The cast and crew of Supergirl had some exciting news and intriguing teases to share when they descended on San Diego Comic Con this year. After defeating Reign and the Worldkillers, the producers teased that Supergirl would be spending more time in her Kara Danvers persona next season.
“Kara Danvers is such an important part of Supergirl and especially the journalistic side of things,” series star Melissa Benoist said. “How she’s a hero in being a reporter, I think they’re really going to push that forward.”
Executive producers Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller talked about how Supergirl Season 4 will be more grounded after a third season that saw Supergirl go off-world a bit. In Season 4, Supergirl will be fighting against a tide of rising anti-alien sentiment embodied by the charismatic Agent Liberty, played by Smallville vet Sam Witwer.
Agent Liberty won’t be the only new character stopping by in Season 4, however. Perhaps the biggest casting news to come out of Supergirl’s presence at SDCC was that trans actress Nicole Maines will be playing the first trans superhero to show up on television. Her character Nia Nal will be mentored by Kara at CatCo and also in the world of superhero-ing, as she will eventually become a hero with precognition powers named Dreamer. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Nia is related to the DC Legion of Super-Heroes character Nura Nal aka Dream Girl.
Besides the excitement of new characters and needed representation, the cast and crew discussed some other important topics in the Supergirl press room: Lena’s fashion choices, Melissa Benoist’s go-to karaoke jam, and so much more!
Check out the video interviews below for all the scoop on what’s next for Kara, Lena, Brainy and friends in Season 4:
Katie McGrath Interview Highlights:
We’ll see a Lena that is more confident in her abilities next season. “You know she saved the day. She didn’t just save the day, she saved the world. She didn’t get credit for it, (never does, she’s a Luthor) but I think with that behind her she’s coming in knowing that she’s more capable than people give her credit for.”
Lena starts to invent technologies that she thinks are for the good of the world, but things that can be used for good can also be used for evil as well. Lena will be working with the DEO on technologies for the good of humanity, but it remains to be seen if they’ll be used for that.
McGrath mentions that there’s no rough patch between Kara and Lena. Lena’s problem is with Supergirl. For Lena, nothing has changed at all with Kara. “I see what you did there! I know they’re two people. Two people for me, one person for everyone else.”
When hearing that Supergirl Radio has a Lena Luthor: Boardroom or Ballroom segment McGrath admits she is often confused by Lena’s great outfits. “Why am wearing something off the shoulder in a lab?” She also wondered why Lena would wear open-toed shoes while doing science.
Her favorite Lena outfit was the black off-the-shoulder gown she wore in Season 3.
It would be tough for Lena if she found out about Kara’s identity as Supergirl. “It’s gonna break her,” McGrath said of Lena’s possible reaction.
McGrath says that no one is all good or bad. Lena is human in a world of heroes and it gives her license not to be perfect. McGrath wants to see Lena be human.
Rather than choose an alien villain this year, the show has chosen a manipulative human. How everyone responds to that is what the season is about.
McGrath hopes that we see Lena and Eve working together more in season 4.
McGrath got a letter from a girl once that thanked her for playing a smart woman and that it had made her want to go to school to be an engineer. “It’s making women and girls believe there are more than one type of hero. Not everyone has to have superpowers, sometimes it’s just getting up out of bed and trying.”
Melissa Benoist Interview Highlights:
In the way that the Superman story Red Sun explored two doppelgangers that were raised in two very different cultures and ideals, that’s what they’re going to explore with Kara.
“People with such extraordinary abilities, how differently they would use them.” Benoist said the storyline is going to be a very slow burn but she’s excited to see it.
“I’m just always looking for ways for Kara to be more empowered as a woman.” Benoist said Kara has arcs every season but she looks at the long arc and is interested to see what kind of woman she’ll look like at the end versus who she was in the beginning.
Benoist said that the relationship between Lena and Kara is very complicated and she’s interested to see how it’ll turn out, since in a lot of ways it mirrors the relationship between Lex Luthor and Clark Kent. She said it wouldn’t be Supergirl without their relationship.
Benoist said she was missing Kara in CatCo. “Kara Danvers is such an important part of Supergirl and especially the journalistic side of things. How she’s a hero in being a reporter.”
Benoist beams about being on Broadway and living out her childhood dreams.
