While Supergirl may be killing it in the ratings department on CBS, the show still lives in the shadow of its big screen cousin – much in the way Supergirl herself lives in the shadow of Superman. While Supergirl’s pilot gave audiences a brief glimpse of the iconic male Kryptonian, and most of us assumed that would be the extent of his tenure on the show, it appears that we were wrong.
Admittedly we barely get to see him at all, but the presence of the character on the show still carries a massive weight. Based purely off of the promo, it seems that Kara Danvers will find herself unable to beat the villainous Reactron in a one-on-one melee, so she calls in the big guns to help her out. Much of the clip seems to emphasize the idea that Supergirl has a lot to live up to, and whether or not calling him for help when danger strikes even makes her a true hero.
If the promo is anything to go by, Superman will remain obscured and not take a front and center role for the episode. This is likely a good thing because having him play a pivotal role on the series – even if he isn’t a series regular – would most certainly draw fan attention away from Melissa Benoit’s Supergirl. The actress has thus far done an exemplary job of helming the series, but Superman is arguably the greatest superhero in the history of the genre. That’s a tough act to follow no matter how good you are.
It’s not as though the Man of Steel has not appeared on the small screen before. The character has a long history on television dating all the way back to George Reeves’ take on the character in Adventures of Superman in the 1950s up through Smallville which ended in 2011, and each incarnation left the indelible mark on TV that lead to the genesis of Supergirl, as well as other comic based shows. The principle difference in those cases is that Superman was always the main character of the series, and as such he was meant to draw audience attention. The creative forces behind the show have bluntly explained that the show is simply not about him, and so they must endeavor to keep him in the periphery.
If Supergirl wants to keep bringing its titular character out of her cousin’s shadow, then CBS needs to make sure they the appearances of Kal-El on Supergirl are sparse, fleeting, and meaningful. You can see for yourself when Supergirl airs Monday nights on CBS at 8 PM EST.
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Originally from Connecticut, Conner grew up in San Diego and graduated from Chapman University in 2014. He now lives in Los Angeles working in and around the entertainment industry and can mostly be found binging horror movies and chugging coffee.