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Super Friends? With Supergirl, it's More Like Super Family

Super Friends? With Supergirl, it's More Like Super...

By Mandy Curtis Tuesday, November 9th, 2021

Welcome to the Couch Club, our recurring column devoted to all things #DCTV! This week, Mandy Curtis looks back at one of her favorite themes of Supergirl's six seasons: the found family.

There are a lot of tropes in pop culture that are familiar to viewers, regardless of the show or the show's overarching themes. Over the years, Supergirl has featured many of these tropes, from enemies-to-lovers (Love you forever, Mon-El) to mistaken identities/secret identities (which, for obvious reasons, is one of the most prevalent in the show).

But the trope that Supergirl has always showcased the best, especially in the show's last season, was the idea of found families or families of choice. In general, this means that characters on a show make or find their own families out of friends, partners, lovers, etc. No one in the "family" actually needs to be related by blood, but they all find a reason to group together as a unit.

Kara, herself, is a product of a literal found family: Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers adopted her after her Kryptonian pod crashed to Earth (much like what happened with her cousin and the Kents). Kara grew up in this adoptive family, with loving parents and a big sister who tried their best to help her acclimate to a new planet and a world that wasn't quite ready for the idea of aliens.

It wasn't until she moved to National City, however, that Kara found her true family. She initially created a small pod with Jimmy Olsen and Winn Schott simply because the three of them worked together at CatCo. However, they quickly found that they also had similar ideas of helping the citizens of National City with their problems, many of which necessitated some superheroics.

Over the course of the series, Kara's family grew and changed because of a variety of events/situations, expanding to include her adoptive sister Alex Danvers (who eventually got over Kara being her bratty little sister), fellow aliens J'onn J'onzz, Brainiac-5 and Nia Nal, and recent-ish additions Lena Luthor and Kelly Olsen. The family looked quite different from start to finish, but the reason they all got together remained the same: they all felt a calling to protect the people of their city through whatever means they had at their disposal. (And they all really loved a good game night, especially when it involved Charades.)

In this sixth and, sadly, last season of the show, Supergirl leaned hard into the name originally coined by Winn—the Super Friends. This name, which William Dey popularized with the city through his reporting, fit the group in a number of ways. Not only were they folks with superpowers or remarkable capabilities who joined together with the common goal of saving the citizens of National City and the world, but also they were truly good friends. Friends who became family without even really thinking about it. Family who would do anything for each other, from traveling to the Phantom Zone to overcoming personal traumas and demons because their family needed them to pull it together and do their part. Family who could overlook certain villainous tendencies and see the truth behind the actions.

And this is the reason Supergirl—and the characters on the show—will always have a place in my heart. It's a show about superhuman beings who face unbelievable odds, but they do it all as a team. And even when they struggle, as all families do, they eventually realize that they're better together and do whatever's necessary to get back on track.

Although I've got a very strong actual family (both by blood and marriage) for which I am grateful, I've long been fascinated by the idea of found families and their inclusion in media always makes me both happy and more than a little envious. The Super Friends are one of the greatest examples of this trope, and I applaud the actors, writers and everyone else involved in the show for making us truly believe in the feelings shared within this remarkable family throughout all six seasons and a myriad of incredible situations.

I can only assume that the Super Friends will continue to be a strong family unit throughout the finale and beyond. And if there's one other trope that I wish for Supergirl, it's for all of them to find themselves in a Happily Ever After ending. This is a family that deserves all the happy they can find.
 

The Supergirl two-part series finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. Visit our official Supergirl page for more articles, videos and trailers featuring our favorite Girl of Steel.

Mandy Curtis writes about comics, specifically DC’s Young Adult line, and TV for DCComics.com. You can find her on Twitter at @mandyannecurtis.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Mandy Curtis and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.