Melissa Benoist as Kara in CBS's "Supergirl"A new hero debuted on CBS Thursday night. A hero who has extraordinary, Earth-saving abilities. A hero with a unique perspective on what it means to have superpowers. A female superhero. "Supergirl" to be exact.

The one-hour pilot, starring Melissa Benoist from "Glee," did not disappoint. The excitement and badass charm displayed by Benoist as Kara Zor-El, cousin of Clark Kent (aka Superman), is infectious.

Just like her cousin -- who I truly am trying to avoid bringing up in comparison -- she hides her abilities as an assistant to media mogul Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart). But once she feels the adrenalin of having saved a plane that carried her foster sister Alex (Chyler Leigh), she knows it's time to be more than just an assistant.

So that's what she does. She goes up, up, and away to save National City from Vartox, the first criminal alien of many to come from the crashed Phantom Zone prison, Fort Rozz. She struggles in all aspects, emotionally and physically, but rebounds with the guidance of her sister, Alex.

The ending did have an unexpected twist. Be warned: SPOILERS BELOW.

The big-bad villain is her mother's twin sister, Astra (Laura Benanti).

The premiere of "Supergirl" is a huge step forward; it's a television show centered on a powerful female superhero airing in primetime on a broadcast network. And the show's creators didn't go for subtlety in showing that women can handle their own. At the start of the episode, we see shy Kara apologize to a guy she accidentally bumps into, and, by the end of the hour, she's towering over the villain she's just stopped from destroying National City. Throughout the ups and downs of the premiere, Kara is portrayed as fully dimensional, expressing her emotions and fighting the tough fight.

At one point during Kara's battle with Vartox, while the Department of Extranormal Operations watches the action go down from the safety headquarters, Alex and Hank Henshaw (David Harewood) engage in a telling exchange:

Hank: "She's not strong enough."

Alex: "Why, because she's a girl? That's exactly what we were counting on."

Boom. The whole show in one sentence.

"Supergirl" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Khalid Moalim is a student at Ohio State University and a contributor to Moviefone's Campus Beat.

Based on 4 critics

At 12 years old, Kara Zor-El escapes doom on planet Krypton to find protection on Earth with the Danver family, where she grows up in the shadow of her foster sister, Ale... Read More

categories Reviews, Tv News