5 Reasons Why ‘Supergirl’ Needs a Superman Spinoff
The respective DC universes for film and television are finally set to include some of the comics’ most lauded female heroes into the fold, with Wonder Woman hitting theaters this year and Supergirl firmly entrenched in The CW’s Arrow-verse. While the former character made her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the latter took the opposite approach, re-introducing the Man of Steel to live-action television for the first time since Tom Welling ended his decade-long run on Smallville in 2011.
This time, Tyler Hoechlin (Teen Wolf) played Clark Kent/Superman alongside Melissa Benoist’s Kara Danvers/Supergirl, and the two cousins faced the foes of National City together. Now that viewers have gotten their first taste of this new version of Superman, they’re not exactly ready to let him go just yet. The idea of a Superman-centered spinoff has reportedly been floated, though plans aren’t exactly in the works just yet. Here’s why we think it may be worth pursuing.
1. It would take the pressure off of Supergirl to feature him
Season 1 of Supergirl was so beholden to the idea that Superman is out there, that the story followed Kara as she struggled to distinguish herself from her famous cousin. Since the show wasn’t allowed to show the last son of Krypton on-screen, it was forced to resort to text messages, dream sequences featuring Kal-El as a child, and blurred glimpses at the character to establish that he’s out there.
Now that Superman has been introduced, fans of Supergirl will undoubtedly want to see him back on the show. Giving him his own show allows Supergirl to remain a separate entity with its own distinct storylines, but opens the door for future crossovers.
2. Smallville fans are still due a dose of Superman
When Smallville debuted in 2001 on the now-defunct The WB, the show’s creators were clear that their focus was on tracking Clark’s evolution into Superman. However, because the show went on for 10 seasons, viewers essentially got to see him become Superman in everything but name. Smallville never took the opportunity to put star Tom Welling into the red-and-blue costume, leaving fans who stuck with the show for 218 episodes with little payoff.
We’ve discussed before our dashed hopes that Welling would reprise his role in Supergirl, but a weekly Superman series led by Hoechlin is a solid consolation prize.
3. Hoechlin embodies the character’s brightness
Superman remains one of the most popular superheroes of all time, but many longtime fans have taken issue with the character’s dour depiction in recent films. Henry Cavill’s more tortured performances in Man of Steel and the aforementioned Batman v Superman are presumably tracking the character’s road toward embracing the light (an arc we hope to see in next year’s Justice League).
Meanwhile, Hoechlin’s performance has been a refreshing change of pace. His wholesome, warm-hearted Superman hews far closer to the charismatic take that Christopher Reeve brought to the screen, an interpretation that is still largely considered the definitive one for the hero.
4. It would complement Supergirl like The Flash does Arrow
Since everything nowadays is about creating an interconnected web of stories, it stands to reason that Arrow became far more intriguing after The Flash debuted on The CW. The two shows may vary in tone and style, but the fact that they inhabit the same universe meant that the two characters’ bond could deepen over the course of both series, creating a richer experience for viewers.
The addition of a Superman show would give Supergirl a similar dynamic; a sister series which it could use to develop its own mythology and tap into to create more exciting events for characters across the board.
5. The CW could then build toward a TV Justice League
Speaking of the interconnectedness of The CW’s DC heroes, the multiverse that has long allowed the comics to explore all kinds of alternate realities could eventually give the network’s growing stable of marquee heroes the chance to create a television Justice League to counter the one hitting theaters next fall. Imagine if Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and a Superman spinoff all took slots on the network’s schedule. Take a hero or two from each show, and you’d already have a powerful team.
Our suggested contenders? Superman, Supergirl, the Flash, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Firestorm, and the Atom are shoo-ins, as all have been members in the comics. Also, White Canary and/or Black Canary should be considered, especially since the latter is set for a surprising return.
Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @CrookedTable
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