Supergirl is the first female lead superhero movie ever made. It’s also one of the worst. Which is why I didn’t even know the movie existed for a long time. It may technically exist in the 1978 Superman continuity, but literally no one ever talks about it. Believe it or not, I’ve actually never been a big fan of gender swapped counterparts. I still value them, but I just feel like there should be more originality. Supergirl was first created by DC comics in 1959. Appearing in Action Comics #252 with the initial purpose of being a female counterpart to her cousin Superman. But over the years she managed to develop her own separate voice.
So after the disaster of Superman III, a Supergirl spin-off was ordered instead. With Superman being off-world and appearing only on a poster. Since Christopher Reeve chose not to return, Marc McClure’s Jimmy Olsen is the only actor connecting the movies. While Lois Lane’s lesser known sister Lucy Lane fills her void. Several filmmaking decisions were copied as well. Like the hiring of an unknown in the title role. Beautiful blonde unknown Helen Slater plays Kryptonian Kara Zor-El. Like in the comics she and her family survive on Argo City.
For reasons I don’t care to remember, she ends up on Earth under the name Linda Lee. Simply wearing a brunette wig and attending an all-girl school. She also protects Midvale as Supergirl. Her costume also leaps off the page (red skirt and all). Luckily they didn’t go with the 1984 suit. Just like in Reeve’s movies, an A-list supporting cast is meant to balance things out. They somehow managed to nab Peter O’Toole, Mia Farrow, and Faye Dunaway. The latter plays yet another crappy original supervillain. A witch named Selena after who cares. Supergirl’s love interest is also not from the comics. Slater capture’s the Maiden of Might’s optimism, but Supergirl clearly didn’t care enough to let her soar.
Spin-off of: Superman: The Movie