Skip to main content

SUPERGIRL Review (S1E4): 'Livewire"



★★★★☆ (4/5)

Due to the horrific events in Paris, CBS decided to switch episodes of 'Supergirl' because the original involved Kara stopping a terrorist threat. Instead, they skipped to their Thanksgiving episode featuring a new homegrown villain and plenty of mommy issues. It was another emotional but exciting chapter of Supergirl's growth and those around her. 

'Livewire' demonstrates without apology that 'Supergirl' has a different viewpoint than the other DC Comics shows on the air. It's told through the female perspective and the characters that surround Kara, for the most part, are women that helped shape her and continue to test her. The protective big sister, the overbearing boss, the evil twin aunt and in this episode her foster mother Eliza (1984's 'Supergirl' Helen Slater) and trolling loudmouth radio host Leslie Willis (Brit Morgan).

If that sounds like a turn-off then I'd remind you that DCTV is filled with plenty of emotional family dialogues of their own. Ollie Queen on 'Arrow' had his own daddy issues and there's been plenty of male bonding with John Diggle and his heartfelt advice he usually ignores. Barry Allen on 'The Flash' was founded on the premise he grew up and became a forensic scientist solely to help solve his mom's murder and help get his dad released from jail after being wrongly accused of killing her. Then there's his foster father in Joe West who also provides him plenty of guidance and security. So the emotional issues on 'Supergirl' are not uncommon or some feminist plot to flood primetime with feelings and stuff. 

The great thing about these shows, all produced by Greg Berlanti, is that they're about more than just the villain-of-the-week. They're about the personal growth and character development of these heroes that help define them beyond their super powers. The challenge for 'Supergirl' or 'Superman' for that matter is to make them interesting and create calamities in their lives that can't be solved with a punch or laser eye blast. 

For Kara Danvers, being able to come out and use the powers she's kept under wraps for years has been freeing and liberating. Her enthusiasm for justice is infectious but the contrasting life of her public identity as Kara, assistant to media mogul Cat Grant, is so unassuming that she's unrecognizable to her own boss as Supergirl. 

This week however, Cat suddenly started to see Kara as a fellow human being. She is actually sympathetic to Kara after she reveals her real parents died in a fire as a child and was raised by foster parents. She suddenly becomes interested in Kara's like. Cat begins to open up about her own upbringing even admitting she knows she's hard on her and the staff because her mom was hard on her. Her mom's tough love was a blessing and a curse, but it helped push herself to where she is now. 

This theme about difficult relationships is also part of Kara's sister Alex and her mom, Eliza. Alex has always felt she wasn't good enough in her mom's eyes, but the alien child that was dropped on their doorstep got all the positive reinforcement. Eliza has a sense of tough love of her own too telling Alex she just wanted her to strive to be better than her. The most moving statement was when she finally told Alex, "You've always been my Supergirl."

The only bad part, and I hate myself for saying this, is that Slater doesn't convey the necessary wealth of emotion in that scene. The performance is pretty flat and could have been more impactful. Yet, the show did find a way to exorcise these issues in a more nuanced way than it has in previous episodes. More showing than telling. 

With all that Thanksgiving angst going on, there was a great villain born in Willis. Under Cat's media umbrella, Willis used her radio gig to disparage Supergirl from her outfit, her alien "otherness," her lady parts, and "adorkable" personality. Willis was already a monster troll before being struck by lightning through Supergirl's body that gave her the power to manipulate and become electricity. 

Willis was hellbent on taking revenge on Cat for demoting her. Livewire, as she called herself, was a powerful counter to Kara's "niceness." It really was the battle of opposites. Not sure how Livewires was as formidable as she was considering Supergirl was stronger, but it didn't matter, Morgan played her with seathing cattiness that made for a fun confrontation. The special effects were impressive as she whipped around an electric whip and traveled through electrical outlets. 

Dean Cain as Kara's foster dad, Jeremiah Danvers, makes a cameo long enough to see a younger Hank Henshaw knock on the door looking for the alien they were harboring. They strike a deal where Jeremiah works for the DEO because of his Superman knowledge and Kara can stay with them. Eliza tells the girls at one point she thinks the DEO is lying about the death of Jeremiah putting Henshaw square in the crosshair of the Danvers sisters. 

You can tell with 'Livewire' the writing is finding a groove, a better balance of outright declarations of love, trust, and support and there's more action in that department. There's still some awkward moments but 'Supergirl' is shaking off the rookie jitters and embracing their feminist spirit with the same tenacity the boys on CW have embraced their sensitive side. 'Supergirl' continues to soar with adventure and heart.  

Here's a look at the next episode "Red Faced" featuring the live-action debut of Red Tornado on Monday, November 30.



Personal and professional stress get the better of Kara when she goes too far during a training exercise against Red Tornado, a military cyborg commissioned by Lucy Lane’s father, General Sam Lane. Also, Cat’s tough exterior is shaken by a visit from her judgmental mother, Katherine, and Alex enlists Winn to look into her father’s mysterious death.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DC Comics March Movie Poster Variant Covers are Fantastic

DC Comics may have outdone themselves with their running themed variant covers for the month of March 2015. After some fun and gorgeous variants in 2014 like Darwin Cooke (December), LEGO (November), and Bombshells (June) to name a few DC Comics is continuing to bring some creative covers in 2015. January will feature Flash throughout the company line in celebration of his 75th Anniversary, February will bring everyone’s favorite wild card, Harley Quinn, on DC covers, and perhaps the best mash-ups of comics and famous movie posters will arrive in March.

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: 'Wasted Space' #6 by Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, and Jason Wordie

Now officially an ongoing! The whole fam damily is back! Billy visits a crooked politician. Dust and Fury make sweet bot-love in unsanitary locations. A ghost haunts Molly's visions of Rex. And Legion pets a dog. The galaxy is still totally borked, but maybe together they can un-bork it... oh, probably not.

WASTED SPACE #6
Writer: Michael Moreci Artist: Hayden Sherman, Jason Wordie Letterer: Jim Campbell Publisher: Vault Comics Release Date: February 6, 2019 Cover Price: $3.99
Score: ★★★★1/2 (4.5/5)
The second arc of Vault Comics' exceptional space opera "Wasted Space" blasts off in satisfying fashion when the gang crosses the galaxy to have a heart-to-heart with a one-percenter while Legion and the Creator contemplate the usefulness or lack thereof of humanity. It's another stellar chapter from Michael Moreci, Hayden Sherman, and Jason Wordie. 
'Wasted Space' has carved out a unique place for itself as more than just a sci-fi comic. It's one of the mo…

The Wonderful Women of Dynamite and Archie Join Forces in 'Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica'

Dynamite Entertainment announces the most unexpected and exciting crossover of the year...Red Sonja and Vampirella Meet Betty and Veronica!


Dynamite's first ever crossover with Archie Comics could not be any bigger. The flagship Women of Dynamite come face to face with Riverdale's leading ladies to solve a string of paranormal, unsolved murders. When Drakulon and Hyrkania drop off their famous vampire hunter and sword-wielding barbarian into the small, sleepy town something is surely afoot.


Amy Chu (Red Sonja, KISS: The End, Poison Ivy) returns to the fiery-haired She-Devil to write even more of a fish out of water tale than her fan-favorite Worlds Away arc. Joining her on the art side is Maria Laura Sanapo (DC Comics Bombshells, Charmed) who just drew the Vampirella Valentine's Day Special. Together these two women will chronicle the incomparable charm of their four leading ladies.


Both Dynamite and Archie have had great crossovers with the biggest publishers in the indus…