With so many iterations of Superman and Supergirl out there, most of know a little bit about the House of El and Planet Krypton's destruction, even if it's just some vague details that we picked up on a Smallville rerun. The new CBS series is twisting this in a delightful way and gave us a new female Big Bad to combat this super heroine. At the end of the pilot, we learned that Kara's mom Alura has an evil sister General on Supergirl. She wants to rule Earth and kill Kara (who is a bigger threat to her than Clark), which are both very bad things. This is based on DC comics, but that tag scene twist was worthy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Who is this "General" that all the bad guys from the Phantom Zone take orders from and fear? While I don't necessarily know if I trust the Department of Extranormal Operations and their Kryptonite-waving power tactics either, this is clearly the bigger threat. The perk, of course, is that this means we get to see more of Nashville and Broadway's Laura Benanti, which is always a pleasure.
There isn't exactly a DC comics basis for this character that we know of, either. You can tell that this is Allura In-Ze's twin sister because of her evil hair difference. However she's not Superman's mother Lara Lor-Van. At least, I don't think she is. In the comics, Clark and Kara's fathers are brothers — Jor-El and Zor-El, respectively. Comic book fans don't know so much about the House of Ze. Were I to guess her first name, I would place my bets on Kala In-Ze. That's a name that has been passed around with other comic book versions of the character.
There is one character in the DC canon that I can rule out immediately. I first screened the Supergirl pilot at NYCC's Warner Brothers Television Takeover panel, and not only did the Benanti reveal elicit gasps from the audience, but the Q&A knocked out one soon-to-be fan theory pretty quick. When asked if this mysterious villain was a genderbent take on infamous Superman General Zod, executive producer and creator Ali Adler confirmed that this is not the case. Who she's playing "remains a mystery," so we'll just have to keep watching to find out.
Image: Darren Michaels/CBS