So browsing through Twitter, literally about 10 minutes before starting this post, I saw a post from the guys over at Comic Vine, talking about WB shopping around for a network to run a live action Supergirl series. Here’s the article for reference, I was going to embed the tweet here but cannot get it working for the life of me. Seriously, I’ve just wasted at least twenty minutes trying and failing to do it, so screw it.
Anyway, back on to the topic at hand, I’m really stoked for the idea of a Supergirl series but with the way the DC properties have been handled recently I’m remaining pretty cautious with my excitement. Arrow has been pretty dark through it’s run so far, there’s been the odd light moment here and there, but on the whole it’s gone down the dark and “gritty” route, taking many cues from Batman Begins. I get it, it’s a style that’s really suited Arrow and can work for other properties too, but sometimes light, bright and colourful is the way to go. Looking at the costume reveal for The Flash (no I haven’t seen the pilot, I refused to watch it and have to wait until it starts airing for the rest) I can see the potential for a gloomier Flash than I’d really like, since they appear to have darkened down the suit a bit. Constantine is on it’s way, which I’m hugely excited for, but the reality is that the laughs we’ll most likely get from the show will be pretty dark and messed up.
Then we look at the movies, where we have Man of Steel kick off the DC Cinematic Universe. It was… divisive to say the least. I enjoyed it for the most part, but man that movie bummed me out. Superman is meant to be a bright, shining beacon of hope and the same could be said for Supergirl. She has traditionally been a bit more snappy, showing more fire in her than her older cousin. The thing is, she’s been quite a bit more jaded in recent years (read: last two to three years) than usual. I get that her loss over Krypton is almost more real to her than it is for Superman, since she was pretty much the age you see her on Earth when she was sent away, but the level of anger, resentment and mistrust she has shown through her New 52 reboot has been too much. If this TV show goes ahead, and I really hope it does, they need to go in pretty much the opposite direction to that of Man of Steel. Give her a brightly coloured costume, don’t dull down the blue and red, don’t muddy up the “S”, just put it all out there and show pride and joy in her source material.
Supergirl on the way to our screens?
I think it’s safe to say, especially if executives want this show to take off and appeal to a wide audience, that her New 52 material should be glazed over almost entirely. There may be a few choice characters they could take and use in the show, maybe people like Dr Veritas and Siobhan with her Silver Banshee alter ego, but for christ sake lighten the mood a little bit. And for the love of all things geek and comic, do not even remotely consider the possibility of making her a bloody Red Lantern. For me, I think there are plenty of stories and great character moments from her volume running from 2005 up until the reboot, started off by Jeph Loeb. There were plenty of times where she found herself in despair, dealing with the devastating loss of her home and occassionally maybe taking her beatdowns a little too far, but she managed to reign it in for the most part. If it’s going to gain a wide appeal, sure it’s going to need it’s fair share of drama and suspense, and there needs to be character growth, but the series needs to have a sense of humour, it needs a sense of hope and joy. Joy at the fact that she may have lost a lot, but in coming to Earth she has gained these incredible powers and has the ability to genuinely help.
There are two other really important points worth considering though, both of which have me kind of stumped. Actual costume design, and casting choice. We’ve already covered costume colour while discussing tone, and my conclusion is keep it bright and comic book-y. I think that ditching off the skirt was probably the smartest thing they did with the new costume, as a character that spends much time in the air, both while flying (duh) and in combat a skirt seems a little bit dysfunctional to say the least. The cape with the collar looked pretty damn good too, to be fair. I think some inspiration could be taken from Marvel’s Captain Marvel look, she has the look of a brightly coloured superhero but it has a functional look. For a good idea of what I’m thinking, have a look at this DeviantArt member’s take on the redesigned costume, I think it would look great onscreen.
fanboiii of DeviantArt knocks it out the park with the costume edit
Then there’s the casting. Smallville had a great choice in Laura Vandervoort, she portrayed all the key aspects of Kara Zor-El with her own spin, granted she never got a true costume, but it was the best live action Supergirl we’ve had. That door has most likely closed now, as Vandervoort is probably too old for the role so long as WB are going the route of “fresh off the spaceship”. Another I thought might work was Yvonne Strahovski but again, I think she may be a little old for the role too at 32. Perhaps someone like Maddie Hasson, someone mid twenties or younger who hasn’t had a huge amount of work thrown their way yet, but someone who has made a positive impression on audiences in the parts she has played. It’s a tough one, guess that’s one of many reasons why I’m not a casting director! Whomever gets the role, youth and (for lack of a better word) gusto is needed for the role, just please please don’t make it dark, gloomy and miserable.
Of course, another huge point here is that we’ll have more diversity coming to our on screen superheroics. We’ve been treated to so much awesomeness with comic book movies and TV shows, but what we still haven’t had is a female superhero led show or movie. Agent Carter is on it’s way to our TV screens soon, which is another huge step in the right direction, but this would be a first for the actual female superheroes as opposed to a female lead in a TV show, which just so happens to take place in a universe of superheroes. We’re still waiting on a Wonder Woman movie, we’re still waiting for Marvel Studios to pull their collective thumbs out their asses and greenlight a Captain Marvel movie (how have they not done that yet?) and so, if done right, this would fill that void perfectly. The iconic “S” and the history and heritage that comes along with it, striking a balance with the modern day concerns and troubles of a young woman, throwing in the problems of, you know, being from another planet that is now dead.
What’s not to love?