BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
The Department of Extra-Normal Operations
- Allies: The Superfriends, Barry Allen, Clark Kent/Superman, Maggie Sawyer, Cat Grant, The Legion, Lex Luthor (Post-Crisis)
- Badass Normal: They're (mostly) ordinary humans trained to combat aliens if the situation calls for it.
- Conspiracy Redemption: The DEO's focus on extraterrestrial criminals, and its leader's seeming xenophobia, has placed it under some suspicion over whether it would eventually go after benign aliens like Supergirl and her cousin. It turns out that Henshaw's DEO was truly xenophobic, which is why J'onn J'onzz took it over, looking to slowly reform it.
- Good Is Not Soft: Can be downright ruthless in their methods of protecting the earth.
- The Main Characters Do Everything: Anyone who are not J'onn J'onzz, Alex Danvers and Sixth Ranger Supergirl are almost always Red Shirts. Even Winn was more useful when he was around long before becoming an official member. Lucy Lane was also put in charge of the organization during the time J'onn and Alex became fugitives.
- The Men in Black: The organization is dedicated to hunting alien criminals.
- Mission Control: They give Supergirl advice through communicators while she's doing field work.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: The shift in locations from cave to high tech glass building is due to the shift from Los Angeles to Vancouver shooting. Lampshaded by Kara, who complains about not knowing about the other location.
- Red Shirt: Several are killed in "Human for a Day."
- Secret Keeper: They all know that Kara is Supergirl and that their boss is a Green Martian, and presumably (but likely) that Clark Kent is Superman.
- Sixth Ranger: Aside from Kara, Mon-El, M'gann, Maggie, Clark, James, Cat, Lena, Lucy, Eliza, Imra and Barry all have allied themselves to the organization at one point.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork:
- With CADMUS in their rescue of Mon-El and Lena, and repelling of Rhea and the Daxamite invaders.
- Post-Crisis, with Lex Luthor, due to his company bankrolling the DEO. Downplayed in that only Kara and J'onn (along with anyone whom the latter had restored their Pre-Crisis memories to, such as Alex and Brainy) see him in this light.
Portrayed By: Briana Venskus
First Appearance: "Pilot" (Supergirl 1x1)
A agent who works for the covert government organization DEO, usually operating the computers like Winn.
- Action Girl: Being trained by the DEO will make any women this.
- Boyish Short Hair: Has one of the shortest hairstyles of the female cast.
- The Bus Came Back: Reappears in episode 11 of season 2 after being gone since the first season.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gives some to Demos after he made her test herself for being a White Martian first.
- Number Two: Basically May's lieutenant.
- Last-Name Basis: She is yet to be addressed in her given name.
- Put on a Bus: Disappeared after season one but comes back in episode 11 of season 2.
- Recurring Extra: She's only a minor character, but she is the most frequently shown DEO character aside from J'onn, Alex, and later Winn.
- Undying Loyalty: To J'onn. Vasquez helps Supergirl even after it was revealed that their leader was a green martian.
Querl Dox / Brainiac 5 / "Brainy"
Known Aliases: "Brainy", Barney Fife, Agent /Director Dox
Portrayed By: Jesse Rath
First Appearance: "Legion of Super-Heroes" (Supergirl 3x10)
Appearances: Supergirl | Elseworlds note | Crisis on Infinite Earths
An alien from the planet Colu, hailing from the 31st century. He is a descendant of the Brainiac clan, and a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes.
After the end of Supergirl Season 3, he is forced to stay in the present due to the original Brainiac releasing an AI-killing virus in the future. He quickly joins the D.E.O.
- Abusive Parents: He implies his mother, at least, was rather horrible. In the post-Zero Hour comics, his mother Brainiac 4 is a sociopath.Nia: Looks like your mother raised you right.
Brainy: Oh, no. She definitely did not.
- Affectionate Nickname: His friends call him "Brainy" (which is his canon nickname in the comics as well).
- Amazon Chaser: He's clearly smitten with Kara, even before they meet for the first time. However, he later falls for Nia.
- Awesome by Analysis: When confronted by members of the Children of Liberty, Brainy warns them that he will be forced to "use physics" to deal with them. True to his word, he wipes the floor with his assailants with strategic dodges and judo-like moves that results in them being knocked out by each others' attacks.
- Badass Bookworm: He primarily serves as support to other heroes, but proves more than capable of handling himself in a fight when necessary.
- Brutal Honesty: Has absolutely no sense of tact when he tells Kara that she is in a coma.
- Character Tic: He often holds his hands in front of himself with his fingers touching, generally as a thoughtful pose.
- Cultured Badass: In season 4, he teaches himself poetry to impress Nia.
- Cyborg: He mentions that he's "techno-organic," and is capable of both high-speed calculations and emotions.
- Facial Markings: The glowing Brainiac symbol on his forehead.
- Finding Judas: After being persuaded to do so by an alternate version of Brainiac-5, he decides to work with Lex Luthor in secrecy.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: The primitive level of technology on 21st Century Earth horrifies him, and he ends up butting heads with Winn over the DEO's lack of "basic" things like Cold Fusion.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: He has a device so he could appear human.
- Insufferable Genius: Not as much as his comic book counterpart, but is still prone to bluntly stating things and bragging about his superior intellect. By the end of his second episode, Winn proves to him that sometimes overthinking stuff doesn't help immediate matters.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Even despite the dire straits, he can't keep down his excitement that Supergirl is actually talking to him.
