For the most part, Supergirl has drawn inspiration for its villains from the pages of DC Comics — though the show's versions may be a teensy bit different from their comic book counterparts. But, the biggest, baddest villain of the season, Supergirl's Aunt Astra isn't from DC Comics at all. Kara Zor-El's evil General Aunt is a new character created for CBS' superhero series, but she may draw her inspirations from another established character, who she has very close familial ties with on Supergirl.
Tony award-winning actress Laura Benanti plays both Alura Zor-El, Kara's mother, and her evil twin, General Astra. On the show, Kara's aunt survived the destruction of Krypton aboard Fort Rozz, a prison that became stuck in the Phantom Zone with Kara's spaceship. Astra escaped Fort Rozz along with the other prisoners when it crash landed on Earth, but has since been rounding them up to use in her fight against Supergirl — oh, and also to help in her evil mission to rule over the entire planet. Apparently, Astra isn't exactly happy that her sister imprisoned her, and wants revenge on Kara, as well as everyone on Earth. Of course, I'm sure Supergirl has something to say about this plan.
So, if Astra doesn't exist in DC Comics, where are the show's writers getting their inspiration for the evil General? My theory is that they're adapting part of the comic storyline belonging to her twin sister Alura, who does exist in the comics. See, Alura survived the destruction of Krypton in the comics, but when she arrived on Earth, she felt that the planet's inhabitants were weak and beneath Kryptonians. So, although Alura does imprison some criminals in the Phantom Zone, after she removes herself and the rest of the Kryptonian survivors from Earth, she frees the prisoners, leading them to wreck havoc on Earth. Sound familiar?
It's almost like Supergirl split Alura's comic character into two halves, Kara's mother being the good twin and Astra suffering from Evil Twin syndrome. This trope appears everywhere in media, and it's exactly what it sounds like: Alura is all that is good in the world, while Astra is a duplicate version with a distinguishing characteristic so viewers can tell she's bad — in this case, it would be Astra's gray streak of hair. Now that Astra has made it her sole mission in life to defeat Supergirl and become the supreme ruler of Earth, I think it's safe to call her the evil twin.
Although Astra doesn't necessarily exist in the DC Comics, she does seem to be inspired by them nonetheless. Astra seems to embody all of comic-Alura's prejudice against Earth's citizens, but rather than leave the planet, Astra wishes to enslave it. Still, with Astra's motivations being the biggest similarities between her role on Supergirl and Alura's DC background, it seems this villain has some tricks up her sleeve — some that even comic book fans won't recognize.
Images: CBS; dailysupergirlcbs/Tumblr