DC Comics fans are confused and disappointed this month as The CW's Supergirl is still missing from HBO Max. The streamer previously announced that Supergirl would be joining its catalog on Jan. 1, and at the time of this writing that list still remains live on the company website. However, Supergirl has not become available to viewers in the U.S.
Supergirl started in 2015 and was soon connected to the "Arrowverse," a colloquial nickname for the live-action DC Comics TV adaptations that air on The CW. Because of a deal between WarnerMedia and Netflix, Supergirl was actually supposed to remain a Netflix exclusive for several more years. However, Supergirl being placed on HBO Max's January list caused bloggers to speculate that the two companies revised their agreement. At the time of this writing, Supergirl is still available to stream on Netflix as planned, but it has not joined its shared universe shows over on HBO Max.
There was no fanfare around the fact that Supergirl was supposedly flying from Netflix to HBO Max, and the two companies have not disclosed any major changes to their working relationship. Still, a shift in the handling of WarnerMedia intellectual properties on Netflix could have far-reaching effects.
It's also worth noting that WarnerMedia recently renegotiated its deal with Disney, splitting up the latest releases from 20th Century Studios. According to a report by Variety, there were some co-productions between Warner Bros. and 20th Century Studios that WarnerMedia would have retained the streaming rights to, but it handed those over to Disney willingly for a spot on Disney+ or Hulu. The first movies under this deal were Ron's Gone Wrong and Free Guy.
It's not clear whether Supergirl is supposed to be on both HBO Max and Netflix right now, or on both. Some commenters on social media are speculating that the streamers have agreed to drop the exclusivity clause from their contract for mutual benefit, in which case Supergirl would be safe on Netflix for five more years. Customers looking for the rest of the DC Comics TV shows would have to turn to HBO Max, so it would still be good advertising as far as WarnerMedia is concerned.
Supergirl was supposed to join the HBO Max catalog on Jan. 1, 2022, but so far there is no sign of it there. Most other DC Comics adaptations are there, including the 1984 Supergirl movie. For the more recent TV show starring Melissa Benoist, fans will have to turn to Netflix.