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Supergirl Introduces Korrasami 2.0, but is it Brave Enough to Also Deliver?

Kylie

Kylie

Kylie is a Managing Editor at The Fandomentals on a mission to slay all the tropes. She has a penchant for complex familial dynamics and is easily pleased when authors include in-depth business details.
Kylie

Through unabashed optimism and positive lesbian representation, Supergirl has quickly become something of a Fandomentals darling this fall season. It’s offered a refreshing break from the current grimdark of our TV-scape, with its shock deaths and dead wlw characters.

In its newest episode, and the last until the new year, Supergirl blew-up what we all expected to be a season (or more)-long slowburn romance between Alex Danvers and Maggie Sawyer, instead sending the good ship “Sanvers” sailing on its merry way.

Good, good, this is good.

It seems odd then, for this piece to question the “courage” of a show that gave such a close and personal view of Alex coming to understand her sexuality. However, the relationship in question is not between Supergirl’s adoptive sister and a cop. No, it’s between Supergirl herself, the show’s protagonist, and Lena Luthor.

The thing is, while Alex and Maggie have filled me with nothing but warm and fuzzies, it’s the dynamic between Kara Danvers and Lena that’s left me clutching my chest. Often times literally, and to the concern of my cat. And as much as my brain was cheering on the set-up of Sanvers slow-burn, there was a feeling in my gut that it was the death-knell for “Supercorp”. Sadly, wlw representation tends to be a zero-sum game, and it seemed as though the writers were positioning Kara to act as a straight sounding board for her sister. It’s not that there isn’t value in that, especially since it’s incredibly validating to show how even loving, well-intentioned family members can fall just short of the support needed.

Additionally, there was a question hanging in the air: was Lena Luthor going to get a villain arc? It is, after all, rather hard to trust someone with that last name in the DC Universe.

Yet with “Medusa”, both of these worries were cast aside. Lena made a definitive choice that placed her firmly on Supergirl’s side, as well as in direct conflict with her family, and Sanvers resolved their will-they-won’t-they (duh) with relative narrative ease—heck, Alex only told Maggie she was interested in dating her two episodes before.

So the space is there, if Supergirl writers wanted to pursue it. It would certainly be groundbreaking to have multiple wlw relationships in the foreground, not to mention bisexual protagonists are still too few and far between, but this is also a show that’s demonstrated both self-awareness and a willingness to “go there”…even with swipes aimed against its own network.

That just leaves us with one consideration—is the story there? Could Kara and Lena’s relationship truly be building to a romantic pay-off?

To that I say “absolutely”, because we’ve seen it before: with Korrasami.

A Luthor and a Sato

For those who are unaware, “Korrasami” is the ship name given to the couple Korra and Asami Sato, the unexpected and perfect endgame pairing from The Legend of Korra.

Korra is a uniquely superpowered individual within her own universe, who strives to be an unwavering force of good and balance; Asami is a nonbender [read: non-powerful] engineer, who stands up for what is right against a family pursuing an anti-bender agenda, using her newly-inherited company resources to fight alongside Korra.

wait a sec…

While these oddly specific similarities in the two pairings are far from superficial, it’s the absolutely immaculate parallels between Asami and Lena that provide such a strong sense of déjà vu. True, it’s a bit in-vogue over here to claim that Asami is practically the same character as someone else (she’s also Sansa!), to the point where Griffin and I are wondering if there should be a trope named “Too Evil to Fail” in the case of an un-corrupted daughter being shoved into a CEO role for a formerly nefarious company.

But no, hear me out: the way in which Lena relates to her family, plus the way she conceives of and utilizes her company…she may as well be a goddamn Sato.

Kara: What about back when it was Luthor Corp? How did she feel when you changed the company’s direction?

Lena: You mean when I changed it from its “murdering world domination” direction?

Both Lena and Asami have a deeply-rooted sense of justice that causes them to choose what’s right and to be definitively good. Which sure, this might not seem particularly remarkable, because you don’t get brownie points for basic decency. But in their cases, they both have families that do evil, testing their convictions a bit more than, say, Alex Danvers. Plus it’s not just that the reject the viewpoints of their families, they actively place themselves on a battlefield against them.

This almost needs no explanation for Lena. The Luthors are infamous in the Superman universe, with Lex being its most recognized antagonist. In Supergirl, they talk about him in generalizations; we know he did some kind of unspecified, anti-alien, world-dominationish evil that made him a famous enemy of Superman, but the details stop there. Lena talks about how growing up, she loved Lex, almost worshiped him as his adoptive younger sister, but then when she found out what he was, she was horrified to her core.

