MARCH 6, 2015 | 01:00PM PT
Elizabeth Wagmeister

“Supergirl” has finally arrived.

The first photos of Melissa Benoist as Supergirl were released Friday, just as production begins on the CBS pilot, which is based on characters from DC Comics.

The costume (pictured) was designed by three-time Oscar winner Colleen Atwood, who also designed the suits for two other DC Comics television properties, “The Flash” and “Arrow” of the CW.

Atwood, who’s been nominated for Academy Awards an additional eight times, was also the costume designer behind “Into the Woods,” “Snow White and the Huntsman,” “Alice in Wonderland,” “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Chicago,” among others.

“Supergirl,” in contention for the 2015-16 season, follows Kara Danvers/Kara Zor-El (Benoist, “Glee,” “Whiplash”), Superman’s cousin, at age 24, when she decides to embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, after leaving Krypton and hiding her powers.

Other series regulars include Calista Flockhart (“Ally McBeal,” “Brothers & Sisters”), who will play Kara’s tough boss at CatCo, Cat Grant; Mehcad Brooks (“Desparate Housewives,” “True Blood”), who will co-star as Kara’s love interest, Jimmy Olsen; Chyler Leigh (“Grey’s Anatomy”), who’s been cast as Kara’s doctor sister, Alex Danvers; and David Harewood (“Homeland”), as supervillain Hank Henshaw, better known as Cyborg Superman in the DC Comics world.

Laura Benanti will appear in a major recurring arc, playing Kara’s birth mother, Alura Zor-El.

Helen Slater, who starred in the 1984 “Supergirl” feature, and Superman vet Dean Cain (“Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman”) are set for secret roles.

The project hails from exec producers and writers Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Arrow”), Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg. Sarah Schechter will also serve as an exec producer, and Glen Winter will direct the pilot. Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television will produce.

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Captain Comics said:

Such a dark outfit. So, so dark ...

From the press release:

Colleen Atwood said, “In designing Supergirl, I wanted to embrace the past, but more importantly, thrust her into the street-style action hero of today.”

Why is that "more important"?

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

As to occupations she was a reporter, actress, guidance counselor and I think a few other things in her series back in the 1970's, so everything is open.

Supergirl was kind of like Barbie that way.

And there were all those costumes. Like DC was trying to make her their Wasp.

Why would someone that can fly and pick up trucks need to be in the "street-style" of action hero? It's like the attempts to keep Batman an urban legend when he's hanging out with the Justice League. If "street-style" is what they wanted they should have used Batgirl or Black Canary. Unless everybody's packing kryptonite she shouldn't be fighting gangsters and bank robbers.

Pretty sure that she won't be as "super" as she is in the comics. Possibly she won't appear in costume that often either.

 I think her power level will have to be pretty high, once that would have been a tricky thing because of the special effects budget but I don't think that's a problem anymore.  

Haven't seen the last couple of Superman movies but they've almost never made him all that powerful in other media. I think the most powerful I've seen him was in the old Filmation cartoon where he pushed Earth back into its regular orbit, while telling it to stop fighting him, so it took some effort there, unlike in the comics in the 60s. Usually he didn't show that kind of power, fighting Luthor and that warlock (that they absolutely had to tell us every time he appeared was a male witch.) Don't recall the later shows going for that kind of power level. Frankly, I liked George Reeves' version. They never said just how powerful he was and it sometimes seemed like he was just strong enough to accomplish whatever he had to do in that particular episode. Some episodes he seemed to have more trouble bending steel than others.

  Well if they make her powerful they'll have to have equally powerful foes or it won't really work.  She should have at least one Lex Luthor style foe who's just plain smart though.

Her costume may be dark, but at least she’s not sporting a bare midriff! I would accept a “Superman-less” Supergirl in a new TV-based continuity. I would prefer that to the “Batman-less” Birds of Prey series several years back. Although I’m not a fan of the Green Arrow series, I do like both Gotham and Flash. I remain cautiously optimistic.

You do have to wonder why someone with super powers would need to have a "street-style" costume. And if it were, wouldn't she have pants instead of a skirt? It is a nice costume design, apart from being so dark.

  Costumes are for flair and dramatic effect as much as anything else.  I don't mind the costume, it's conservative and I think that suits Supergirl far more than say a Witchblade or Tarot costume.  I didn't mind the bare-midriff one because well if Kim Possible can wear it...

  What I sort of hope though is that they give it a season for the show to find itself.  

The costume has the same muted colors as the one from the last Superman film. I don't understand why, but a lot of creative types have a really hard time with Superman's costume and colors.  Personally, I've always felt that Superman should be bright and shiny, as he's a symbolic beacon of hope. Oh well.

Batman wears dark colors because he's hiding in the shadows so he won't get shot and killed. Superman doesn't have to worry about that, so his costume should be more "look at me!"

Also Superman is supposed to be "the peak of human perfection." What we should all strive towards. What we wish we could be. When did the ideal hero become someone uncertain about his place in the world? Someone torn and dark and angsty? What happened to him being here to make this a better world?

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