Supergirl returned this week for it’s second episode and all the heart, action and humor we got from episode 1 was back. But this time the stakes were higher as Supergirl quickly realizes she might be in over her head and need some help, especially when she comes face to face with her Aunt Astra. So let’s break this episode down with a Closer Look.
Becoming “Stronger Together”:
The main focus of this episode was of course becoming “stronger together”. Whereas superman primarily does things alone; Supergirl doesn’t want to do things the same way. This also explores the key difference I noted last week of how Kara actually remembers her time on Krypton . This is what reminds her of their family coat of arms “Stronger Together”, which is a good thing since her enemies are using the same tactic.
Whereas Kara has aligned herself with the DEO and her friends (James and Winn), her Aunt Astra has also gained some strong allies with the escapees of Fort Rozz. But is Astra the one calling the shots or is there a bigger one giving her orders? We’ll look at this a little later.
Who Is Maxwell Lord & What Does He Mean For The Series?:
Judging from the episode, it seems as though Lord has a bone to pick with aliens – especially if they have “Super” in their names. Lord is upset about what Supergirl could mean for National City. Since Superman’s appearance in Metropolis, there have been a bunch of huge battles and Lord fears the same happening here in National City. This is of course the usual ‘hero gripe’ many programs have shown – from Man of Steel to Avengers. They blame the heroes for their massive battles with villains and never consider that it was either a battle or pure destruction. He will of course lead this charge of distrust of superheroes and cause more problems for Supergirl. BUT if his comic story is to be retained, then we could see that he’s actually a good man.
Lord is most famous for bringing the Justice League back together but under government control. This would eventually put him at odds with Superman; but his motives were good. There is also a storyline where he is taken over by an alien. So right now it’s hard to know if this is regular Lord trying to make change OR if he’s under the influence of an evil alien making him say these things. Though one thing that should be pointed out is that his comic version does have a history with Hank Henshaw – who killed his mother while pretending to be Superman. And considering the quick little shot we got of Henshaw towards the end of the episode, Cyborg Superman might actually be coming to the series.
A Bigger Big Bad – Who Is Astra Talking To?
In the first episode we wondered who this mysterious woman might be; and this episode it turned out to be Kara’s Aunt Astra. As for whether or not she is a new version of General Zodd remains unseen. The title of General and her description as someone who truly wants to help – but by leading and ruling – sounds pretty close. Although what if that person she’s talking to at the end of this episode is the real General Zodd? Honestly, that would seem too easy and considering the Arrow-verse writers LOVE the New 52 storyline, there’s a much more shocking possibility.
Now I mentioned last week how Henshaw could be Cyborg Superman; but in the New 52 Cyborg Superman is actually Zor-El aka Supergirl’s father. With all the talk this episode about “not knowing who your enemy is” and “twins liking to trick people”, Kara finding out her dad is now a villain would be a great twist. Though despite the potential for Zor-El being Cyborg Superman, I don’t think that is who Astra was talking to. It would have to be someone more powerful and most likely trapped in the Phantom Zone as well. OR maybe it was someone who pulled Kara’s ship out of the Phantom Zone with Fort Rozz in the first place. This all points to a much more famous Superman villain – Braniac.
In The New 52 series, Brainiac found Kor-El’s body and rebuilt him as Cyborg Superman, which we could see revealed later this series. Having Brainiac as the one giving Astra orders would make perfect sense and give us that proper mixture of familiar Superman villains with new Supergirl-specific threats.
Hank Henshaw – Friend Or Foe? Martian Or Cyborg?
As I’ve said before, Hank Henshaw’s comic alter-ego was Cyborg Superman – someone who masqueraded as Superman for a while after his death and hates/blames Superman for his condition. At first we thought he might eventually become Cyborg Superman by accident later in the series; but it seems as though that accident might have already taken place. As we saw in this episode his eyes glowed an eerie red. Has Henshaw been using his position to track down and build a resistance to Superman and stumbled across the next best thing – his cousin? Well this could be one theory; but as I pointed out earlier, Cyborg Superman would be much better served as a rebuilt Zor-El. So what’s the story with Henshaw?
As James pointed out in the comments, Henshaw could ACTUALLY be the Martian Manhunter, who has red eyes and is able to shape shift. Making Henshaw (the famous Cyborg Superman) Martian Manhunter in disguise instead would be an EPIC misdirection. It’s of course WAY too soon to tell. Remember that the same people who work on Arrow and The Flash work on Supergirl; and in many ways Henshaw could very well be this series “Harrison Wells”. Does he want to help Kara? Does he want to hurt Kara? Does he want a bit of both? It’s safe to assume this series will toy with those two outcomes for quite a while until a reveal is made. So straight up Cyborg Superman or misdirection with the Martian Manhunter: which theory do you like better?
Up, Up And Away – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:
- “I see you share your cousin’s appetite for wanton destruction” Excuse me Henshaw? YOU just shot missiles at HER!
- This episode had plenty of Superman references not just indirectly with phrases like “This looks like a job for”, but also direct references with names like Daily Planet, Loise Lane, Clark Kent, Perry White, and Fortress of Solitude.
- Hellgrammite was indeed a Superman villain and it was an alien insect
- As I pointed out last week, it’s good that they’re pointing out the difference between Superman and Supergirl in how one actually remembers their time on Krypton and what they lost.
- “Who names their snake Fluffy!”
- We get that tie-in moment when James explains how he used to be “a nervous kid with a camera trying to get noticed”, which is how everyone remember Jimmy Olsen.
- The S isn’t just the coat of arms of the House of El, but also means “Stronger Together”
- Can we make “Kryptoknife” a thing? Seriously, it just works © Insightful Panda 11/2/2015
There are so many ways this series can go; but right now everything is looking up. The writers are doing a wonderful job of balancing Supergirl’s powers with her vulnerabilities as she tries to balance a double life. So come back next week as Supergirl faces a new threat and has her interview with Cat Grant.
2 thoughts on “A Closer Look: Supergirl – “Stronger Together””
I think Hank Henshaw is Martian Manhunter! Because Kara asked him if he had family, and he said he used too…
…. OMG THAT’S AN AMAZING THEORY!!! I love it, and it also works with my redirection theory. I’m going to add that into the article (and credit you of course) 🙂