Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)
The current Supergirl, Kara Zor-El.
Variant cover to Superman/Batman #13.
Art by Michael Turner.
Superman #123 (August, 1958)
Action Comics #252 (May, 1959)
Superman/Batman #8 (May, 2004)
|Created by||Otto Binder
|Alter ego||Kara Zor-El|
|Team affiliations||Teen Titans
Legion of Super-Heroes
|Notable aliases||Flamebird, Linda Lee Danvers, Unknown Boy, Claire Connors, Super-Girl, The Girl of Steel, Kara Kent, Linda Lang, Satan Girl|
|Abilities||Superhuman strength, speed & stamina, various extra sensory and vision powers, invulnerability, skilled Martial artist, flight.|
Kara Zor-El is an American fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics and related media. The character was created by writer Otto Binder and designed by artist Al Plastino. As Supergirl, Kara Zor-El serves as the biological cousin and female counterpart to DC Comic's iconic superhero Superman, created by writer Jerome Siegel and designed by artist Joseph Shuster. Since her introduction in 1959 Supergirl has become one of the most iconic and recognizable characters in comics.
The Supergirl character first appeared in a story published in Action Comics #252 (May 1959) entitled "The Supergirl from Krypton." Since the character's comic book debut, Kara Zor-El's Supergirl has been adapted into various media relating to the Superman franchise including merchandise, television, and feature film. However, during the 1980s and the revolution of the Modern Age of Comics, Superman editors believed the character’s history had become convoluted, and desired to re-establish Superman as "The Last Son of Krypton." Supergirl was thus killed during the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths and retconned out of existence. Since Crisis, several characters unrelated to Superman have used the alias "Supergirl."
Kara Zor-El entered mainstream continuity again in 2004 when DC Comics Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Dan DiDio, along with editor Eddie Berganza and comic book writer Jeph Loeb reintroduced the character in the Superman/Batman storyline "The Supergirl from Krypton". The title paid homage to the character’s 1959 debut. As the current Supergirl, Kara Zor-El stars in her own monthly comic book series. With DC's 2011 relaunch, Kara like most of the DC Universe was revamped. She is currently featured in her own series Supergirl, as well as related comics like Superman.
Publication history 
Although Kara Zor-El was the first character to use the name "Supergirl," DC Comics tested three different female versions of Superman prior to her debut.
The first story to feature a female counterpart to Superman was "Lois Lane – Superwoman," which was published in Action Comics #60 (May 1943). In the story, a hospitalized Lois Lane dreams she has gained superpowers thanks to a blood transfusion from the Man of Steel. She begins her own career as "Superwoman", complete with a version of Superman's costume.
In the Superboy #78 story entitled "Claire Kent, Alias Super-Sister", Superboy saves the life of an alien woman named Shar-La, who turns Superboy into a girl, in retaliation for his disparaging thoughts about women drivers which she picked up telepathically. In Smallville, Clark claims to be Claire Kent, an out-of-town relative who is staying with the Kents. When in costume, he appears as Superboy's sister, Super-Sister, and claims the two have exchanged places. Once Superboy has learned his lesson about feeling more respect for women, Shar-La reveals the episode to be a dream which she projected into Superboy's mind. This incident could be a reflection of the gender discrimination present against women at the time and the resentment by women of the period.
In Superman #123 (August 1958), Jimmy Olsen uses a magic totem to wish a "Super-Girl" into existence as a companion and aid to Superman; however, the two frequently get in each other's way until she is fatally injured protecting Superman from a Kryptonite meteor. At her insistence, Jimmy wishes the dying girl out of existence. DC used this story to gauge public response to the concept of a completely new super-powered female counterpart to Superman.
Otto Binder wrote, and Al Plastino illustrated, her debut story in Action Comics #252 (May 1959), in which the definite Kara Zor-El is sent to Earth by her parents Zor-El and Alura to be raised by her cousin Kal-El, known as Superman.
Reaction at the DC Comics offices to Supergirl's first appearance was tremendous, with thousands of positive letters-of-comment pouring in.
Following this debut appearance, Supergirl adopted the secret identity of an orphan "Linda Lee", made Midvale Orphanage her base of operations, and like her cousin, as a teenager joined the Legion of Super-Heroes. Linda was adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers in 1961, becoming "Linda Lee Danvers". Supergirl acted for three years as Superman's "secret weapon," until she was at last introduced by her super-powered cousin to an unsuspecting world in Action Comics #285 in 1962. Supergirl shared Action Comics with Superman until transferring to the lead in Adventure Comics at the end of the 1960s. During this period, "Linda" moved to Stanhope College, and then to San Francisco. In 1972, she was finally moved to her own eponymous magazine, but the move, which involved a change in creative staff, was not successful and the magazine was canceled. Supergirl, along with Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, whose magazines were canceled at about the same time, was moved to Superman Family, of which she soon became the lead, before her magazine was relaunched some years later.
