Supergirl didn’t have a very good Christmas. Or New Year. In the mid-season return of Supergirl, National City will be left defenseless as Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) remains in a coma following her brutal defeat at the hands of the new villain Reign. Thankfully, with the help of Mon-El, this corner of the Arrowverse will have an influx of new heroes: the Legion of Super-Heroes.
In “Legion of Superheroes,” the Supergirl Season 3 premiere airing Monday, Mon-El (Chris Wood), his wife Imra Ardeen, a.k.a. “Saturn Girl” (Amy Jackson), and a new character, Brainiac 5 (Jesse Rath) will step up as the Legion of Super-Heroes, the fabled team of DC heroes from the far distant 30th century.
In the comics, the Legion were often packed with (so many) young superheroes of the future, and the series is following true to canon by featuring Mon-El, Saturn Girl, and Brainiac 5 among the ranks (and right now it’s just those three, but perhaps there will be more soon).
But it’s Brainiac 5’s inclusion in Suprgirl that is especially interesting given his own history with the Girl of Steel in the comics.
First, yes: He’s kind of related to Superman’s nemesis, Brainiac. In the comics, Brainiac 5 originally thought he was the great-great grandson to the infamous super-villain. This guilt inspired him to join the Legion to atone for his ancestor’s sins. But Brainiac 5 is actually the descendant of Brainiac 2, a heroic rebel who was cloned from the original. If that’s all confusing, worry not: Brainiac hasn’t been in Supergirl, so as of now, he probably doesn’t even exist.
But the most compelling problem with Brainiac 5’s arrival is that in the comics, Brainiac 5 is romantically linked with Supergirl. While it was originally a one-sided obsession that plays off really creepy on Brainiac 5’s part by modern standards — he once created a robot version of Supergirl, and convinced himself she was real — Kara does have a real romantic history with Brainiac 5. If you’ve been keeping up with Supergirl, you know this is going to be a problem, as Kara is still hung up on Mon-El, who has returned from the distant future, married.
All throughout Season 3 thus far, Kara mourned her loss of Mon-El like he died. He might as well have: His “sacrifice” to leave Earth, due to the planet’s toxic atmosphere against his Daxamite DNA, meant Mon-El could never return. So in the Season 2 finale last year, Mon-El and Kara “broke up.” But Kara still had strong feelings for Mon-El, as did he.
Just before the mid-season break in Season 3, Supergirl had the surprise of a lifetime when a ship that’s laid dormant for centuries in the ocean reawakens, containing an “older” Mon-El (you really can’t tell, TBH), who was part of an expedition through Earth’s history. Kara’s happiness was cut short, though, when one of the ship’s passengers turned out to be Imra, Mon-El’s wife, whom he married after he left Earth.
Super-villains and plots to dominate the world, these all take a backseat to the soap opera drama on The CW. For the rest of the season, there’s bound to be a lot more push-pull between Kara and Mon-El, and the presence of Brainiac 5 can only mean things are going to get more interesting.
Supergirl returns Monday, January 15 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.