Serialized superhero narratives, from the earliest monthly comics to weekly television shows, have a long history of stories that reflect the times in which they're written. Supergirl, the fan favorite CW series, is no different, and star Melissa Benoist is teasing that the show will lean into that timeliness even more for its upcoming fourth season.
In an interview with Deadline to promote her almost-finished run on Broadway starring in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Benoist took a moment to discuss Supergirl Season 4. While she didn't give away too many details, she did open up a bit with regard to what the show's writers are interested in this time around, and where the thematic arc of the season might take viewers.
"The writer’s room is being really great this year. Last season, it was a lot of fire and brimstone and a lot of homages to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was great because I was such a big fan of that show. This season they really want to thematically tackle more topical stories that maybe mirror what’s going on with the state of the world and our country," Benoist said. "There’s a lot of anti-alien sentiment at the beginning of Season 4 that Supergirl is going to have to grapple with. I think their main premise is that fear itself is a villain and can hope conquer it? Supergirl stands for hope, so we’ll see. I think fear is her biggest opponent yet because it’s tangible and more of a wildfire-type emotion."
So, as the real world of the United States continues to struggle with issues of immigration and family separation, Supergirl will use Season 4 to embrace the tried and true metaphor of Kryptonians and other extraterrestrial characters as the ultimate illegal immigrants. It's been done with Superman many times, and there's certainly no reason that Kara couldn't also settle into that role in the middle of "anti-alien" stories, while also keeping things entertaining from a superhero standpoint.
This is also not the only potentially topical storyline to look for in Season 4, since we already know the Kara "clone" revealed at the end of Season 3 will have a story that's at least partially inspired by Red Son, the acclaimed "Elseworlds" comic that imagined what would have happened if the rocket carrying baby Kal-El had crashed in Russia rather than in Kansas. Take one glance at the news lately (or really any time in the past two years) and Russia comes up a lot. A character that originates in that country who could be a friend, a foe, or a mercurial mix of the two is certainly enticing.
Supergirl returns Oct. 14.