Death during Crisis on Infinite Earths 
In 1985, the maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths was conceived as a way to reduce DC Comic continuity to a single universe in which all characters maintained a single history. Despite Supergirl’s continued popularity and status as a central member of the "Superman Family", it was determined by the editors at DC Comics and the creators of the maxi-series that Supergirl would die during the Crisis. According to Marv Wolfman, writer of Crisis on Infinite Earths:
|“||Before Crisis it seemed that half of Krypton had survived the explosion. We had Superman, Supergirl, Krypto, the Phantom Zone criminals, the bottle city of Kandor, and many others. Our goal was to make Superman unique. We went back to his origin and made Kal-El the only survivor of Krypton. That, sadly, was why Supergirl had to die. However, we were thrilled by all the letters we received saying Supergirl’s death in Crisis was the best Supergirl story they ever read. Thank you. By the way, I miss Kara, too.||”|
Even following Kara Zor-El's death, the character of Supergirl proved impossible to suppress, and several characters unrelated to Superman soon took on the Supergirl persona, including the Matrix, Linda Danvers, and Cir-El.
In 1989, in the tale "Christmas with the Super-Heroes" the soul of Kara appears to Boston "Deadman" Brand and cheers him up, not appearing in continuity again until the Linda Danvers' Supergirl series issues 48 and 49 in 2001.
A hero resembling the Pre-Crisis Kara would later appear in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #5, along with an entire army of Legionnaires gathered from alternate worlds, times, and realities, to battle the Time Trapper.
Prior to the post-Crisis introduction of Kara Zor-El into mainstream continuity, the pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El made an appearance in Peter David’s Supergirl: Many Happy Returns. The then-current Supergirl series, at the time starring Linda Danvers, was in danger of cancellation and Peter David thought a story arc involving Kara Zor-El would be enough to revitalize the series. In an interview with Cliff Biggers of Newsarama, David states:
|“||Although it had always been in the back of my mind that doing a Kara-related storyline might be fun, the impetus at this point was, frankly, sales…I was trying to figure out who currently wasn’t reading the series, and came up with two groups that we’d have a shot at getting: Those who’d become bored with the current storyline, and those who didn’t accept any Supergirl save Kara. By doing ‘Many Happy Returns,’ I sought to pull in both potential audiences.||”|
While "Many Happy Returns" did not save the Supergirl series from cancellation, it did revitalize an interest in Kara Zor-El. After the launch of the Superman/Batman comic book series, Executive Editor Dan DiDio had been looking for a way to simplify the Supergirl character from her convoluted post-crisis history; the simplest version of course, was Superman’s cousin. Jeph Loeb and editor Eddie Berganza found an opening to reintroduce the character following the conclusion of the first story arc of Superman/Batman. Loeb states:
|“||It was the convergence of two trains heading on toward each other. I was working on the Superman monthly when Superman Group Editor Eddie "Extravaganza" Berganza and I were kicking around an Armageddon type story where this giant asteroid from Krypton was making its way toward Earth, and somewhere out past Neptune Superman was beginning to feel it. We figured we could tie it into "The Fall of Luthor" since DC was very kind to let me both put Lex in the White House and figure out how to get him out. Eddie and I started giggling over the possibilities of there being "something" in the asteroid. Or "someone" in the asteroid -- neither of us daring to speak her name, but we both knew who [we] were talking about.||”|
The modern version of Kara Zor-El made her debut in Superman/Batman #8 (2004). Kara takes the mantle of Supergirl at the conclusion of the storyline. The Supergirl comic book series would later be relaunched, now starring Kara Zor-El as "The Girl of Steel". The first arc of the new series was written by Jeph Loeb and illustrated by Ian Churchill. Loeb would later describe the appeal of writing for Supergirl:
|“||I love that she has all this power and has to learn what it is to be a superhero in the DCU," said Loeb. "It's one thing to try that with Manhunter (which is terrific), but when you have an icon like Supergirl trying to find her way and, at the same time, at a power level that we haven't even begun to explore ... it should make for a bitchin' good time.||”|
As the character continued to be reinvented, steps towards regarbing the iconic character were some of the most prominent changes. Artist Jamal Igle and editor Matt Idleson moved to transition the character away from panties under her skirt to biker shorts, feeling such a change was a logical progression and "more respectable."
