Supergirl isn’t for everyone. The Greg Berlanti-produced CBS drama — with its creative and narrative ties to The Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow on The CW — caters to the younger demographic that television executives and advertisers fawn over. It’s not the gritty grit of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, thankfully, but it also doesn’t have the broad appeal Marvel has managed to cultivate for characters as weird as Ant-Man. So why do millions of viewers tune in each week to watch Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) save National City?
Simply put, showrunners Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg know how to satisfy die-hard comic book fans while advancing Supergirl‘s own story beyond the drawn and lettered pages from whence it came. From the revelation that Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) was actually J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, to an episode featuring Bizarro Girl — Supergirl employed fan service long before Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) leaped into Kara’s world for the show’s crossover with The Flash. Yet what Adler, Kreisberg and Berlanti excel at aren’t the obvious, in-your-face throwbacks to DC Comics lore. It’s the little things that count, like former WWE star Eve Torres Gracie‘s cameo as an imprisoned Maxima during the opening sequence of “Myriad,” the penultimate episode of the first season.
When she first appeared in Action Comics #645 in 1989, Maxima — queen of the planet Almerac, warrior and conqueror of worlds — took a trip to Earth after news of Superman’s many wonders reached her. She considered Kal-El worthy of her hand in marriage, so she paid him a visit on his adopted home planet, causing chaos in the process. The details of this backstory aren’t given in “Myriad,” per se, but the character’s introduction via some brainwashed Department of Extranormal Operations officers gives her enough time to set herself apart for the fans’ benefit.
“I am Maxima, queen of the planet Almerac! Open this door and you’ll find out exactly what that means,” she exclaims. When newly minted DEO director Lucy Lane (Jenna Dewan Tatum) does just that, a confused Maxima pounds her and the other two agents in the room. Lane explains Non’s (Chris Vance) plans with the city’s mind-controlled population, to which a gleeful Maxima responds: “Since Superman refused the honor of marrying me, I will pledge allegiance to your Non.”