Her mother, who turned up this year, shares Lex’s anti-alien sentiments, which was revealed to Lena in “Medusa”. Acting as the head of Cadmus, Lillian Luthor (this family is committed to its branding), she hoped to eradicate all alien life on the planet and asked for Lena’s help in doing so. Lena tricked her, and had her arrested. 

10/10, savage.

Asami’s story is not radically different, though she didn’t come onto our screens already aware of her family’s dark history. That was revealed to us during the first season, when she discovered her father was an Equalist, working to eradicate all benders. Actually, she found out as he was attacking Korra, her mentor, and the chief of police. Awkward.

Hiroshi Sato immediately apologized for keeping his daughter out of the loop, but then asked her to join him, citing very real and troubling issues nonbenders faced. Asami tricked her father into arming her, and then incapacitated him while “team Avatar” escaped.

Another perfect score.

The biggest difference that can be pointed out is how as an adopted daughter, Lena always felt a bit unloved by her family (especially her mother, who outright told her she preferred Lex), where Asami and Hiroshi were incredibly close, she just didn’t know his entire guiding motivation in life. It could happen to anyone! Though once she was clued in…

Lena went on to inherit Luthor Corp following her brother’s arrest, changed its name to “L Corp”, and was determined to make it a force for good. Asami inherited Future Industries following her father’s arrest, and used it as a force for good by landing crucial infrastructure projects that helped bring Korra’s vision for the world into the material. Though she still produced military tech to some extent.

“I’m a businesswoman. L-Corp is in the business of making money and this device is going to make us a fortune.” —Lena Luthor

Oh, and finally, as icing on the cake, both Lena and Asami are engineers. This was very obvious from the get-go in the case of the latter, who would talk about piloting Future Industries forklifts and took Korra on a test-drive around her racetrack. For science!

korrasami-racetrack

However, Lena’s engineering prowess came in the form of a reveal in “Crossfire”. The episode prior, she had made it clear to Kara that she owed her a debt after Lena helped her out, while ominous music played. I was sure she was getting a villain arc, and thus my Supercorp ship would be sunk. However, nope, the favor was just to get Supergirl to come to a party so that Lena could set a trap for some bad guys and destroy them all. A science trap!

lena-engineer

This is getting…spooky.

The chemistry can’t be an accident, right?

But of course, this is only half of the ship. And while we’ve seen a character exactly like Asami to tell a slow, slow burn built on mutual trust and a commitment to justice with the series protagonist, we do have to consider those supers. And this is where the parallels just keep on rolling.

For the first half of the show, both Korra and Asami fell victim to some love-triangle scripting, in which they were both interested in the same boy. However, they always were friendly with one another. Now, perhaps it’s tey slightly vamp-ish character design, perhaps it’s Seychelle Gabriel’s performance, or perhaps it’s just a very well-scripted character with a ton of inherent agency, but even from the start, Asami seemed to be always a bit flirtatious with Korra. Or at the very least, completely blown away by her.

“No, that’s nonsense! You’re amazing!” —Asami to Korra

Not now, Lena!

Once showrunners Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino learned to listen to their characters during the last two seasons and seemed to realize Korra and Asami should be on a trajectory headed towards a romance, these flirtatious gestures became a lot less subtle.

Yup. That’s her talking to Korra.

Korra, for her part, began to noticeably enjoy Asami’s presence more and more, and by the end of the third season, it was clear that this was the person closest to her. Though she’d often bicker with other members of her team, she and Asami worked in more or less perfect synchronization, with Korra always seeming incredibly content around her, and even comfortable enough to display vulnerability.

By the time the final season rolled around, these two were being total, and completely unsubtle, nerds:

Just friendly gals. Exchanging friendly looks. Like pals.

We’re rather lucky that with Supergirl, we didn’t have to wait four years for Lena and Kara to be flustered around one another, since it happened out of the gate.

Even more friendly gals. Exchanging friendly looks. Friendishly.

Gretchen and Elizabeth have hypothesized that this phenomenon might be due to the fact that Katie McGrath could have chemistry with a decorative house plant. And that’s not, strictly speaking, untrue. But then we also see how Lena is canonically overwhelmed by Supergirl’s mere existence (repeatedly), and that she and Kara can bond on a rather unique level.

“I’m just a woman trying to make a name for herself outside of her family. Can’t you understand that?” —Lena Luthor

Kara certainly agrees:

Oh honey.

Heck, this might come into even sharper focus since Kara discovered that her parents were the ones that created the Medusa virus. They’re certainly no Lillian Luthors, but it is a betrayal to her sense of justice, and to her previous idealization of them.

Oh hey, remember in the second season of Legend of Korra when Korra finds out that her father had been lying her entire life and had done some not-so-great things up in the Northern Water Tribe? Sadly, the potential to relate to Asami on that front went largely unexplored, but Supergirl could still offer follow-through.