Fictional character biography 
Silver Age 
In her debut story, Kara Zor-El is described as the last survivor of Argo City of the planet Krypton. Although Argo, which had survived the explosion of the planet, drifted through space as a self-sustaining environment, the soil of the colony eventually turned into Kryptonite. Though Kara's father Zor-El placed lead sheeting above the ground to protect the citizens from radiation, meteorites pierced the sheeting and the Kryptonians died of radiation poisoning.
In Supergirl's subsequent backup feature in Action Comics drawn by her quintessential artist Jim Mooney for ten years until 1968, Supergirl adopts the identity of Linda Lee, an orphan at Midvale Orphanage presided over by headmistress Miss Hart. She disguises herself by hiding her blonde hair beneath a brunette wig. During this time, Supergirl interacts with humans on a person-to-person basis performing good deeds and saving the world by helping one person at a time. Supergirl also uses clever schemes in order to act as "Superman's Secret Weapon" saving him many times, while avoiding adoption before Superman can introduce her publicly.
While temporarily powerless due to the scheming of Kandorian scientist Lesla-Lar, who is out to supplant her on Earth, Linda allows herself to be adopted by engineer and rocket scientist Fred Danvers and his wife, Edna. In time, she reveals her secret identity to her adoptive parents on the same day her cousin Superman finally introduces her to the world in the finale of then-DC's longest playing series ever (eight chapters) aptly called "The World's Greatest Heroine".
When frequent dreams about her parents being alive turn out to be real, she builds a machine aided by her engineer father's talent, and brings them both back alive from the "Survival Zone" where they had both teleported during Argo City's final moments. Zor-El and Allura eventually end up living in Kandor, and when the city in the bottle is enlarged, they both go on to live in Rokyn/New Krypton, where they have the sad duty of receiving her mortal remains after "Crisis" for burial.
Graduating high school in 1965, Linda Lee goes to college on a scholarship and stays in Stanhope College until she graduates in 1971. During this era, she is helped by her pet cat Streaky, her Super-Horse pet Comet, and befriends Lena Thorul, who had first appeared in the Lois Lane series. Kara is also a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, where she becomes close to Brainiac 5. In addition, Linda has boyfriends from the orphanage (Richard "Dick" Malverne) and from Atlantis (Jerro the merboy).
In 1967, Supergirl meets Batgirl for the first time in World's Finest Comics. Developing a strong friendship, the two characters teamed up many times again, as in Superman Family #171, or Adventure #381. In 1969, Supergirl left Action Comics and became a featured character in Adventure Comics beginning with issue #381 (June 1969).
During the 1970s, Supergirl's costume changed frequently, as did her career in her civilian life. During this era, her most remembered outfit included a "V" necked blouse with a "S" in her heart, and red hot-pants. In her secret identity as Linda Lee Danvers, Kara Zor-El took a variety of jobs including graduate student in acting, television reporter, and student counselor, and finally became an actress on the TV soap Secret Hearts.
Bronze Age 
When DC Editor Mort Weisinger retired in 1971, under Assistant Editor Joe Orlando and artist Mike Sekowsky the character underwent revitalization. Wearing a series of new outfits, leaving her adopted foster home with the Danvers Family, Linda goes on to San Francisco where she works for KSF-TV and gets a new beau: her own boss, Geoffrey Anderson. These stories introduced Supergirl's most memorable villain from this period: Lex Luthor's niece Nasthalthia, or Nasty. The villain doggedly pursues Supergirl for two years, trying to determine her secret identity.
Supergirl starred in her first solo eponymous monthly series beginning in 1972 until October 1974, when her monthly title merged with Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane, and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen to produce a new title: then-highest DC selling series called The Superman Family, where she rotated lead stories with them until 1982. In 1982 Supergirl received a second monthly solo series titled The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl and later simply Supergirl again. She made her home in Chicago and began sporting a red headband. This series ran until sudden cancellation in 1984, only two months before the character's debut in a big-budget Hollywood film starring Helen Slater.
