Earlier this year The CW debuted a new look for Supergirl, giving the Kryptonian hero a brand new suit that changes up the classic red and blue skirt-based costume for one that is more like her cousin Superman’s in that she’s wearing pants. In tonight’s Season 5 premiere, “Event Horizon”, fans finally got to see that suit in action as well as learn how Kara came to get it and how it’s different from the previous costume in a dramatic way beyond the pants.
Spoilers for tonight’s season premiere of Supergirl, “Event Horizon”, below.
Kara/Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) starts “Event Horizon” with her regular, skirt-based costume, but fairly early on that suit takes a bit of a beating when she and J’onn respond to a live dinosaur attack at the National City museum. The attack turns out to be the work of a shapeshifting alien of some sort who has some psychic powers that they use to escape — and Supergirl’s cape is shredded in the process. Despite the threat that the escaped alien poses (they took with him Superman’s Kryptonian pod which contains an anti-matter engine) Brainy (Jesse Rath) notes that there’s another major issue they have to deal with. That issue is Kara’s cape, something that is driven home when she has difficulty flying with it.
As a shredded cape simply won’t do, Brainy solves the problem by making Supergirl a whole new suit, which he presents to her before the ceremony awarding her the Pulitzer Prize. What he presents to her is interesting though. She can’t see it. What Brainy does is give her a microscopic device that contains the new suit. He puts on the corner of her classes and tells her that when she takes off her glasses in a particular way the suit will materialize. It’s something fans get to see happen just a few scenes later when, after Midnight shows up at the ceremony, Kara takes off her glasses and the suit develops around her in a way that is very similar to how Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit developed around her Avengers: Infinity War. Much to Kara’s delight, the new suit has pants.
The change to pants is a pretty significant one for Supergirl, but it’s also one that Benoist has been talking about since Season 1. The series star revealed earlier this year that she’s been asking for a warmer costume for her character since early on.
“We’ve been talking about pants since season 1,” Benoist said. “Every time a writer from the show has come up, and it’s freezing cold in Vancouver, I’m like, ‘Guys, please can I not wear tights?'” I love [Kara’s old costume]. I haven’t changed it because it so works, and I think it is very Kara. I’ve always felt that — until recently, I’m like, ‘Something’s gotta give.'”
There’s also a story-related reason behind the change. Benoist has also explained that the change into pants is part of the character’s overall maturation and development.
“I just think it’s more adult,” Benoist said. “Part of my goal in this whole series for whenever the show ends, I just want there to be a very clear arc for this character that she evolved as a woman and found her femininity and her adulthood, just a self-discovery.”
Supergirl airs Sundays at 9/8c on The CW.
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