- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Man of Steel’s favorite cousin got her own, family friendly, live-action television show on the CBS network to the adoration of critics and viewers.

The series, 20-episode debut arrives on three Blu-ray discs in Supergirl: The Complete First Season (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Rated: TV-PG, $54.97) to give superhero fans a look at 24-year-old Kara (Zor-El) Danvers, a girl originally sent to Earth to protect Superman but instead is applying her heroics in National City.

Melissa Benoist stars as the Woman of Steel and steals the show with her absolutely giddy performance imbued with genuine charm and unabashed joy of life whenever onscreen.

Her enthusiasm very much reminded me of actor Grant Gustin as TV’s latest Flash, Christopher Reeve’s take on Superman or when Tobey McGuire became Spider-Man.

The support cast members greatly help bring the mythology to life and includes Mehcad Brooks as Jimmy Olsen, Chyler Leigh as Kara’s adopted sister Alex Danvers and David Harewood as the mysterious Hank Henshaw, head of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations and the best surprise of the season.

Viewers might get a tad bored with early episodes and the “villain of the week” grind, but comic-book fans will embrace appearances by legendary baddies such as Reactron, Livewire, Bizarro, Non (from the Phantom Zone) and Dr. Morrow and his Red Tornado android.

Most notable episodes for this fan was an adaptation of Alan Moore’s famed Superman story “For the Man Who Has Everything” called “For the Girl Who Has Everything” and the Flash stopping by in “World’s Finest.”

I have only one minor beef with this overall excellent show.

I am slightly perturbed that we get a faceless Superman throughout the season instead of the boyish mug of maybe a Tom Welling (“Smallville”) in costume and wearing the cape.

Well, there is always Season 2 debuting on the CW network this fall that definitely promises a closer look at Kara’s cuz. Unfortunately, actor Tyler Hoechlin has been cast in the role and not Mr. Welling, big booooooo.

Best extras: Viewers get the entire 15-minute panel from the 2015 Supergirl San Diego Comic-Con featuring cast and production staff including executive producers Greg Berlanti, Ali Adler and Andrew Kreisberg, executive producer Sarah Schechter and DC Comics’ Geoff Johns.

The panel members talk about the show’s potential to please and often gush about Miss Benoist’s performance. The actress also adds a little to the conversation but takes the praise with her infectious smile.

Also, comic-book fans get a pair of featurettes worth a look.

First, a 10-minute look at a founding member of the Justice League, J’onn J’onzz aka Martian Manhunter, who (spoiler alert) eventually co-stars in the show. The alien’s struggles on Earth and previous life on Mars are discussed via interviews with cast, crew with a touch of classic sequential-art embellishing the segment.

Next, a 10-minute overview of the Supers’ home planet of Krypton is revealed through movies and comics while compared to the “Supergirl” show and the episode “For the Girl Who Has Everything.”

Mainly, Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics and Mr. Kreisberg briefly touch upon comics creator John Byrne’s and Richard Donner’s vision of the planet, but the segment spends too much time talking about the new show. Worth noting is a shot of a vintage map of Krypton originally seen in Giant Superman Annual No. 1 from 1960.

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