In the Crisis on Infinite Earths (1985) the greatest heroes from Earth-One, Earth-Two, Earth-Four, Earth-S, and Earth-X join forces in order to defeat the Anti-Monitor. When Superman comes face to face with the Anti-Monitor and is knocked unconscious, Supergirl rushes to save him before he is killed. She is able to fight him off long enough for Dr. Light to carry her cousin to a safe distance, but is killed by the Anti-Monitor. A public memorial service for Supergirl takes place in Chicago, where Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) delivers the eulogy. In her remarks she states "Kara is a hero. She will not be forgotten." Superman then gives his late cousin burial by taking her corpse to Rokyn/New Krypton to Zor-El and Allura. A Superman issue the next month reveals that Kara had experienced a premonition about her own passing. However, when the universe is rebooted, the timeline is altered. Kara Zor-El and all memory of her is erased from existence.
After these events, the soul of Kara Zor-El made another appearance in continuity three years later in a story titled "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot" in Christmas with the Super-Heroes #2 (1989). Within the story, Boston "Deadman" Brand tries to feel the warmth of Christmas by possessing revelers' bodies. Feeling guilty upon the realization that he has been stealing others' Christmases, he flies off feeling sorry for himself for being denied a reward after a year of helping people. A warmly-dressed blonde woman approaches Brand, startling him. Somehow seeing the normally invisible Brand, she converses with him, reminding him,
|“||We don't do it for the glory. We don't do it for the recognition... We do it because it needs to be done. Because if we don't, no one else will. And we do it even if no one knows what we've done. Even if no one knows we exist. Even if no one remembers we ever existed.||”|
She reminds Brand that even though he is dead, he is still human, and he should rejoice because it means his spirit is still alive. As the woman leaves, Brand asks her who she is, to which she replies, "My name is Kara. Though I doubt that will mean anything to you." The story, written by Alan Brennert and penciled by Dick Giordano, is dedicated to Otto Binder and Jim Mooney, adding: "We still remember."
Finally, the soul of Kara Zor-El appeared twice during Peter David's run, specifically in issues #48 and #49 when she appears before a defeated and imprisoned then-Supergirl, Linda Danvers from Earth, and comforts her. Linda acknowledges she has been helped three times by her phantom-friend, and when she asks her name she is told by the smiling figure: "I have gone by many names, but the one I am most fond of is: Kara!"
Modern Age 
In 2004, Jeph Loeb reintroduced Kara Zor-El into post Zero Hour continuity in Superman/Batman: Supergirl. She is first discovered by Batman in Gotham City Bay. Kara Zor-El claims to be the biological cousin of Kal-El. Although chronologically older than Superman, the ship in which she traveled to Earth was caught in a large green kryptonite meteorite which held her in a state of suspended animation for much of the journey. Superman accepts her claims but Batman is unconvinced. Kara Zor-El begins training in the use of her newly manifested powers under the tutelage of Wonder Woman and the Amazons on the island of Themyscira. She is then captured by the extraterrestrial supervillain Darkseid and brainwashed into becoming the leader of his Female Furies. Following a rescue mission led by Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, Kara Zor-El assumes her heroic identity as Supergirl.
Following the conclusion of "The Supergirl from Krypton," DC Comics relaunched the Supergirl monthly comic series starring Kara Zor-El. Jeph Loeb's first arc on the series Supergirl: Power (2005) showcases Supergirl on a journey of self-discovery. Along her journey, she encounters Power Girl (Kara Zor-El's counterpart from another universe), the Teen Titans, the Outsiders, the Justice League of America, and arch-villain Lex Luthor.
Legion of Superheroes and One Year Later 
During the company wide crossover series Infinite Crisis (2005), a sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, Supergirl is recruited by Donna Troy to assist in the upcoming battle, and befriends fellow teen superhero Firestorm. Following a chaotic battle where Firestorm and several other heroes are apparently killed, Supergirl vanishes during the return from deep space. During this time, DC Comics renamed the monthly comic book series Legion of Super-Heroes to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. Beginning with issue #16, Supergirl reappears in the 31st century finding she is revered as a member of the Superman family and joins the Legion of Super-Heroes. In the limited series 52, which chronicles the events that took place during the missing year after the end of Infinite Crisis, Donna Troy (after her rebirth and inheritance of Harbinger's Orb) recalls the original Kara Zor-El and her sacrifice to save the universe.
One year after Infinite Crisis, during World War III of Week 50 of 52, Supergirl returns to the 21st century. After briefly filling in for a temporarily depowered Superman as guardian of Metropolis, she assumes the identity of Flamebird to fight crime in the bottle city of Kandor with Power Girl as Nightwing in Greg Rucka's arc Supergirl: Kandor. While in Kandor, Kara is telepathically manipulated by an evil version of Saturn Girl named Saturn Queen into falling in love with Ultraman who has claimed to be Kal-El. After Ultraman is defeated, Saturn Queen tells Kara of Argo city's survival in exchange for her sparing the life of Ultraman.
