4 Things From the Comics I Hope to See on CBS’ Supergirl, and 4 I Hope We Never Do
This week, CBS gave fans a six-minute trailer for their upcoming Supergirl show this fall from Arrow and Flash producer Greg Berlanti, which was more an edited version of the pilot than a trailer. While the trailer didn’t leave every fan happy, it at least bore enough of a resemblance to the comics character to be instantly recognizable as Supergirl (yeah, I’m looking at you, Jem.)
Still, as a longtime fan of Kara Zor-El in her many incarnations, there are still several things from the pages of DC Comics that I want to see come to life in this new show, and several things I hope stay in the pages of the comics.
1. Power Girl
Let’s face it: every television actor, especially those on network shows that do 22 episodes a season, relishes the chance to play alternate versions of themselves, if only for variety’s sake. This goes all the way back to Leonard Nimoy getting to play “bad Spock” on the original Star Trek series. So there’s no doubt that actress Melissa Benoist would welcome the chance to play Power Girl, the slightly older, sassier, more self-assured (and in the comics, bustier) version of Kara Zor-El from another universe.
Power Girl is a very popular character in her own right at DC, and a Supergirl TV show might be the only way we’ll ever see her in live action. But for the sake of feminism, it just might be time to leave the infamous “boob window” behind. Besides, Power Girl didn’t always use it.
2. Superman Villains the Movies Will Never Use
Supergirl is a great character, don’t get me wrong, but in almost every single one of her comic book incarnations, her villains either flat out suck or are just very unmemorable. I mean even Wonder Woman, who many argue has the weakest rogue’s gallery among the DC icons, has Cheetah, Ares, Circe, Silver Swan a several others. I can’t even name a single good Supergirl foe, and I’m a fan. which is probably why DC has her fight her cousin Kal’s bad guys so often.
And frankly, the TV show should do this too. Superman has a ton of villains who are just too whimsical or weird for Zack Snyder’s gritty Man of Steel universe, but who would fit right in with the DC TV aesthetic. I’m talking about characters like Toyman, and even Mister Mxyzptlk. (Peter Dinklage in between seasons of Game of Thrones? Or is that beneath him?) The new Supergirl show is already going to use Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman, so hopefully he’s the first of many.
Just no Nuclear Man, please.
3. The Bottle City of Kandor
Another aspect of Superman comics mythology that is probably a little too whimsical for the Zack Snyder DC cinematic universe, but is a crucial piece of Superman lore, is the bottle city of Kandor, a city shrunken by Brainiac and saved before the destruction of Krypton, and then kept in Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
Although Supergirl probably won’t be allowed the use of Brainiac (rumor has it that he’s the big bad in 2017’s big screen Justice League movie) they could figure out a way to introduce the city and it’s inhabitants, giving Kara a vital link to her heritage. I’m not sure how you make this come across as non-cheesy on screen, but I’ll leave it in Greg Berlanti’s more than capable hands. Hopefully Kara won’t drop the city and kill everyone inside it like she did that one time back in the seventies. Oops.
4. A Shared Universe With The Flash and Arrow
This is what everyone wants. We’ll never get the DC Cinematic Universe to connect with the TV side of things, for reasons that are seemingly set in stone, but with Berlanti producing all the CW superhero shows like Arrow, Flash and the upcoming Legends of Tomorrow, (and with CBS, which airs Supergirl, a co-owner of the CW) why not have there be a cross network DC TV universe? Is it really that difficult?
Something like this would only help all shows involved, and in this day and age, there seems to be no reason not to. Connect the upcoming Titans series on TNT to it as well, and fans will go wild. And for all you fans who say that there’s no Superman on Arrow and The Flash, just because he’s never been mentioned doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. Metropolis could be pretty far away from Starling and Central City for all we know.
Now, here’s what I don’t want….
1. The Super Pets
One of the most famous aspects of the Supergirl stories of the 1960’s was her super pets: Streaky, her Kryptonian super cat; and Comet, her super horse, which was actually a man turned into a horse, for added extra creepiness. They would fly around with their own little capes on along with Supergirl, and get into all kinds of wacky adventures with her.
While the idea of a little kitty cat with a cape is kind of adorable, there is just no way to make that work on a live-action show and not come across as totally stupid. And Comet the super horse is even worse. So let’s leave Kara’s Legion of Super-Pets in the Silver Age where they belong. Aside from maybe an Easter egg where Kara owns a regular cat who happens to be named Streaky as a wink to the fans, we don’t need any of that noise.
And a man-horse would just make it the wrong kind of show.
2. Secret Hearts
There have been some fairly valid complaints that the new Supergirl trailer is a little too girly-girl, with Kara working as an assistant to Cat Grant in a total Devil Wears Prada situation, while trying to balance her dating life with work and, you know, being an alien.
Fans are saying Supergirl would never have a job like this because it’s demeaning, But the truth is, Supergirl has never had any set career in the comics. She was a television reporter for a while, and eventually an actress on a cheesy soap opera called Secret Hearts. Because, you know, all girls love daytime soap operas. I’d say that’s more demeaning for a superhero than working at a magazine. I think we can safely say this is one occupation that Supergirl can safely leave in the seventies, like sands through the hourglass, and no one will miss it.
3. The Belly Tees
Look, I realize that Supergirl is invulnerable, and she could fight crime naked if she wanted to (down boys) but the whole mid ’90s to early 2000s notion of having Kara always wear belly T-shirts seems dated now, coming from that period where every female comic book hero had to sport a bare midriff. And it’s also just way too Britney Spears influenced. Let Kara be able to cover up her abs if she feels like it, for Rao’s sake.
Because if we’re going to go full ’90s, we might as well give everyone multiple pouches and guns the size of a large dwarf. And nobody wants that.
4. Dick Malverne
Superman has Lois Lane and Lana Lang, Batman has Catwoman and Talia, and Supergirl has some guy named Dick. Dick Malverne was introduced in the sixties as another orphan who lived in the same orphanage as Linda Lee did before she was adopted by the Danverses.
The two dated on and off for years, but ultimately Dick Malverne was as interesting as dry toast, and Supergirl got bored with him. It’s possible the guy she’s talking to in the trailer is Dick Malverne 2,0, just given an all new personality, But seriously, keep the classic version in mothballs; he brings nothing to the table. Except jokes about how Supergirl’s bored of Dick.
Previously by Eric Diaz:
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