Asked about her go-to karaoke song, since Kara got to do some karaoke last season, Benoist said her go-to song is the theme song from Neverending Story. She says she always looks to see if the karaoke bars have the song.
She talks about the launch of Shethority, which happened during the last four-show crossover.
How will Supergirl react to Batwoman? Benoist said that Kara has made a lot of asides about her issues with vigilantes, so she might have the same issues with Batwoman. “Wow, what are you doing?! Be careful!”
Benoist said she’s really excited for Nia Nal, not just for what she’ll mean to people but also the relationship between Nia and Kara is very special already. Kara steps in as a mentor for Nia the way that Cat Grant was for her.
“Those two sisters always find ways to butt heads in the way that only sisters can,” Benoist said of how Alex’s elevation to director of the DEO will affect their relationship. “There’s no short of conflict there.”
Jesse Rath Interview Highlights:
Would he like to see a relationship between Supergirl and Brainy since they’ve had some romance in the comics? “Personally? I personally don’t think that Supergirl really needs another love interest right now. She’s Supergirl, she doesn’t need a boyfriend.”
Brainiac 5 doesn’t exist as a replacement for Mon-El or Winn, he’s his own character. Romance is not something they’re pushing right off the bat, he’s just trying to help out any way he can.
There will be more fish out of water scenes, being in the past is a learning curve for Brainy. He butts heads with a lot of people.
“The overall theme of the character I think is that he’s too smart for his own good,” Rath said.
He’s kind of like a walking spoiler alert but he’ll come to learn there’s a difference between knowing history and experiencing history.
The anti-alien sentiment that begins to rise this season will be jarring for him since in the 31st century no one cares if you’re an alien because everyone is an alien.
Rath said that he has long conversations about his character to Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner. Personally he’d like to see some origin stories.
Rath mentions that there is a Legion ring in the Fortress of Solitude that looks different than the one that Briany wears (and that Jesse Rath himself was wearing in the press room).
Supergirl Executive Producers Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner Interview Highlights:
They talk about Nia Nal and how the show is about representation and inclusion and how important it was that they show a trans superhero on television.
Queller said they hit the jackpot with Nicole Maines, she’s been a trans activist and actress and has even been honored by GLAAD.
“The character of Nia Nal is the great-great-great-great-grandmother of the Legion character from DC Nura Nal, who was Dream Girl. So Nia Nal is going to be Dreamer and her superpower is that she dreams the future,” Queller said. Nia will also be a cub reporter for CatCo and Kara will mentor her.
We will see a lot more of CatCo next season. Because of the worldkillers they took a step back from that world in Season 3.
“One of the big themes we’re talking about this season is what is stronger, hope or fear?” Rovner said. He said it will be a struggle for Kara this season with the rising anti-alien sentiment since she represents what the country is becoming afraid of.
“One of the things she finds is realizing the power of the press and the power of the free press and speaking out about social issues. This is the season that Kara becomes as much of a superhero as Supergirl,” Rovner said.
They’re excited to have Batwoman in the Arrowverse and all they know about her introduction is that it’ll be in the three-part crossover.
Rovner said that the show has a great ensemble and they’re always trying to propel their stories forward, but at the end of the day they always feel that all roads lead to Supergirl.
Queller said that the Superman comics have always told stories about what’s going on in the real world. “Supergirl stands for hope, help and compassion for all so it’s in the DNA of these characters to be champions of the underdog and reflect through the lens of superheroes stuff that people in the real world are dealing with.”
After the Reign storyline from last season took them off-world and into a mystical places they wanted to tell some allegorical stories and get grounded.
For more of our Supergirl coverage from San Diego Comic-Con, check out these photos:
Photo credits: Sarah Boyce
What do you think? What are you most excited about seeing next season on Supergirl? Sound off in the comments!
Supergirl airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW and Showcase.
Morgan Glennon loves television so much it makes her DVR cry. From superheroes to teen dramas, she's watched (and covered) it all. Her work has appeared on BuddyTV, The Huffington Post, Fandom, Hollywood.com and more. She also co-hosts two podcasts: Supergirl Radio and The Legends of Tomorrow podcast. You can tweet @mojotastic to talk to her about Lena Luthor's fashion choices.