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I was trying to work out why different superheroes live in real cities (like Washington) or fake cities like Central City and Starling City.

New York might not be the capital city, but it seems to be America's main city. Why does Supergirl live in National City and not New York?

  • I just want you guys to answer my question new York or national city – kara danverse Aug 19 '17 at 3:16
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    We can't even guess what it is you're asking from the words you used. Maybe you could ask a friend to look over your question and help you reformat it to be a little clearer? – Chris B. Behrens Aug 19 '17 at 4:04
  • I think this question could use a thorough edit for clarification. – Alex Bates Aug 19 '17 at 4:10
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    People he's asking about a dance. "why did they supergirl". That's the female version of the Superman dance that Soulja Boy popularized 10 years ago. He wants to know why they did the Supergirl dance. I only know how to do the Superman, so I can't answer. – Hack-R Aug 19 '17 at 4:57
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    I've edited to try to make your main question more coherent. – Valorum Aug 19 '17 at 7:54
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In-Universe

She lives there(!)

Kara operates out of National City because she lives in National City, in the city nearest to where she grew up (replicating Superman's transition from Smallville to nearby Metropolis). Her secret identity is completely established before she becomes a superhero and despite having the ability to fly at high speed, it makes good sense for her to be able to return to work within a few minutes, allowing her to transition from Supergirl to Kara and back within minutes.

She's only a learner

Despite her great powers, Supergirl is mindful of the fact that she's not (at least in the first season) an especially competent operator. It makes good sense to establish herself as the protector of National City while leaving the national and international problems to her cousin, Superman. The clear delineation between his and her responsibilities also prevent them from treading on each other's toes when a disaster occurs.

National City has plenty to do

National City is close to the crash-site of Fort Rozz and, we learn in Season 2, a popular destination for aliens hiding out on Earth. It also seems to have something of a crime problem. Combined with it being near to the DEO (which Kara works for) and the HQ of EvilCorp LexCorp and there's more than enough to keep her busy on a pretty much full-time basis.

Out-of-universe

It could confuse viewers

Although New York is an iconic location, there have been a number of recent properties (notably the Avengers) based in the city. Placing a new superhero show in New York might lead to casual fans becoming confused as to why superheroes from other studios aren't helping out when disasters occur.

It's made in Vancouver

Placing the action in a fictional American city gives the makers free reign to play with the buildings, skyline, locale and setting without having to constantly justify why New York looks so much like Vancouver (the actual filming location) and why it's suddenly next to a desert, an ocean with a deep-sea port and a major river system. There's also the fact that American audiences would be likely to respond less well to such an iconically America superhero operating out of Canada.

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    It's also worth noting that as a rule, DC puts heroes in fake cities while Marvel puts heroes in real cities. It's a design decision that dates back decades. Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/14198/… – Paul Aug 19 '17 at 13:25
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I have no documentation on this but I think they just wanted to put some geographic distance between Supergirl and Superman so she wouldn't be "running for help" every time she fought some super-villain. If your question is why use fictional cities rather than real ones like Marvel does, that was just an editorial decision made way back when. I mean, Superman and Batman go way back and things were different then. Marvel is more recent.

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    A quick Google search didn't turn up any results, but I seem to recall reading an interview with Stan Lee from years ago where he talked about the use of fictional cities in DC vs the use of real cities in Marvel. DC used fictional cities to give them more creative flexibility, and also to allow readers from any city to be able to better identify with it. Marvel used real cities in response to that, to make Marvel seem more grounded and set in the real world (part of Stan Lee's plan to 'humanize' his superheroes). – Alex Bates Aug 19 '17 at 4:14
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    @AlexBates Back in the 1940s, Fawcett's Captain Marvel Adventures ran a long series of stories where the Big Red Cheese would visit one real city after another, meeting with notable real people—mayors, sports stars, radio and newspaper personalities. – user14111 Aug 19 '17 at 11:06

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