A common criticism lobbed at Supergirl is that it borrows too much from stories pertaining to Superman, a point that I won’t argue. Despite that, I’ve been quite happy to see villains such as Livewire and Parasite brought to life in ways that shows such as Superboy, Lois & Clark and even Smallville simply didn’t have the budget to achieve, or in a film franchise that just can’t seem to get past Lex Luthor and Zod. It’s because of this that I’ve said Supergirl has often felt like a live action answer to Superman: The Animated Series.
On that note, the Maiden of Might’s show is somewhat being inspired by one of the quintessential Elseworlds stories, Red Son, as we speak. As you may recall, last spring’s finale left off with Kara’s duplicate surfacing in Siberia, an entity that was produced by the aura which left her during the final showdown with Reign.
Cool as all that may be, we’ve seen very little of what’s been referred to as the “Red Daughter” in season 4, with most of the antagonistic focus being placed on Agent Liberty. Still, this thread is bound to unravel before long, with series lead Melissa Benoist recently revealing to ComicBook.com the differences between the two Karas:
“It’s all about the circumstance. Someone with the powers that a Kara Zor-El has, you have to really think about the way they were nurtured, where they came, from and their circumstances of becoming a superhero. Overgirl obviously [came from] a Third Reich-type scenario, so she was not using her powers for good and we all know Kara Zor-El, Kara Danvers iteration very well and that is who she is. Red Daughter, it’s really fun to play with this. The way we’re developing her this season is we’re sort of seeing how she’s nurtured and how she becomes who she is. So I kind of get to discover it as we go this season. It’s fun. I’ve not been able to do that outside of doing it with Kara Danvers.”
From that, we can deduce how this show’s take on the Comrade of Steel will be an entirely different beast from Earth-X’s Overgirl. In fact, it may be premature to call her a villain simply because she’s been nurtured with different values in a different environment. When this’ll ultimately pay off is anybody’s guess, but my gut tells me all the stories will converge during the back half of the current season.
For those unfamiliar, the aforementioned Superman: Red Son was a tale penned by Mark Millar that saw baby Kal-El’s rocket land in Russia instead of Kansas, and explored his subsequent adventures, which you probably gathered from what’s been said here today. Take it from me, it’s quite the thrilling read, so let’s hope it’s eventually adapted to an animated movie as well.
Supergirl airs on Sunday nights on The CW.