Supergirl Needs to Get Out of Superman's Shadow in More Ways Than One

Tuesday, 10 November 2015 - 10:55AM
DC Comics
Supergirl
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Tuesday, 10 November 2015 - 10:55AM
Supergirl Needs to Get Out of Superman's Shadow in More Ways Than One
Last night's episode of Supergirl, "Fight or Flight," very explicitly told us that Kara needs to discover her identity apart from Superman. Many times. Kara spends the entire episode insisting that she can be just as strong as Superman, that she doesn't need Superman's help, that the people of National City can "think of her" rather than Superman in a crisis. It's very meta, as Supergirl is very much in Superman's shadow both as a character and as a show, but at this point, enough is enough. The show needs to take its own advice and separate itself from the Man of Steel. 

While I enjoyed the endearing IM chat between Kara and Clark (especially when Superman sends her a smiley face!), the rest of Superman's non-appearances were just plain awkward. The entire episode was essentially about Superman; the characters mention him every other line, and the character himself played a pivotal role in the plot. He saved Kara's life, but we conveniently see only a glimpse of him, one that doesn't require them to actually cast an actor in the role. Awkwardly including the character without actually including him was incredibly distracting, and just drew attention to the fact that the show isn't yet confident that people will tune in for Kara, rather than Superman's cousin.

But luckily, there's a good chance that this episode was a necessary evil in order to allow the show to move on. Just as Kara is being positioned to discover her own identity and make her own way without her more famous cousin, Supergirl will hopefully follow her lead and stop trafficking in Superman's fame. While the show is far from perfect, it has a lot going for it: Melissa Benoist is perfect, the feminism is simplistic but definitely present, and the relationships are becoming much more organic, not to mention adorable (Kara telling her sister not to watch Homeland without her as she flew off to save the world was the highlight of the episode for me). Just like its heroine, who ultimately defeated a villain that her cousin could never beat, Supergirl doesn't need Superman.

Best Cat Grant One-Liners



"It's like riding a bike, or childhood trauma, you never really lose it."
"This is going to make that Kaitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover look like a pennysaver pullout."
"Please make Dave move to another desk, I find his hair distracting." (Poor ginger!)
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