And if the narrative potential doesn’t woo you, can’t this at least do the job?

Does this read as straight to ANYONE??

Good gods, Lena! This is Asami flipping her hair while driving Korra around a racetrack, shouting about how much she loves her haircut.

To which Korra would be just:

Not now, Kara!

Not now, Kara!

To the Future! And Beyond

I’m sorry to say, but before there can be any hopes of Supercorp, we have to take out the garbage first.

supercorp-ignores-mon-el

Our ladies are already doing a fine job here though.

Let’s just call a spade a spade: Mon El is being foisted on us as Kara’s current love interest. They have no palpable chemistry to speak of, and why James was dismissed as her romantic partner in favor of this piece of milk-toast is beyond me. And yes, there’s ugly implications inherent in that. But there’s also no denying that we’re likely too late into the production schedule for any sort of different result this year.

That doesn’t mean all hope is lost! In fact, The Legend of Korra offers our greatest source of it, given that Korra and Mako were smashed together in the first season, only for them to break up the following year, and for him to go on and become the wonderfully dorky and awkward cop we know and love today. Mon El is more than free to step into a similar role.

Further, The Legend of Korra is hardly the first narrative to favor organic on-screen chemistry that is character-driven, over best-laid plans. And I’m sorry, I don’t care if Katie McGrath is the most shippable actor in existence, I refuse to think anybody could watch these scenes back without *something* being palpable to them.

Plus, we’ve seen this before! To the letter. The result was one of the most effective, positive, and validating conclusions of a TV show to date.

We’ve called Supergirl the remedy to grimdark before, and it’d be disingenuous to ignore that if there was ever a time for such a boundary-pushing and salubrious narrative, it’s now. But is it a show that’s truly brave enough? There’s only one thing we can do…


Images courtesy of The CW and Nickelodeon 
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  • rara

    Supercorp is asking for two very rare things to happen. First for the writers to follow the on-screen chemistry of two women and make it canon which has only been done twice before to my knowledge (Korrasami ad Shoot) and then also to be a second canonical queer girl couple on a single show which has only happened in the L word and OITNB.
    It’s pushed that boat out this far… so maybe?

    • Exactly. It’s not necessarily the easiest path, and it’s one we’ve never seen before (I guess you could *kind of* count Steven Universe, but that was very deliberate from the start rather than coming to pass after seeing a dynamic unfold; plus the wlw ships do not involve the titular character), but the pieces are there, as well as the excitement and potential.

  • Caleb

    *squees* Ah! So good to wake up to this! <3

    Lena is Asami, Asami is Lena. They're both nerds with great fashion sense and even greater minds. Like, I have a list in my head of all the things they have in common.

    Also I think the gala makes a strong case for it being Lena's "racetrack" moment, she served fucking potstickers, at a fancy gala, potstickers. Subtle, Lena, just serve Kara's favorite food at a fancy party, totally not weird.

    Ugh. I just want these dorks together, Lena needs someone to hold her when she cries (and she could use a good cry), and Kara is canonically the best at hugging crying people. The amount of adorbs we could have with them is off the charts, like Lena and Winn could be doing science stuff, being bros, and Kara is just watching her gf and getting that puppy-dog smile on her face, blushing when Lena looks over at her.

    Kara is a lot like Korra too, minus a lot of the (physical) trauma. I need the fan arts that have them crossover, I need Korra to freak out about how cool heat vision and flying are and Kara to be adorkable when she sees Korra's bending. And Lena and Asami can nerd out and work on the tech that will save the day (because why wouldn't there be a villain in the mix? Just a small one, to show off how cool these four are)…

    I may or may not have a fanfic idea that involves Varrick (Legend of Korra) trying to make a artificial spirit portal and getting the frequency wrong and Kara landing in the Avatar world…

    Send help.

    • I could have gone on and on between their similarities, but I wanted to bring this back to be about the ship, lol. I mean “Medusa” basically played out as though the writers had just watched “The Aftermath.”

      Lena is also a dramatic dork. “Why not? I’m a Luthor!” Oh honey, you don’t have to pose next to a luxury airship to impress Kara, I promise.

      Then there’s Hiroshi and Lillian being equally giant butt-heads, though in both cases you can see why the choice Lena and Asami made was actually a struggle, though for different reasons (Lena obviously was hurt by her second-best treatment with Mother and wanted acceptance, where with Asami this was the only family she had known for years).

      Ha, a Varrick would be perfect in this universe. Something to push Lena, because she kind of seems to hold things in like Asami, and just as a fic writer of the latter, this is not a character that is meant to be angst-free for very long. The potential is so dang strong.

