Having just released the official synopsis and initial images for its upcoming DC series Supergirl, CBS has now unveiled its first preview of the show. While this is a lot of footage (six minutes and 36 seconds, to be exact), the preview sets out the female superhero’s stall in fantastically confident fashion.
With Glee’s Melissa Benoist in the lead role, we are introduced to Kara Zor-El (also known as Linda Danvers, also known as Supergirl), and are whisked through her origin story faster than a speeding bullet. As an adult, we find her working as an assistant to Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart) – a famous media mogul – and alongside the newly hired James Olsen (former photographer at the Daily Planet, played by Mehcad Brooks). We are also introduced to her older foster sister, Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), who is unwittingly instrumental in Kara finally revealing her true heroic nature to the world.
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The arrival of Supergirl is a watershed moment for CBS, for DC and for fans of both. The production is delivering a fully fledged female superhero, which is something audiences have been calling for, loudly and for a long time. That being the case, this series will perhaps face even greater scrutiny than its male-led counterparts – DC’s Arrow and The Flash – which might go some way to explaining the extended nature of this first trailer. Thankfully, the successes of the footage far outweigh the failures – but there are still some reservations to acknowledge.
The biggest alarm bell is Supergirl’s position within the DC universe. Female superhero she may be, she is still a spinoff character from Superman and this familial relationship seems to feature heavily in the series plot. DC have thus far been keen to avoid the concept of a ‘cohesive universe’ uniting film and television projects, but this strong connection comes very close to crossing that line. That relationship – as seen in this footage – also establishes a sense of overarching patriarchy, which is at odds with the tone of the rest of the project.