A Beginner’s Guide To Supergirl

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It’s beginning to feel like you won’t be able to turn on your television without there being a show based on a comic book airing somewhere this fall. New shows centered around comics seem to be announced almost daily as both Marvel and DC look to expand their multimedia footprint and find ways to bring their characters to life.

While Marvel has taken a slow and steady approach to TV with only two shows on the Disney-owned ABC (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter) and a quartet of shows on Netflix, all of which are tied into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC has taken the opposite route.

Shows featuring DC characters are seemingly everywhere on a multitude of different networks. You had the late, lamented Constantine on NBC as well as Arrow, The Flash and the forthcoming Legends of Tomorrow on the CW, all of which take place in the same super hero universe. Unlike Marvel, DC has decided that their film and television universes will remain completely separate, which offers some interesting storytelling opportunities for the people creating these shows.

But the biggest risk for DC could be the super hero scheduled to make her debut on CBS later this month: Supergirl.

Why is it a risk? Because while everyone has heard of Superman, his cousin Kara Zor-El is still something of an enigma to the greater, non-comic book reading populace. Ask most folks what they know about Supergirl, and they will no doubt mention the Helen Slater film from 1984 that was so bad, it hasn’t even reached cult status yet.

That was pretty much the exact reaction I had when the show was announced last year. While I have always loved Superman, I was never what you would call a huge Supergirl fan. If I’m being honest, it’s not that I did or didn’t like her; I didn’t have any feelings about her whatsoever one way or another. Kara was always just kind of there in the background.

Unfortunately, the majority of comic book fans feel the same way. Despite various series done by some of the best creative minds in the industry, Supergirl always seemed to fail to draw an audience and would end up cancelled. Folks just didn’t seem to care about Kara Zor-El, or at least not enough to support an ongoing title.

The new show, developed by Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler, Sarah Shechter and Andrew Kreisberg with some additional help from Geoff Johns, looks to change that by making Supergirl and her life the focus of the series and putting her front and center. The timing couldn’t be better, as more and more women are reading comics and getting interested in the hobby.

I still had doubts until CBS released an extended “first look” at the series and it pretty much blew away every preconceived notion I had about the new series.

So for those you you who might not be familiar with Superman’s cousin and her history, what do you need to know going in? Is there a learning curve? If you like the series, where do you start if you want to read more about her and her adventures?

Well, once again, we are here to help.

Much like our Beginners Guide to the Suicide Squad, we’re going to try our best to get you up to speed on everything Supergirl: who she is, where she came from and how she fits into the larger DC Universe.

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