Guardian is coming to Supergirl this season, and no comic book fans, it’s not Jim Harper.
Instead, the National City vigilante will be played by another Jim – Jimmy Olsen that is. Er, sorry … James Olsen.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg made the announcement to Entertainment Weekly, talking about the expanded role for actor Mehcad Brooks.
“These next few episodes are going to make him realize that being a photographer … is not enough for him. So he’s going to go on a pretty exciting career trajectory that we’re really pumped by. James is going to decide that he can no longer sit back and be a sidekick, so he’s going to decide to become a vigilante and he’s going to become Guardian – complete with the shield – which is going to cause a massive problem in his relationship with Kara, because he has decided not to tell her.”
Kara, in case you’re not familiar with the Supergirl story, is the title character herself, played by Melissa Benoist.
Allowing James to take on the Guardian persona is a huge departure from 70 years of comic book lore. Guardian first appeared in 1942, possessing no superpowers, and armed only with an indestructible shield. If that sounds familiar, don’t tell Marvel.
In the comics he was played by Jim Harper, a police officer in Superman’s city, Metropolis. He would later be succeeded by clones of himself (these are comic books after all), before other characters like Mal Duncan and Jake Jordan took on the persona.
The introduction of Guardian will create some problems for Supergirl, Kreisberg teases.
“Now there’s this new masked vigilante, and she has her own feelings about vigilantes. It becomes a push and pull about who gets to decide who gets to be a hero.”
That does mean we won’t see Warehouse 13 alum Eddie McClintock returning to Supergirl anytime soon. McClintock introduced Harper, now a U.S. Marine Corps colonel, in an episode last March while the series was still on CBS.
Supergirl airs Mondays on The CW.
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