- Legacy Character: He is a descendant of one of Superman's greatest foes, and relation of Season One villain Indigo, aka Brainiac 8.
- Manly Tears: Much to Lena's shock, he does show some actual emotions over Kara being forced into a protective armor due to the atmosphere being poisoned.
- The Medic: He operates the ship's medical bay, attending to Kara during her coma and treating Alex's injuries.
- Movie Superheroes Wear Black: His suit is black and very dark blue rather than deep purple. Averted in season 5, when he gets a purple suit after taking off his inhibitors.
- No Social Skills: Try as he might, Brainy's social skills are a sight to behold, at times. A small degree of it is due to being from a distant future with somewhat different social interactions, but he has dropped a few hints that he had similar issues even then.
- Paradox Person: He's an alien from the future living in the present day.
- Pardon My Klingon: Occasionally lets loose with the future curse word "Sprock" (usually just as an exclamation, or in one episode, "we're sprocked").
- Promoted to Opening Titles: He becomes a main cast member in the fourth season.
- Relationship Upgrade: After a Anguished Declaration of Love, he and Nia eventually become a couple during the Supergirl Season 4 finale.
- Restraining Bolt: The Brainiac symbol he wears on his forehead is revealed to be this in season 5, specifically named "personality inhibitors" and forcibly put onto him when he was eight by his father.
- Robot Girl: Gender Inverted. He casually mentions having an AI system, and is from the same clan as Robot Girl Indigo.
- Science Hero: He is primarily this for the others in the Legion, providing the strategy and tech support for them in battle.
- Ship Tease: Kara's love interest from the comics, and he spends the majority of his premiere episode bonding with Kara and squeeing over getting to meet her. Later however, he becomes Nia's Love Interest.
- The Smart Guy: The genius of the Legion, piloting their ship and treating injuries as needed.
- Superpowered Evil Side: Due to having Genetic Memory, he stores a part of the original Brainiac's consciousness inside of him, which takes over during the penultimate and final episode of Supergirl Season 4. This personality of him is much more ruthless and cunning.
- Technopath: His systems are capable of interfacing with most technology.
- Trapped in the Past: Brainy is forced to stay in the past because the original Brainiac released a virus that is killing all A.I.s in the future.
- White Sheep: A heroic member of the Brainiac clan, unlike Indigo or his titular ancestor.
- You Are in Command Now: Lex makes him director of the D.E.O. after Alex leaves.
Portrayed By: Donna Benedicto
First Appearance: "Ahimsa" (Supergirl 4x4)
A D.E.O agent as of Season 4 and 5.
- Last-Name Basis: Her first name isn't known.
- Recurring Extra: Appears in several episodes throughout Season 4 and 5.
- The Stool Pigeon: Ultimately cracks under Haley's interrogation and gives out Supergirl's secret identity, which she feels horribly about. Her mind later gets erased to prevent this from happening again.
Dr. Alexandra "Alex" Danvers
Portrayed By: Chyler Leigh / Jordan Mazarati (teenager, season 1-2) / Olivia Nikkanen (teenager, season 3)
Voiced By: Jocelyn Robles (Latin-American Spanish dub), Akari Higuchi (Japanese dub)
First Appearance: "Pilot" (Supergirl 1x1)
Appearances: Supergirl | Invasion!note | Crisis on Earth-X note | Crisis on Infinite Earths
A brilliant scientist who secretly works for the covert government organization DEO, serving as its Number Two and later takes over as the director herself. Kara's human foster sister.
After being unable to cope with Lex Luthor being in charge of the DEO, she leaves the organization to eventually become a vigilante.
- Action Girl: Regardless of her role as a scientist, the DEO gives extensive year-long combat training to everyone.
- Age Lift: In the comics, the biological child of Kara's adoptive family was born around the time they already took Kara. Here, she's Kara's older sister.
- Aloof Big Sister: According to the flashback in "Midvale," she was this trope to Kara during their high school years before they bonded through finding their childhood friend's murderer. After that, she becomes the Cool Big Sis she is to Kara today.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Alex is pretty emotionally closed-off and cold to people she doesn't know well.
- Alpha Bitch: Was a member of the mean girl clique at Midvale High, but quickly fell out with them after learning just how horrible they could be.
- Amazon Chaser: Implied. Two of the reasons Alex loves Maggie is because she's "smart and tough".
- AM/FM Characterization: As a teenager, she used to listen to punk rock, in contrast to Kara's preference for *NSYNC.
- Anti-Hero: Compared to Kara, she is far more willing to do questionable things in the name of good.
- Ascended Extra: Justified as the Danverses' biological child in the comics is a baby.
- Authority in Name Only: In Season 4, President Baker orders a Political Officer - Colonel Haley to oversee the D.E.O. after she disobeys a direct order from him. Technically she's still Director, but since Haley makes it clear that every decision she makes has to be rubber-stamped by her, she is little more than a figurehead.
- Badass Boast: "Lillian, do you really think I would walk into the lion's den without a whip?"
- Badass Normal: A requirement when working for the DEO. She had to do intense training for a year before any field work.
- Battle Couple: With Maggie. Even before they started dating, they fought together, with Maggie even remarking that they make a good team. After they get together, they don't get to show this off until "Exodus", when they first fight CADMUS agents in the alien bar together and then, when Alex goes rogue after being suspended from the DEO, fight CADMUS agents and rescue deported aliens together.
- Big Damn Heroes: Saves Kara in the Season 1 finale after Kara saves the entire world.
