Superman on Supergirl

The new DC Comics TV series Supergirl had some strong opening ratings when it debuted, making it the most watched new series premiere of the fall. However, ratings have fallen since then, though not drastically enough for it to be canceled, at least not yet. Now Supergirl may spend some time with her Kryptonian cousin in a future episode, but not exactly how you think.

Fans will get to see a teenage Superman on Supergirl in order to show the bond that the two superpowered aliens have. However, there may be some logistical problems with how this scenario will play out on the show.

TV Line has the news that Supergirl is looking for a 13-year old actor with “future leading man looks” to play young Kal-El in a series of flashbacks that will establish the relationship between the two in the 13th episode of the season. However, as the opening of each episode explains, Kara was sent to Earth to protect her cousin and watch over him as he grew. But instead, her ship was knocked off course, stranding her in The Phantom Zone while Kal-El grew into Superman. That means when Kal-El was 13, Kara wouldn’t be anywhere near Superman.

So how will a 13-year old Kal-El and a teenage Kara be able to bond in a series of flashbacks? Well, this is a comic book series after all, so anything is possible, but the writers will definitely have some explaining to do.

Personally, I have found Supergirl to be mostly enjoyable, and this is coming from somebody who couldn’t really get into Arrow or The Flash. I’ve seen the first few episodes of each, and I understand the shows have gotten better since their respective premieres, but it just wasn’t for me. Devin Faraci at Birth.Death.Movies recently explained what makes Supergirl work better than Man of Steel, and I believe that’s a big part of what is appealing about the show:

“On CBS’ Supergirl Kara Zor-El has the exact same motivation as her cousin. All that she wants to do – the only goal she has – is to make the world a better place. Her home planet is gone and she is dedicated to making sure that her adopted world is safe, secure and improving. That’s why she’s working at CatCo, because she thinks this media empire can give her the platform to change the world. She is counseled by her adoptive sister to hide her Kryptonian light under a bushel, but it doesn’t come naturally for Kara, and as soon as there’s an opportunity for her to go out and make a difference – as a plane threatens to crash into National City – she immediately runs off and helps. There are no second thoughts, no considerations of a secret identity, only the immediate, instant and innate need to help people.

Supergirl and Superman (and Superboy and Krypto and Streaky and Beppo the Supermonkey) all share this trait, and always have – until Man of Steel. What happens in Man of Steel is that Superman’s natural tendency to heroism is perverted and muffled by filmmakers who misunderstand the character on a profound, fundamental level.”

He continues:

“…the truly important difference is that Supergirl is about a superhero who wants to be a superhero, about a woman embracing her ability to effect change. Future episodes may see Kara Zor-El questioning this – you have to find drama somewhere, and a hero dissatisfied is good drama – but the show made a point to begin with a hero who wants to be a hero.”

Add the fact that Melissa Benoist so perfectly fits into the role of Kara, and this is a show that I’m going to stick with for awhile, hoping that it keeps an audience big enough to sustain it in network television. After all, if a completely bonkers show like Gotham can stick around, there should be plenty of room for Supergirl as well.

However, one looming issue seems to be the presence of Superman, just a phone call away if there’s ever any trouble. A blurry, shadowy version of Supes showed up to help chase away Reactron in a recent episode, and it kind of takes away from letting Supergirl do her job. Sure, she’s still learning, but with Superman always around, people are constantly waiting for him to show up. Maybe he needs to go off on a mission for a few years so Supergirl can really take charge.

Supergirl also stars Mehcad Brooks as James Olsen, Laura Benanti as Alura Zor-El, Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant, Chyler Leigh as Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Jeremy Jordan as Winslow “Winn” Schott, Jenna Dewan Tatum as Lucy Lane (sister of Lois), David Harewood as Hank Henshaw, Peter Facinelli as Maxwell Lord, and Dean Cain and Helen Slate as Kara’s foster parents.

The show airs Mondays at 8pm ET/7pm CT on CBS.

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