From the second I started watching Supergirl Episode 1, I was totally unimpressed with the bad guys the fledgling superhero was up against.
The series was brand new, however, so the show got a pass for a couple of episodes in hopes that the writers just wanted to work on the development of the main characters a bit before getting down to the nitty-gritty.
But now that we’re six episodes in, it’s become clearer that not only are the show’s writers not interested in developing Supergirl‘s main characters, but the villains are not destined for greatness either — or even just great entertainment.
Here’s why fans are disappointed with Supergirl’s weekly nemeses.
1. They look janky
Let’s start with the obvious. Producer Greg Berlanti confessed to Variety back in May that Supergirl‘s budget is huge and that a ton of that money goes toward special effects. So how come every time a Supergirl villain enters the screen, I suddenly feel like I’ve ridden a tubular wave back to 1992?
This week’s cyborg, Red Tornado, is just too much. And Winn’s joke that Supergirl is running off to fight a Roomba? At this point, I wouldn’t really be surprised if that’s what she went up against next week. Throw a kitty with claws on top of that cleaning robot and you’ve got a scarier villain than any we’ve seen on the CBS show so far.
2. Producers are taking too much creative freedom
I’m all for creative freedom, but Supergirl is pissing people off by not sticking to its comic roots.
Admittedly, I think Livewire has been one of the most entertaining villains the series has introduced so far. She was smart, strong and helped produce one of the best fight scenes on Supergirl to date. That doesn’t mean she was immune to criticism. However, the only thing that really seemed to chap fans’ hides was her hair, which did not live up to the DC Comics version of Livewire.
If a bad ‘do is the only critique plaguing Liveware, I’d say she’s in pretty good shape.
Fans were also devastated with CBS’ rendering of Vartox, who didn’t appear in all his original shorty-shorts, chest hair-a-blazing glory.
3. They’re poorly written
It’s obvious the plot of Supergirl is not meant to be deep, but the conquering of the villains in the show seems to be written almost as an afterthought. For example, I wanted to cheer for Supergirl in Episode 3 when she defeated Reactron — a feat not even her cousin Superman was able to accomplish before. But it’s hard to give props to Supergirl when the writers don’t even really truly explain what skills enabled her to achieve victory where Superman couldn’t. Instead of creating a better story line for Reactron and Supergirl, they instead just contributed to the ongoing, obvious feminist narrative.
4. The “villain of the week” thing isn’t working
As noted above, Supergirl‘s villains are more of an afterthought than the centerpiece of the show, which doesn’t really make sense considering the premise of the program is supposedly Kara coming to grips with who she is while simultaneously learning how to effectively fight crime.
But since the plot usually seems to be more focused on shallow topics — like Kara’s crush on James Olsen — the action scenes with the bad guys take a back seat. The villain of the week is gone before we even really learn who they are or what they’re after.
5. Villains don’t have to train
Why has it taken Kara 20+ years to come to terms with her powers, but the villains just instantly know how to kick ass? We’re looking at you, Livewire. To be fair, this is probably more of a problem with the under-development of Kara’s character than it is with the villains.
6. They dropped Aunt Astra like a bad habit
There was so much promise in the Aunt Astra storyline — and I’m still hoping we haven’t seen the last of her — but isn’t it weird that she hasn’t even really been mentioned in weeks? With the exception of Henshaw trying to blame her for the drone last week, it’s almost like she was never even there. Not only is she a family member, but she’s a huge potential threat and neither Alex nor Kara have even referenced her in passing.
7. What the heck is the deal with Hank Henshaw?
We keep getting glimpses of Henshaw’s glowing red eyes and he is a supervillain in the DC Comics universe, but he continues to dole out wisdom to Alex and Kara. Are the writers trying to trick us and they’re actually setting up a deeper plot? It’s an exciting thought, but my confidence in the writing at this point isn’t allowing me to get too excited.