      • Caleb

        Watch the first season Kylie, this show has a Varrick, his name is Maxwell Lord. I’d LOVE to see him interact with Lena! Omg there is so much opportunity for good writing in that!

        Lena is a dramatic dork, she could have told Kara/J’onn/Lillian that the missile was a dud at any time, but she wanted to be dramatic and save it for when the cops showed up. You do you honey.

        “Medusa” is “The Aftermath”, for sure. Like this is on the same level of copying that GoT did with the Harpies in Mareen. Only this is good and that was awful. People need to start crediting where they’ve gotten these ideas from, Bryke have always been open about taking stuff from Star Wars, no reason to hide your fandom writers.

        • Oh yes? It is very accessible on Netflix and I’m a Bad Fan for not…

          And yeah, with “Medusa” I was considering giffing the moment of Kara being all “no!”, almost the same as Korra and Mako thinking Asami as betraying them. It was the least subtle thing I’ve ever seen.

          • Caleb

            Nah you’re fine Kylie, watch it how you choose. 🙂

          • Well I also want moar now that it’s on its break, haha

    • Bo

      Kara and Korra are quite similar, which might get lost in the whole “Lena is literally Asami by a different name” part of this. Both spent the majority of their lives sheltered. Both are demigods. Korra struggles to learn how to be the Avatar, Kara the same to be Supergirl. Both are super boastful showoffs of their powers. Both serve as symbols of hope and good in the world. Both are major dorks. While not as strong as Lena/Asami, the parallels are numerous between them as well.

      • Yeah, I felt far far less comfortable writing to that point. I saw a lot of similarities, but since my Season 1 knowledge is limited to the pilot and a recap of the plot courtesy of Gretchen and Elizabeth, I didn’t want to assume anything.

        Also the Lena/Asami clone thing does overshadow a bit. Hopefully I was still able to point out how this super is uniquely powerful in her universe and how that plays into her dynamic with the engineer?

        • Bo

          Yeah, you did just fine making the Kara/Korra similarities clear. It’s just so much clearer with Lena/Asami that it’s easy to overlook while watching how the Korra/Kara similarities play right into Korrasami 2.0 as well.

      • Gretchen Ellis

        I disagree with the “super boastful showoff of their powers” bit for Kara, at least, though I’d like to hear what gave you that impression. I’ve never heard anyone describe Kara that way.

        • Bo

          Kara revealed her identity to Wynn in the most dramatic way possible. She loves to use her powers for everyday stuff (the Thanksgiving tradition with the turkey, for example). She was really competitive about the footrace with The Flash. I get the impression she loves to use and showoff her powers.

  • the_unseen

    I’m still annoyed by the fact that Lex Luthor even has a sister. Or a mother. Or any living family to speak of. The whole point of Lex Luthor is that he is a monolith. He is alone, bitter, and cares for no one but himself. He actually is what many people misinterpret Batman to be. But if you must give him a family, it should be an evil family. To preserve the balance of the DC universe.

    • Perhaps it’s just my encounter with Smallville’s version of Lena Luthor, but I was unaware this was ever the case. I thought she was introduced into the comic-verse in like the 60s.

      If this were a Superman show I might agree about the narrative fit, but in the case of a show that’s very pointedly about a female hero trying to carve out a space for herself in light of her own family, I think Lena serves as a marvelous complement. Just like giving Kate Kane a guest arc here would be pure, unadulterated awesome.

      • Caleb

        Beat me to it Kylie. This story isn’t about Lex and Superman, it’s about Lena and Supergirl. So one can’t hold the old dynamics as sacred, hell Supergirl has forged itself an identity by cherry picking all the best stuff and adding in new stuff when needed. So Lex has a sister and we get to see the story of how his imprisonment effects the world/his family? I’m here for that.

        • Word on the cherry-picking. @foreverinvisible0089:disqus , not sure if you saw this post by Griffin, but I think you might find it pretty interesting if not: https://www.thefandomentals.com/adapting-supergirl/

          • Caleb

            That’s what I was thinking of when I made that comment, ty for linking it. 🙂

      • the_unseen

        I was vaguely aware of her being a character, but as far as I can tell via Wikipedia there’s never been much point to her. Just like a lot of Silver Age introductions. But then I’m partial to the DCAU version of Lex Luthor (and pretty much everything) with Young Justice as a close second so that’s the primary lens for my view of the character. I just can’t see Clancy Brown’s Luthor having living relatives. It’s weird.