In Joe Kelly's Supergirl: Identity (2006), Kara Zor-El attempts to create a secret identity under the name Claire Connors, pretending to be a teenage girl from Kansas. Supergirl also teams up with the Outsiders, engages in battle with Batgirl, and begins a romantic relationship with Power Boy. Supergirl's relationship with Power Boy ends after she discovers his obsessive and violent nature and learns that he was born on Apokolips. Joe Kelly's following arc shows Supergirl learning the true origins of her past and apparently encountering her Silver Age counterpart. The defeat of Supergirl's counterpart in Supergirl #18 reveals that her recent ordeals, including the Phantom-infested Earth and Kara's direct encounter with her father, are part of a twisted "test" designed by Dark Angel, who also masqueraded as the pre-Crisis Supergirl. Four months later, yet another new origin is given the girl of steel, where her father is a Ranger and her mother a scientist.
Amazons Attack and Teen Titans 
During Will Pfeifer's six-part limited series Amazons Attack! (2007), Wonder Girl and Supergirl discover that the Amazons of Themyscira have invaded Washington, D.C. Because of the McCarran Internal Security Act, implemented by the US President, Wonder Girl's mother and a friend of Supergirl's, named Alison, are held at an internment camp. As they try to storm the camp and free the women, they are stopped by the Titans, and told by Robin that negotiation would be a better solution. Consequently, they fly to Washington D.C. and talk to Queen Hippolyta, who tells them that negotiations are impossible, since the President is safe on Air Force One. Agreeing to bring the US leader to the Amazon Queen, the two girls block the path of Air Force One and threaten to bring the plane down if the President does not come with them. After the Amazons then forcefully cause Air Force One to crash, Wonder Girl and Supergirl realize how foolish they were and aid the heroes battle against the Amazons.
Soon after the end of the Amazon War, Supergirl receives membership with the Teen Titans with Superman's approval. During her first mission as an official member of the team, she and the other Titans find themselves confronting the sinister "Titans of Tomorrow," and she finds herself battling against a re-cloned Conner Kent. After this, there is a big falling out between Wonder Girl and Supergirl, which leads to Supergirl leaving the Teen Titans.
Linda Lang 
Kara's lack of experience with humans, her new home planet and her own powers cause trouble in subsequent episodes. She commits a series of blunders. In the middle of a skirmish she promises a little boy she can "save" him without realizing that he has terminal cancer and will interpret her promise accordingly. Her battles against various villains and metahumans result in widespread collateral damage across the city of Metropolis. Cat Grant, who holds a grudge against the Girl of Steel, starts a campaign against her in the Daily Planet that turns public opinion against her.
Conversations with other heroes who maintain secret identities lead Kara to the conclusion that she needs to make a deeper connection with human beings. She accepts Lana Lang's proposal to present her to the Daily Planet staff as "Linda Lang", Lana's teenaged niece.
New Krypton 
In the New Krypton story arc, in which Superman discovers and frees the real Kandor, Supergirl is reunited with her father, Zor-El and mother, Allura. It seems that the Saturn Queen of the false Kandor was right and Argo City did survive Krypton's destruction. However, Argo City's force field was on the verge of collapse. Zor-El, like his brother Jor-El, tries to warn the council on Argo of its eventual doom but they refuse to listen. Zor-El builds a spaceship in hopes of using it to discover a new planet to settle on. Before this can happen however, Brainiac attacks Argo. Zor-El rushes a young Kara to the spaceship and launches it into space towards Earth as her mother, Allura tells her to watch over her little cousin, Kal-El. Argo ends up being an added edition to a shrunken Kandor. This is all seen in Supergirl #35 as Zor-El is using a machine to purge Kara of the kryptonite poisoning she sustained after her ship had been trapped in a giant kryptonite asteroid. Zor-El and Allura inform Kara that the symptoms for this poisoning is mood swings, aggressiveness, crystallizing blood, memory loss, and hallucinations—all of which Kara has exhibited since her arrival on Earth. Zor-El's machine succeeds in curing Kara and restoring all of her lost and distorted memories. Soon after, Metallo and Reactron are brought to Kandor by the Kryptonian military, having apparently surrendered. This is immediately revealed to be a ruse, and Reactron, using his newly implanted Gold Kryptonite heart, temporarily depowers several Kryptonians, and kills Zor-El. Allura blames Kara and Kal-El for Zor-El's death, berating them for failing to maintain order on Earth, which causes Kara to fly off in response. Kara then encounters the new Superwoman, who helps her talk though her anger. After New Krypton is formed, Kara is torn between her life on Earth, and her obligation to her mother. Kara attempts to find Reactron and bring him to justice, only to be continually waylaid by Superwoman. During a final confrontation with her, Kara discovers that Superwoman is really Lucy Lane, and accidentally kills her after rupturing her suit. Later, Kara joins the New Krypton Science Guild. Helping Superman in pursuing a Kryptonian criminal, Kara encounters Mirabai, who teleports her away.
