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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If Supergirl were a one-shot movie, that might be an argument, although I think $9 million profit (128%) counts as a hit, especially 23 years ago. I think it's fair to compare the Buffy TV show to how an on-going Supergirl TV show will do.

Obviously, the tone will matter, since it was a big part of the Buffy show (and partly why the movie didn't do better). The producers have a pretty good track record so far.

-- MSA

"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." This sounds like she avoided being Supergirl for years for some reason. Either they're going with Superman keeping her a secret or when she first got her powers she couldn't control them and it took a long time to get them to work right. (Like Super-Baby crashing into fences before he learned how to fly.)

Maybe she'll be inspired by those kooky vigilantes in Starling City and Central City!

Blocked by Warner Brothers.

I liked it a lot. There have been some criticisms of its rom-com/Devil Wears Prada heart -- particularly that it's so much like the Black Widow parody that SNL did a few weeks ago -- but Kara and Natasha are *very* different characters. This type of situation absolutely works for her, IMO, in a way that wouldn't for a lot of other women heroes. It actually does the Superman myth better than the movies and comics have lately -- a nobody who is secretly the most greatest hero on the planet. That can work for Kara in a way that hasn't really worked for Clark since at least the Byrne revamp. I like it!

The YouTube one has been blocked but this one on the DC website works:

Sorry, I couldn't find the earlier thread, so I started a new one. My bad. They blocked the YouTube video pretty quick. I'm not usually so fast that I see it before it's blocked.Since mine mostly was a link to a dead video and will just confuse things, I'll delete it.

It seems to imply that Superman is around, so how they're going to avoid having them meet (as I assume they will) will be interesting to see. It also seems to say Kara's been hanging around with these astounding powers for some time and was afraid to use them. That'll take some convincing.

As with the other shows, they seem to have a high-tech command center backing her up, which makes sense these days. It'll be interesting to see who else is part of this group.

-- MSA

Since Superman's not in the show they can't go with the already established comic book explanation for why she's been avoiding using her powers.

Anyone else find it disturbing that there are all these high-tech command centers lurking about, apparently looking for super agents? (And maybe making some? Are they affiliated with Intergang? Cadmus?) And again why does she need such a group unless she's not that powerful? It's like the show was designed for someone like Batgirl or Black Canary and Supergirl was dropped in at the last second when it was too late to make a lot of changes. Or somebody just said do that will all of the shows. If the Spectre shows up with cosmic level powers and he has back up too we'll know for sure.

It gives her an immediate supporting cast that also can make sure she's in the right place at the right time without too many coincidences piling up as to why she found trouble. I admit, that Cisco has an alarm that tells him when anyplace is being robbed in town is a bit much, but at least it doesn't stretch credulity as much as The Flash just running by wherever trouble is breaking out.

And let's face it, as we've seen with The Flash, if Supergirl *wasn't* aligned with some high-tech command center, with some kind of quasi government affiliation or backing, she'd get their attention quick. Kurt Busiek's SECRET IDENTITY mini-series seemed like a pretty realistic approach--as soon as the Army found out about her, they'd try to capture/take her out.

BTW, I went and watched the link to DC's site, and that's the first trailer. The one YouTube blocked was the second one. It's only 2 minutes and has a lot of the same stuff in the first minute--but the second minute is her taking on a super-baddie.

I looked around, and Comic Book Movie still has it up:

So check it out before DC realizes it. 

-- MSA

Telescopic vision and super hearing would tell her where the right place at the right time was. Seems Flash would run by so fast he wouldn't see the trouble or would be in the next state before it registered. "Let's see now...where was that robbery I spotted? Maybe in this town? No? Well, maybe it was this one. Doggonit!"

Since my Roku streams YouTube to my 46 inch TV I looked for and watched the longer Supergirl trailer and the Legends of Tomorrow trailer in full size. I think they're both official posts. They both look very good.

Since Supergirl will be on CBS don't expect any guest appearances on the CW shows, or vice versa.

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