As Kara Zor-El and Supergirl struggled to find a spot amongst CBS' lineup last season, the show was frequently haunted by the specter of the very hero that helped Supergirl herself come to exist. We saw Kara texting with Clark. We saw some blurry silhouettes. The cinematic and television universes of DC are not so clean as they are with Marvel, and more than with any other show, that was clear in Supergirl.
CBS and their Warner-partnered network the CW announced a few weeks ago that Supergirl would be joining her super-brethren over on The CW for season 2, solving the first of the show's big problems. Now it looks like the other is going to be taken care of, and it's kicking the door open for all sorts of possibilities.
The network announced that "the iconic character of Superman will first be seen visiting his cousin Kara in National City at the beginning of the series' second season. We are currently in the casting process for this role."
"Greg [Berlanti], Ali [Adler] and I are beyond thrilled to welcome Clark Kent and his slightly-more-famous alter ego to the world of Supergirl. Superman will be appearing in the first two episodes of the new season, and we cannot wait to see who next dons the red cape!" Producer Andrew Kreisberg added.
First, let's pick on the wording there. He'll "first be seen" visiting Supergirl. That suggests that this isn't a one-time ratings grab, but a potentially recurring character. The last time that happened, we ended up with Grant Gustin playing the affable Barry Allen on Arrow before appearing in his own television series, The Flash. That whole thing has turned out pretty well, so far. This could be an entry point for a fifth DC TV series (I'm not counting Gotham since it's over on Fox), which would be the third time Superman had his own show.
Typically, DC has kept their movie characters out of their films, scrapping plans to feature the Suicide Squad on Arrow, for example, to avoid confusion. That's complicated by the breakout success of The Flash on CW and the upcoming Rick Famuyiwa-directed Flash film intended to be part of the DC cinematic universe. The red speedster's recent adventures have blown the possibilities for other superheroes to join the world organically wide open. Superman visiting his cousin is a signal that DC is starting to realize that their viewers are smart enough to understand that the TV and movie universes are separate beasts that can have the same characters pop up and have both still work. While we likely won't see Batman popping up – again, Gotham is over on Fox – the possibilities for who might pop up are starting to grow out of control in the best way.