The series “Supergirl” is in a tricky dilemma from episode one. It’s been created by a network like CBS in America that doesn’t quite understand it. CBS has never really embraced the superhero boom of the aughts, and “Supergirl” pretty much was walking on egg shells from episode one. It’s a good bit of fortune it’s been ported over to the CW where it can live and breathe among other superhero fare like “The Flash” and “Arrow.” After swearing off Supergirl for many years, I decided to be a good little super fan boy and check out “Supergirl” and I’m glad that I did. It’s a pretty remarkable and loyal adaptation of the DC Comics character that is so much more Superman than Superman has been in the last sixteen years.
Melissa Benoist plays Kara Zor El, the caretaker to her infant cousin Kal El aka Superman, who was sent to Earth by her parents Zor El and Alura to watch over him. During the travel, Kara is sent in to the prison the Phantom Zone thanks to a shockwave, and remains in slumber for almost two decades. Meanwhile Kal El arrives on Earth and grows up to become Superman. After being discovered by Superman, she’s sent to be adopted by the Danvers family, who raise her and help her hone her powers. After years of hiding her identity, Kara comes to light as Supergirl to help National City. Alongside her adopted sister Alex, and strict alien mentor, J’onn J’onnz, Kara fights crime as Supergirl battling various Kryptonian villains hiding on the planet.
The casting of Melissa Benoist is genius, as she plays what is one of the most impressive Supergirl iterations of all time. She has a girl next door appeal to her, while also being very heroic and bold when she needs to be. Benoist is so well fitted in the role of Supergirl that it’s very easy to get in to season one. Even when the show is pretty shaky at best, Benoist completely steals the show away as Kara Zor El, even donning the signature red and blue with absolute flair. The costume by Colleen Atwood garners the modern flavor while also embracing a lot of the hope and optimism Supergirl typically strives for. While the season starts off kind of rocky, “Supergirl” finds its balance between Kara’s life as a human dealing with romance and rivalries in her office, all the while trying to find her place in a world where Superman is one of the most iconic protectors of the planet.
“Supergirl” is helped by strong supporting characters, and a unique sense of acknowledging the DC Universe, garnering some cameos by Superman, and bringing on some notable villains to take on Supergirl including Livewire, Banshee, and Toyman. All the while Kara is given a moral center with the help of characters like Jimmy Olsen, and J’onn Jonnz, as well as Cat Grant, Kara’s dictatorial boss who gradually reveals herself to be anything but a vicious alpha female, as the season progresses. “Supergirl” eventually begins to veer closer and closer to the universe established at the CW, which is a great thing for folks that love what the CW has set down and a terrible thing for folks that want a departure from “Arrow” and “The Flash.” The producers manage to garner a crossover between The Flash and Supergirl in the excellent episode “World’s Finest,” where Grant Gustin appears as the Scarlet Speedster, and thanks to serendipity ends up at National City to help Kara battle the evil Banshee.
“Supergirl” is a marvelous adaptation that takes on everything about the Supergirl universe and injects it wisely. From Laura Vandervoort’s role as a key villain to Helen Slater and Dean Cain’s recurring roles as Kara’s adopted parents, “Supergirl” is a necessity for fans of the “Super” family lore. The Blu-Ray release from Warner comes with a digital copy of season one and garners some fun extras. There’s a ten minute “A World Left Behind: Krypton” which looks at the planet Krypton and its role in the lore. There’s the ten minute “The Man from Mars” which looks at a great reveal of the series, and there’s even a fifteen minute look at the Supergirl panel for Comic Con 2015. There’s a four minute Gag Reel, and finally a slew of deleted, extended, and additional scenes spread out over the discs on select episodes.
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the DVD I reviewed in this blog post. The opinions I share are my own.”