With the Arrowverse now in full swing with 4 DC superhero shows interconnecting on the CW, big changes and big crossovers are coming. None may be as big as the introduction of the Man of Steel, Superman, to this TV universe. Many never thought we’d see DC’s heavy hitters (Supes, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman…basically, think Justice League) on prime time television, but Barry Allen’s the Flash changed all of that a couple of seasons ago. Now, with Clark Kent/Superman in full flesh, blood & blue spandex on his cousin Supergirl‘s show, the possibilities for the Arrowverse could be wide spread and far reaching.
Many worried that the introduction of Superman (as more than just a text message or a shadowy figure, as seen on Season 1) would take away from the overall theme of Supergirl, which is having a strong female lead who doesn’t necessarily need help from the boys. My feeling is that this universe that WB and Greg Berlanti are creating is so much more expansive than one hero, and if you have one character with a giant S on her chest, why not include the “big blue boy scout” who started it all? If anything, I found Melissa Benoist’s Kara even more likable with her more famous cousin around. Bringing Superman really into the fold felt as if the world of Supergirl grew, leaving the door open for many more story lines straight from the DC comics vault. The Luthor family, Gotham, Cadmus & Metallo were all part of the first 2 episodes of the sophomore season, which expands the future of this show by leaps and bounds.
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As for the casting of Superman, Tyler Hoechlin may have just been an inspired choice. I’m a big fan of the silver screen Henry Cavill version of the iconic character, but the Arrowverse version was supposed to be different than the darker movie iteration, as the TV universe has to date been a lighter, more family friendly affair. Hoechlin’s Clark is a throwback to Richard Donner’s 1970’s version, famously portrayed by the late Christopher Reeve, with his “old school” lingo and clumsy antics. I was hesitant at first about making the Kent character this way, but I was quickly won over by Hoechlin’s charm, and the knowledge that this version of Clark feels at home on Supergirl. As for his Superman, he is a nice combination of “Truth, Justice & the American Way” Supes and the more modern, down to earth feel of today’s Superman comics. At times everything feels a bit cheesy, but I suppose this “world” is supposed to be a more fantastical, light-hearted place, so it isn’t something that overly offends. Hoechlin received some internet fallout when the first images of his character were released, but I’d like to think that after the first 2 episodes, he’s made a believer out of those skeptics. My only criticism is the text messaging between the 2 “Supers”. “I miss you”‘s exchanged back and forth? Remember, CW, they’re cousins, not star crossed lovers.
Which leads to “where does the Arrowverse go from here?” Well, nowhere, really. Nowhere, just yet, anyways. WB made it clear that the CW could use the character for the first couple of episodes of the season, and for right now, that’s all. I’m sure we’ll see him again at some point later on in the year, but it seems that is still up for negotiation between the branches of DC entertainment. What is exciting about Clark’s/Superman’s appearance is that it shows that the WB is open to sharing some of these characters with television. The odds of Batman one day showing up in the Arrowverse are pretty slim, based on the fact that Batman is very much DC’s “bread and butter”, which, other than being a really stupid phrase, means he’s the character that most will recognize & will earn the most money for the company. But if Supes can be in an episode here and there on Supergirl, why not an episode of The Flash where Barry travels to an alternate Earth where Aquaman is the world’s greatest hero, and we see a hint of the City of Atlantis? Why not an episode where the Legends crash land on the island of Themyscira, and we meet their greatest warrior, Diana, aka Wonder Woman? Why not an alien encounter with Supergirl and Superman, where the “space cops” known as the Green Lantern Corps show up to help out? The CW has made reference, at some point, to Hal Jordan, Wonder Woman & Aquaman in the Arrowverse, so anything is possible.
Let’s all hold out hope that the crossover event 5 years from now gives us exactly what we’ve all been hoping for.
Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time husband, full time dad, full time teacher, & full time superhero nerd. He’s back, baby.
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