No hero had to make the ultimate sacrifice in Supergirl‘s season 2 finale but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t loss. Kara’s victory over Rhea was bittersweet because Kara had to send Mon-El away. The lead poisoning that Kara used to end the Daxamite invasion also made it impossible for Mon-El to live on Earth. While this would seem to put an end to Kara and Mon-El’s romance, the season finale left the door open for Mon-El to return. Mon-El was sucked into yet another portal while traveling in space to places and times unknown. Though it hasn’t been confirmed that Chris Wood will be back as a series regular for Supergirl season 3, fans have almost certainly not seen the last of Mon-El.
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Back to the Future
Though Supergirl tried to play off Mon-El’s departure in “Nevertheless, She Persisted” as an end to the character it is more likely a whole new beginning. When you look at the comics it is clear that there is much more in store for Mon-El. Supergirl has created their own interpretation of Mon-El and he is pretty different from his original creation. For example, the comics version of Mon-El is not even really named Mon-El and has no royalty in his blood. Still, after the season 2 finale, the TV Mon-El and the comics Mon-El now share one big similarity — they both suffer from lead poisoning.
Following an encounter with the villain Parasite, the comic Mon-El was accidentally exposed to lead poisoning. Through standard comic book wackiness Mon-El was sent to the Phantom Zone where he existed outside of time but was no longer dying from lead poisoning. Centuries in the future Mon-El was taken out of the Phantom Zone and joined a superhero group called The Legion of Super-Heroes.
Though the two Mon-Els started off on very different trajectories it is almost certain that they will end up in the same location. There is not just the lead poisoning connection; Supergirl has hinted at the Legion of Super-Heroes in the past. Their ring was seen in Fortress of Solitude during Supergirl season 1 and the same ring appeared in a vision on The Flash when Barry Allen ran through the Speed Force. This is not even to mention that during their goodbyes Mon-El promised Kara he would finally become a hero Kara deserves, wherever he landed in his ship. Supergirl hasn’t always stuck that closely to the comics but Mon-El is almost certainly headed to the future, the Phantom Zone or both and he’ll have a few new friends when he gets there.
The Final Leg of the Hero’s Journey
Mon-El’s redemption arc is just beginning on Supergirl. To send Mon-El off on his own adventure is the right direction for the character, especially after this last season. Supergirl season 2 did a lot of the legwork on believably setting up Mon-El’s desire to be a hero and now it is just a matter of taking him all the way. A Phantom Zone limbo is the perfect place to put the (somewhat) controversial character especially since most of Mon-El’s journey to becoming a true hero is likely to happen off-screen.
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One of the big problems with Mon-El in Supergirl season 2 was that he was given almost too much attention. Mon-El was a central part of the season’s big arc but he tended to overshadow some of the more established characters. All this time will feel important though if it was setting up Mon-El’s final leg of his transformation from arrogant dudebro to true blue superhero. We don’t need to see Mon-El join the Legion of Super-Heroes or even get a real super suit. All of that can be explained with exposition and flashbacks when the character comes back given how much we got to know him in season 2.
Thanks to the weird space and time travel rules Supergirl has set up, Mon-El doesn’t need to be gone from that many episodes of season 3 to fully transform. (There should still be a little of a break for him, so his absence can be felt.) The time between the end of Supergirl season 2 and the start of season 3 could be months, weeks or even days in Kara’s time but a year, or more, could pass for Mon-El. It’s true Supergirl doesn’t really need more costumed heroes. Guardian is still demanding, and failing, to be taken seriously, but finally becoming a hero that can match Kara is a smart move for Mon-El. Love or hate Mon-El, he isn’t going anywhere, so it is best that when we do see him again his harsher edges and imperfections will have been dulled with some future super-heroics.
But what do you think? Do you have a different theory on where Mon-El was headed? Do you think he will be a hero when season 3 premieres? How long do you think he will be gone from Supergirl?
Supergirl will return for season 3 in fall 2017, airing Mondays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Supergirl Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)