After two successful seasons, CW's Supergirl is keeping fans on their toes as to what new and exciting adventures await us in National City. Kara and her pals at CatCo and the DEO have seen a lot of changes, and we know Season 3 will bring even more. One of them needs to be the introduction of DC's new Chinese Super-Man.
Though it sounds like a knock-off of the last son of Krypton, New Super-Man is anything but. Last year, Kenan Kong (pronounced “Keh-nahn”), was introduced as part of the DC Comics Universe Rebirth. In the wake of Superman's death, the Shanghai-based 17 year old was imbued with Superman's powers by the covert Ministry of Self-Reliance and began working with the Justice League of China.
While he may have the abilities of the Man of Steel, Kenan doesn't share the same personality or maturity. Rather than using his new powers for good, the arrogant (yet endearing) Super-Man seeks out fame, fortune and the affections of local reporter Laney Lan. In short, he's got lot of growing up to do. Thankfully, he has the League to show him the ropes and turn him into a true hero, even if it drives them mad. Or, perhaps this is a job for Supergirl.
Supergirl's upcoming season is the best time to introduce the exciting x-factor that is New Super-Man. The series has proved it can successfully repurpose the source material for maximum impact. For example, take Cat Grant's rise from reporter to Devil-Wears-Prada-esque CEO and mentor to Supergirl. Retooling Kenan's story to fit it into the series should be easy. Once you work him into the plot, his arrival could greatly expand the world of #Supergirl, and finally provide a strong Asian character in a leading role — something the show has yet to offer.
There is no denying that Supergirl is a diverse and progressive show. Not only does it feature several fearless and empowered women, it also showcases strong, black heroes, gay characters and a mixture of aliens from all across the universe. However, there is much to be desired in the way of positive Asian characters.
Often, Asian characters who appear in National City and Metropolis are seen running away during catastrophic events, being taken hostage, or serving as silent muscle. Others are slightly more involved, but they are usually evil, like Roulette, Metallo 2, and Lena Luthor's backstabbing assistant, Alana. Even the DEO's own Agent Demos is portrayed as aggressive, self-preserving and generally dislikable.
The series could easily move away from this self-assigned typecasting by introducing more positive Asian characters like Kenan Kong. Now that Mon-El is gone, there is an opening for someone new and super-powered to enter the scene.
As Kara advances in mastering her own powers, it seems appropriate that she eventually take on the role of a mentor for a new, young hero like Kenan. Who knows, perhaps Kenan and Kara could even fall for each other, allowing Supergirl to break down even more barriers.
DC's New Super-Man is perfectly suited to expand the Supergirl universe, shake up the show, and remedy its issues promoting strong, heroic Asian characters. While we can only hope Kenan will make his live-action debut this coming season, his appearance at any point in the series would greatly advance the show and others like it. Supergirl need only take the chance and pave the way.
Who would you like to see in the upcoming season of Supergirl?