The casting calls for Supergirl, the next DC TV show, have gone out, and they're really surprising. I was wondering if Supergirl would live in a world that had Superman, and it seems like she must, considering what characters are along for the ride.
First, Supergirl herself. This is a character who has had so many iterations and reboots that it's hard to nail down what the truly archetypal Supergirl is. This version seeme to be fairly old continuity:
For Kara Zor-El aka Kara Danvers, the show is eyeing Caucasian females, age 22 to 26, to play 24. As the series’ mythology goes, Kara at age 12 was sent from her dying home planet of Krypton to Earth, where she was taken in by the Danvers, a foster family who taught her to be careful with her extraordinary powers. After repressing said skills for more than a decade, Kara is forced to bust out her super moves in public during an unexpected disaster. Energized by her heroism for the first time in her life, she begins embracing her abilities in the name of helping the people of her city, earning herself a super moniker along the way.
That's all pretty pre-Crisis. Kara Zor-El is from Argo City on Krypton, which survives the cataclysm. She comes to Earth (after being in suspended animation, which is why she's younger than Superman) and takes on the name Linda Lee while living in an orphanage, and is then adopted by the Danvers family. That's more or less right on the nose here (just keeping her Kryptonian first name instead of Linda), which for an old guy like me is cool.
There are more characters. Kara has a foster sister:
The other lead role currently being cast is that of 26-year-old Alexandra “Alex” Danvers, Kara’s gorgeous, brilliant, science-minded foster sister. Growing up, Alex was partly jealous of her sibling yet also fascinated by her abilities, prompting Alex to learn as much as she could about alien anthropology, sociology and culture. Today, Alex works for a secret government organization and, alongside her heroic sis, will face many challenges, both mundane and super.
That feels pretty standard for these DC shows these days - a regular person who aids the superhero and is maybe connected to a corporate or government lab. None of these DC TV heroes operate solo, it seems. They have these big support systems.
I'm not really familiar with an Alex Danvers in DC history, but it is worth noting that there's an Alex Luthor, who is an alternate reality good guy Luthor. In the post-Crisis comics Supergirl was a being created by an alternate dimensional Lex Luthor (not ALEX, a different character) - could the apperance of an Alex here be hinting at something? I'm just spitballing nerd shit here.
But there are other characters, all with comic book counterparts:
CAT GRANT | The project is eyeing females in their 40s, open ethnicity, to play the founder of CatCo, a media conglomerate that Cat built from the ground up. Kara (Supergirl’s mild-mannered alter ego) will work as a personal assistant to Cat, who is described as “J.Lo by way of Anna Wintour.”
JAMES OLSEN | In his late 20s/early 30s, open ethnicity, James is a smart, worldly and (duh) attractive photographer for CatCo. Though an alpha male, his salt-of-the-earth nature elicits a huge ol’ crush from Kara.
WINSLOW ‘WYNN’ SCHOTT | This twentysomething tech whiz/Comic-Con stalwart toils for CatCo as a programmer, unaware of his own (toying?) potential. Unware of her secret, he carries a torch for Kara, whom he lives next door to.
HANK HENSHAW | As an upstart CIA agent, Hank grew obsessed with intergalactic intel. Now in his 40s and lording over the DEO (Department of Extra-Normal Operations), he is on high alert when Supergirl reveals herself, worried that her otherworldly abilities pose a threat to humankind.
All of these characters are Superman characters. You know who Jimmy Olsen is; Cat Grant is a character created post-Crisis to make the Clark/Lois thing into a triangle. She was a gossip columnist at the Daily Planet, so this is a very different take. This version of Grant feels more similar to Morgan Edge, a Superman universe rich guy who owned a TV station and has been involved with the criminal syndicate Intergang.
Winslow Schott is the Superman villain Toyman. Most interesting is that he killed Cat Grant's son in the comics. I wonder how this will play out - it seems as though they're setting him up to go bad because Supergirl doesn't love him.
And then there's Hank Henshaw. Hank's a weird character to use because he has only one famous storyline: he was the Cyborg Superman in the post-Death of Superman comics. Hank was introduced in a story that riffed on the Fantastic Four, and he ended up with his consciousness in a Lexcorp computer. He went and traveled through space before returning as Cyborg Superman, secretly harboring evil purposeses. Eventually he destroyed Green Lantern's home town of Coast City, an event that made Hal Jordan go nuts and kill the whole Green Lantern Corps.
So yeah, having Hank Henshaw on this show is one helluva name to drop.
All of these characters seem to have tight relationships to Superman, but there's no mention of the Last Son of Krypton just yet. If I had to guess I'd say that there has to be a Superman in here somewhere, or that there has to have once been a Superman. If there's a DEO that means there are superbeings in this universe before Supergirl shows up.
Hank Henshaw. Man. What are the odds of him becoming Cyborg Superman on live action television?