- Big Sister Instinct: Looks out for Kara's well-being and and worries about her safety to the point of reproving her when she first goes public with her powers. Though it's not because The World Is Not Ready, but because a lot of hostile aliens will be targeting her now. From time to time she has also displayed her protective instinct towards Winn.
- In the second half of Season 4, when Colonel Hayley is determined to find out Supergirl's identity inducing using an alien Truth Seeker Alex lets J'onn wipe her mind of Kara being Supergirl to keep her sister safe.
- Biker Babe: She generally gets around on a motorcycle.
- Birds of a Feather: With Maggie. Both are tough, intelligent women who even have the same interests in music (e.g., Barenaked Ladies).
- Boxing Lessons for Superman: Teaches Kara how to fight an opponent who is equal or greater in strength.
- Brainy Brunette: Has reddish-brown hair and is a highly intelligent bioengineer and an expert tactician. In fact, it's her brains that ultimately keep her job in the DEO, making her nigh-irreplaceable.
- Broken Ace: Alex is an expert and elite agent with a doctorate in bioengineering. She is a brilliant scientist and is the resident Badass Normal of the main cast, able to keep up with superpowered aliens on a regular basis. However, she has extreme self-worth issues and an almost pathological need to be perfect at everything, most likely as a result of being The Unfavorite after Kara was adopted by the Danverses, and she also devoted so much of her life to Kara that she has no idea how to live her life for herself anymore; as she tells Maggie in "Supergirl Lives", any time she's ever tried to do anything for herself, it's ended badly.
- Combat Medic: While she can and does act as The Medic to the main cast, she is primarily a field agent and thus gives out more injuries than she patches up.
- Coming-Out Story: Part of her Season Two story arc where she starts developing an attraction to Maggie, which ends up making Alex realize that she is attracted to women. This leads to her coming out to Kara and expressing her feelings for Maggie and recalling that she had these feelings before for a childhood friend that she had a falling out with years ago.
- Composite Character: Her lesbianism and relationship with Maggie Sawyer brings to mind Kate Kane.
- Consummate Liar: She can beat a polygraph test. On the other hand, this isn't enough to get one past Lucy Lane.
- Cool Big Sis: To Kara, of course.
- Cool Gun: She seems fond of the ray gun she took from the alien she knocked out on Slaver's Moon in "Supergirl Lives" and has been using it regularly since then.
- Cool Sword: The Kryptonian sword that she used in killing Astra.
- Cowboy Cop: This tendency grows more pronounced over the course of Season 2, as Alex becomes more prone to breaking rules and disregarding regulations, as well as being a fan of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, something that gets her briefly suspended from the DEO in one episode.
- Deuteragonist: For the series overall, her story-lines either compliment Kara's or receive the most development.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": She hates being addressed by her full name.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Her typical coping mechanism.
- Fair Cop: She's quite attractive, and was an agent then DEO director.
- Fashion Hurts: When she dresses up for a distraction date with Lord, she holds up her high heels and claims that wearing them hurts more than being punched by a Kryptonian.
- Fatal Flaw: Personal Loyalty; Alex is prone to putting the needs of the few over the needs of the many when the few is someone she cares about. To a slightly less destructive degree, her temper can be downright explosive.
- Fugitive Arc: Was on one along with J'onn J'onzz as of "Manhunter".
- Gender Flip: In one version where Kara's adoptive parents have a biological child, the child is male.
- Genius Bruiser: While not physically imposing, Alex is one of the DEO's best field agents. However, she was recruited as a bioengineer and is considered an expert on alien physiology. She is also a medical doctor, who gave up her career to work for the DEO.
- Green-Eyed Monster: As noted above, she was jealous of Kara's abilities as a child. While she's better, it is implied that one of the reasons she encouraged Kara to keep her abilities secret for so long was some lingering issues around this.
- Gun Nut: She loves weaponry and gets very excited whenever she gets new and exciting types of guns. She was ecstatic when acquiring an alien ray gun on Maaldoria and she adored the fire gun Winn made for her to go along with the suit he designed for her in season 3. Alex even has a favorite red-dot sight system for glocks!
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Downplayed. She usually manages to keep her composure. But when she snaps, she outright terrifies Winn and Mon-El, and can scare even the likes of James.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Before being recruited for the DEO.
- Hartman Hips: Despite her slender frame, she had a pronounced curvature to her hips, accentuated by the twin holsters on her battle gear.
- Hell-Bent for Leather: She frequently wears leather jackets.
- Hot Scientist: She was recruited as a bioengineer for the DEO and is quite an attractive woman.
- How Do I Shot Web?: Using the "Hand of the soldier" is very hard for her initially.
- Ice Queen: She's very detached and mostly acts as The Stoic.
- Important Haircut: Flashbacks from her teen years up until her recruitment by the DEO shows that she has Rapunzel Hair. During those times she's secretly harboring a tremendous amount of jealousy for Kara as well as self pity.
- Insistent Terminology: If the interrogation scene in "Manhunter" is anything to go on, she doesn't like to be called Alexandra.
- In Spite of a Nail: Her Earth-1 counterpart's life turned out the same despite Kara not existing there.
- In the Hood: As a vigilante, she eschews a mask in favor of heavy eye makeup and a hood, Ollie Queen-style.
- It Runs in the Family: Alex is a scientist just like her mother and father.Winn: So, uh, Eliza, you are a scientist? That's cool.
