Have you heard the news? After living in the shadows and texting his cousin in the first season, Superman is actually coming to “Supergirl.”
An announcement from the show’s producers reads, “The iconic character of Superman will first be seen visiting his cousin Kara in National City at the beginning of the series’ second season.” Currently nobody has been cast in the role, but let’s take a moment and think: Do we actually want Superman and his less-super alter ego Clark Kent to appear on “Supergirl”?
The answer for some is a resounding “no.” When it was announced “Supergirl” was becoming a TV series, it led many to believe we were getting the first strong female superhero as the lead and the focal point of a show, in the world filled with, at the time, “Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Agents of SHIELD,” “Daredevil,” “Constantine,” “Gotham” and a number of other comic book-based projects.
Say what you will about any of those shows, none centered on a superpowered female. “Supergirl” was the chance to right that course, but after premiering, it quickly found the need to shoehorn in more recognizable male characters — like her cousin Superman. He didn’t appear on the show, but the show dropped his name all the time, via text messages, James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) sharing memories, etc.
Then, of course, there’s Hank Henshaw (David Harewood). In the comics, Henshaw is a villain, but on the show it was revealed he’s actually J’onn J’onzz — otherwise known as Martian Manhunter, yet another male superhero.
Finally, as you may remember, there was a bit of a crossover in the midst of “Supergirl’s” first season. The Flash (Grant Gustin) raced over from The CW to team with Kara for an adventure. It was a great episode of the show, but another instance of Kara, the female superhero little girls are looking up to, not being enough.
All too often female superheroes are treated as second thoughts at best. By the time “Captain Marvel” — the first female-led Marvel movie — debuts in 2019, it’ll have been 11 years since the Marvel Cinematic Universe began. Wonder Woman made her debut not in her own movie, but as the third banana in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
Movies and TV need to do better by their female superheroes, even if that means passing up the chance to cast an actor to play Superman on TV — which is going to confuse those who are used to seeing Henry Cavill play him in film.
With Scarlett Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) and even Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) herself, the world is clearly slowly becoming populated with superheroines. Now they just need to be treated as well as their male counterparts.