Skip to main content

Supergirl Review (S1E2): 'Stronger Together'



★★★★☆ (4/5)

One of the biggest questions regarding Superman over the years has been how do you make such a powerful, indestructible, seemingly perfect hero interesting. Well, the creators of CBS's 'Supergirl' have found a way to approach that topic with his cousin, Kara, by exploring her time on Krypton (something that's not possible with Kal-El), wrangling her ego and realizing she needs more than her brute strength to be an effective superhero. While the Kryptonite-infused sparring session with Alex was a great ego-check for Kara, who inadvertently caused an ecological disaster while trying to steer clear a tanker from a fire in the opening, it reminds us Supergirl is still a hero in training. 


Episode two, 'Stronger Together,' builds on the excellent but crammed pilot with some more character development for Kara, the endlessly charming Melissa Benoist, James (Mehcad Brooks), and Cat (Calista Flockhart). The episode packed a more emotional punch because it examines the sense of loss of her home world, the dubious intentions of her mom's evil twin General Astra (Laura Benanti), and poignantly reunites Kara with her mother via hologram in a makeshift Fortress of Solitude within the DEO that can answer her questions but can't deliver the hug she desires so much. 

The flashbacks help inform the present when a hellgrammite, an insect-like race that can conceal itself as other species, is on the loose and on the DEO's radar. It's a more immersive experience we get to share with Kara than we did with Superman because didn't grow up on Krypton.

There's also some dynamic parallels with the mentors in Kara's life. Her highly skilled sister and her ambitious boss both impart some wisdom on her that emphasize paying your dues. Kara's overconfidence and reliance on her superior strength makes her vulnerable in other ways. Cat describes her rise to the top by being Perry White's assistance and working harder than her male counterparts out of necessity. If you wondered why feminism is important these are just two examples that will influence the growth of one woman, albeit a super-powered one. 

The second episode offered a lot of positives. Bucking a trend that Berlanti shows tend to have as far as the slow reveal of the big bad on the show, General Astra makes her presence felt almost immediately. Surprisingly, the two go toe-to-toe and while Kara is still a novice her fighting spirit is inspiring even to her evil aunt. Thankfully, Hank Henshaw steps in with a kryptonite knife that hurts and befuddles Astra. We'll have to wait to find out as to why Alura imprisoned Astra at Fort Rozz to begin with. 

Teamwork becomes a theme as Kara learns to appreciate her own Team Supergirl as Winn and James learn they're both in on the secret. It's funny that they address the whole glasses as a disguise for a superhero but James' line that Cat won't recognize her because she can't her now speaks to more than just appearance. And as suave and put-together as James is there's a layer of his character that's peeled back a little. Cat puts the pressure on James to get her an interview with Supergirl and he begins to doubt his worth outside of his relationships to heroes from Krypton. 



This leads to one of the best scenes so far on the show when it's Kara building him back up instead of the other way around for once. “Part of being your own man is knowing when to accept help,” she tells him and it speaks volumes to this team effort that she's trying to foster. She's not interested in doing it alone like her cousin. 

The second episode wasn't without some glitches. Astra feels a little one-dimensional as the villain so far, Cat showed a little more depth but not a lot, some of the dialogue sounded like blatant exposition, and I'm still looking for some light-hearted banter between Kara and Alex. It might be nit-picking but with a show this good and well-intentioned it doesn't detract from all the positives. 

On the bright side, there was a Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) sighting who found his way from Pawnee to National City. Oh, and what's up with Hank Henshaw's glowing red eyes? I'm sure it's nothing. We also got a glimpse of Maxwell Lord (Peter Facinelli) who wasn't too fond of Supergirl's heroics.

'Supergirl' is still evolving before our eyes and like the titular character it's finding its legs. Benoist's performance helps make the show a joy to watch and you can't help but root for her. The added development with James and Cat helps to flesh out the supporting cast some more. 'Supergirl' has a lot on its mind and a lot of moving parts but remains a fun action-packed hour full of heart. 

Check out the preview for the next episode, 'Fight or Flight.'


Supergirl 1x03 "Fight or Flight" - Supergirl’s powers are tested when Reactron, one of Superman’s formidable enemies, arrives in National City and targets the young hero. Also, Cat plans to run an exposé on Supergirl, on SUPERGIRL, Monday, November 9th on CBS Peter Facinelli guest stars as tech entrepreneur Maxwell Lord.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

LONG BEACH COMIC CON Invades the Southland with William Shatner, Dave Gibbons, Cosplayers, and More

It's that time of year again when pop culture fans from all over Southern California and beyond descend on Long Beach to meet and greet some of their favorite stars from comic books, television, and movies. This year the 2017 Long Beach Comic Con offers some new exciting guests, panels, concerts, film festivals, cosplay contests, and an expansive Space Expo.


Visit downtown Long Beach on Saturday, Sept. 2 and Sunday, Sept. 3 for the annual Comic Con at the Long Beach Convention Center. This year's lineup includes legendary actor and cultural icon Star Trek's William Shatner speaking in the Main Stage room on Saturday as well as esteemed veteran comic writer and artist Dave Gibbons (Watchmen).
A con that still values comics will feature comic book vendors, artists, writers, and publishers. Approximately 100 other guests including animators, voice actors, and professional cosplayers will be participating in more than 100 entertaining and informative panels covering animation,…

REVIEW: 'Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman' #6 by Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora

The series has been great fun but for fans of the original Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter and the Bionic Woman starring Lyndsey Wagner it's been a time machine to what could have been when these two iconic heroines meet.


WONDER WOMAN '77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #6  Writer: Andy Mangels Artist: Judit Tondora Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Release Date: September 20, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
 Andy Mangels and Judit Tondora have put together a sprawling crossover event that faithfully captures the tone and aesthetic of the 1970's shows. Often complicated and full of exposition, the camaraderie between Diana and Jamie is genuine and to see them in action makes the cover price worth every penny. Bringing together not only the titular heroes but incorporating their respective supporting characters like Wonder Girl and combining villains was no easy feat but Mangels and Tondora pull it off with enthusiasm and precision.
The plot to use Fembots to…

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

REVIEW: 'Crosswind' #4 by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs

'Crosswind' #4 delves deeper into the situations that Cason and Juniper have found themselves in. The fates of both are increasingly in danger just as Cason as Juniper begins to stabilize the domestic life. Juniper as Cason has a target on his back and a deception that could cost a life before the two return to their rightful bodies.



CROSSWIND #4 Writer: Gail Simone Artist: Cat Staggs Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: September 27, 2017 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
The last issue was a satisfying chapter but things get inevitably messier. Cruz is out to get Cason for sleeping with his fiance Mika and making sure he keeps quiet about killing the idiotic son, Siggy, of the mob boss. He's got to play Mr. Randolph against Cason now and it's sure to set some deadly actions in motion. Meanwhile, back in suburbia, Cason just set Juniper's husband straight about his philandering. He needs help getting away as a woman so he enlists the help of a transgender woma…