On October 26th, 2015, DC added another of their comic book characters to their television-verse. Kara Zor-El, otherwise known as Kara Danvers, otherwise known as Supergirl, burst through our television screens, stealing the title of autumn’s biggest premiere audience, rating especially high with teenagers. Despite being a little heavy-handed with it’s message, the overarching feminist tone of the episode has set the premise for a show which acts as a reminder to little girls everywhere just how awesome they can be.
The episode begins with a (thankfully, brief) origin story, though it seems to be a little vague on the details. Kara states that she was sent to earth to protect her baby cousin Kal-El, otherwise known as Superman. Although the original story (without Kara) states that only Kal-El survived the destruction of his planet, as there was only one escape pod left. However, in this variation, they certainly had one for Kara; if not more that the audience are unaware of. Despite being Superman’s older cousin, Kara’s pod got lost, meaning that she arrived to Earth much later than her cousin, without having aged. The baby she knew is now twenty-something, whilst she is still 12.
With the mission to care for her cousin now obsolete, Kara decides to ‘blend in’ with the other inhabitants of earth, now a PA to one of the most powerful journalists in National City (wonderful naming skills). That is, of course, until her adoptive sister almost dies in a plane crash, prompting Kara to reveal her powers to the world. She becomes tangled up in Government affairs, and discovers that her pod, landing some 12 years earlier, led an alien prison ship to earth. Whoops. Despite failing her first attempt to defeat Vartox (again, outstanding choice of a name), the second time Kara takes him on, without learning any new tactics, she still somehow manages to defeat him. We have a happy, celebratory ending, and then, to intrigue the audience, a reminder that danger is still out there. The scene changes to the leader of the escaped prisoners who… looks just like Kara’s mother? Sources have confirmed that this is Astra, Kara’s aunt, and the likely ‘Big Bad’ of this season.
In a rush to dispense its rather heavy-handed message, the show unfortunately makes a few mistakes. For one, Vortox appears to represent the resentful misogynists of the world, claiming ‘on my planet, women bow down before men’. Of course, when Astra is revealed as the primary antagonist, which means that Vortox… was taking orders from a woman, despite his apparent determination to never do so. Still, despite the almost patronising reminder that ‘this isn’t any superhero… this is a girl superhero’, the television show still appears to have optimism, and most of all, heart.
Perhaps it is my bias against DC, but after the highly positive reception the show has received, I felt slightly let down. Nevertheless, it is worth trying, especially for those who are fans of the DC verse; Personally, I have my sights set on ‘Jessica Jones’, Marvel’s answer to ‘Supergirl’, coming to Netflix on 20th of November.