With barely a month to go before Supergirl premieres on CBS, many fans are curious to see if the superhero show can live up to the success of The CW’s DC Comics-based series. Produced by Ali Adler (Chuck), Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti (Arrow), Supergirl stars Melissa Benoist in the title role as Kara Zor-El, a Kryptonian who lives a normal life on Earth in the shadow of her famous cousin, before extreme circumstances force her to embrace her powers and take up the mantle of a superhero.
As production continues on Supergirl Season 1, several casting announcements have emerged in recent weeks. Among them is the reveal that Iddo Goldberg (Salem) will be playing two roles in the series: genius scientist Dr. T.O. Morrow, and Dr. Morrow’s superpowered creation – a self-aware android called Red Tornado. In the comic book source material Red Tornado is traditionally portrayed as a superhero, but when he first arrives in the TV show he will instead pose a serious threat to the safety of National City and its citizens – including Kara’s closest friends.
CBS has now unveiled the first image of Goldberg as Red Tornado, with costume and make-up that emulates the comic book character’s original look in some ways and deviates from it in others. The design includes a “T” shape on his chest and the vague semblance of an arrow shape on his head, but the color scheme (in this lighting, at least) is different, featuring a mix of muted red, mauve and gold rather than bright red, bright yellow and blue. Red Tornado also doesn’t appear to be wearing a cape, unless it’s very narrow and concealed by his back.
The image is accompanied by a character description that calls Red Tornado “the most advanced android the world has ever seen.” He was originally created by Dr. Morrow as a superweapon for the U.S. Army, so it might be for the best that he decides to go rogue instead.
It’s hard to know quite what to make of this costume. As with Oscar Isaac’s Apocalypse in X-Men: Apocalypse and John Diggle’s new vigilante outfit in Arrow Season 4, it’s become necessary to repeat the mantra: “It might look better in action.” Supergirl‘s trailers so far have strongly indicated that it will lean towards a light-hearted and slightly cheesy tone, so perhaps a somewhat camp-looking villain/hero will be a good fit for the show.
One thing is clear: Kara’s first weeks as a superhero aren’t going to see her set up against soft targets. In addition to Red Tornado, Supergirl will also be facing off against superpowered villains Hellgrammite (Justice Leak), Livewire (Brit Morgan) and Reactron (Chris Browning). All in a day’s work for a Kryptonian.
Supergirl premieres on CBS at 8:30 p.m. EST on October 26th, 2015. It will air at 8 p.m. EST on Mondays thereafter.