Supergirl star Katie McGrath compares the heroes and shows of the Arrowverse to Marvel's The Avengers. Supergirl concluded its second season earlier this week, and it expanded the show in more ways than people might have realized. Viewers saw the introductions of notable comic book characters such as Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), Mon-El (Chris Wood), Miss Martian (Sharon Leal), and Lena Luthor (McGrath). The producers even managed to work in roles for industry icons such as Kevin Sorbo, Teri Hatcher, and of course, Lynda Carter.
Beyond the addition of new cast members, though, the writers and producers took Supergirl to new levels this season by further establishing connections between National City's hero and the rest of the heroes in the Arrowverse. During the series' first season (when it was still on CBS), the producers managed to connect Supergirl and The Flash in a cross-network, crossover episode. This season, they had Supergirl join the rest of the universe's heroes (from Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow) in a ground-breaking, four-way crossover event.
Speaking with Cinemablend, actress Katie McGrath, who plays Lena Luthor on Supergirl, compared what The CW is doing with their superhero properties, such as the Invasion! crossover event, to what Marvel Studios did with The Avengers five years ago. She believes the network is on the forefront of superhero television, establishing massive story arcs that span across multiple shows -- and Earths.
"It's what TV is doing now! You would never have thought that we would see such high production values and such action and such amazing stuff on a TV show, you know five, six years ago. It's where all the exciting stuff is happening. Berlanti Productions and The CW together have created this world that is... it's almost like the Avengers of TV in a way. It's this massive, massive story arcs and interconnecting worlds and things that you never would have imagined it six years ago! And they're kind of at the forefront of doing that. It's a bit humbling being part of that."
The CW established one version of the Justice League when Smallville was on the air, but all of the characters in that series revolved entirely around Clark Kent. When that show ended, though, the network decided to take a different approach with their future superhero shows. Over the past few years, they have been establishing characters on separate TV shows (beginning with Arrow in 2012) and then later bringing them together to battle greater threats, just like the Avengers do on the big screen.
The first crossover occurred only between Arrow and The Flash in 2014, with the Legends of Tomorrow joining the fold the following year. Then, last year, the Girl of Steel helped in fending off an invasion by the Dominators. Although the heroes typically come together once a year, there have been times when one hero appears on another hero's show (e.g. Flash/Supergirl musical episode). Furthermore, as each show in the Arrowverse becomes increasingly more complex, varying storylines have begun to affect one another (e.g. Flashpoint). Since we're talking about superheroes and comic book properties, expect things to only get more complicated from here on out.