CW-Verse: "Adventures of Supergirl"
I don't think I've been this excited for DC TV stuff since The Flash. Having avoided last season of Supergirl due to its puzzling lack of connection with the CW-verse, "Adventures of Supergirl" was my first time watching the series. I'd be lying if I said what made me give it a try was the simple fact that I didn't believe the show would ever use Superman and would simply lazily bring him up as always being "busy" and make him too important for the series. The fact that they were willing to not only cast an actor as Superman but allow the character to be around for multiple episodes was a bold decision that I admire.
As a season opener this episode was actually quite busy—dealing with Kara’s love life, her choice as a career now that her time interning under Cat Grant is done, recovering a possibly Kryptonian ship (that we’ll eventually learn contains the Daxamite Mon-El), and saving Lex Luthor’s sister Lena from multiple assassination attempts made by John Corbin (more famously known as Superman villain Metallo). If it sounds overwhelming, know that Kara spent most of the episode suffering to keep up with it all, making it fortunate that her cousin was around through it all to go to for advice.
On that note, I’ve seen varying opinions on Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman, but in the one episode we spent with him I was actually pretty taken with his portrayal. He seems equally at ease being the bumbling reporter Clark Kent and the confident but down-to-Earth Superman. For Superman, it’s often the little things that decide whether the performance is good or bad, and this episode doesn’t neglect those little things. From his introduction where after helping Kara save a crashing space ship he goes with Kara to greet some kid bystanders, to him personally shaking the hands of all the DEO officers when he first arrives, he “feels” like Superman—someone with the power to move the Earth itself, but never too above it all to be friendly to the people he helps.
Even how he relates to Kara could’ve been a bigger deal, and I’m glad it wasn’t. They could’ve easily made Superman into a patriarchal dork that was condescending towards Kara and her way of solving crime in National City. But he’s not—he’s fine with working alongside her, or letting her take the credit. Which is how it should be—he’s one of the strongest beings to ever walk the planet, petty insecurities like that should be beneath him, and they rightfully are. This just feels like a version of Superman that’s comfortable with who he is and his place in the world, even down to how he has to balance his life as a civilian and a superhero.
The only time we ever see him even get kind of annoyed is with J’onn, and it’s for good reason. J’onn helped the DEO confiscate Kryptonite—presumably to use against Kryptonians that aren’t as pure-hearted as Clark or Kara, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still holding a giant weapon over the heads of two of Earth’s greatest heroes. Clark has a right to be annoyed, and while I’m sure season one addressed this to some extent, Kara should be too.
Of course, the episode is perfect. There are certain moments where the dialogue gets…awkward. It’s almost *too* honest, and this is coming from a guy who soaks up all the Crowning Moment of Awesome/Heartwarming speeches that you’d get in like a shonen anime or your average Doctor Who episode. But, I get it; they reflect how honest and straight-forward a person that Kara is, and ultimately they weren’t so terrible that I couldn’t get through the episode.
Mostly though, I’ve got my eye towards the future of this season. Clark’s staying around for hopefully the next few weeks, and even when he leaves Kara’s got her hands full with Mon-El, the comatose boy they found at the start of this episode. And if Mon-El is around, you know the Legion of Super-Heroes isn’t going to be too far behind. I hope. In a perfect world those guys would show up and CW would swap the lackluster Legends series with a Legion show, but I’m probably not that lucky.
In either case, Supergirl’s my favorite premiere--just edging out Flash and beating out Legends of Tomorrow by far.