      • Mims Dahn

        I think Griffin’s article yesterday is an example why these things can be wrong no matter how well it might fit with the narrative, misappropriating characters and character arcs. But I do agree. Lex Luthor is no Kate Kane and it does not change the essence his character (of whom the_unseen is presenting a good interpretation of). There’s really been a multitudes of Luthors through the ages, and to many of them there’s little point (they’re mayflies which the narrative and new writers easily discharge off). But family dysfunctions and abuse are a very consistent characteristics of the Luthor family and even in narratives they don’t change the essence of his character much (the cycle of abuse seems unwittingly at times to be a motif for their portrayals of the Luthors).

        On a second note, do you actually want superlock to be korrasami 2? Or is it just an interesting comparison? Like I want diversity in lgbtiq romances too, not just diversity in romance. I don’t actually want to see one or two non-heterosexual love narratives for women nor for us to be consigned to such small character spaces. It just seems a bit reductive to conflate characters and stories like this.

        • I hear what you’re saying, because do we need a clone of what we’ve seen before, or an we show a broader spectrum of types of wlw relationships (yes?). But in this case, I would argue that yes, this is something I want followed-through on and for three reasons.

          First, this dynamic is just so innately compelling to the point where it sort of becomes weird to force it apart. These are character types absolutely made for each other (a lot of Korrasami shippers were arguing this kind of thing back in season 1), who are perfect complements and counterbalances to one another, and who can push each other and relate to each other rather uniquely within this narrative.

          Secondly, it’s still not every day that we’ve seen this. I will take representation where it pops up, and to the diversity issue, we do have a very different dynamic in Sanvers.

          And finally, the show could go deeper than Korrasami did, and the end point wouldn’t have to be the start of the relationship. Yes we’re getting comics, but it’s different when it’s canonized and then explored during a show’s run. I love Korrasami dearly, but Korra and Asami could have standed to have a few more conversations with each other, particularly in Book 4, which would have really added quite a bit to the narrative. I sort of get into some of the untapped potential issues here (http://lokgifsandmusings.tumblr.com/post/149439652698/definitive-ranking-of-book-4-episodes-1013 ).

          All that said, I can see why this isn’t for everyone, but it’s got me, and it’s got me bad.

          • Mims Dahn

            Yes, wlw. I’m a bit uncertain of the terminology in English. In my country they say stuff like “lesbian love” and “homosexual love”, which I don’t like as it’s a bit alienating/reductive and has a bias towards other segments of the lgbtiq community/is enforcing gender binarism. And I don’t know to incorporate people who identify outside of the gender binary. But lesbian love did not seem to be the appropriate designation for Lena and Kara. WlW is way, way better (thank you) so I am just co-opting that (again thank you).

            To your first point. To me, that does sound very deterministic. Like I get the thought process. It’s a battle to even get love interests and love stories about lgbtiq even considered, but to me it can become a bit formalistic and schematic. And that sort of portrayal undercuts how much work relationships are and stuff like attractions. But again, I understand (they pretty much almost have to be “star crossed lovers” to get even on the table). But love, for me, is an emotion that cannot be constrained or explained in a deterministic equation of complementary pairings. Like Korrasami is more than complementing personalities and chemistry. They have a love story as well. I’d personally love supercorps. I’ve been crushing on Katie McGrath since she was Morgana (she and Angel Coulby absolutely any enthusiasm I could muster for Gwen/Arthur in the later seasons) so it’s wonderful to see all the appreciation she gets in the fandom and I really do want to see her get a great story, especially a love story with wlw. I just want them (supercorps) to have their own story if they’re to happen and for us to actually get to see it (unlike, as you point out, was the case for Korrasami).

            It isn’t about not taking diversity where it pops up. It’s about not settling. Sansvers have indeed a different dynamic, but I think supercorps would be greater step forward, because despite the greater degree of focalization, Sanvers are in the periphery of the story as in not the protagonist with big P. But anyhow, I don’t want Korrasami 2.0, Bryke already did Korrasami, and it just seems like stagnation. And repeating narratives and character types for wlw is what enforces the idea that we can just sub in for other lesbian or bisexual women in a wlw story because our love only exists in a very small spectrum. I want for supercorps to be something uniquely them.

            Your link was a very illuminating read! I do absolutely agree.

          • I think I see where you’re coming from. It’s just for my own preferences (and shipping aesthetic I suppose), it’s hard for me to view this as stagnation, over organic, narrative fit and a compelling dynamic. I’d trust the showrunners to be able to portray it differently, even if like, the general outline is the same (kind of like how I ship Bubbline, AriannexDaemon, and LeiaxHan despite archetypes being all there).

            Maybe with the limited number of canonical relationship between women that does feel more like pigeon-holeing, but my point was just that this is still unique on our screens, and not old or trite.

