Last episode on Supergirl, we've seen some drastic changes and shake ups to the characters of that fascinating show. We saw Hank, or his real indentity J'onn, being the victim, we've seen Alex take up responsibilities but most importantly, we saw all of Supergirl's villains and antagonists in action. Watching, the episode one might wonder, who is the real, overarching villain of the story? Who's the Eobard Thawne, or the Dark Archer, who is the Deathstroke, or the Zoom of Supergirl? Is it General Lane, who was willing to sacrifice the life of one of the most fascinating characters of the series, and tortures prisoners? Is it Maxwell Lord, who's beaten Jimmy bound on a chair and is about to unleash his shady experiments on the world? Is it Astra, who's terroristic actions endanger every human on Earth? Or is it someone else? Bear with me on this.
To find out who is the real, overarching villain of the series, we need to analyse the basic characteristics of a Berlantiverse villain. These characteristics can be summed up into four points:
- The villain must be related to the main character or other main characters. (Ollie -> Slade, Tommy -> Malcolm, Barry -> Eobard)
The villain is introduced on the mid season finale (Malcolm as the Dark Archer faced Oliver during the "Year's End" episode, Eobard Thawne first fought Barry during the "Man in the Yellow suit" episode, Deathstroke was revealed on Arrow season two during the "Three Ghosts" episode and Zoom, while not introduced during the mid season finale, kicked Barry's butt during the "Enter Zoom" episode)
- The villain is a menacing and imposing character who is a physical match to the protagonist. (Malcolm didn't have any dialog as the Dark Archer, Eobard had a minimal amount of dialogue as the Reverse Flash, Deathstroke in costume had 2-3 lines excluding the season finale, and Zoom's the most silent of them all and yet had an imposing personallity that overshadowed the hero. All of the were/are physical matches to the hero)
The villain has a long term goal. (Malcolm -> Undertaking, Eobard -> Go back to his era, Deathstroke -> Destroying Oliver and his City, Zoom -> become the fastest of all speedsters)
Now based on these four points let's see who's the real villian of the story:
General Samuel Lane
General Sam Lane, is a decorated General of the U.S. Army and as half the generals in DC's history, hates all living or dead aliens. We've seen him do some shady stuff like commissioning Red Tornado, torturing Astra and trying to sacrifice Hank to get the Fort Rozz aliens. But does he fit into the four points? Let's see:
- General Lane is related to many main and secondary characters on Supergirl. including Jimmy Olsen, Lucy Lane, Kara herself, Alex and J'onn.
- General Lane was introduced on the "Red Faced" episode of Supergirl, which is the sixth episode and not the season finale.
- General Lane is an imposing character,who prefers actions instead of words having a small amount of dialogue but is not a physical match for Kara.
- General Lane has a long term goal of creating a mechanism to fend off against aliens and/or their possible extermination.
While Sam Lane does meet some of the requirements of an overarching villian his position is more likely to be one similar to General Eiling's appearance on the Flash. An US general antagonizing the team from time to time not the villain of the season.
Billionaires, the Comicbook favourite source for superheroes or supervillains, and this one's the latter. Max has some bad rep from his comicbook appearances, (killing blue beetle and all) and this Maxwell is no exception. From staging the death of an employee for his own gains to experimenting on people this guy's a good resume for the villain pub. But is he the real, main Supergirl villain? Let's see:
- Maxwell much like General Lane is related to a plethora of characters including, Kara, Alex, Jimmy and Cat.
- Maxwell was introduced to the series on the second episode of Supergirl, "Stronger Together" and not on the mid season finale.
- He is a talker. He talks a lot in the series and while he did get his hands dirty on the last episode and all, you can't take him as serious as other antagonists in the series. While he has some weapons capable of defeating Kryptonians he can't compare against Kara.
- He seems to have a long term goal, but we don't know it yet. It seems that he hates Kryptonians and wants to destroy their reputations as heros, but everythings in the air.
Maxwell is a strong antagonist and an interesting villain but is not the direct and overarching threat that the series main villain should extert.
General Astra a.k.a. the Supergirl version of General Zod, has already been a formidable villain, overpowering Kara and having her forces overpower the D.E.O on the same day. Commanding an army of aliens from the Fort Rozz prison she is both a political and physical powerhouse, but is she the real Supergirl villain? Let's see:
- Astra is a complicated character being the sister of Kara's mother Alura, thus becoming Kara's aunt. While she is only connected only to a single character, as the main protagonist it is enough.
- Astra was introduced to the series during the pilot episode being the big reveal at the end.
- Astra is a really imposing character with her position, power and posture. She also matches Kara physically overpowering her in most their fights.
- She seems to have a long term goal of saving Earth from a possible destruction. We are yet to know the full extend of this but we work with what we have.
While it is heavily implied that she is in fact Kara's General Zod, she is not. While strong and formidable she is not ruthless, neither merciless. She loves her niece and even stopped her husband Non and their soldiers from attacking the D.E.O.
She is not the real villain.
But who is the real villain?
Non other than:
Think I'm crazy? That he is not big enough of a character to be the big bad of Supergirl? Well hear me out on this.
- He is related to two major characters of the series, Kara and Astra. If Non is the main villain, Astra might no be as bad as you'd think.
- He was introduced to the series, during the episode "Hostile Takeover", which is the series's mid season finale.
- He has minimal dialogue, resorting to threats and he dispatched a great part of the D.E.O. and Maxwell Lord easily. He has an angry and imposing standing and also fought Kara to a standstill.
- He has an overarching goal that he seems to want more than Astra. While Astra is the General she seems to be complicent to Non, with him nearly ordering her to stay on track and stop being sentimental about her niece.
Non is the character who fits all the requirements to be a villain on a Berlanti productions show. He is also a comicbook character, he manipulates Astra and is ruthless, merciless and unredeemable.
Think about it, all other three villains are actually red herrings that exist to direct your hatred towards them so you don't see the knife in the darkness, the phantom menace of the series.
Wild Speculation : Non tries to kill Kara, Astra gets in the way, he kills Astra making her the Tommy/Eddie of Supergirl, and fights Kara until she defeats him.
If this indeed happens, you heard it from me first.
P.S. I left out Arrow season 3 and 5 because they try to break the tropes of the Berlantiverse series.