Why Kara Zor-El is doing just fine without Superman.
In a world where Superman has saturated our screens, Supergirl is not a show in which we seek an origin story, but rather, a coming-of-age one; with a comic book twist.
With The Flash producer Greg Berlanti at the helm, Supergirl is sure to have its moments of angst with a comedic twist, to the sounds of Carl Carlton once more; with just a hint of Darkness that even Arrow has begun to shed.
Aside from noting that, having an amazing singing voice, may be a casting requirement in the DC universe (see below), let’s review the first episode.
The Flash can Sing. Supergirl can sing. Winn can REALLY sing.
Note: with that musical over, watch the episode, because this is spoiler-full.
The pilot opens with the introduction of Kara Zor-El; as the cousin of Superman.
Like her cousin, Kara is sent to earth to protect her then infant-cousin, upon the destruction of Krypton. Trapped in a phantom zone, Kara awakens un-aged 24 years after her cousin, on Earth. With plans rendered pointless, Kara’s life is her own to lead. This becomes her story.
Now here’s what’s yet to be explored. In true destined fashion, I can’t help but feel Kara’s delay in getting to Earth was intentional.
The fact she was trusted to protect Superman; who ultimately, was protected, and raised into a great hero by human guidance, makes it hard to understand his story happening any other way. But, being completely ignorant of the Superman universe outside of several movies, the justice league and a strange love for Lois and Clark; I may be reaching.
Placed with scientists; by her cousin, that helped him understand his abilities, it seems that this is the last time Kara sees her cousin outside of the media. Like her adopted sister; Alex, it seems like Kara’s new parents will have a bigger part to play (I mean, consider the casting).
Something lurks in the role of her parents as mentors, against Supergirl's sister as an agent, in the company judging her. Working for the DEO (Department of Extra-normal operations), Alex is reluctant to give Kara any professional, nor familial approval, until the end of the pilot episode.
With no humble farm boy upbringing to go by, Kara tells every woman’s story of trying to be powerful; but gives herself limitations on who she thinks she should be, now that the hero role is fulfilled.
It is only when the choice of her identity is made of her own free will, that Kara sheds the last of her barriers. Working for Catco International Media, Kara idolizes the female role models around her - to paraphrase a waitress in the episode ‘there are no female heroes’ - instead of embracing her own potential.
Kara’s most poignant role model in the pilot is Cat Grant; CEO and founder of Catco. Aside from her successes, the Pinterest inspired, media gallery wall causes some serious envy, and inspirational qualities, in Calista Flockhart’s role.
Whilst seen as tough going, her feminist stance has me praying Cat Grant won't be a one dimensional character; but rather a supportive one, whose support doesn’t rely solely on Tribune sales.
Upon being introduced to Cat Grant, Kara then meets the iconic Jimmy Olsen who unbelievably, has more contact with Superman than Kara (due to his presence in his universe). Whether it is due to budgeting efficiency or not, it is hard to believe that Superman wouldn’t cling to what he has left of his birth family, especially since he wanted her to embrace herself as a hero, and not live a normal life.
Perhaps it is because I am unfamiliar with Kara’s universe in the comics, but can someone enlighten me?
Kara becomes a Hero in every sense of the preventing-a-disaster-but-still-cape-less word when we meet Lexi Grey--I mean, adult Alex. Let’s stop putting her on planes, you just know something will go wrong. And go wrong it does. The bombed plane in which Alex finds herself on, lends itself to a set of circumstances in which Kara reveals herself.
“Did he say Geneva?” was hopefully not the deciding factor for Kara to become a hero, but hopefully just a bit more motivational than the usual doomed plane.
Will Kara ever leave the geographical confines of the comic book universe, and see some crossovers with others such as herself? or are we in an age in which each city gets its own Hero?
As the pilot progresses, with complete apartment (and pizza) envy, Alex warns Kara against being a hero; unbeknownst to her that Alex is trying to protect her from the agency she works for - and the agency from the revenge ridden, Alien outlaws.
With this warning, to what extent will Kara keep her identity secret? because being a hero doesn’t pay well.
Alien outlaws are out to get the DEO, and now Kara upon learning about her mother; Alura’s role, as their juror. Besides a paycheck, Kara needs to keep her friends and family safe.
Upon its conclusion, the episode sets up a case of the week framework to mask our underlying coming-of-age story. With outlaws out to get Kara, Kara acquainting herself with Heroism, and the General-in-space with a Vendetta, Supergirl has the potential to join the ranks of the Flash and Arrow.
Things to be addressed this season: How did Kara’s pod get loose? Judging from the release of the alien prison, someone else has an agenda.
Will glasses ever stop becoming the only way Kara can disguise who she really is? Note: How clear was the clear image of Supergirl that Jimmy obtained?
Who the hell is the general? Why does she look like a Alura? Is she Kara’s aunt and therefore Superman’s mother?
Can we trust the DEO? Director Henshaw needs to become less one-dimensional for the agency to become anything less than an angsty presence.
Although, the pilot isn’t meant to serve these secondary characters.
What are your predictions for the first season of Supergirl?
Supergirl airs this Fall on CBS!