Supergirl has been releasing a slew of casting information over the last several weeks, from Calista Flockhart as the titular protagonist’s boss to unknown roles for Superman universe legends Dean Cain and Helen Slater. However, there have been surprisingly few revelations regarding antagonists for the Girl of Steel. That changes today as actor Faran Tahir, who previously menaced Tony Stark as the terrorist Raza in Iron Man, just scored a villainous role in Supergirl as The Commander.
Tahir is identified as a guest star for the pilot, although the role has the potential to become recurring. According to Comicbook.com, The Commander will be an “alien military expert leading the forces aligned against Supergirl.” To clarify, this means he is a military expert who also happens to be an alien, rather than simply a human who is knowledgeable about alien military tactics. Unfortunately, going off this name and description alone doesn’t clarify whether Tahir’s character originates from the comics or is an original creation specific to the series.
Aside from main characters Hank Henshaw and Winslow “Winn” Schott - who may one day become the Cyborg Superman and Toyman respectively - the only villain-related announcements for Supergirl before today was that Kara would be fighting The Lumberjack, an extremely obscure ‘80s villain. His character description stated that he is sent to test Kara’s power level for an “unseen superior.” The original Lumberjack was a human, but that doesn’t mean that his TV counterpart can’t be working for The Commander, who wants to understand how powerful Kara is before taking any further steps to combat her.
Depending on whether The Commander is a human-looking alien or one that requires hours of makeup, it’s possible that Supergirl may give Kara her own Kryptonian nemesis in the same vein as General Zod from Superman II and Man of Steel. The New Krypton comic book arc did have Superman fighting a Kryptonian called Commander Gor, but other than Supergirl and her cousin, there hasn’t been any indication that anyone else from Krypton survived its destruction. Of course, with the Phantom Zone and other extraterrestrial life-preserving technology out there, anything is possible.
In addition to work on Iron Man, Tahir is also well-known for playing Captain Robau in the 2009 Star Trek film. He also has a large resume of TV work, with more recent TV appearances including Elementary, Criminal Minds and The Blacklist.
Supergirl has earned a series commitment from CBS, although no air date has been announced yet.