SDCC 2018: ‘Supergirl’ Cast Tease Season 4

After leaving fans with a taste of another Kara roaming the Earth, Supergirl will be back in full force this fall. Melissa Benoist took time off her current Broadway run to join her costars and showrunners at San Diego Comic Con last week to share some of next season’s secrets. Check out the videos below and read all about the tidbits they discussed.

Executive Producers Jessica Queller and Robert Rovner started things off by describing the theme of Supergirl Season 4 as “hope versus fear,” adding that there would be more grounded storytelling this time around. “We’ll be telling stories that reflect our time,” Rovner added. They’ll also be telling a twist on the Red Son comic tale, which Queller teased would be “more of a mystery; it’s not the main meat of the season at the start.”

When asked about the new (and first!) transgender superheroine, Nia Nal, Queller was effusive. “She’s awesome!” After working for Cat Grant at the White House, Nia comes to CatCo and gets taken under Kara’s wing. “What we learn about her is that she is the great-great-great-great grandmother of Nura Nal, who’s Dream Girl from the Legion.” They did a worldwide search for trans actresses and found a real life hero in Nicole Maines, who Queller called “an incredible woman.” She’ll be a hero out of a suit onscreen as well, as Rovner claimed that Nia’s journalism would link back to Kara, who will realize she can be as much of a hero through journalism as she can through her strength.

Mehcad Brooks, who plays James Olsen, held back from spoiling too much. But he did have this to say about the future of James and Lena’s relationship: “All relationships go through trials and tribulations, ups and downs, and we’re going to have all of those.” He didn’t hold back, however, on expressing his hope for Supergirl to tackle even more real-world issues. “I want to see more of us attacking some of the issues that have befallen African-Americans, and that are befalling Americans now.”

Which is another reason that journalism is going to play a bigger role next season. “[By] being in charge of a magazine that we’re going to make more serious this year – it’s going to try to be the New York Times,” he confided. “Maybe we can shed some light on how important journalism is and that journalists are not the enemy of the state.” In this way, Guardian will be antithetical to Agent Liberty, although Brooks hinted that “In some ways, their causes will overlap.”

Chyler Leigh was thrilled to discuss the evolution of Alex Danvers as DEO Director, and confirmed that there wouldn’t be tension with father figure J’onn over how to run things. “I feel like J’onn has done such a good job helping Alex figure out [her own strength], he’s more encouraging and honestly trying to walk her through situations from afar,” Leigh explained. “Like a parent.”

When asked about her character’s potential love life next season, Leigh was more cautious. “The biggest relationship that Alex is working on, at least initially, is with herself,” she said. Instead of looking for love, Alex is looking to rely on herself rather than on others. But what about finding someone to rely on her and becoming a mother? “That’s definitely going to be part of the journey for sure,” Leigh agreed, though she seemed unsure of how quickly that would come into play. “We just keep talking about how to do it respectfully and with great purpose.”

Meanwhile, David Harewood tried to explain J’onn J’onnz’s soul-searching tour of 2018. “He’s walking amongst the people of National City as he promised his father, but he’s struggling to live a life of total peace,” the actor divulged. “When you’re as badass as J’onn, at some point you might have to step in and kick some some butt.” And so the pacifist martian will have to balance his peaceful ways with a dangerous world that needs some sorting out. “There’s a wonderful sequence in 4.04 where he finally makes his mind up that he has to be the Martian Manhunter,” Harewood added. “So look out for that.”

As for his thoughts on Alex’s new role as the director, Harewood was more interested in the freedom it brought his own character. “It’s very exciting for me because, as a character, I’ve never been outside the DEO.” But when it comes to J’onn, he’s confident Alex is the right woman for the job. Despite his pride in his honorary children, Harewood was all for a team-up between himself and Joe West on The Flash. “That’s another subject for a crossover, let’s do it.”

Supergirl‘s star, Melissa Benoist, revealed that “this season is going to be more rooted, grounded in reality, and kind of mirroring a lot of topical issues.” She also expressed her excitement at Kara interacting with Batwoman. “She kind of thinks vigilantes are nuts,” she laughed. “So I’m excited to see her meet Batwoman, and see how they get on. It might be funny.”

On a more serious note, Benoist was grateful to get a chance to explore Kara’s journalism more. “I think we’re really going to explore the idea of how fear is the enemy,” the actress said. “And journalism can help fight that.” But will it help fight her doppelganger, Red Daughter? “The way they’re integrating it is really clever,” she gushed. “It’s a really interesting idea, so I’m excited to see where it goes.”

Supergirl returns to the CW on October 14th at 8/7c.