They were meant to break the cycle of hate between Supers and Luthors, but Kara and Lena’s friendship has gone to hell and it doesn’t look like there’s a way back for them. So, we need to ask whether there was a betrayal and whose fault it was.
Kara Danvers might be the cousin of Clark Kent, but that doesn’t mean she’s perfect. In fact, she has just as many faults as Kal does and she’s willing to admit to them. However, it’s her friendship with Lena Luthor we’re going to be talking about today. We’ve already spoken about how the Supercorp friendship is officially over.
We’ve been thinking about this since before Crisis on Infinite Earths and thought we’d dive into our own thoughts and we’re going to add in what the people have said on the topic.
Supercorp: Destined To Fail
From the moment Lena arrived in National City and befriended Kara, there was always an uneasy feeling that seemed to linger. While it was nice to see an El getting along with a Luthor, it was always inevitable that something would tear the Supercorp friendship apart.
As the series has progressed, the bond between Lena and Kara has become as close as sisters, we’ve always felt something was off. Turns out, we were dead right as nothing lasts forever, especially in a superhero story. Luthors and Supers just don’t mix. Yes, we know. We’ve said it before, but now we’re certain that this was the endgame from the start.
Lena and Kara’s personalities have always seemed to clash and ways that are not always clear. One wants to do what is right while the other will find ways around a situation that is not always ethical. That is what lead to the downward spiral to begin with.
Lex And Clark Started It!
In order to understand Lena and Kara’s relationship, we need to look at Lex and Clark. As the series has depicted multiple times, Earth’s most famous Kryptonian and the guy who thinks he’s a genius were once close friends.
Eventually, Lex learned that Clark was Kryptonian and going under the moniker of Superman, leading the friendship to deteriorate to the point the bald guy hated Kal and wanted to kill him.
Kara kept her superhero activities a secret from Lena to keep her safe. It would have destroyed her if something had happened to her friend. Also, she had already lost so much. Her parents, aunt, and uncle were all dead as their home planet had blown up at that point. Not to mention, she had no idea that her mother had survived and was living in Argo City.
With Clark and Lex, their friendship, no matter how innocent it was, was always going to crash and burn. They were too different in personality to create a lasting friendship and clearly this rubbed off on Kara and Lena. What makes this such a difficult topic to discuss is because the similarities between the two pairs are just too great.
Lex basically ruined his sister’s life from the moment their father ‘adopted’ her. He attempted to mould her into a version of himself, only it backfired as they grew up. Lena attempted to change aspects to their family that her brother otherwise vilified.
One example is when Lena first arrived in National City in the pre-Crisis timeline. She changed the family company’s name from Luthor Corp to L-Corp as a way of removing the business’ association with Lex’s evil deeds. However, once Crisis happened, the madman became the ‘good guy’.
It’s unclear how the world perceives Superman post-Crisis.
It’s Not Kara’s Fault
Kara has always had the biggest heart and only wants her friends and family to be safe. This includes Lena, but she can only take so much. In the 100th episode, It’s a Super Life, she realises with the help of a certain interdimensional imp *cough* Mxy *cough* that it will always be Lex’s sister who can’t commit to their friendship and cannot see past one betrayal.
Yes, the betrayal is a huge one, but Kara never meant for it to hurt Lena. If anything, she’s taking offence over something that she should be grateful for. Being a Super means everything to the older of the El cousin. Yes, Kal is the more famous one. But there’s more to being a good friend then just a big secret that only a select few people know about.
Kara wanted to tell Lena every freaking day, but didn’t know how she was going to react. Winn reacted with total grace compared to the Luthor heiress.
Lena And Her Overreaction
We knew that Lena would react negatively to Kara being Supergirl the second she started to distrust her. However, at this point in time, she didn’t know her best friend was in constant disagreement with her.
Given the history between Lex and Clark, it’s assumed that Lena would’ve responded the same way her brother did to his former BFF’s secret. Unlike the evil bald man, the younger Luthor has been let down so many times and has lost so much.
First, her mother dies and then she is forced to live with her father, her stepmother, and half-brother. Talk about awkward family dynamic. Then Lex turns the sun red and ends up almost killing himself by exposing himself to too much Kryptonite.
Lena’s overreaction to learning Kara is Supergirl is unwarranted because she underestimates what friendship actually means. Sure, friends aren’t meant to ‘stab each other in the back’, but there was a reason and she is too blinded by the supposed betrayal to think about the reasons.
She’s also blinded by her own paranoia of all the good people in her life turning on her. Lena has been raised to be respected, not liked as evident with Lex and Lillian. All of the friendships she has had have all been a misdirect as all the previous ‘friends’ only used her because of her name.
Lena doesn’t know the difference between true friendship and someone who is only friendly to her for what she can provide for them. Kara never wanted to lie to her. Yes, she concealed the truth that she was an alien, but she thought she would react like Lex.
The Public Get Their Say
Before Crisis on Infinite Earths aired in December, we put a poll up on Twitter asking whether what the public’s opinion was on whether Kara keeping the truth about herself from Lena was a betrayal. The result surprised us:
An overall 52.9% of you thought that Kara keeping her secret identity from Lena was a betrayal. However, 47.1% of the public thought it wasn’t. This was interesting, but we think most of the ‘yes’ votes come from Supercorp romance shippers. Though, we could be very wrong.
We asked the question because we thought it would be interesting to compare Lena and Kara’s friendship with Lex and Clark’s former bromance that soured quicker than anyone could’ve imagined.