No More Texts
If you’re a fan of Supergirl (formerly on CBS) on the CW, then you know that they’ve been a little coy with actually showing off her Kryptonian cousin, Superman. Apparently that will no longer be the case as series producers have announced that not only will Clark show is famous face, but that it will be in the first two episodes of the season.
Clark’s presence, or lack thereof was a small, yet key story during season one of Supergirl. The show made a point of working around the blue and red clad elephant in the room. Making sure to let the audience know that this was Kara’s story, and that while they could easily have Superman show up for the assist, as he did, off screen, in one of the earlier episodes, he was largely absent. Only being shown in blurry memories, conversing through text exchanges, and or spoken about in story form by James Olsen. He was never treated as a character, but as a presence, a force, that Kara had to learn to live without in order to become her own person. Her own hero.
Which makes this announcement a little strange. It could be that there as some sort of agreement to not actually show Superman on the show due to confusion with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but with that movie falling on very different sides of a culture war, maybe a little good faith with the TV side of things is needed. It was leaked recently that Arrow had to cancel further Suicide Squad stories, specifically Harley Quinn, due to the movie coming out in August. So only time will tell if this is a lesson learned, an olive branch to the TV shared universe, or a way to ensure extra eyes when the show premieres on its new network.
The immediate question is, who will portray Kal-El for this iteration of the iconic character. Supergirl has already played homage to the past by having Dean Cain and Heather Slater play Kara’s Earth parents, and given the CW connection, the obvious choice may be Smallville’s Tom Welling, who we only saw in the iconic outfit at during his series finale, and much like Supergirl, it was a brief, almost out of focus glimpse.
Then there’s the question of whether or not this negates Kara entirely. The Avengers are only called upon for the most dire situations. Their collective power too great for most singular foes. So it always begs the question why Iron Man doesn’t just call his super homies when things get tough. This is why the MCU movies tend to be more personal. I have hope they’ll be able to explain why Superman is and then isn’t around, and how this will affect Supergirl’s agency as a hero. Still, I remain optimistic.
Supergirl was a pleasant surprise this past TV season. While it wasn’t perfect, the tone and heart of the show was dead on. The cast acted well together, and the once a stride was found, the show was some of the most enjoyable comic fun on television. Here’s hoping Superguy doesn’t throw off the formula too much.