The next season of The CW’s Supergirl began filming a few weeks ago, and already fans are getting a taste of what’s to come as the show enters its fifth year. Series star Melissa Benoist took to Instagram today to share a photo of herself sporting a new look for the titular hero.
The photo features Supergirl with a new haircut – she has bangs! – and a new costume that replaces the skirt and tights with long pants. Benoist accompanied the photo, apparently taken by Supergirl writer Katie Rose Rogers, with the pants emoji and several exclamation marks. Looking more closely at the suit, the way the cape connects to the shoulders also appears to be different, featuring gold buckles. Overall the suit resembles the one worn by series Superman Tyler Hoechlin, though it swaps a gold belt for Superman’s red.
It’s unclear at this point whether this is a permanent new look for the Maid of Might, or if this is something else altogether. With Crisis on Infinite Earths looming for the Arrowverse, and The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) having made his debut on Earth-38 in Supergirl’s season 4 finale, it’s entirely possible that this isn’t our familiar Supergirl but instead one from a parallel earth. The similarity to the Superman suit could indicate that this is an earth where all of the heroes are gender-swapped (Earth-63?). Benoist is no stranger to playing doppelgangers of herself on this series. Last season heavily featured a Kaznian duplicate of Supergirl called Red Daughter, who was created by black kryptonite and eventually groomed by Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) to aid in his anti-alien agenda. Benoist also played an Earth-X version of Supergirl in 2017’s “Crisis on Earth-X” Arrowverse crossover.
Another, less likely, possibility is that Supergirl’s just trying out different outfits. The early ’70s saw Kara cycle through a number of Supergirl costume designs in the pages of Adventure Comics. Many of the designs were submitted by fans, and featured Kara in everything from bell bottoms, elbow-length gloves, and scarfs in place of her traditional cape (this site has a pretty thorough write-up of that era’s looks). Eventually Supergirl returned to a more traditional costume, albeit one featuring hot pants and a choker connected to her cape. Most of Kara’s ‘permanent’ looks have featured a skirt of some sort, so if the suit teased by Benoist on Instagram is indeed her new full-time look it would be a first for the character.
Whatever the story behind the suit, it’s a striking look, and one that has us looking forward to the return of the series. Supergirl‘s fifth season debuts on October 6th.