Supergirl's Legion Should Take Some Cues From Smallville

smallville legion of superheroes

Kara Danvers has been having a rough go of it lately. The midseason finale of The CW’s Supergirl saw the titular hero framed, pummeled and put into a coma by Reign, the newest baddie on the block. With so much to contend with, Supergirl is going to need some help.

Help comes in the form of the Legion of Super-Heroes, a group founded by Mon-El and Imra Ardeen when the former was stranded in the 31st century. Kara will join forces with the Legion on the Jan. 15 episode of Supergirl "Legion of Super-Heroes", but it's not the first time a Kryptonian has received aid from the future. The group was also presented to audiences back in 2009 on a Smallville episode titled “Legion,” penned by Geoff Johns himself. The Legion roster was a little different back then, but there are a few lessons Supergirl can take from the nine-year-old episode.

A Big Reminder

Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) consults Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath) in the upcoming Supergirl episode "Legion of Super-Heroes."

The Smallville episode serves as a reminder for viewers, and the Legion, of what Superman stands for. While the members of the Legion certainly idolize Superman (Lightning Lad spends most of his screen time pointing out little relics and Easter eggs from Superman lore), the Man of Steel’s code of ethics has seemingly been lost to time.

The three Legion members are more than ready to end Chloe Sullivan’s life if it means destroying Brainiac (who has possessed her body and is busy planning the end of the world), but Clark talks them out of it with some very sound Superman moral reasoning. As a result, the team uses their unique abilities to purge the sinister cyber villain from Chloe's body. The entire experience radically redefines how the Legion operates, with Cosmic Boy stating: “Preserve life at all costs. That will be the number one rule in Legion code from now on.”

RELATED: Everything Wrong With Supergirl’s Brainiac-5

It seems like Supergirl is heading toward her own kind of reckoning, and it might be the Legion team of Mon-El, Saturn Girl and Brainiac 5 who get her there. After all, much of Supergirl has revolved around Kara’s own inner struggle between her alien and human identities. On the one hand, she’s the champion of Earth with memories of an alien world. On the other hand, she’s just a regular woman dealing with the sudden return of her now-married ex.

The latest Supergirl episode, “Reign,” saw Kara’s sister, Alex Danvers, encourage Kara to push past her human emotions, to “be cold” and “Kryptonian.” Kara lost her bout with Reign when she sacrificed her humanity in favor of mirroring the brutality of her otherworldly foe. With brute force out of the question, the only option left seems to be to do the impossible: Take the Smallville approach and find a peaceful way to separate Samantha Arias from her dark host.

A Little Levity

Cosmic Boy (Ryan Kennedy), Lightning Lad (Calum Worthy) and Saturn Girl (Alexz Johnson) prepare to return to the 31st Century in the 2009 Smallville episode "Legion."

There’s nothing quite like a fish-out-of-water story mixed with some future lingo. The Legion of Superheroes’ introduction in Smallville brought both. Lightning Lad is the source of several awkward futurisms (he’s giddy whenever he finds a piece of pre-Superman paraphernalia like a team jacket or the first, busted baseball Clark ever hit), but he’s certainly not the only one.

There’s at least one “grife,” someone is called a "sub" (which might have made you whip out your paper fan if you didn't know the word's futuristic origins) and Cosmic Boy gets to say, “Lightning Lad, you might want to take your AC foot out of your DC mouth before you short yourself out.” The overall affect is that Smallville got a little bit of levity before it fully embarked on its Doomsday storyline.

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