'Smallville's Supergirl Looks Back at How the TV Superhero Landscape Has Changed

Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have been integral components of the TV landscape for decades, [...]

Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have been integral components of the TV landscape for decades, making the concept of a show like Smallville easier to pitch in the early 2000s. Less than 20 years later, fans have over a dozen different superhero TV shows to choose from, focusing on popular and obscure characters alike. Laura Vandervoort, who played Kara Kent/Supergirl on Smallville starting with Season 7, looks back on how pop culture's obsession with superheroes has changed over the years.

"Smallville was the first of its kind, and now that's all that there is. I think it's awesome that I had an opportunity to not only play an iconic superhero for women, but on the grounds when superheroes weren't a staple on television," Vandervoort told ComicBook.com. "It was, I guess, the test run for that market, and now it's obviously exploded."

During a majority of its run, Smallville was the most exciting superhero show on television, due in part to its lack of competition. Currently, multiple different series vie for the public's attention, which also feature crossover events.

"We were trying something new, and the fans were appreciating it, and it wasn't diluted with other shows similar to it like it is now," Vandervoort pointed out. "You have all these crossover shows. I've got to be honest, I don't watch them. There's just too many, and they all seem somewhat similar to me, but that's just because it's not really the kind of stuff I watch."

One advantage of the rise of superhero TV series is Vandervoort was able to appear in Supergirl, despite not reprising her Smallville role.

"It is nice to see we have females leading superhero shows now," the actress pointed out. "When we were doing Smallville, I was hoping that one day Supergirl, whether it was me or someone else, would be at the forefront of her own show, which is why I supported that show from the beginning. I was so excited they were doing it, and then I got an opportunity to be on it. Times have definitely changed, but I think in a way for the better, especially for women in that genre."

The actress has recently lent her acting talents to a variety of horror projects, starring as Anna in Jigsaw last fall.

You can watch Jigsaw now on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD.