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“Did he ever tell you what the ‘S’ means…?”

Since their inception and rise to prominence in the early 20th century, comic book characters have maintained our admiration and appreciation for decades. Their selfless nature, unprejudiced tolerance and considerate temperament has been central in sustaining our persistent esteem for these characters who uphold a constant moral disposition that never submits to the inadequacies of reality but instead rises above them. It is their commendable ideals of unity, acceptance and equality that we, as a diverse society, need in order to progress and coexist peacefully and compassionately. This is why we need The CW’s Supergirl.

A predominant reason for our prolonged infatuation for these comic book characters exists in their ability to adapt and address contemporary societal issues in a relevant and enthusing manner. In the instance of The CW’s Supergirl, genuine real-world topics such as LGBTQ acceptance, immigration and gender equality have been reverently and commendably represented and addressed in a profoundly progressive and encouraging manner.

The inspiring second season of the popular series has followed Supergirl’s adoptive sister, Alex Danvers as she accepts her sexuality and comes out as gay to her loving family, friends and romantic interest, Maggie Sawyer. Played exceptionally here by the astonishingly talented Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima, the touching arc is truly heartfelt and has moved me to tears with its inspiring honesty and authenticity. The writer’s depiction of her story is sincere, genuine and tender while Leigh’s earnest portrayal of Alex is as emotionally affecting as anything I have ever experienced on television. Her heart-warming performance accompanied by the progressive development of her character has become a beacon of reassuring relevance for many viewers who have felt similarly or are dealing with familiar sentiments. The show’s optimistic story excels in providing consolation and positive encouragement while also advancing equal representation and acceptance of such topics in mainstream media.

Alex’s story is further evolved by the character’s beautifully realized relationship with her sister, Kara Danvers. Just as the writers have acknowledged Alex’s arc with empathy and compassion, Kara is positively supportive and welcoming of her sister’s revelation. Melissa Benoist’s charming portrayal of the optimistic, tolerant and understanding protagonist thoroughly embodies and exemplifies everything we love about Supergirl and superheroes in general. Benoist flawlessly portrays the warm, buoyant and considerate nature of Kara while admirably balancing the compassionate, courageous and selfless disposition of her heroic alter-ego, Supergirl. Her faultless performance along with the writer’s brilliant depiction of her character perfectly encapsulates the qualities that have made superheroes so admired and appreciated around the globe for decades.

It is the hopeful, optimistic and honest interpretation of these strong, smart and kind female heroes that make the television series such an outstanding example of why contemporary audiences continue to uphold an appreciation and regard for these characters. For years, we have collectively admired comic book characters for their ability to stimulate our imaginations and provide admirable models of aspiration and relevance. When the world seemingly becomes overwhelmingly dark and demoralizing, they inspire us with stories of strength, courage and optimism. Superheroes provide a means for coping with adversity and, in a time when oppression and discrimination subsist, Supergirl’s ideals of hope, unity, acceptance and equality are, perhaps, needed now more than ever.

Ultimately, it is the significance of the symbol on Supergirl’s costume and the embodiment of the values it represents that make The CW’s Supergirl so important. Comprising of a beautifully diverse cast that is led by powerful and courageous women, we share a common reverence and desire that, just as our real-world problems have inspired their stories of resilience and courage, their tales of hope and strength could enthuse our reality. Embracing equality and celebrating diversity, the show offers comfort, hope and inspiration for those feeling alone, discouraged and disheartened. In the face of oppression and discrimination, these comic book characters stand for unity and acceptance while consoling us with stories of comforting relevance, compassion and tolerance. That’s what it takes to be a hero, that’s what Supergirl represents and that’s what the ‘S’ means.

“It means, ‘Stronger together’.”