight along side the Daxamite invaders. There are any number of reasons Superman would do this — mind control or a ruse to infiltrate them spring to mind — but what does this mean for the Girl of Steel and her cohorts fighting the good fight on the ground? Well, fans can rule out the ruse theory, as Superman was mentioned as missing in the last episode. So what made the Man of Steel turn to the dark side?
Perhaps it was red kryptonite, which has had differing effects in the comics but turned Kal-El evil in Smallville. Stopping Superman is the least of #Supergirl's worries, as she will also have General Zod to contend with as well as Rhea, who has already proven she will not let anyone get in her way — not even her husband, Lar Gand.
Supergirl Shouldn't Be Seduced By The Dark Side
Supergirl, and the #Arrowverse as a whole, has played more to the strengths of the fun side of comics (with the exception of Arrow itself, which is a look into the darker side of heroics in general). The show has paid loving homage to silly concepts like Mr. Mxyzptlk and the Music Meister (along with the Flash's help). Even the show's portrayal of Superman was significantly more lighthearted that the DCEU's take on the Man of Tomorrow. But will the show cross the line?
In an episode featuring Superman and General Zod, similarities to the enemies' previous bouts will no doubt enter fans' minds. In 1988, John Byrne had Superman kill The Kryptonian war criminals Zod, Zaora and Quex-UI after they destroyed a pocket universe version of Earth. Superman then made the painful decision to take their lives so they couldn't cause any more destruction.
But what about the CW version of Superman? He is a stark comparison to the movie version, always smiling and looking for the good in people. Certainly he'll find a way to take out Zod (and the rest of the Daxamites) without resorting to murder as long as he can kick that pesky mind control. Speaking of which...
This Scenario Seems Pretty Familiar
How exactly does Rhea have Superman under her control? She has an array of technology that would do the trick; however, she also has access to someone who brought up the heroes killing debate in the comics as well. Maxwell Lord was a staple in the Justice League comics of the '80s during the infamous Bwa-ha-ha years. After that, he was known as a villain who killed the Ted Kord version of Blue Beetle but is more famous for — you guessed it — mind-controlling Superman. Lord was a staple in the first season of the series but has been noticeably absent this season. The only way Superman was stopped was that Wonder Woman snapped Lord's neck, thus freeing Superman of his mind control. Will Kara resort to the same methods? Fortunately, she has a Wonder Woman of her own to take care of the situation in Lynda Carter's President Marston.
Supergirl also has to face Rhea, a woman with similar powers and resolve as General Zod. Rhea even has a similar goal in that she is simply doing what she needs to do for her people. Supergirl has massive debate on her hands in that if she kills Rhea (or Zod for that matter), she opens up the option of killing as a solution. On the other hand, killing may be the only option, and if she doesn't, millions of lives may be lost or enslaved. It is a sticky wicket to be sure and a debate that has raged in comic circles for decades. Given the Supergirl has embraced the "fun" in comics rather than the grim and gritty, cooler heads will win the day.
In Man of Steel, Superman arguably had other options when dealing with Zod, but breaking the villain's neck set the tone for the franchise as well as the #DCEU moving forward, much to the chagrin of fans. The studio seems to have finally heard the fan outrage and seems to be course correcting with Wonder Woman. Superman and Supergirl have great decisions to make every day. Not only must they show their strength by lifting buildings to save everyone, they must also do it by NOT using their powers inappropriately. They must show that strength doesn't always come from their muscle but also their character.
The Arrowverse, for the most part, is a fun lighthearted take on the #DC pantheon of heroes. The Flash takes concepts like giant shark men and talking telepathic gorillas and runs (pun intended) with them. Legends of Tomorrow, while dealing with the threats to the very existence of time still devote an episode to ensuring George Lucas will go on to create Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Arrow, while being unquestionably the darkest of the shows, still is able to squeeze in the boxing glove arrow. If Supergirl starts down the dark path, it could start a chain reaction that affects all the other shows, even if she is on another Earth. Her very presence during the four-night crossover inspired the other heroes to band together.
The DCEU and the Arrowverse have famously been kept separate as far as use of characters is concerned. If the heroes resort to killing in order to save lives, Supergirl's finale will determine if they keep them separate on other fronts as well.
Do you think Supergirl will save the day without bloodshed? Sound off in the comments below!