            But your point is definitely valid! And I’m openly admit that since Korrasami was my very first ship, there’s a bit of a fangirlish instinct in me to want to see it everywhere.

          • Mims Dahn

            It probably is how limited canonical relationships between women are. I don’t think it’s old and trite. I mean stagnation not as in “becoming dull” but as in “ceasing to develop” wlw narratives. It’s more on a higher level/systemic level, than any judgement of quality (Lena and Kara has undeniable, sizzling chemistry). And maybe, that it should be allowed it’s own space?

            But I do agree it’s beautiful and involving aesthetic! Like there’s a reason things become tropes, and those are not necessarily bad. It’s probably, if I can borrow from you, that it feels a bit like pigeon-hoeling.

            I really want to see korrasami in lok, like crowd fund for another season.

  • Dolorous Edditor

    The way you finished was perfect. Hope.

    This show is all about it. Lena and Kara certainly embody it in different ways. Lena the hope that she can build something good out of her family’s misdeeds and find some redemption. Kara the hope that she can make her own kind of difference and do right by the family and world she has left.

    Now you’ve got me hoping the SG showrunners see the opportunity they have before them. Two couples featuring women loving women, involving two of the most supportive female characters there can be, come on folks it’s right there.

    We need Cat to come back and catch Lena and Kara doing their lip biting and blushing.

    “I could reheat my latte with the sexual tension between you two.”

    • Can Cat just come back and lay down on the meta commentary, including shots and Bland El?

      Like with Korrasami, there’s so much complementary potential between these two, especially since Lena and Kara both shoulder responsibility, but in markedly different ways. And then the whole family foil thing, and how that’s blurring with Kara shedding her idealization (and Lena outright admits to having idealized Lex). Just punch me in the face.

      • Gretchen Ellis

        Cat also needs to take James to task for choosing vigilantism over the very real power of running the most influential media company in National City.

  • Percival Salamander

    My hopes are up! They say don’t but I swear if Lena carries an unconscious Kara away from battle next….

    Even the real world parallels of reading similar meta by Kylie almost exactly 2 years later, its all so…. sounds perfect.

    • Bo

      I promise you there will be a moment this season where Lena carries Kara away from battle. I saw the “Aftermath” moment coming, and there’s no way they don’t do that now.

      It’s the unfortunate aspect of following the Korrasami script that you don’t have to end it with romance. You can keep them friends and disappoint everyone. There’s nothing blatantly romantic about them until Asami’s offered comfort in the book 3 finale and Korra’s blush in book 4. Hopefully the Supergirl writers either have the courage to go through with this like Bryke did or stop freaking teasing us.

      • Not to be dramatic, but if they actually give us a “Stakeout” moment, I think someone might have to scrape me up off the floor.

        The good news is that Korrasami laid the groundwork. Bryke didn’t fully explicate something, because they were writing to a “trajectory that could end in romance” rather than a definitively romantic end. As Book 4 got into production, they began pushing more and more for what they wanted, and the unambiguous ending we got was hard-fought (there’s rumors that they even tried to give us an outright kiss, but that’s getting deep into things).

        With Supergirl, maybe they’re writing to a trajectory now, but I think they could also be writing to something explicit, given how dialed up this is. The real question is at what point the teasing begins to feel more like baiting, which is not an easy answer, especially in a show with Sanvers.

        But I also have to think that this would be something the Powers that Be are fully cognizant of. Look how self-conscious Sanvers was, for instance. Maggie took a shot to the chest and survived, which is the biggest middle finger to the Spring Slaughter I’ve seen since Wynonna Earp. Alex asserted strongly how this isn’t about “not finding the right guy” and went on to explicate all the signs along the way, which was just so…authentic. There’s many, many positive signs here that point to Supergirl easily being the narrative that could take us where we want it to go. It just feels more immediately aware than LoK did, though Bryke still absolutely get brownie points for letting go and following this.

        • Bo

          LOL, I guess it speaks to the trust Supergirl already earned with me that I didn’t worry about Maggie for a second. When that I happened I thought, “Welp, Sanvers is about to happen.”

        • Percival Salamander

          If the movement really did make the CW go all in with representation that is pretty cool. Bitter sweet that it had to be Lexa to spur this, but good that I now have a show to jump ship to. Or it could be baiting, and we get “but we gave you sanvers” comments…. NO not feeling ungrateful.

          • Yeah, that last bit is kind of my biggest fear here. Well that and Katie McGrath landing a bigger role somewhere else. But I don’t *think* these are showrunners that would feel comfortable hiding behind that excuse. We need lots and lots of interviews, is the answer. Remember Bryke’s commentary about Korrasami when asked? “It’s a great way!”

    • It’s the femslash circle of life.