Eliza: A scientist is a general term, dear. I am a bioengineer. Alex is in the same field. You know, I guess being a lab rat, it runs in the family.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Alex can be snappy, headstrong, overprotective and often resorts to quite violent ways of interrogation, but at the end of the day she just wants her sister and the world kept safe.
- Lady in a Power Suit: She swaps out her secret agent tactical gear for a fitted suit in some occasions. This is typically when presenting the public front of her secret service employer, looking both more professional than in a catsuit as well as commanding awe. The other occasions when she wears one are in situations where she is also putting herself in power, compared to when she wears a dress in occasions of letting go of control.
- The Lancer: To both Kara and J'onn. She's the official Number Two in the DEO and is the one usually helping Kara in battle.
- Last-Name Basis: Even after Alex and Maggie start dating, Maggie calls Alex "Danvers". Alex uses Maggie's first name, though.
- Lipstick Lesbian: Alex realizes she's lesbian (due to her attraction for Maggie) and falls into the "chapstick" category. She's got short hair, largely masculine clothing and a law enforcement job, while otherwise being feminine.
- Love Makes You Dumb: She tends to be cool and collected, but when interacting with Maggie, she slips into being endearingly awkward. When she and Maggie finally become a couple, she acts like a complete lovestruck fool.
- Married to the Job: She attributed her lack of success in dating to her workaholic nature and her dedication to her job at the DEO not leaving enough time for dating. This is subverted, however, when she develops feelings for Maggie and realizes she was merely pursuing the wrong gender before. And then double-subverted when this is one of the reasons Maggie and her split up.
- The Medic: Because of her medical knowledge (she gave up a career in medicine to join the DEO) and bio-engineering background, she is the person who patches up the injuries of Team Supergirl and diagnoses medical problems. She even has administered blood transfusions.
- The Men in Black: Part of them.
- Morph Weapon: J'onn gives her the "Hand of the soldier", a Martian weapon which can turn into any kind of weapon the user thinks of.
- Non-Powered Costumed Hero: At the end of season 5, Alex decides to become a vigilante, complete with costume. She doesn't have any superpowers and instead relies on her combat skills that she honed at the DEO.
- Not So Different: Alex's Coming-Out Story is very similar to Kara's decision to "come out" as a superhero.
- Not So Stoic: She may normally have a stoic, Ice Queen appearance most of the time, but when she's around Maggie, she acts almost as awkward as Kara.
- Number Two: She's J'onn J'onzz's deputy in the DEO, and the one who leads the organization if he's absent. In "Resist," she is appointed as the temporary DEO Director after J'onn is incapacitated.
- Rabid Cop: A rare heroic version, but she still resorts to violent methods of interrogation extremely quickly.
- Relationship Upgrade: She and James' sister Kelly become a couple at the end of Season 4.
- Retcon: There is little indication of Alex being lesbian in Season 1, or even the Season 2 premiere. She engages in Foe Romance Subtext with Maxwell Lord (though with hindsight it can come off as being one-way) for most of the first season, and gives Superman a Female Gaze in the Season 2 premiere (much to Kara's annoyance, though all she really says it that he smells terrific). The first indication of this comes in the third episode of Season 2 with the arrival of Maggie and with Maxwell becoming a victim of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Leaves the D.E.O. mid-season 5 due to being unable to cope with Lex being in charge.
- Secret Keeper: Knows that Kara is Supergirl. And for a while was the only one besides Superman who knew "Hank Henshaw" is Martian Manhunter. In Season 4 she stops knowing this for a while due to J'onn removing the memory that Kara is Supergirl due to Agent Hayley using a truth seeker but she eventually remembers in the penultimate episode.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: Fitting as she's the Number Two of an organization tasked to monitor aliens. Turns out this is also an Important Haircut (see above).
- Shared Family Quirks: In a deleted scene from Season 1, Alex asks a very similar set of questions about J'onn's abilities as a Martian as Eliza does in "Myriad." J'onn even lampshades this.Alex: You said you're from Mars. How can you survive in our atmosphere? Is it because when you change how you look it even changes your DNA? Does that hurt?Eliza: How are you able to change form? Is it an enzyme or some other chemical catalyst your body secretes that allows your to rearrange your DNA? And how do you adjust for the change in body density? How does your respiratory system process the increased oxygen and nitrogen present in our air that... (J'onn chuckles) What? What's so funny?
J'onn: Like mother, like daughter.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: She's usually in tactical gear or leather jackets and jeans, but on the rare occasions where she wears a dress, she looks stunning. Maggie even almost states the trope name word-for-word when the two of them have to dress up to go undercover in a masquerade ball.Maggie: You clean up nicely.
- Ship Tease:
- In Season 1, she has some one-sided Foe Romance Subtext with Maxwell, but she was shown to care about him in some way based on some of their conversations and when she held his hand in the finale when it seemed like the world was going to end.
- In Season 2, she has this with Maggie in which Alex realizes that she is gay through her attraction to her and later kisses her. Maggie at first declines to enter into a relationship with her because of Alex barely coming in to being gay, but later after a brush with death she shows up to Alex's apartment and they kiss and become an Official Couple.
- The Stoic: In general, she acts very cool and detached.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Alex is cold and emotionally detached to people she doesn't know well, but is a caring and loyal person to her loved ones. In fact, she becomes downright adorable when she's around Maggie.
- Token Human: She's part of the DEO Power Trio with Kara and J'onn, both of which are aliens.