After being teleported to an alley, Kara finds Chris Kent and Thara Ak-Var. Supergirl attacks Thara, for killing her father and trying to kill her. However, Chris stops her and tells her he is his cousin. The three are attacked by Guardian and the Science Police, for apparently killing Mon-El. Chris tries to tell Guardian that they did not murder Mon-El, but Guardian ignores him. The three manage to escape to Paris. Chris, Thara, and Kara talk about what has happened. They then discover that the two sleepers they were fighting were Metallo and Reactron. However, they are attacked by Squad K.
Escaping from Squad K, the three go to Lana Lang's apartment. They decide to get Lois' help in clearing their names. Chris and Lana go to find Lois while Kara and Thara stay in Lana's apartment. While staying in Lana's apartment, Thara tells Kara that Lana has been hiding something from her. They see Squad K flying to attack Chris. Kara and Thara help Chris to fight Squad K, but they are cuffed with red sun shackles. Fortunately, Chris' tactile telekinesis is not affected by red sunlight, so the three manage to free themselves and fight Reactron again. Thara transforms into Flamebird and destroys Reactron's Gold Kryptonite. Thara is about to kill him, but Supergirl stops her. Supergirl then takes Reactron to New Krypton, but says that she will return to talk about what Lana has been hiding from her.
Kara delivers Reactron to Alura. Alura has flashbacks of her time with Zor before Reactron killed him. She remembers how the Science Guild told her love is simply a chemical response to external stimuli and therefore should be ignored, but she does love Zor. Back in the present Reactron is standing trial. Before the verdict is announced many Kryptonians burst into the court room wanting revenge. Supergirl and Alura jump in to save Reactron but in the skirmish he is apparently killed. Supergirl decides to return to Earth.
Insect Queen 
Inspector Henderson is investigating a crime and finds the dead body of a woman, her body covered in runes. Kara confronts Lana about her mysterious illness and Lana says she doesn't want to be like the time Kara tried to save the cancer stricken boy. Kara figures out that the illness is nothing the doctor's in Metropolis can figure out. The Inspector calls Kara and the two fight Silver Banshee. Kara grabs a box and is transformed into a Banshee. Meanwhile Lana has collapsed and is bleeding. The spirits that have possessed Supergirl are upset with the Silver Banshee. They silence the Silver Banshee with magical chains and berate her for not having found the artifacts before. The Inspector cuts a coin from his hand to stop the Banshee spirits and Supergirl breaks free from their control. Silver Banshee then eliminates the disembodied clan spirits by screaming their name. Kara rushes to the hospital and bursts through the door as Linda Lang just as Lana is pronounced dead. She simply is so overwhelmed by the moment that she tunes out the physician trying to explain things to her. She says it plainly she doesn't hear anything. Her mind is reeling, too busy trying to grasp the immensity of this moment to listen. It hits Linda that she is now truly alone on Earth and sheds a few tears. Linda goes to see the body and sees a Lana encased in a chrysalis. Lana's condition is somehow the result of her time as the Insect Queen.
After this, Supergirl is captured when the hospital is engulfed in a massive cocoon and an army of humanoid insects emerge. Once she is freed by Gangbuster, Linda conspires with him and Kimiyo Hoshi to infiltrate the cocoon, rescue the hostages, and find out who is behind the invasion. After being ambushed and knocked out, Linda awakens bound and gagged at the feet of Lana, who has once again reverted to her Insect Queen form. Insect Queen informs Linda that during her last encounter with Lana, she embedded a piece of her DNA within her in an attempt to retake her body. The two women engage in a drawn out battle, with Linda eventually expelling the Queen from Lana's body through the use of an advanced Kryptonian machine. After Lana is cured, Linda informs her that she is leaving her home, feeling betrayed about Lana's unwillingness to share her illness.