      We did have Lena tell Kara she was her only friend, a la Korra in 3×01 with “I’ve never had a girlfriend before.” Could this already be in Book 3 territory?

      • Caleb

        Right? Like, what the actual? They know what they’re doing right?

  • Bo

    Even if they had zero plans for Supercorp while writing season 2, there’s no way the reaction currently happening won’t make them look at those plans again. Are you telling me they filmed Lena and Kara giving each other those looks and didn’t realize what it implied? I refuse to believe any storyteller is that bind. It’s just a question of the willingness of the actors and the willingness to write it at this point.

    The parallels between Korrasami and Supercorp (and Korra/Asami to Kara/Lena as individuals) are just too much. It seriously fells like they started writing this with that blueprint in mind. And that’s the hope, I guess. I’m a straight white guy so I don’t have a stake in either happening out of desire for representation, but chemistry is chemistry.

    And it’s a real shame that we still have to question that chemistry when it takes place between two women or two men. Korrasami may be blatant with hindsight, but almost everyone questioned and doubted it at the time because a relationship like that just doesn’t happen very often. If ever, actually. If a man and a woman acted around each other the way Lena and Kara do, no one would doubt the direction. Hopefully one day we can stop questioning it. Making Supercorp happen would be a huge step in that direction.

    • I just don’t see how a director could film scenes with Katie McGrath biting her goddamn lip every 5 seconds and Melissa Benoist turning beet red and think to themselves, “wow, this is really capturing that good ol’ friendship!”

      I *could* see the writers not really thinking about it in their scripting process, but then once it’s living in front of them…

      You know, it actually reminds me to the tee of fandom discussions with Korrasami. I’m not questioning the chemistry because it’s vibrant; I’m questioning the network barriers and the aims of the show-runners. We’ve seen it before where natural chemistry between two female characters was followed through on, and even supported by directors, yet not canonized (Pitch Perfect 2 comes to mind; the director outright said the one scene between Bella and Chloe was supposed to evoke a Spiderman kiss).

      But I have *hope*.

      • Bo

        It is so the Korrasami debates all over again, right down to the denial from those who don’t like it and the complete skepticism from those who see it but doubt it actually happens. Yet because of Korrasami there is a lot more hope. Though I’m definitely one more Korrasami-ish moment from just buying wholesale that this is intentional.

        And there’s no way everyone involved doesn’t realize what’s happening right now. It just comes down to the writers making the decision (if they haven’t already), and the actors being okay with it.

  • Bo

    If the Supergirl writers are smart enough and aware enough, the path to go with Kara and her romances with James and Mon El will be obvious. Though it will require more of a potential Kara/Asami similarity than Kara/Korra. Like you said a long time ago about Asami, Kylie, they can have Kara’s interest in them go along a “these are the kind of men I’m supposed to be interested in” path. She sought out James because she should be interested in a handsome, famous, successful man like that, but when the chance was actually there, she didn’t feel it so much anymore. So she turned him away.

    Same with Mon El. He’s a good looking guy that women are interested in, and even better he shares powers and physical capability which makes even more sense for Kara. Have them date (it’s inevitable at this point), recognize the lack of chemistry, and once again have Kara realize it’s not working, that she doesn’t really feel what she should. Have Mon El realzie the same. Have him start acting towards her like Mako acted towards Asami toward the end of Book 1 of LoK.

    Then you start having Kara wonder why she’s not feeling the right interest in the right men. Have her start thinking about it. Have her start realizing how much more she enjoys Lena’s company. Have her start questioning that weird feeling she has. Oh, how about that, she has a freaking sister who experienced the exact same thing! Including the whole “men I’m supposed to date” thing! Interesting!

    This seriously writes itself, if the Supergirl writers are willing to let it.

    • Caleb

      So much this. I want it to be the case so much. I’ll also settle for Kara realizing that she’s ace/demisexual, just keep her away from Mon El, they blew up the romance with James (important part of that being that he’s a black man, very few good romances for that demographic). To put her with Mon El? Yick.

      • It’s a truly head-scratching call, especially since the Guardian plotline leaves a little to be desired. It’d be one thing if they just broke up and then that’s that, we have single!Kara for a bit, but I truly don’t see what they see in the Mon El relationship.

    • It’s not really dissimilar from Korra either. She grew up sheltered, went for the first hot guy she saw, and then began to develop something truly deep with Asami. So applying it to “alien figuring out earthly dating conventions” isn’t that big of a stretch.

      Though yes, it is more Asami-ish in terms of where Kara might be coming from. What she had with James wasn’t surface-level, and even with Mon-El it’s sort of related to her own conception of being a Kryptonian, as well as how personally validating the mentor role she always meant to assume is. So yeah, they’re the men she wants to be interested in, and James is kind of the guy that there’s no reason she wouldn’t like. This also works well with demi-sexual!Kara headcanons a lot of people have.

