During the 2016 TCAs, Mark Pedowitz, President of the CW stated the network didn't have any plans for a female led superhero show in the works. What Pedowitz and the network fail to realize is, in fact, they already do have many female led superhero shows on the CW - they just don't involve Marvel, DC, or wearing a costume. Let's be honest, the definition of a superhero has evolved so much with shows like Jessica Jones providing a prime example with Jessica's trademark jeans, t-shirt and boots. Capes and costumes don't just qualify anymore as superhero status. Quality female driven programs already exist on The CW with The 100 and iZombie, both have leading ladies who kick ass and don't need camouflage to do so.
Just on shows alone like The 100 it is packed with female empowerment and leadership. Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor) has become such an inspirational beacon for so many viewers. Clarke Griffin not only is badass, but she also uses a lot of her heart and her head to guide her. She has had to fight every moment since she landed on Earth and has never stopped, including fighting her own self, her mother and her friends over the greater good of the Sky People. Clarke is also bisexual and that kind of LGBTQIA representation on television is incredibly important, especially when superheroes in the traditional sense have been on the straight and narrow! Her sexuality doesn't define who she is, labels don't matter in the world of The 100, but the fact that she is bisexual, a female and a superhero; that is what makes The 100 head, shoulder, and levels above other shows.
Also on The 100, Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) has resilience and perseverance running through her veins. She is fierce and determined. No matter what heartache or level of pain is inflicted on her, she gets back up standing tall and doesn't stop until she has accomplished what she's set out to do. Raven is a role model for the disabled and shows that she is an unstoppable force that even a disability, or multiple, will never stand in her way. She is resourceful and looks for every option possible and not just the easy one. Raven gets the short end of the stick time and time again, but that's what makes her never stop fighting attitude one of her best qualities. A superhero never gives up hope and never backs down, and this is why Raven is one of mine.
Commander Lexa (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a powerhouse! Debnam-Carey may be seen as just a guest star, but her character Lexa is the ultimate warrior and does what she has to for the greater good of her people, much like Clarke. She leads and rules her people with an iron will and heart of a lion. She is constantly having to make decisions that have lasting repercussions, not just for herself, but for her clan. She is perpetually tested, but every battle she conquers makes her a more cunning, braver warrior and even stronger Heda. Being a leader always comes with hard choices, and Lexa and Clarke will never be a stranger to that. But how you carry yourself, your actions, and living with the consequences of the choices and sacrifices you make is what qualifies these ladies as superheroes.
Liv Moore (Rose McIver) on iZombie is not just saving a city, she is saving an existence. After being turned into a zombie, she has dedicated herself to help find a cure so that others will no longer lose their lives and be effected. Liv has fought not just against Max Rager (the evil zombie making drink conglomerate), but at times her own self in order to keep humanity, her family and her friends alive. She uses her zombie abilities for good by helping the police catch killers and, yes, if faced in a harrowing situation she does use her abilities to protect and serve. And Liv does it all selflessly, which is the hallmark of a superhero. She makes tough decisions every day, including using the only cure in her possession to cure her ex fiancée Major (Robert Buckley) after he was infected. She refused to give blood to her brother (much to her family's dismay) after he was badly injured to keep him from becoming a zombie and she continues to keep her identity a secret from not just many of her family, but also her coworker Clive (Malcolm Goodwin). She has a partner in Ravi (Rahul Kohli), her coworker in the morgue, who may be behind the scenes; but you don't see Alfred from Batman putting on a cape or some spandex either yet he lends support and guidance to Bruce Wayne much like Ravi does Liv. Liv never hesitates to put others above herself and no matter the struggle, she looks at all angles and does what she feels is right even if there are areas shaded in grey. A superhero is selfless and Liv Moore lives her undead life dedicated to keeping the entire world safe, rather than a select few.
It's the way that all of these ladies are written and the way that the actresses portray them that really solidifies superhero status. Yes, they do a lot of butt kicking, but they are far from perfect. Even superheroes are flawed and have demons, that's part of what makes them so relatable. How they take those flaws and turn them into an asset instead of turning themselves into a victim is why the CW should realize that they already have quality female superhero led programming.
What you wear does not define your superhero status. Your gender also doesn't define your superhero status. How you carry yourself in the most dire of life's most harrowing situations and what your motivation behind your actions is makes a superhero. Superheroes aren't just relocated to one view or definition anymore, Clarke Griffin, Raven Reyes, and Commander Lexa of The 100 and Liv Moore of iZombie break that mold.