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At the risk of committing comic-book superhero heresy, onscreen representations of Superman have always been sort of, well, boring.
Don't get me wrong, the Superman origin story is classic. Iconic. The best of the best.
Launched from the planet Krypton as it was about to explode; sent to Earth, where the yellow sun would give him his powers; raised by Middle Americans with values and integrity to become a beacon of light and hope how can you top that?
But Superman/Clark Kent's invulnerability to everything but Kryptonite rendered the storytelling less-than scintillating. Repetitive. Lacking in drama.
Let's face it, even though the films "Superman" (1978) and "Superman II" (1980) were great, the franchise was out of gas for the next three attempts. And "Man of Steel" (2013) was a reboot, going back to the origin story.
Everything from the 1952-58 "Superman" TV series to the 1993-97 "Lois & Clark" suffered similarly diminishing returns.
It's tough to build any kind of drama if your hero is invulnerable. And how many times can you introduce Kryptonite before it's just downright dull?
The producers of CBS' new "Supergirl" (Monday, 7:30 p.m., Ch. 2) have made their superhero less invulnerable and more interesting.
"On the old series, unless you had a rock of Kryptonite it was pretty much lights-out for the bad guys," said executive producer Andrew Kreisberg. "And we certainly don't want that. We always want to feel like our hero is in jeopardy."
It's not as if they've completely changed the Superman story. (He makes a brief appearance in the pilot and will remain sort of an unseen presence as "Supergirl" continues.)
"I think it's a little bit of a collective mistake that Kryptonite is the only thing that can hurt a Kryptonian," Kreisberg said. "In the comic books and in other adaptations specifically, the 'Superman' animated series you see that Superman himself can be hurt by a lot more than Kryptonite."
On "Supergirl," we see that the heroine (Melissa Benoist) can be injured by "certain aliens" and villains like Livewire, who "has enough electricity to stop Supergirl's heart."
It's just one of the reasons that "Supergirl" gets off to such a strong start. Monday's premiere is an absolute delight. It's a hopeful, upbeat show much more like the producers' buoyant series "The Flash" than their dark superhero drama "Arrow."
And Benoist is great as a young woman delighted with her powers and bent on doing the right thing even when it isn't easy.
She said it's all about Kara Danvers "finding the joy in being a hero and the joy in using her powers I just always keep in mind her bravery and her hope and her positivity and her strength."
It's definitely working in Episode 1. And the series shows great promise of turning into something truly special.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune . Email him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.