- Tomboyish Name: She goes by the very unisex nickname "Alex," suiting her no-nonsense and rather unfeminine personality. Don't call her Alexandra.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Alex has a large number of stereo-typically masculine interests, such as weaponry, fighting, whiskey, and science. However, she is also very nurturing to those she cares about, has a high emotional intelligence, acts as Kara's primary emotional support, loves Valentine's Day, and strongly desires children and wants to be a mom in the future.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 4, after being mindwiped and forgetting that Supergirl is her sister, she starts acting a lot more hostile towards her and aliens in general, the implication is that having Kara for a sister made her more sympathetic.
- Took a Level in Kindness: The above gets subverted when Alex agrees with Supergirl that the government is messed up for deputising the Children of Liberty.
- Undying Loyalty: Alex is extremely loyal to Kara, and later, J'onn, and in general, those she considers family. Even when J'onn exposes his identity as a Green Martian in "Falling" and is imprisoned because of it, Alex refuses to abandon him.J'onn: You have to distance yourself. Don't check in on me. Stop bringing me cookies. Just say you never knew about me. Say I betrayed you.
Alex: I would never do that.
J'onn: There has to be a reckoning, Alex. An alien lied and took command of a government organization. This doesn't end in people getting fired, or even going to jail. People get disappeared for this sort of thing. They're gonna tear this place apart looking for whoever helped me.
Alex: I'll lie. I'll convince. I will do everything that you taught me to do. But I'm not abandoning you. This is rock bottom. And I know what kind of person I'm gonna be.
- The Unfavorite: Since her mother blames her whenever anything goes wrong with Kara and generally has been a lot harder on her than she is with Kara, Alex feels herself to be this in relation to Kara.
- Vigilante Woman: What she becomes after leaving the DEO.
- Voice with an Internet Connection: Although she does work as a field agent, when the job is too dangerous for mere mortals she acts as this to Supergirl.
- Weak, but Skilled: Alex may merely be a human, but she's able to take down enemies more powerful than her by using their strength against them. She teaches Kara how to do this, too.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: Growing up, especially once Kara landed on Earth and was adopted by the Danverses, Alex never felt like anything she did was enough for her mom since Eliza continuously held her to a higher standard than Kara and blamed her for anything Kara did wrong, such as not dating enough. After Alex gets into a huge fight with Eliza during Thanksgiving in "Livewire" about Alex working for the DEO, Alex and Kara call her out on this, and Eliza apologizes for being so hard on Alex.Eliza: I'm so sorry for what I said about your dad. That wasn't fair. You always make the hard choice. You look to help others before yourself.
Alex: That's what you taught me to do. (starts sobbing) So why hasn't it ever been enough?
Eliza: If you're... If you mean why I was tough on you... (sighs) Kara was a little girl from another planet. She lost everything. I didn't know how to do anything but accept her. You, you're my daughter, Alex. I wanted you to be better than me. But that never meant I didn't love you. You have always been my Supergirl.
- When She Smiles: Alex rarely smiles, but when she does, it's very beautiful. "Supergirl Lives", the episode where she first starts dating Maggie, really serves to highlight how little she usually smiles through comparison, since in that episode alone, she smiles more than she had in all the previous episodes combined.
- Workaholic: She doesn't have much of a life outside of her job at the DEO, and she devotes the majority of her time to her job.
- You Are in Command Now: J'onn gives her control of the DEO after he decides to take a break and find himself.
Species: Green Martian note
Known Aliases: "Hank Henshaw", Martian Manhunter, The Last Son of Mars, "Maxwell Lord", "Kara Danvers / Supergirl", "Randy O'Reilly", "Jeremiah Danvers", "Peter Thompson", "Noel Neill", The Paragon of Honor
Portrayed By: David HarewoodVarious disguises
Voiced By: Marcos Patiño (Latin-American Spanish dub), Akio Hirose (Japanese dub)
First Appearance: "Pilot" (Supergirl 1x1)
Appearances: Supergirl | Invasion!note | The Flash | Crisis on Earth-X note | Elseworlds note | Crisis on Infinite Earths
Former director of the Department of Extranormal Operations (DEO) and the last Green Martian; the sole survivor of the peaceful race that was massacred by their White Martian rivals. He impersonated the presumed dead Hank Henshaw in order to keep watch over Alex and Kara as part of a promise he made to the late Jeremiah Danvers.
- Adaptational Heroism: A subversion. Hank Henshaw is a long-time villain of Superman in the comics, while here, as the commanding agent of the DEO, he's more noble, though with Jerkass habits. It ends up subverted as he's the Martian Manhunter, who's a full hero in every incarnation and is only using the real Henshaw's identity after the latter is presumed dead. The real Hank was no good guy.
- Adaptational Modesty: Martian Manhunter is usually only clothed with his Badass Cape and Underwear of Power. Here, he's wearing the more covered outfit that is hugely inspired from his costume in Young Justice.
- Adaptational Wimp: His Super Strength is at a lower level than his comic counterpart, and his telepathy is also much less skillful as he can't erase specific memories without wiping a mind completely (though apparently he gets better at this). Some of his other abilities from the comics, such as martian vision, are absent here.
- Adult Fear: He keeps mentioning that he's the Last of His Kind, strongly implying that he saw his family and friends die. Episode 11 reveals that it's true.
- Alliterative Name: As both "Hank Henshaw" and J'onn J'onzz aka Martian Manhunter.
- Ambiguously Evil: In the first season, Mrs. Danvers tells her daughters that he may have been involved in the death of their father. Turns out he's been Good All Along, and Jeremiah actually died to save him.
