After the Monday, Oct. 26 premiere of “Supergirl” on CBS, what’s coming up for the latest superhero on television this season? Series star Melissa Benoist and executive producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Ali Adler have discussed just that with reporters.
As introduced in the “Supergirl” premiere, there was an alien prison from Krypton that crash-landed on Earth and those prisoners have escaped, so those will be some of the villains that Kara will be facing. There is a traditional Big Bad for the season, the uber villain setting the plan in motion, Kreisberg shared, but there will be villains-of-the-week, including human villains, as well.
Of course when talking about villains, you have to talk about the hero facing them and what challenges – such as vulnerabilities – come along with that. Kryptonite isn’t the only thing that can hurt a Kryptonian, and on the show, there will be things beyond that that can hurt Supergirl. For example, Livewire has enough electricity to stop her heart. “On the old series, unless you had a rock of kryptonite, it was pretty much lights outs for the bad guys and we certainly didn’t want that. We always want to feel like our hero is in jeopardy,” Berlanti explained.
While Kara may seem to know quite a bit about her powers, it is still just the beginning for her. “I think our collective gut is she’s very much at the beginning of her journey, so even the stuff she thinks she knows will come into question, not just about her powers but her backstory and where she comes from,” Berlanti teased. “There’s always a bit of mystery around that, her origins and just what her capacities are.”
And Kara has quite a few people on her side – at Catco and at the DEO. However, though she’s going to try to keep her two worlds separate, as is often the case, they do start to bleed into one another, leading to the “fun complications of the people who consider themselves the professional alien hunters having to deal with what they consider to be the civilian amateur alien hunters, but what’s great about the show is everybody has something to contribute and everybody has a value and everybody is constantly learning from each other and Kara learns very different things from these worlds,” Kreisberg shared. “With the DEO and her sister and Hank, she really learns to hone her powers and become an even better superhero, but from her friends at Catco, she really learns the importance of being Kara Danvers and just being a woman and being a human being and staying grounded and ties to the people she’s sworn to protect.”
As for her female friendships other than with her sister, Adler called Cat Grant “a very important woman of power in her life.” She is “a superhero too, as is her sister,” with Cat serving as “a voice of wisdom, whether she says it in a kind way or not … always inspiring Supergirl to achieve higher heights.” Then there’s Lucy Lane, a former love interest of James Olsen’s, and she and Kara do have adventures together.
“I think that Superman has always been more than just a hero. He’s been an inspiration and a beacon of hope and something to inspire to. We’re certainly guilty of putting a very dark hero on television in ‘Arrow,’ but there is something about Supergirl that just represents the light and the hope and the goodness in people,” Kreisberg said. “It’s important for our times, it’s important for our world, and it’s so tied into the character. I think that there is a tendency to not embrace what things are, and I think you do that at your peril, so we’ve really embraced that, and hopefully not only Melissa but the show itself can be an inspiration.”
Along those lines, you have a superhero who is also grounded, who just so happens to be tackling problems of an extraordinary nature with powers. “We always talk about this character as if she did not have superpowers, so how she approaches any given situation, if she was just like you or I,” Adler explained. “That’s how we look at each villain-of-the-week or her problems, her emotional life, her romantic life. … We have to look at it from a perspective of being powerless and then what her powers bring to it.”
As for crossovers with “The Flash,” “Arrow” and the upcoming “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” there are no plans at the moment. After all, they haven’t mentioned the existence of Superman on “Arrow” or “The Flash,” and that is something they’d have to overcome. Right now, the focus is on launching “Supergirl” and hoping it has the same success the others have had.
“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.