8:45am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: 'Supergirl' Introduces a New Superman and James Olsen Suits Up as Guardian
Welcome to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on TV. Every Friday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Fox's Gotham and what it all means.
Supergirl season two premiere
A new Superman: To kick off the show's move to The CW, Supergirl introduced its version of the Man of Steel in the season two premiere. Clark Kent (Tyler Hoechlin) arrived in National City to team up with his cousin Kara (Melissa Benoist), and by the end of the episode, he decided to stick around a little longer to hear more about life on Krypton and his parents, since she had actual memories of all of it. While the Teen Wolf alum certainly looks the part of Superman, how did his performance stack up against other famous Men of Steel? Don't ask Hoechlin.
"I distinctly stayed away from every other Superman," Hoechlin says. "I’m very ignorant to the past films and series. The one I grew up with was Dean Cain on Lois & Clark. That was my Superman growing up. I did not go back and watch any of the Christopher Reeves movies, I haven't seen the current ones. As an actor, I wanted zero temptation to imitate or emulate anything. I had a great meeting with [showrunners] Andrew [Kreisberg] and Greg [Berlanti] where we hit it off about what we all personally found interesting about the character. I felt very convicted in committing to those ideas. If something's similar, then sorry. If it's completely off, then it's completely off. But I was never intentionally trying to hit a beat or hit something that was done in the past. It was just the themes that we committed to from the very beginning."
It's interesting to note that Supergirl decided to introduce a Superman who was already seasoned in being a hero and thoroughly enjoyed his double life. This was unlike Smallville's version, which chronicled the origin story of Clark Kent (Tom Welling) learning to use his powers, or Batman v. Superman's Clark (Henry Cavill) who was jaded and disappointed in the world. Supergirl's version was well known, loved for his actions and generally at peace with everything in his life.
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Guardian: There's a new vigilante suiting up on the CBS turned CW series this season, and his secret identity is none other than James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks). Pictured above in his new suit and shield as Guardian, the photographer is trading in his camera to take a more hands-on approach to helping National City as the iconic DC Comics character. “He’s going to become Guardian, complete with the shield, which is going to cause a massive problem in his relationship with Kara because he has decided not to tell her," Kreisberg says. "Now there’s this new masked vigilante, and she has her own feelings about vigilantes, and it becomes a push and pull about who gets to decide who gets to be a hero?" The character of Guardian was first created in the comics by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby back in 1942, and the vigilante is known as a skilled fighter with no superpowers.
Winn's secret: James is going to enlist Kara's BFF Winn (Jeremy Jordan), complicating matters even further between the three friends and former love triangle. “The two of them are doing this together, and Winn and James together — it’s comedy gold," Kreisberg says. "Watching Winn, as he takes his job at the DEO, but then he’s lying to everybody about how he’s spending his nights because he’s going out with James and how he walks in exhausted or walks in with a black eye and says he walked into a door. It’s the fun and excitement of building these first 10 episodes.”
A new Canary: While the season five premiere revealed Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) final words to Oliver (Stephen Amell) DC TV Watch: 'Supergirl' Introduces a New Superman and James Olsen Suits Up as Guardian she made him promise that she wouldn't be the last Canary — don't expect to see Oliver training a new Canary anytime soon. While he was busy training new recruits for Team Arrow this week, Arrow isn't going to be exploring the legacy of Laurel just yet.
"I don't know," executive producer Marc Guggenheim says when asked when a new Canary would be introduced. "The big thing that we're focused on is Oliver's other takeaway from that flashback, which was not going it alone and his decision to recruit a new team. That will occupy our focus for the near future."
Felicity's new boyfriend: Olicity fans were shocked when the season five opener introduced a new love interest for Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and Detective Billy Malone (Tyler Ritter) is here to stay. "It's an interesting relationship. He's a cop, so he's someone who lives in the world that Felicity inhabits as a member of Team Arrow," Guggenheim says. "Oliver doesn't yet know about the relationship and Billy hasn't yet met Oliver. Knowing this show as I do, both of those things will eventually happen and it should be pretty interesting when it does. I'll say this, there's probably a significant interaction to be had between Billy and the Green Arrow at some point. But one of the things that we're enjoying writing in the first half of season five is not doing quite as much soap operas as the show has traditionally done. We're enjoying taking a breather from that."
While angering the passionate Olicity fanbase is a daunting task, Guggenheim says there wasn't any added pressure when it came to developing this new character as a love interest for Felicity.
"First of all, love, love, love all the fans of the show, even the fans who are constantly angry at us," Guggenheim says. "David Nutter, who directed the pilot, said, 'The opposite of love isn’t hate, it's apathy.' Even when people are yelling and screaming at us online, we're very happy that the show is at least engaging them. I love and respect the hell out of our fans, but that being said, I feel like I'm always going to disappoint them. When I watch TV, all I want to be is entertained and I write for audience members who watch TV the way I do. I'm not looking to bring about a certain outcome."
He continues, "Some fans, it's not enough for them to be entertained. They want to feel like they have some influence over the show. That's just not the way we operate. We're not doing things to piss people off but at the same time we're not doing things to cater to fans. Having Felicity date someone is upsetting to the Olicity fans, and having Laurel die was upsetting to the Lauriver fans. At the very least, we show that we're equal opportunity in so far as we're just trying to tell a story. Trust the tale and don't try to manipulate the teller."
Mayor Penguin: After deciding to run for Mayor of Gotham last week, Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot (Robin Lord Taylor) won the election in a landslide, and legitimately, since Edward "Riddler" Nygma (Cory Michael Smith) made sure there was no election rigging to prove that the people really did love him. But aspects of the election episode hit a little too close to home, as Penguin was overly tanned and used the tagline "Make Gotham safe again" in his campaign. Were the Gotham writers trying to compare the fictional criminal to the real-life Republican Presidential nominee? Or has reality just become as strange as fiction?
Flashpoint consequences: Barry (Grant Gustin) quickly realized that his jaunt into the past had some permanent effects on the timeline, more so than he initially thought. Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) brother was killed by a drunk driver and he blames Barry for not going back in time to save him. Barry has a new coworker, Julian (Tom Felton), who is dedicated to discovering the secrets that Barry is hiding. And Diggle (David Ramsey) from Arrow now has a baby boy, meaning that his baby daughter Sara never existed. The only person Barry confided in about the changes to the timeline was Felicity, and she advised him to keep all his knowledge to himself. While changing the gender of a character's child on an entirely different show seems like it's inconsequential, that will definitely play an important role down the line. Otherwise, why make the change at all?
Legends of Tomorrow season two premiere
Legion of Doom: The final moments of the premiere introduced half of the formidable villain team-up that the Legends will be facing this season, the Legion of Doom. Made up of Arrow villains Damien Darhk (Neil McDonough) and Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and The Flash villains Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) and Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller), The CW's latest spinoff series is going to make the conflicts much more personal this season for each of the Legends, as was evidenced by Sara's (Caity Lotz) desire to kill Damien for murdering her sister. While it's unclear so far what the Legion ultimately wants, they already accomplished getting rid of the Legends' leader, Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill). Without the captain of the Waverider making sure they preserve the timeline, there's no telling what irreparable damage the Legends will have on history this season.
What did you think of all the shocking twists, reveals and mysteries on the DC Comics shows this week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on Fox, Supergirl airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW, The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW, Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW and Legends of Tomorrow airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.