World's Finest, Cry for Justice, Blackest Night 
In World's Finest, Supergirl and Stephanie Brown team up for the first time. The two become quick friends, but are both captured by the Toyman. They are ultimately rescued when Superman and Dick Grayson defeat the villain.
In the Justice League: Cry for Justice miniseries, Kara, still seeking justice for her father's death, joins Hal Jordan's team of proactive heroes. It is revealed that she was offered a chance to rejoin the Teen Titans after reconciling with Wonder Girl, but politely declined in order to join the League. After a few missions with Hal's team, Kara is the first to discover that her teammate Freddy Freeman is in reality the supervillain Prometheus in disguise. Before Kara can warn the other heroes, Prometheus shoots her with magical bullets he purchased from Mercy Graves, severely injuring her.
During the Blackest Night event, Kara and Alura visit Zor-El's tomb, only for a black power ring to seek out the body and turn it into a Black Lantern. Kara ultimately staves off her father long enough for Alura to trap him outside of Krypton through use of a force field.
Last Stand of New Krypton 
As Brainiac unleashes his robot troops onto New Krypton and the Kryptonian citizens, Supergirl and Superman rise up to fight the drones. Superboy, Mon-El, and the Legion of Superheroes join the fight and reveal to Zod that other planets are in Brainiac's ship. Zod sends Supergirl off and arrests the Legionnaires. Supergirl and Mon-El are fighting Brainiac probes when Mon-El gets a telepathic message from Tellus. Mon-El has to save Superman who has been captured by Brainiac and Lex Luthor. Supergirl kisses him just for luck. Supergirl rushes to her mother's aid and sees Alura fighting with Superboy. Kara punches Connor away but Superboy comes back to save them both from a Brainiac probe. Supergirl tells Alura of the Legion mission and challenges her to stand up to Zod. Alura pardons the Legion and sends Supergirl with them to fight Brainiac. Mon-El enters the ship the same way as Superman and manages to save him and the city of Lanothians. As Brainiac calls his army to fight the Supermen, Luthor slips away. Back on New Krypton Supergirl, Superboy, and the Legion attempt to get the Kryptonians to work together, but the differences in the guilds makes it impossible. Tellus decides to try a mass mind-wipe to get the Kryptonians to put aside their prejudice. He uses Supergirl to focus it through because she grew up in the society but has still managed to move past the inequalities. The plan fails. Tellus thinks the telepathic race the Lanothians can put their powers together to change the minds of all Kryptonians. With the battle raging on Supergirl, Superboy, and the Legion take the fight to the satellite. Alura confronted Zod and told him the Legion were not terrorists. On Brainiac's ship, Brainiac re-energizes and fights Superman. During the brawl, Superman is able to get hold of the telepathic Lanthians but Brainiac teleports away with all the others. The Legion manages to enter Brainiac's ship thanks to Brainiac 5's help. However, even this does not seem to help and New Krypton is put back into a bottle. Superman is pummeled by Brainiac's weapon's system and is declared dead. Still, Zod says that Brainiac has lost. Meanwhile, Supergirl and Brainiac 5 have met. In a brief moment alone, he reveals how hard it is to be near Supergirl, how much he loves her, and how hard it was when she died. It is revealed that Brainy is looking back at Supergirl's life historically. Luthor finds Reactron after killing Gor but instead of rescuing him says he has come for something. Brainy and Kara fight through Brainiac's satellite but Kara can't shake the feeling that she has met Brainy before. He tries to figure out if Kara has met him before but realizes Saturn Girl's memory blocks are masking her memories of the future. He tells her she needs to destroy the reactor while he attempts to hold off the Phages. She smashes the satellite's power core. He tells Kara to trust her friends and she needs to trust him. He can't tell her anything about the future but that she needs to live her own life and decide her own future. Supergirl finds it and his brooding way's cute and Brainy knows this even if she does not say this. With Brainiac's ship's force field down Superman is able to reenter the ship. On board Luthor emerges from Kandor and grabs a bottle city for himself. Superman goes to rescue Kandor while Zod and his soldier's fight Brainiac. In the meantime Mon-El remains captured but the Legion shows up to complete their mission and save him. Superman finds Kandor and meets up with Supergirl and Brainiac 5. He turns the city over to Supergirl calling it her home, trusting that she will keep protect it and re-enlarge it. The Legion tell Mon-El his destiny is to save the future and the cities. He changes back to his old costume and must leave Superman behind. Brainy re-sizes the city safely and Kandor is big once more. Superman joins Zod in fighting Brainiac. Luthor expands the city he grabbed right inside Brainiac's ship. Brainiac's ship begins to plummet to New Krypton's surface. Mon-El is left with the Legion after saving the bottled cities and Zod is fighting with Brainiac. Superman, Supergirl, and Superboy and the rest of New Krypton work together to stop the ship. Kandor is devastated, a huge crater smoldering in the center. The alien city is still growing. Brainiac 5 runs to help Supergirl, who is trying to hold back the expanding city. Brainy is able to stop it and re-bottles the city. They find a critically injured Superman. Brainiac punishes Luthor for his treachery by snapping his neck only to reveal that Luthor is a robot. After a blood transfusion from Superboy, Superman comes in time to save Brainiac from Zod who was about to kill him. Brainiac 5 walks up and teleport's away with his ancestor. Before leaving he tells Kara to watch out for her mother. It is revealed Luthor was working with General Lane all along. Zod is given total command over Krypton. All the guild leaders except Alura were killed in the attack. Zod declares war on Earth.
