Sometimes Superheroes can go to some really dark places, and until Justice League that was certainly the case on the big screen with Henry Cavill's Superman, but Supergirl as both a character and the Melissa Benoist TV series provides a more hopeful balance. In fact, the TV series, representing the best interpretation of Supergirl to date, is more of a spiritual cousin to Richard Donner's 1978 film Superman: The Movie than Zack Snyder's 2013 production of Man of Steel or Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
"Christopher Reeve let us see the everyman in Superman, and as a result, we really related to him," executive producer Ali Adler pointed out. "Melissa brings that as well. She's just so thrilling to watch. You put yourself in her position, you are her or you want to be her. As a result, we're embracing the positivity of that world. We're just trying to get out there this incredible personality that she has. It's being vulnerable when you're invincible. That was the challenge."
And that was what drew Melissa, who had previously starred in the TV series Glee and the feature Whiplash, to the triple role of Kara Zor-El/Supergirl/Kara Danvers (her Earth identity). "What I've found in playing her," she explained at San Diego Comic-Con last year, "is that there's this open, loving kind of attitude towards life in her. Just true, pure goodness. And she has the same kind of hope that Superman has. That is one of the keywords that came to mind when we were first shooting the pilot; I had to feel, almost internally, hopeful. And she doesn't quit, so I definitely think she is a beacon of hope. It runs in the family."
And it runs through the many interpretations of Supergirl on film, in animation, and in video games. Below, a guide to all of them.