‘Supergirl’ Premiere Reveals the Mother of All Villains

“The best villains are ones with a strong personal connection to the hero,” producer Andrew Kreisberg tells TheWrap

"Pilot" — After 12 years of keeping her powers a secret on Earth, Kara Zor-El, (Melissa Benoist, center) Superman's cousin, decides to finally embrace her superhuman abilities and be the hero she was always meant to be, on the series premiere of SUPERGIRL, Monday, Oct. 26 (8:30-9:30 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network. The series moves to its regular time period (8:00-9:00 PM) on Monday, Nov. 2. Also pictured: Chyler Leigh as Alex Danvers (left) and David Harewood as Hank Henshaw Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2015 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read on if you haven’t watched Monday’s series premiere of “Supergirl”)

“Supergirl” usually lives in the shadow of her more famous cousin Superman, and nowhere was that felt more distinctly than in the first episode of CBS’ superhero drama.

“The big guy,” as he was deemed by James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks), was everywhere in “Supergirl’s” debut, as a source of both inspiration and frustration for Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist).

But don’t expect Clark Kent to actually make an appearance in any real way.

“He’s definitely present in the world, and we have some fun and interesting ways for Kara to interact with him,” showrunner Andrew Kreisberg teased. “But the show is ‘Supergirl,’ it’s really about her. Greg [Berlanti] always said he’s sort of like the President on ‘Veep.’ You see him from behind and you feel him out there, but the show is about her and we don’t really feel the need to show Superman.

“So much of the show is this expectation that Superman has been a superhero for a long time and she’s fresh out of the gate, and people on the show aren’t really sure if she’s up to snuff. Every week she keeps proving people wrong, that she’s every bit the hero he is, every bit as powerful as he is. So having him there is sort of unnecessary. We have somebody who’s just as strong, just as powerful and just as, if not more, emotionally complex.”

By the end of the hour, however, she had embraced her Kryptonian powers, made herself a sensible and utilitarian costume, and started to become the hero that National City needs.

Meanwhile, the first big bad villain of the series had been introduced, and she just happens to bear the same face as Kara’s dearly departed mother (Laura Benanti).

“The best villains are ones with a strong personal connection to the hero,” teased Kreisberg. “The idea that the villain wears the same face as her mother, is a sort of dark, twisted version of her mother, makes it that much more emotionally compelling for Kara. And Laura Benanti we’ve worked with before [on ABC’s ‘Eli Stone’], who is one of the great talents of our time. It’s so much fun to see her be this angelic, beautiful mother figure for Kara, and then see her be the villain. It’s really exciting.”

So how soon will Kara come face to face with this mysterious villain?

“A lot sooner than you think,” said Kreisberg.

“Supergirl” airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.