Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow Almost Starred Another DC Character
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is one comic book that just got a major spotlight shined on it, thanks to DC Studios. Woman of Tomorrow was one of the five films that DC Studios co-head James Gunn revealed in his highly-anticipated presentation of the DC Universe slate – and it was definitely one of the most unexpected choices in the entire batch of movies and TV shows.
Tom King's Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow limited series ran from 2021 to 2022, and is regarded as an instant-classic story in the Supergirl mythos. However, as Tom King has revealed, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow was almost a very different kind of story, that would've seen another major DC character's name wedged into the title...
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow... And Lobo
Tom King was doing an interview soon after the DC Studios slate announcement when the subject of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow getting a major movie adaptation was brought up. King had already praised the art of Bilquis Evely as the real hero of that book before he credited two other key individuals ("the best collaborators") for saving him from taking a big misstep by adding Lobo to the mix:
"That book [Supergirl: WoT] began as me pitching a Lobo/Supergirl book, and it was my editor[s], Brittany Holzherr and Jamie Rich, who were like 'No, take Lobo out and make Supergirl the Rooster Cogburn character'" King explained to WordBalloon. "And so it wouldn't exist without Jamie and Brittany."
King uses the film True Grit in that reference: for those unfamiliar, "Rooster Cogburn" (played by Jeff Bridges in the 2010 Cohen Bros. version) is a cranky, drunk, louse of a lawman, who decides to accompany a young determined girl on a mission of revenge against some outlaws. Along the way, the girl helps pull the Marshal back to the noble side of life, while learning her own costly lessons about the toll of revenge.
There are obvious parallels between True Grit and King's story in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow (see below), and indeed the choice to take Lobo out was key in avoiding what could've been a failed experiment. The choice to explore Kara Zor-El in a moment where bitterness, regret, doubt, and anger are clouding her noble core was actually something different and more complex for a character who has too often been a female Superman clone (figuratively speaking), or taken to such silly comic book extremes in an attempt to distinguish her. King's story actually fleshed Kara out as a person and gave her a distinct personality, while also creating a blueprint for her tone and a sci-fi world aesthetic that was very different from Superman's.
Lobo as the Cogburn character would've meant Kara playing a cliched wounded, or even damsel in distress archetype, leaning on Lobo to be the dominant one – even if she eventually showed her own (wait for it...) true grit in the final showdown. In the 2020s, that wouldn't have played well at all on comics Twitter.
What is Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow About?
If you're curious what kind of project DC Studios is bringing to the screen with Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, read the comic series synopsis below:
Kara Zor-El has seen some epic adventures over the years, but finds her life without meaning or purpose. Here she is, a young woman who saw her planet destroyed and was sent to Earth to protect a baby cousin who ended up not needing her. What was it all for? Wherever she goes, people only see her through the lens of Superman's fame. Just when Supergirl thinks she's had enough, everything changes. An alien girl seeks her out for a vicious mission. Her world has been destroyed, and the bad guys responsible are still out there. She wants revenge, and if Supergirl doesn't help her, she'll do it herself, whatever the cost. Now a Kryptonian, a dog, and an angry, heartbroken child head out into space on a journey that will shake them to their very core.