      You laid it out perfectly though: it’s all there, right there for the taking.

      • Bo

        True, though I’m not sure just how romantically into James Kara really was. Like, it seemed so clear until the chance was actually there, then suddenly she was turning it down. Whereas I don’t question Korra’s feelings for Mako like that. Maybe I should? I admit I might be way off on both relationships here.

        • It kind of comes to how romantically into anyone Kara is, though I’ll kick that question off to Gretchen and Elizabeth, lol.

          To me, Korra’s feelings for Mako were very hormone-fueled. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or that they’re less real. I was a teenage girl once too.

        • Gretchen Ellis

          YMMV on how into James Kara was. I happen to think she was genuinely interested in him, only that life was so stressful at the beginning of the season, she chose to prioritize her work at CatCo as a reporter (not that we’ve seen much follow through with that recently). Other people might believe she was only interested because of expectation. Like I said, ymmv.

          I’m perfectly fine with Kara as ace/demi, bi, or both. I’m less fond of the idea of her being solely wlw because I think that would undercut the season long arc with James as a love interest that did not (to me) read in any way like imposed heteronormativity. Other people are free to disagree though 🙂 This is just my personal interpretation.

          • Bo

            I do think she was genuinely interested, but I prefer the explanation that it wasn’t quite what she wanted or thought it would be over the writers suddenly aborting the storyline in the worst way possible. Which it’s kind of looking like at the moment. I’m hoping that’s the direction it goes in.

  • Stephen Garrett

    My first thought is “No way, there’s no way DC will let them make Kara bisexual and risk controversy, she’s a DC legacy character”.

    My second thought is “…two years ago I was saying there was no way Nickelodeon would let Korra be placed into a same-sex romance because it would be too much controversy to have the title heroine of their animated show be revealed as gay/bi. And look how that turned out.”

    And thus my third thought is “…huh, there’s no reason not to I suppose, and this isn’t the 90s or 00s anymore. Still not sure it’ll happen though.”

    Ergo my conclusion is: Hrm. As long as the chemistry works, why the hell not? Romances, to be good, need to show chemistry between the characters regardless of what gender/sexuality they are, and I’m not sold on Mon-El as a love interest. The gist I get is that their character interaction works more with Kara inspiring Mon-El to use his powers on Earth for higher causes than himself.

    …gee, where have I heard *that* concept before…? 😉

    • I’d love for Mon-El to have a character arc centered around becoming increasingly selfless and out of a respect and loyalty for Kara. That’s really such a powerful friendship arc as well, and another highlight of LoK.

      • Stephen Garrett

        I suppose we’ll see. I admit I didn’t really watch Supergirl last season, it just didn’t get my attention (but then again, no show outside of Doctor Who and Steven Universe has done so until Legends of Tomorrow came out). But I’m certainly following it now.

  • Morty

    I’ve never watched Supergirl, because I’ve heard bad things about the writing and dialogue, and because superhero really really aren’t my thing. But this comparison gets me curious, so I’ll keep an eye on it. Does Lena at least get to confront her views versus those of her family? That’d be more than Asami ever got.

    • Uhhhh. She gets more than Asami so far in this respect, but it’s not exactly explicated yet where her own convictions come from. I mean, I guess just an inherent sense of right and wrong, but it could do with more exploration.

      She does have a rather candid scene with her mother where she calls her out on not ever loving her, and that kind of serves as wish-fulfillment for us only getting one prison interaction with Hiroshi and Asami.

      • Morty

        Hm. Something to hope for, then. My fixation (or interest, if you want to be charitable) in power dynamics shines through, I suppose.

        • There’s a nuanced (?) discussion about a thing Lena develops that can ID an alien for the protection of humans. But it kind of ends with Kara conceding a little moral ground and Lena making heart eyes.

          With regards to power dynamics, that’s kind of what James’s plotline hinges around this year, but it doesn’t feel the best structured yet. No Equalist revolution going ker-plunk though.

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  • razorstar90

    In order for this to happen DC has to okay it. They just announced Wonder Woman as canonically queer, and Catwoman and Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. So unless DC is going to just turn all of their major female characters LGBT, I doubt this will happen. Besides, she’s never been shown in the comics to be into girls.

    In comics, Kara mostly gets with guys like Mon El. Although there was that weird time she fell in love with a horse. So who knows

  • not really

    i love this sm but what really bums me out is how lena (most probably) wont be a series regular 🙁

    ((however if she does become part of the main cast next year, we poppin the biggest bottles my dudes))

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  • You’re amazing.

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