While the latest feature-film incarnation of Superman looks toward a big box office, on the TV side, CBS’ hit series Supergirl continues to build a loyal audience by embracing the more lighthearted comic-book origins of its heroine and the elements she shares with Superman. And Monday night’s new episode was no exception, featuring a visit to one of Superman’s most famous locales, while also teasing the existence of one of the DC Universe’s biggest teams, The Legion of Superheroes.

As implied by the title ‘Solitude,’ the episode featured Supergirl traveling to Superman’s Fortress of Solitude to seek answers about the arrival of a powerful new foe. The episode also focused on the fallout of big changes to the series’ status quo from recent events involving the DEO and the rising number of alien enemies on Earth.

As has become customary for Supergirl, the hour was rich with subtle shout-outs to the Superman franchise (with Smallville’s Supergirl, Laura Vandervoot, as new nemesis Indigo) and to the more obscure details of the Superman comics mythology.

In the episode itself, the Fortress of Solitude looked like a hybrid of the ice-crystal version seen in the Christopher Reeve films and the Kryptonian Museum of the comics, complete with statues of Jor-El and Lara, and a hidden door that can only be opened by a huge yellow key that only Kryptonians are strong enough to lift. But while Kara and James Olsen got their answers about Indigo (Brainiac 8) what caught the eyes of Superman fans was the presence of a familiar ring among Kal-El’s personal artifacts: A Legion Flight Ring — the type typically worn by The Legion of Superheroes.

The Legion of Superheroes is one of the most beloved and frequently rebooted entities in the entire DC Comics canon. Originally comprised of Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad, and Saturn Girl, The Legion’s ranks swelled to include dozens of members when they became popular enough to headline their own series for several decades. The series was a favorite among fans for its colorful cast (notable members have included Karate Kid, Shadow Lass, Triplicate Girl, Matter-Eater Lad, Bouncing Boy, and others) and its appeal to youthful “super for the fun of it” sensibilities. But because their world was long held to be the “established future” of the ever-changing DC Universe, The Legion was subject to multiple revisions and reboots over the years — leading to one of the DCU’s most hard-to-follow pockets of internal continuity.

DC TV guru Geoff Johns has hinted before that a tease about The Legion would be making its way into the Multiverse on the TV side, but few expected it to appear on Supergirl — which is still waiting to be formally welcomed by The Flash in an upcoming crossover. While this is far from official confirmation of a Legion series, fans have long proposed the series could be a huge hit for Warner Bros., thanks to its wide variety of characters and teenage melodrama story dynamics. While little more than a compelling Easter egg for now, it at least implies the Superman of Supergirl’s universe has encountered the Legion at some point in the past — strengthening the theory that this Superman could be a version closer to the original comics than any previously seen in live-action.

Supergirl continues next Monday with ‘Falling’ @8pm on CBS.

Source: Natalie Abrams

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