Last season, Supergirl faced off with the Worldkiller Reign, but when the show returns for season four this fall, the Girl of Steel will be more focused on stories grounded not just on Earth, but in the real world.
In a recent interview with Deadline, series star Melissa Benoist teased that fans can expect stories in the show's upcoming fourth season that are more topical than what the show explored in season three, especially the idea that not all villains are tangible.
"The writers' room is being really great this year," Benoist said. "Last season, it was a lot of fire and brimstone and a lot of homages to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which was great because I was such a big fan of that show. This season they really want to thematically tackle more topical stories that maybe mirror what's going on with the state of the world and our country. There's a lot of anti-alien sentiment at the beginning of Season 4 that Supergirl is going to have to grapple with. I think their main premise is that fear itself is a villain, and can hope conquer it? Supergirl stands for hope, so we'll see. I think fear is her biggest opponent yet because it's more of a wildfire-type emotion."
Fear may have some help in spreading like wildfire in Supergirl's fourth season. The show recently announced that Sam Witwer had been cast as Agent Liberty, a character described as the ruthless and terrifying leader of the Children of Liberty, a human-first hate group who also happens to be a "brilliant orator" with the ability to easily make people believe that his stance is the correct one. Some of Agent Liberty's anti-alien sentiment was heard in the teaser trailer for season four unveiled at San Diego Comic-Con last month.
She'll also have some other big foes to take on outside of the concept of fear. Manchester Black (David Ajala) and Mercy Graves (Rhona Mitra) will also be appearing this season. There's also the situation with the Red Son-inspired alternative Kara who appeared in Siberia at the end of season three. It's going to be a lot for Kara to take on, but Benoist is coming back to the role with a new outlook on her approach to Supergirl thanks to her time playing Carole King in Broadway's Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.
"I think that playing Carole and learning so much about her will certainly affect how I approach Supergirl at this point," Benoist said. "Every role affects you. I do think that heading into Season 4 and walking into Supergirl's shoes and donning the cape will feel different in a great way, especially because Carole's story is about, in essence, owning yourself and being true to who you are, that you are enough. That's something I'm always searching for in Supergirl: ways to further her development as a woman and find more empowering stories to tell through that."
The fourth season of Supergirl will debut on Sunday, October 14th, at 8/7c on The CW.