"Supergirl" Combines TV & Comics Continuity For a True Rebirth

The following article contains spoilers for "Supergirl: Rebirth" #1, on sale now.

Supergirl's time in the New 52 could best be described as aimless. Her introductory year when her last series began firmly established her as someone completely alien to Earth, and those early issues were as much learning about humanity as they were a slow transformation into being a superhero. Since then, the character has floundered through a series of new directions (at one point depositing her on a space station housing an alien academy) that failed to stick. With "Supergirl: Rebirth" #1, though, Steve Orlando, Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy are taking a cue from the "Supergirl" television series to give the character a stronger purpose and build up a supporting cast.

Faces from the Television Show

As seen in "The Final Days of Superman," storyline in April and May 2016, Supergirl is now working with the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, or the D.E.O. It's hard to pretend it's a development that was anything but directly taken from the television show. It's an easy hook to use for future stories, though; as a super-powered alien, Supergirl's the most natural individual for the D.E.O. to send into difficult situations. Along those lines, "Supergirl: Rebirth" #1 takes a nod from the show and has her first mission for the D.E.O. in her new series involve a Kryptonian who survived the destruction of Argo City by being trapped in the Phantom Zone. Orlando's script adds in its own twist, with a red kryptonite element making this more than Supergirl fighting someone with the same power structure. It's different and inventive enough that it holds good promise for Supergirl's future missions.

An element that might prove to be even more surprising, though, is Supergirl being given foster parents by the D.E.O. Namely, Eliza and Jeremiah Danvers, Supergirl's foster parents on the television show. It's nominally to provide her with a more realistic cover identity as she's enrolled in a high school (making this Supergirl much younger than her live-action counterpart), but considering how quickly Eliza in particular seems to be gelling with Supergirl, it feels like this will be a way to give Kara her own support system that she's been sorely lacking. Also not a coincidence is that Supergirl is being placed firmly in National City, the same location as the television show. The end result is a strong enough similarity between the comic and the television show that any new readers who wander in and pick up an issue could find themselves eased into this different-yet-recognizable continuity.

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