The number of superheroines that deserve their own TV shows is something we’ve already talked about here at LD, but apparently someone was listening. As of last week, “The Hollywood Reporter” confirmed that a Supergirl TV show is in the works. It is set to join the lineup of DC’s other superhero shows (“Arrow,” “Flash,” “Constantine,” and “Gotham”). Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler are set to helm it, with DC legend Geoff Johns also involved in some capacity.
“Supergirl” is set to be DC comic’s first solo-superheroine show since “Wonder Woman” aired its last episode in 1979, over 30 years ago, and DC’s fourth female-led superhero show ever following “The Secrets of Isis” (1975–1979) and “Birds of Prey” (2002–2003). Despite the fact that four superheroine shows over a period of nearly 40 years isn’t exactly impressive, DC is doing better than Marvel in terms of female representation on television. Marvel has the upcoming “Agent Carter” mini-series, which is their first female-led show and the first property of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a female lead. In fact, it’s only the second live action Marvel property to ever feature a female lead, following 2005’s disastrously received “Elektra.”
The upcoming TV series is not actually Supergirl’s live action debut—she already headlined her own self-titled movie in 1984. Currently, DC has a slightly better track record than Marvel with superheroine films as well as TV shows, as they’ve also had the “Catwoman,” movie, although, like Supergirl’s movie, it was a critical and box-office bomb. However, with Jessica Jones lined up to have her own Netflix series as part of the Defenders line-up along with Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron First, and “Agent Carter” series coming things are looking up for the MCU ladies.
Sony’s Spider-Man franchise takes the cake though, with plans for a superheroine spin-off to be the eighth film in the franchise lineup and the fifth film since the franchise reboot in 2012. Someone really ought to get in touch with 20th Century Fox—more amazing superheroines in the X-Men than you can shake a stick at and they’re going for a third Wolverine movie? Get it together, guys. Despite the myth that “men will only watch men,” it’s already been proved numerous times that both women and men are willing to watch female-centric action movies and TV shows—as long as the plot and characters are good. With an array of X-Women like Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Storm, Jean Grey, Psylocke and Emma Frost to choose from, it’s pretty hard to go wrong.
As a long time Supergirl fan, one of the most interesting things I think will be to see the direction they take the plot, right from the start, including their choice of Supergirl. For those who don’t know, there are three girls who held the mantle of Supergirl at one point or another during the comics: Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin from Krypton, Matrix or Mae, a shape-shifting protoplasm-like creature, and Linda Danvers, an abused teenager from a cult. Any one of these three ladies could have a show to themselves that would rock and they all have great material in the comics to draw from.
Of course, I would bet money on the show centering around Kara, as she is traditionally the most well known Supergirl. She was already featured on “Smallville” as Superman’s cousin, but giving Kara her own show is a chance to let non-comic book readers see that she is not just “Superman in a skirt,” as many people think. In plots centered around the Maid of Might and not her cousin, Supergirl has joined the Legion of Heroes in the 31st century and the Justice League, opposed a religious cult in the city of Kandor and sacrificed herself to save the multiverse in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline. Ready for her own TV show? You bet she is.
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