SPOILER ALERT: The following article contains potential SPOILERS for Supergirl Season 4. Proceed at your own risk.
Much has been made about the state of the DC Comics/Warner Bros extended cinematic universe — or Worlds of DC as it’s now referred to — in the wake of Batman V Superman and Justice League. The future for the studio’s linchpins remains firmly up in the air, particularly with both Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck reportedly out as the aforementioned heroes. Aquaman and Wonder Woman 1984 should both go some way to repairing the damage and pushing the franchise forward before some big decisions are made. But if fans are in need of a DC superhero fix in an arena that’s got it mostly right, there’s some very special stuff happening on the small screen over in the Arrowverse.
Aside from The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, Arrowverse shows all going great guns, it’s perhaps Supergirl that has come on the most since its inception staking a claim as the best of the Arrowverse offering. Last season provided plenty of fireworks, and has laid the groundwork for its fourth, which is shaping up to be its best ever.
Kara Becomes Unstoppable
So where do we find Kara Danvers aka Supergirl after the traumatic – and, indeed, brutal – events of Season 3? For those of you still playing catch-up, the previous season brought new threats and villains but it was the arrival of Reign (Odette Annabelle), a genetically-enhanced Kryptonian Worldkiller, who brought the Girl of Steel and the whole of National City to its knees. Thankfully, Supergirl was able to defeat Reign with Harun-El, a powerful Kryptonian rock, which allowed her to turn back time briefly after Sam (Reign’s human self) and Mon-El died in the fray. But her actions didn’t come without consequences (more on those later). There have been fallouts – J’onn (David Harewood) and Winn (Jeremy Jordan) have left the DEO – but Kara has managed to regain some semblance of control in juggling her double life, and with it has come an empowerment that she perhaps hasn’t had since she first landed in National City. She will need her wits about her though…
Why? Because those pesky bad guys aren’t resting on their laurels. Season 4 looks set to be the most expansive in terms of villains, with a few threads set to stretch through the entire run. But to begin with, we have the introduction of siblings Mercy and Otis Graves, a couple of self-styled ‘freedom fighters’ attempting to rid National City, and Earth, of aliens for good. Their mission, along with Agent Liberty and their humans-first group Children of Liberty, is to destabilise the city with a series of anti-alien attacks. They’re fighting against those who deem aliens worthy of inclusion, including Supergirl herself. Such attacks will push Kara’s allegiances to her human compatriots — including her sister Alex, James Olsen and Lena Luthor, in particular — to places they haven’t gone before, and will potentially drag her relationships with J’onn, Brainiac-5 and her Kryptonian allies into murky waters.
Doppelgangers From Under the Red Son
And if that wasn’t enough, the stakes are set to be raised even higher, with another of the big bads Kara herself, in the form of Dark Supergirl. As previously mentioned, Supergirl was able to utilise Harun-El to turn back time to bring some her loved ones back from the dead after her battle with Reign, but with such timeline dalliances, the rock spliced a piece of Kara that spat out a doppelganger into the cold snows of Siberia. In the comics, Dark Supergirl was something of a “warped” version of our hero, and the show is set to combine elements from those stories as well as pay homage to classic Superman comic Red Son which saw a version of the Man of Steel raised in Russia. Could Dark Supergirl be trained by Siberian and Russian military to wipe out the real Girl of Steel? The idea of this screen battle has us salivating.
Friends, Aliens and Luthors
Aside from Kara’s own personal journey, Season 4 looks set to delve deeper into the relationships between the show’s supporting players.
Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath) looks to be at the core of the new season. Despite her best efforts to detach herself from her mother, Lillian, and brother, Lex, Lena has found herself drawn back towards a darker path after her run-ins with Reign and Harun-El, the latter of which she is still hellbent on utilising. Her relationship with Supergirl has always had a fractious edge and with the power of Krypton almost within her reach, the two aren’t going to become friends anytime soon.
Alex, meanwhile, has been promoted to Director of the DEO after J’onn’s departure, who, himself, is now looking at the world around him in a different light. This gives Alex some much-needed focus after the crushing heartbreak from her break-up with Maggie and losing Winn, who flew off into the future with the Legion. And what of James Olsen? Now unmasked to the world as Guardian, he has to fight his vigilante instincts, with both CatCo and Lena needing his attention now.
The Road to Gotham City and Elseworlds
As is now a trademark of these DC series, no new season would be complete without a crossover event. This year’s offering is perhaps the biggest and most expansive the worlds have seen so far. Much is still being kept under wraps, but we do know that it will be based in some part on DC’s Elseworlds comic books, which acted as out-of-continuity alongside the main stories of the time. There are lots of rumours about what’s going to happen through the offshoot, but what seems certain is that the show will feature Smallville – including the introduction of Lois Lane for the first time, played by Elizabeth Tulloch – and Nora Fries, wife of Mr. Freeze. But what has fans truly excited is the arrival of Ruby Rose’s Batwoman, of whom we caught our first glimpse in costume recently. A Batwoman series shouldn’t be too far away — after which we play a waiting game for an appearance from a certain Dark Knight.
Supergirl Season 4 is airing now in the US and premieres in the UK on October 22.