While something of an integral part of DC Comics’ “Superman” mythos, the character of Supergirl, Kryptonian cousin to the Man of Steel (in most versions) has never quite been a presence outside of print, except maybe for the DC animated universe by Warner Bros. That changed when Berlanti Productions and DC TV developed the live-action series starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El, which aired first on CBS and then on The CW. It has enjoyed four successful seasons of Supergirl fighting for Truth, Justice and extraterrestrial rights on Earth. But now that her show mythos has been established, it is time to make some changes.
One particular thematic change as IGN puts it is in Supergirl’s costume. While the Girl of Steel is famous for her skirted variation of her cousin’s costume, on her show on The CW Melissa Benoist is having that swapped out for form-fitting pants, similar to what is worn by Superman (played in the series by Tyler Hoechlin). Benoist shared a photo on Instagram of her shooting for Season 5 of “Supergirl,” giving a good full-body view of her new costume. It could be interpreted as the character gearing up for tougher challenges after the events of Season 4, and the minds behind the show agree.
“Supergirl” show-runner Jessica Queller speaks for the production team when she remarked that they see the character change her costume skirt into pants as a powerful and symbolic move, a notion that Benoist was fully supportive of. “We just had to find the right moment to design the suit and in between seasons gave us a chance,” says Queller. “But this is something we’ve been thinking about for a while.”
For her part Melissa Benoist sees the costume pants transition as an indicator that her character of Supergirl has grown up. “Part of my goal in this whole series for whenever the show ends, I just want there to be a very clear arc for this character that she evolved as a woman and found her femininity and her adulthood, just a self-discovery,” she says.
Benoist does admit to some practicality in having form-fitting pants rather than a skirt, saying it gives her more freedom of motion for action sequences. A more pragmatic reading would also have it that, since “Supergirl” is shot at Vancouver, British Columbia like all other DC series in The CW, pants give more insulation and protection from the cold weather than a flowing miniskirt would.
The fifth season of “Supergirl” is expected to premiere on October 6 at The CW.
Image from Super Hero Hype