- Ambiguously Human: In Season 1, there were several indications he was not entirely human. His glowing red eyes were the first sign, which wasn't surprising considering that Hank Henshaw is canonically a cyborg in the comics. This is reinforced in "How Does She Do It", when he dismantles a bomb casing with his bare hands, his eyes glowing the whole time. The ambiguity finally disappears when "Human for a Day" reveals he's not human at all, but a Martian.
- And Starring: Credited this way in the series OBB, along with Calista Flockhart.
- ...And That Little Girl Was Me: In Episode 7, he describes an alien who was being hunted by the DEO years prior, before revealing that Hank Henshaw died there and said alien took his place in order to fulfill Jeremiah Danvers's dying request to protect Alex.
- Artifact Alias: He still uses Hank Henshaw's likeliness long before his identity as an alien is exposed. In Season 2, both Kara and Alex occasionally refered to him as "Hank", though seemingly out of habit; he is referred to as J'onn thereafter.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: Is the first on the scene in the battle between Supergirl and General Astra, and is also the first one to actually wound her with a Kryptonite knife. He is also by far the most dangerous employee of the DEO see Badass in Charge.
- Badass Arm-Fold: Like his comic counterpart, he often does this.
- Badass Baritone: His deep voice fits with his Scary Black Man demeanor. Turns out to fit equally well when his true heroic and alien nature is revealed.
- Badass Cape: Is sporting one in his Martian form.
- Badass in Charge: After being reinstated (or rather, after J'onn J'onzz is officially instated under his own name) as head of the DEO.
- Badass Normal: Subverted. It being originally believed he was just a normal human, who was nonetheless in charge of an anti-super-criminal task force and who took on Astra, a full-powered Kryptonian, with nothing but a Kryptonite knife. Subverted in that he's actually a Martian with a smörgåsbord of powers.
- Bald, Black Leader Guy: Played with. He is The Leader of the DEO and is African-American, but has a military cut. His true form is indeed bald, though.
- Beware the Superman: Or, in this case, Supergirl. He isn't a cynical type in the likes of Lex Luthor, but has a more healthy skeptical slant on the trope. However well-meaning Kara may be, being as powerful as she is without training or guidance is a recipe for disaster.
- Big Damn Heroes: He's gotten into something of a habit of doing this.
- Broken Masquerade: After Alex kills Astra, he takes credit for the deed in front of Kara so Alex won't be a Broken Pedestal for her sister. Alex ultimately can't take the guilt and comes clean.
- Brutal Honesty: Does not mince words or sugar coat the facts when explaining the direness of situations.
- Canon Character All Along: He initially seemed to be a Race Lifted version of Hank Henshaw, better known as a Reed Richards Expy and the Cyborg Superman in the comics, but it turns out in 1x07 that he's really the Martian Manhunter.
- Celebrity Paradox: Kara and Winn are fans of Homeland despite the fact that his actor was a major cast member of that series.
- Composite Character:
- Invoked by his Dead Person Impersonation — he was Hank Henshaw In Name Only, since his role as the human being whom Martian Manhunter replaced fits Detective John Jones better.
- His mistrust of other aliens, stockpiling of Kryptonite, Good Is Not Soft nature, and rocky relationship with Superman are borrowed from Batman.
- His caped normal form in the comics stands halfway between human and his larger and more alien true form. Here, it is his true form, with the added size of the comics' true form.
- His comic self only has one daughter named K'hym, this version has a second daughter named T'ania; the Martian Manhunter of the DC Animated Universe had two daughters.
- His (former) role as a superpowered black man in charge of the DEO evokes that of the canonical head of the DEO, Mister Bones.note
- Crazy-Prepared: He kept his secret for over a decade by being ready for almost any emergency. For example, he wasn't in any real danger when held by Astra, but he managed to drive her off without exposing his identity by stabbing her with a Kryptonite knife.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: When Kara gets Drunk on the Dark Side thanks to red kryptonite, he takes her down in roughly 30 seconds. Later, when fighting Daxamite soldiers, he mows through them with little trouble.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: He's very reluctant to use his powers even after Kara finds out about him, as one of them is to erase memories, and he can't control how much so it's always a complete wipe. He gets better at it, though.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Mentions in "Stronger Together" that he once had a family. Considering his comic book counterpart... With the reveal in "Human For A Day", this becomes even more so.
- Deadpan Snarker: Definitely has his moments, particularly after The Reveal."I'm in the sewer, Agent Danvers. Everything is just peachy."
- Dead Person Impersonation: Of the real Hank Henshaw, who tried to kill him just for being an alien.
- Defrosting Ice King: He's much nicer to Kara as the series goes on compared to the pilot.
- Evil Counterpart: Inverted. He is a good counterpart to Eobard Thawne. Both stole the identity of scientists that were supposed to own a laboratory and both mentor the heroes that would work on said laboratory, but the difference lied in that Thawne impersonated a good man and was happy to dispose of the heroes as he saw fit, while J'onn impersonated an evil man and he actually cares for the heroes.
- Experienced Protagonist: Well, more like Experienced Deuteragonist, but still. He's already over 300 years old by the time the series starts, has been on Earth for over a century, and has vowed to keep Earth safe at all costs.
- Fantastic Racism: He doesn't easily trust aliens. Even though he is one, that only means he knows all too well how treacherous some species can be. He has a personal grudge against White Martians who are responsible for the extinction of his race including his family. His hatred of them comes into play when one is impersonating Senator Miranda and he sets his sites on killing it and would have if he wasn't talked out of it. He later attempts to kill M'gann when he finds out she is one and when he doesn't, he locks her up instead as an act of Cruel Mercy to make her suffer even though she didn't do anything wrong besides lie for justifiable reasons about her true nature.
