Superheroes haven’t just taken over the multiplex, but the Huluplex too.
Debuting this fall are Fox’s Gotham and NBC’s Constantine, which will join CW’s The Flash (in its first season) and Arrow (in its second) and ABC’s returning Marvel’s Agents of Shield and the midseason replacement Agent Carter. Netflix also has slated four Marvel series, which will premiere in 2015.
Of those ten, only two boast female protagonists. Agent Carter will follow Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), introduced in the Captain America movies. Netflix’s untitled Jessica Jones series will focus on a former classmate of Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) who comes to have her own superpowers.
20% is, of course, nowhere near parity, which is why it’s great to hear that CBS is now working on a Supergirl pilot. Veteran TV writer Ali Adler and Arrow and The Flash creator Greg Berlanti are crafting an hourlong series about Linda Danvers (Kryptonite name: Kara Zor-El), a cousin of Superman and star of her own comic books.
That DC never really knew what to do with Supergirl is clear: Linda goes through a series of superpowered boyfriends and career changes (in student counseling, news reporting, and acting in a soap opera). She has a super-cat and a super-horse. Eventually, Supergirl was killed off in the mid 1980s because — and this should sound pretty familiar — DC wanted to prove it could go dark.
Perhaps Supergirl’s confused identity will become Adler and Berlanti’s blessing. Having a character without a lot of history will grant the writers creative freedom to reshape the character into a coherent vision and update her for the 21st century. And until she debuts, there’s still Tea Leoni’s Superwoman to contend with.