Recent casting news suggests that CBS’s Supergirl may be introducing a younger version of Kara’s Caped Cousin.
Supergirl may soon be gaining another Super-guy. TV line reports that the CBS series is looking to cast Kal-El (or Clark Kent as the case may be) as a thirteen year-old boy. They go on to explain that he will appear in a series of flashbacks to “establish the cherished bond between him and Kara.” Fans were instantly confused by this news. Isn’t Clark already an adult when Kara makes it to Earth? Wasn’t he an infant when they both left Krypton? If all of this is true, what could this odd casting news mean? While nothing is certain, I personally assure you that this casting news is nothing but good news because…
5) It will change the dynamic between Kara and Clark.
The established canon is that Kara, Kal’s older cousin on Krypton, was meant to be his guardian when they both arrived on Earth. But while Kal landed safely, Kara got lost in the Phantom Zone for years. So by the time she arrived on Earth, Kal was suddenly the older cousin and therefore Kara’s guardian.
If the details of this casting news can be believed, the show is in for a major change in the relationship dynamic between these heroic Kryptonians. The most likely way this change would happen is by having 13 year-old (her age on Krypton) Kara land on Earth from the Phantom Zone when Clark is 13. The Phantom Zone has always been used in comics and television (Smallville) to mess with time and relative space in order to enhance the plot of Superman stories, so it would logically follow that Supergirl would do the same.
The show could make a meaningful change in the two heroes’ relationship by having them nearly the same age (if not exactly the same age). Instead of a mentor/mentee relationship, the two heroes could be equals learning about their powers together. This would go against some of the character development Kara has had in the show in relation to flying in Clark’s shadow. But because of how the phantom zone and Kryptonian tech in general work there are numerous ways the show can manage to depict both versions of Superman at once.
4) We might see the Kents!
No matter how 13 year-old Clark fits into the show one thing is absolutely certain (and absolutely exciting!): Jonathan and Martha Kent will be a part of the series. No Superman story is truly complete without some part of the narrative lending time to Clark’s adoptive parents in Kansas, and the same is true for Supergirl. The Kents are comics’ best parents and get a lot of the credit for how super Superman turned out.
I am not proposing that the Kents should take over as Kara’s official mentors because Supergirl already has a wonderful assortment of advisors and mentors and the like. The show draws a great deal of strength from the two sisters learning from each other, so the Kents would have to act more as an auxiliary influence to Kara.
It would be interesting to see how they react to another Kryptonian falling to Earth. Jonathan and Martha are an important part of the Superman family and Supergirl now has the opportunity to explore new territory with these beloved characters.
3) We could get Superboy in Supergirl.
I would consider the most likely scenario that Supergirl is gearing up to introduce Superboy into the series. Conner Kent is a clone of Clark, usually cloned by (and sometimes including the DNA of) Lex Luthor. Lex Luthor is, of course, not a character in Supergirl (yet), so they would likely use their current Luthoresque stand in Maxwell Lord. We’ve already been introduced to Lord’s advanced lab and boundary pushing research, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to include cloning under that umbrella.
However Superboy would come to be, he would offer another unique relationship for Kara on her journey to becoming a true hero. If Conner is 13 years-old, Kara would essentially have a younger cousin after all. She would likely take on a mentor role of her own, a ceremonial next step on her journey as a hero. As of now, Kara is learning and growing, and by the time Conner would show up it would be an effective switch to have her also become a teacher while she’s learning.
And since Conner was created in a lab…
2) We could see S.T.A.R. Labs.
CW’s The Flash has had S.T.A.R. Labs at the center of the action for two seasons so it would be no surprise if Supergirl also chose to reference DC Comics’ top laboratory. DC TV fans have been hoping for a network crossover between Supergirl and Arrow/The Flash since the former was first announced. Since, in the comics, Conner Kent is a part of a secret project by S.T.A.R. Labs known as Cadmus, he could be a direct link between the three shows.
1) Young Clark will strengthen the family focus.
At the core of Supergirl are a series of complex family ties that fuel the action of the show. Kara and Alex are front and center, while Kara forges new relationships with the people in her life and every episode these bonds are tested and expanded. But the first relationships in the hero’s life are with her Kryptoian family, of whom Clark is the only remaining vestige.
Whether the show is re-introducing young Clark into continuity or pressing forward to bring Conner Kent to the small screen, he will develop a strong relationship with Kara that will once again highlight the show’s greatest strength: family. Clark and Conner are important figures in Kara’s family and would each have a unique connection to the central hero. Bringing in a new version of either of these characters will allow the show to explore that relationship from the early stages enriching the series as a whole.