When #Supergirl moved from CBS to The CW, one of the big talking points was Superman's appearance in the season premiere. The internet was rife with opinions about Tyler Hoechlin's version of the Man of Steel, ranging from the positive to the utterly ridiculous — like a guy who was outraged that the Green Arrow is taller than Superman, based on this photo (really!).
It was only once the episode aired that we finally saw our latest version of the Man of Steel in action, and he certainly did not disappoint. Hoechlin's performance was universally praised.
As a consequence, many fans called for a spin-off series — after all, there's no superhero show on Friday nights. Unfortunately, DC and The CW have mostly poured cold water on the idea, seemingly out of fears that a Hoechlin Superman series would steal the light from both Supergirl and Henry Cavill.
I've thought about it, though, and rather than a traditional spinoff, I'd like this #Superman series to be a prequel to Supergirl. I hasten to add, there has been no confirmation that the series will happen; I'd just like to speculate. So here's my reasons why The CW's Superman should be a prequel.
1. Exploring His Relationship With Young Kara
We all know from the Supergirl opening sequence that she was originally sent to Earth to care for her infant cousin; we also know that her pod was knocked off-course and by the time she arrived, he had already grown up to become Superman.
There's an interesting dynamic to be explored there, as Kara was expecting to find her baby cousin and suddenly she finds he is a grown man. At the same time, Clark will suddenly have family in his life and someone he feels responsible for. After thinking for years that he was the last of his kind, it would be interesting to see how he deals with this newfound responsibility.
A prequel series could also explore how Kara struggles to adapt to Earth. Of course, we are offered snippets of this when the story requires it in Supergirl, but these are often short insights. If a series were based in the past, there would be more scope to explore how Kara deals with a totally new planet and a whole new way of life. Another, more obvious reason is that the actress for young Kara isn't going to stay young forever, so using her as often as possible can only enhance Supergirl's story.
2. His Time At The DEO
He wasn't in Supergirl for long, but we learned quite a lot about this version of Clark Kent in his two-episode stint. One such thing was that he worked for the DEO for a period of time, just as Kara does now. It would be interesting to see how the DEO has changed in terms of operations, particularly with a more alien-friendly Earth being introduced in Supergirl Season 2.
Another possibility is that the prequel series could explore the DEO learning about Superman and his powers. They are obviously very aware of how to deal with Kryptonians by the time Kara reveals herself to the world, but when Superman first appears, they would not know anything. The DEO could work with Clark to learn about his powers while also learning how to protect the Earth from any rogue Kryptonians.
3. The Feud With J'onn
Which leads nicely to this point: J'onn J'onzz and Superman clearly do not get along. There is obvious friction between the pair when they meet during Superman's appearance in Supergirl. This was explained in the episode as a disagreement about what to do with Kryptonite; J'onn wanted to keep some as a contingency whereas Clark wanted to destroy it. While this makes total sense to the viewers, it would be nice to actually see this disagreement play out on screen. It's easy to see both sides of the argument and, if anything, the Supergirl episode "Red" proved that this was an essential precaution.
J'onn firmly believes that he had to protect the planet against any threat. If there was any chance that Superman was going to use his powers against earthlings, J'onn knew he had to be ready. With more time than just a quick sentence explaining the backstory, we could see the relationship between the two men become more and more strained. Eventually, what was once a dear friendship would become a huge disagreement — and it would be great to see this play out on screen.
4. What Did Lex Luthor Do?
We've been introduced to a couple of Luthors in Supergirl so far — Lena and Lillian — and we also know that Lex exists and was a very naughty boy. Lex is currently serving 37(!) consecutive life sentences for his crimes against Superman.
Obviously, this is pretty serious stuff, but what we don't know is exactly why he declared war on Superman...and we don't know what exactly he did. His crimes also have some pretty serious ramifications for Supergirl, as it is Lex's mother, Lillian, who is the head of Cadmus and the main antagonist of Season 2 (so far).
In Lex, we have a readymade villain for a Superman prequel series. It could show his motivations against Superman, or perhaps, all aliens. There is an ending to the story as well in his incarceration, but we don't have the beginning of it. Maybe if his reasons for hating Superman were shown on-screen we could understand his point of view.
5. Exploring A Less Alien-Friendly Earth
With the passing of the Alien Amnesty Act, Earth (or more specifically, America) is a much more alien-friendly place to live in Supergirl Season 2. There's obviously a way to go with regards to equality, but alien refugees now have the same rights that everyone else does on Earth-CBS.
A Superman series set in the past would allow us to see more of the struggles of aliens landing in Metropolis or National City with a real sense of danger. Lex Luthor obviously has something against aliens so it's safe to say that there may be a number of people who share his feelings.
There's also the possibility of exploring more places like the alien bar that was introduced in Season Two. The alien refugees will obviously need somewhere to lay low and learn about Earth society. It's a different world to the one we have become accustomed to in Supergirl, so maybe Superman's heroics will begin to change the public perception of aliens. Perhaps Superman could be the poster boy for alien amnesty which ultimately culminates in the passing of the Act.
6. Introducing The Arrowverse Batman!
First of all, I'm well aware that Earth-CBS is technically not part of the #Arrowverse, but humor me. While discussing vigilantes at the alien bar in "The Darkest Place," Kara mentions that Clark once dealt with a vigilante:
“My cousin worked with a vigilante once. Tons of gadgets. Lots of demons. Vigilantes are nuts.”
Add that to the family who said "we're moving back to Gotham" after being saved by Superman, and I think it's pretty safe to say that Batman exists on Supergirl's world. It's also plain for us all to see that Clark thinks he is a bit crazy.
Every year The CW's superhero shows have a crossover. Who is to say that a Superman prequel series could not have a crossover event of its own, featuring the Arrowverse Bruce Wayne?