Hey! Let’s talk about that Supergirl preview! Melissa Benoist, formerly Marley Rose of our beloved(?) Glee, will be starring in a new DC Comics TV show coming to CBS this fall. When CBS first announced that they were going to make a Supergirl show, I was pretty excited. I love Supergirl; she’s a great example of someone who’s girly, and wants to be that way, but is also one of the strongest superheroes in the DC Universe. The real-life show went in a different direction than I did in my dream casting; they have her working as an assistant to media magnate Cat Grant, while I had her in her college years at Ivy University. I did pick a former Glee actress for one of my two leads, though.
Anyway, onto the first look! This thing was gloriously long, like over six minutes long. I wasn’t really expecting a lot from this show. Constantine and Gotham weren’t exactly great (or female-friendly) shows and I never got into Arrow, so the only DC Comics TV show that I’ve really enjoyed is The Flash. I also didn’t know how I felt about Marley Rose being cast as Supergirl — I mean, she wasn’t even blonde! But this first look was my everything. I’m not gonna lie, I was totally crying by the end of this thing. And at the middle of it.
I’ve seen some people criticize the sneak peek for being too girly or too much like a “chick flick” (which, ugh, I hate that that term has such negative connotations). People have complained that Kara’s too worried about going on dates and getting flustered by hot guys and what clothes she’s gonna wear, but that’s always been a hallmark of Supergirl stories; they’re about a super powerful alien girl trying to learn how to live life as both an average young woman and a superhero. People have also been making negative comparisons to The Devil Wears Prada, because I guess everyone hates that movie now? Others have pointed out that it has a lot of similarities to that SNL Black Widow movie trailer. For Black Widow, a deadly spy who’s been living a deadly serious life since she was literally a child, taking this tone would be ridiculous, but for Kara Zor-El it fits just right. Also, Kara isn’t any more clumsy or unsure of herself than Clark Kent usually is.
There’s another moment in the preview where Cat Grant, played by Calista Flockhart, has named the new superhero Supergirl, prompting Kara to ask why it’s not Superwoman instead. Cat replies by saying, “I’m a girl and your boss and powerful and rich and hot and smart. So if you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem you?” Now, for me, I loved this; it made me cry. I’ve seen others talk about how the problem isn’t that “girl” is feminine, it’s that it’s infantilizing, which I totally get. But I also definitely think that Girl Power has its place, and that if this show wants to embrace that, that’s awesome.
That costume looks so much better than it did in the first, really dark, image that we saw of it. The show echoes back to that scene in Man of Steel where Superman tells Lois Lane that it’s not an “S” on the shield, and it’s really awesome seeing how proud Kara is to wear that symbol. And she wears tights under that super short skirt that she flies around in! How great is that?
I feel Benoist is absolutely totally perfect in this role. She has so much spirit and enthusiasm and youthful exuberance, just like Supergirl should. More importantly, she has the perfect mix of being a total nerd as Kara, but being a totally confident and strong hero when she’s Supergirl. She might be the best casting I’ve ever seen in a TV show based on a comic book. Chyler Leigh, who plays Kara’s adoptive sister Alex, keeps on having really bad luck on airplanes; maybe she should just stay in one place for a while. Also, how cool was it seeing Dean Cain (the former Superman) and Helen Slater (the former Supergirl) as Kara’s adoptive parents?
I would like to see some women of color, though. This show looks like it takes place in a city similar to New York or Chicago or some other large American city that has a huge number of POC. They did change the very white Jimmy Olsen into James Olsen, who is black, and the leader of the Department of Extranormal Operations is also black, but I just want to be able to watch women of color on TV shows that aren’t produced by Shonda, you know? It would also be nice if queer women get on this show other than being a part of a joke when Kara is trying to “come out” as Supergirl to one of her friends. Just once I want to see this scene play out with the secret-teller saying, “well, yes. I am a lesbian, but that’s not what I’m trying to tell you.” Those are pretty much the only complaints I have, and those could turn into non-issues a few episodes in, depending on what other cast members are introduced. So I’m dang excited for this thing to premiere.
I am so freaking pumped for this show about a woman learning to embrace her strength and stop hiding who she really is. It looks like it could surpass iZombie as being my favorite comic book based TV show. When Rachel Platton’s “Fight Song” starts playing, and the screen says, “It’s not a bird, It’s not a plane, It’s not a man, It’s Supergirl,” and Kara’s on screen being generally super, I had so much pride and girl power welling up in my chest that I started crying again. Supergirl’s got some stiff competition, though, as ABC recently announced a second season for Agent Carter, whose star Hailey Atwell has said that she not only has brought up the idea of adding women of color to the cast, an idea she says was welcomed, but has voiced her support for Bisexual Peggy Carter. Obviously, that second one is just a (really wonderful) dream, but we’ve got to get a queer superhero on TV some day, right?
New Releases (May 20)
Lumberjanes #14 (Boom!)
Angel and Faith Season 10 Vol. 2: Lost and Found TPB (Dark Horse)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #15 (Dark Horse)
Jem and the Holograms #3 (IDW)
X-Files Season 10 #24 (IDW)
Kaptara #2 (Image)
Shutter #12 (Image)
Wytches #6 (Image)
A-Force #1 (Marvel)
Secret Wars: Battleworld #1 (Marvel)
Star Wars #5 (Marvel)
Welcome to Drawn to Comics! From diary comics to superheroes, from webcomics to graphic novels – this is where we’ll be taking a look at comics by, featuring and for queer ladies. So whether you love to look at detailed personal accounts of other people’s lives, explore new and creative worlds, or you just love to see hot ladies in spandex, we’ve got something for you.
If you have a comic that you’d like to see me review, you can email me at mey [at] autostraddle [dot] com