- Father to His Men: Or rather, his women; he's very protective of Alex and Kara, jumps to their defense when they're threatened, and made a promise to Jeremiah Danvers to look after them as if they were his own after he died.
- Foil: He is a big, black man rather than a smaller, slender white woman, but he shares a ton of similarities with Cat Grant. Both start off as somewhat jerkish authority figures but, over time, show a very brave, caring, and even parental side. Cat is like a second mom for Kara, while J'onn is a father figure for both her and Alex (though he has a lot more heartwarming scenes with the latter).
- Forgot About His Powers: Almost Once per Episode, at least those he shows up in. Despite demonstrating repeatedly that he's at least as powerful as Supergirl and Superman, he almost never intervenes when Supergirl is clearly struggling or outmatched. The exceptions are season premieres/finales and any crossovers he appears in. On a lesser note, he rarely uses his intangibility to his advantage during fights.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With:
- Still uses Hank Henshaw's likeness as a disguise even after being outed as an alien.
- When watching over the Danvers sisters during their youth, he once took on the form of an FBI agent identical in appearance to Alura to help Kara sort through her troubles after the death of her friend Kenny.
- Fugitive Arc: Was on one with Alex following the events of "Manhunter".
- Flying Brick: Though not quite to the same extent as Superman or Supergirl, he's an excellent flyer, with Super Strength and Super Toughness.
- The Gloves Come Off: When fighting Supergirl under the influence of Red K, he shows how powerful he really is when he takes her down in seconds.
- Good All Along: Every Jerkass action he showed is only a facade for the sake of his cover.
- Good Is Not Nice: Rather blunt and gruff. However, as should be obvious from the other spoiler tropes, this is a front.
- Good Is Not Soft: His true personality; gruff and stoic though he can be, he's extremely concerned with the well-being of all residents of Earth, though by his own admission, he has trouble being friendly to other aliens; he can also be quite vicious in battle.
- Government Agency of Fiction: Heads one.
- Healing Factor: He is able to regenerate wounds quite quickly.
- I Am a Monster: Says as much to Cyborg Superman during his fight, becoming a hybrid Green/White Martian.
- I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Is still haunted and plagued with guilt over the death of his wife and children in the Martian Wars.
- I Gave My Word: He promised Jeremiah Danvers that he would take care of his daughters. He reveals his true identity to the DEO to save Alex, and lets them capture him so he can remain close to them.
- I Owe You My Life: At first, the main reason why he takes care of both Alex and Kara is because their father saved his life seemingly at the cost of his. Later, he becomes a Parental Substitute, especially to Alex.
- It's Personal: In Season 4, the feud between him and Manchester Black becomes a very personal thing for him, as Manchester keeps on goading him into giving in to his dark side and even brings up his dead family to screw with him.
- Jerkass: He's rather impolite towards Supergirl, at least at first. Come The Reveal, it's clear this was just an act to keep his cover.
- Jerkass Has a Point: In Episode 2, most of his contempt towards Supergirl is focused on her inexperience rather then her gender, or even her status as an alien.
- Large and in Charge: He's a 6'1, physically imposing Scary Black Man who leads the DEO. His true form is actually a bit taller.
- Last of His Kind: Double Subverted quite a few times. For the longest time he believed that he was the lone survivor of the Green Martians until he met M'gann M'orzz, who is then revealed to be a (good) White Martian. Then it is revealed that his father was still alive, only for said father to ultimately perform a Heroic Sacrifice. It is only then that J'onn truly becomes the last Green Martian left— until the Anti-Monitor releases his long-imprisoned brother from the Phantom Zone.
- The Leader: Of the DEO.
- The Men in Black: The DEO is basically this, which makes J'onn this as its head.
- Mind Rape: When he was caught sneaking into Maxwell Lord's building, he wiped the memory of a guard who caught him. But he didn't just erase his memories of the encounter; he seems to have erased all of the guy's memories, to the point where he can't recognize pictures of his own wife and child.
- Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Is wearing the black costume similar to his Young Justice incarnation, in addition to wearing the all black DEO uniform.
- Noble Bigot with a Badge: Given who he really is, pretending that he distrusts aliens, but is willing to work with Supergirl to bring in more dangerous alien criminals provides an excellent cover.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Episode 11 reveals that he had two daughters on Mars. It's stated that he's been seeing Kara and Alex as such, though not to the point of Replacement Goldfish.
- Parental Substitute: To both Danvers sisters, since Jeremiah asked him to care after them.
- Power Echoes: When speaking in his true form.
- Pragmatic Hero: He is this because of him originally keeping Kryptonite around just in case Kryptonians attempted to destroy the earth and he is capable of killing if there isn't any other choice.
- Race Lift: In the comics Hank Henshaw was always white, even before taking on Superman's appearance. Played with when it turns out he's the Martian Manhunter, whose comic alter ego of John Jones has been portrayed as both black and white throughout his history. When in his alien form, he's appropriately green. Somewhat ironically, the vast majority of actors portraying J'onzz have been black.
- Redeeming Replacement: For the real Hank Henshaw as the head of the DEO.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: He showcases them in Episode 2. While they serve as a Red Herring that he may be a cyborg like the comics Hank Henshaw, red eyes are also a staple of his true comic counterpart, the Martian Manhunter. They show up whenever he's using his powers in human form.
