The Arrowverse series on The CW – Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – have only just returned from their summer hiatuses and picked up where things left off on their respective series, but all eyes are already looking ahead to the the big crossover event in November – Crisis on Earth-X! In what’s now an annual tradition after the success of last year’s Invasion crossover, this time, instead of the alien Dominators, the superheroes of Earth-1 and Earth-38 attend the wedding of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Iris West (Candice Patton), which is disrupted by evil doppelgangers of themselves. But not just any kind of evil doppelgangers – Earth-X is populated by evil Nazi versions of our heroes, including a Nazi version of Supergirl named Overgirl (Ubermädchen).
Crisis on Earth-X looks to combine elements of two different DC Comics Earths ruled by Nazis. Earth X is a pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths reality where Hitler and Nazi Germany won World War II. Their regime is resisted by a group of superpowered heroes from Earth-2 calling themselves the Freedom Fighters. Crisis on Earth-X also sets up a new animated series on CW seed called Freedom Fighters: The Ray, which will feature voices from the actors who play the characters in the live action Arrowverse series. The Ray (Russell Tovey) will also make his live action debut in Crisis on Earth-X.
The DC Multiverse that was formed in the Infinite Crisis event a decade ago features Earth 10, which Crisis on Earth-X is also borrowing major elements from. Earth 10 is also a parallel reality where the Nazis won World War II. In 1938, a Kryptonian landed in Nazi Germany instead of Smallville, Kansas and was raised by Adolph Hitler. The Kryptonian would grow up to become Ubermensch, or Overman, and his power would help the Nazis win the second World War and capture the world. With the Nazis ruling this Earth, Overman became leader of a team of eugenics-bred super beings who enforce Nazi rule called Die Gerechtigkeitliga (translated as the Justice League, also referred to as the Justice League Axis). Eventually, Overman himself overthrew the Nazis and installed a utopia under his control. The heroes of our Earth encountered Die Gerechtigkeitliga during the Final Crisis event. It’s on Earth 10 that the evil Nazi Supergirl called Overgirl came into being.
OVERGIRL IN DC COMICS
Unlike her heroic doppelganger Supergirl, Overgirl in the comics is not a survivor of the doomed planet Krypton. Overgirl is rather a normal human girl who was infused with Overman’s stem cells. Overgirl is the only human to survive the procedure and gain superpowers, though she has only half of Overman’s powers. In Final Crisis, Overgirl became the first person to break through ‘the Bleed’, which is the barrier separating the Multiverse. She landed on the New Earth (the primary Earth DC’s superheroes live on). Overgirl died on New Earth, despite Overman’s attempt to rescue her, echoing how Supergirl died trying to save the Multiverse in Crisis on Infinite Earths two decades prior.
OVERGIRL IN THE ARROWVERSE
The Arrowverse’s version of Overgirl, who will also played by Supergirl star Melissa Benoist, isn’t destined to perish like her comic book counterpart. Benoist is set to voice Overgirl in Freedom Fighters: The Ray, so whatever becomes of Overgirl, she is poised to survive the crossover event. It’s also more likely that Overgirl’s origin will more closely resemble Supergirl’s Kryptonian origin and power set than the comic book Overgirl. (There’s been no indication thus far whether Tyler Hoechlin, who plays Superman on Supergirl will portray Overman in Crisis on Earth-X. or whether Overman exists in Earth-X.) Recent photos from the set show Overgirl in her stylishly dark Nazi-inspired costume, as well as wearing an intimidating face mask – perhaps an easy way for Benoist to battle her stunt double playing Overgirl without the cost of CGI to render Benoist’s face over Overgirl’s ballooning what must already be a considerable budget for such a logistically daunting crossover.
An evil version of Supergirl is not a new idea; Kara Zor-El herself was briefly evil and under the thrall of Darkseid when she was re-introduced into DC Comics canon. On Supergirl season 1, Kara was also turned malevolent when she was under the influence of Red Kryptonite. What is inciting fan backlash about Overgirl is the idea of a Nazi version of Supergirl, especially on the heels of Marvel Comics’ controversial year-long Secret Empire story that retconned Captain America into a world-conquering fascist Hydra agent with roots in the World War II Nazi regime. Coupled with current events like the recent riots in Charlottesville, Virginia and the sentiments of both anti and pro-white supremacy in our divisive American culture, the timing and existence of a Nazi version of Supergirl is unfortunate and, for many, unwelcome.
At New York Comic Con just a couple of weeks ago, Geoff Johns himself stated there were no plans to turn Superman into a Nazi like Marvel did Captain America. The head honcho of DC neglected to mention that the producers of the Arrowverse were well in the midst of producing Crisis on Earth-X, which prominently includes a Nazi Supergirl. While there will be a clear delineation that our good Supergirl will be there to fight the evil Nazi Supergirl, as opposed to being replaced by her like Marvel briefly did to Steve Rogers, it’s understandable that some fans are taking umbrage that one of the purest and most iconic superheroes in the DC Universe will have her signature S shield associated with the swastika. Fans can at least look forward to the sight of the ‘real’ Supergirl punching her Nazi double in the face. This being the Arrowverse, good will ultimately triumph over evil.
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