- Red Herring: His Ambiguously Evil past combined with his Red Eyes, Take Warning seemed like obvious giveaways that he was the Cyborg Superman, Hank Henshaw's alter ego in the comics. The reveal that he is in fact the Martian Manhunter was a huge swerve. However, it only serves to be a double Red Herring as the real Henshaw does become Cyborg Superman.
- Reluctant Warrior: Despite being a formidable warrior, J'onn rarely goes out in the field. And even then, he has a tendency to hold himself back. When he goes all-out, it's usually a Curb-Stomp Battle-and most of the time, in his favour.
- Scary Black Man: In his cover identity, he's tall and has an imposing demeanor. The Red Eyes, Take Warning just adds more to it.
- Secret Keeper: Knows that Kara is Supergirl. Also, he knows Alex killed Astra to save his life and lied that he killed her.
- Shipper on Deck: When Alex introduces Maggie as her girlfriend to him and the others, he is smiling with happiness for her and congratulates Alex's relationship.
- Sole Survivor: After his father dies, he is the very last Green Martian that is still alive.
- So Proud of You: He is clearly very supportive of his adoptive daughters, and always ready with a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech when they're down.
- Special Person, Normal Name: Despite the super cool letters, it turns out he's a shapeshifting alien... named John Jones. Played With in that "John Jones" is just how the human characters pronounce it; the "J" is actually pronounced more like a "ʒ" or "zh" sound.
- Stealth Mentor: Orders Alex to fight Supergirl in a Kryptonite-lined room in order to teach Kara a valuable lesson, while letting Alex take credit for it.
- Strong as They Need to Be: In one episode he easily defeat an enraged Supergirl, in another he loses to a human with a robotic arm.
- Superpower Lottery: J'onn has won it big time. On top of 300 years' worth of experience, he has:
J'onn: "Of course, I knew, I'm psychic!"
- Flight, which is one of the powers he tutors Kara in.
- Healing Factor: After being impaled by Indigo in Season 1, he's back and ready to go in hours.
- Intangible Man: Mostly used for sneaking around, and less often in combat.
- Mind over Matter: Although he doesn't use it often.
- Psychic Block Defense: While Kryptonian minds are occluded to him, he apparently can No-Sell other telepaths in turn.
- Super Speed: Enough to keep up with Kara in flight.
- Super Strength: While not as great as Kara's, it is still quite formidable.
- Super Toughness: J'onn can take a lot of punishment.
- Telepathy: Able to read the minds of other people (except for Kryptonians). So much so that he already knew that Alex was already in love with a woman when everyone else (aside from Kara) didn't know. He has also shown the ability to form psychic bonds with other Martians and win psychic battles with other telepaths.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: His Martian biology allows him to assume the form of anybody he wants. This is how he maintains his human guise as Hank, and his somewhat similar power set to Kara allows him to pose as Supergirl in certain events. Played for Laughs when he has to assume Kara's civilian identity, having no patience to participate in girl talk or acting remotely feminine. He does state, however, that her skirt was "surprisingly comfortable."
- Supporting Leader: He's the character with authority among the main cast, but Kara is still both the focus and driving force of the story.
- Sweet Tooth: J'onn's taste for ChoCo cookies (essentially chocolate Oreos) is carried over from the comics.
- Taking the Heat: He covers for Alex as Astra's executioner so that she won't be a Broken Pedestal for Kara.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: He is a tall and imposing man. Even as J'onn, he's very guarded and wary to trust others.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Superman when dealing with Metallo because of their disagreement on the DEO having kryptonite. Later on, they grow into being Bash Brothers.
- Token Non-Human: He's a Martian, though this is subverted as Kara is the organization's Sixth Ranger who is later joined by Mon-El in this respect.
- The Unmasking: He was forced to reveal his identity to the public to save Alex from Kara after the latter goes rogue via red Kryptonite.
- Walking Spoiler: Becomes one after "Human For A Day", in a manner similar to "Harrison Wells"/Eobard Thawne.
- Walking the Earth: What he decides to do after the Season 3 finale, giving control of the DEO to Alex.
- What You Are in the Dark: At several points, he breaks the rules to help the Danvers girls when, if he had chosen not to, they never would have noticed. Further, he uses his powers when no one is looking in order to save lives. Before Kara had even met him, he took the time to speak with her and console her a little regarding Krypton and her powers.
- When He Smiles: J'onn is usually The Stoic, so any time that he shows happiness (usually as part of a So Proud of You moment) is truly lovely.
- The Worf Effect: Tends to get defeated by enemies to set them up as a danger before Kara faces them.
- World's Strongest Man: Considered to be this by Superman.
- You Are Worth Hell: J'onn chooses to be captured than flee. When asked why by Alex, he says he'd spend 1000 years imprisoned if it meant keeping her and Kara safe.
Portrayed By: Curtis Lum
First Appearance: "The Martian Chronicles" (Supergirl 2x11)
Appearances: SupergirlA agent who works for the covert government organization DEO.
- Last-Name Basis: His first name isn't even known. He has only been referred to by his last name.
- Mauve Shirt: Gets more characterization than most DEO agents and gets killed by Selena and her sisters in the penultimate episode of Season 3.
- Recurring Extra: Same as Vasquez, but with less characterization.
A group of unaffiliated heroes who help protect National City. They often associate with the D.E.O., due to sharing similar core members and having the same purposes.