War of The Supermen 
With the military guild ready to attack Earth, Zod is holding Superman captive. Alura is torturing Reactron for information, only to be found by Kara. She is shocked and disgusted. She tells Alura that he father said to 'watch out for your mother', warning her about what Alura is capable of. Reactron tells Supergirl Project 7734 wanted him brought to New Krypton. He begins to glow brightly; Alura shoves Kara into a radiation deck room and seals it, protecting Supergirl and sacrificing herself. Reactron explodes, followed by New Krypton. The majority of New Krypton citizens are dead and the only guild left is the military guild, since they were not on the planet when it exploded. Superman finds Supergirl and they grieve while Supergirl clutches a piece of Alura's shield. Enraged by her mother's death at the hands of Reactron, of Luthor, of Earth. Supergirl grabs the flag of Krypton, carrying the standard into battle, racing to Earth to join the war effort. Superman manages to stop her. Kara breaks down, feeling responsible for New Krypton's destruction because she brought Reactron there. Superman assures her it wasn't her fault, and they hug and are happy they still have each other. General Zod sends a bulk of his troops to the Human Defense Corps Mars base. The two sides fight, as General Lane calls upon Luthor to finish his 'second project'. Using the false Rao corpse and time-pool technology, Earth has a red sun. Flamebird has taken off into space and dove into the sun. Thara pushes her body to the limit, destroying the Rao-bomb, returning the sun to yellow but killing herself in the process. With the sun now yellow the Kryptonians in space regain their powers. Some have survived but thousands are dead. Superman both saddened and angry takes off for Earth. The Kryptonian race is now down to a mere 7,000. Meanwhile, Supergirl comes to stop Ursa. As the two fly at each other, Superman meets Zod who has mobilized his troops to fight him in Metropolis. Supergirl has been defeated by Ursa but is saved at the last minute by the Superman family. They head to Project 7734. Before they leave they deposit Ursa in the Phantom Zone which has returned. While Superman fights Zod, Superboy goes around the world putting as many Kryptonians back into the Zone as he can. Supergirl has defeated Superwoman and fights General Lane. Lane commits suicide, as to him it was war without prisoners. With all the remaining Kryptonians in the Zone, Superman ends the war. Zod is sent back to the Zone and Chris seals the Zone off permanently. In the process he is turned back into a child. He and Mon-El explore the Zone. Supergirl mourns the loss of her people, setting up this memorial in deep space. Lois is flying with Superman and say this was a war that was born from ignorance and prejudice.
Who is Superwoman? 
Kara is having a nightmare about fighting Superwoman (Lucy Lane) in Project 7734 headquarters. The nightmare quickly turns into her friends and family in Hell telling her she hurts everyone she touches. She wakes up. Lana tells Kara that she regards her as family. Kara says she no longer wishes to be Kara Zor-El but Linda Lang, full-time. She says she will no longer be Supergirl, either. They go to enjoy some coffee. Lana suggests that Linda attend Metropolis University. Meanwhile, Doctor Light and Gangbuster are investigating a crash site. The ship opens and reveals a Bizarro Supergirl.
Brightest Day 
In the midst of the Brightest Day event, Kara is called to Germany by Congorilla, and arrives just in time to see an insane Power Girl attempting to kill the members of the Justice League and the Justice Society of America. The two women fight to a standstill, with Kara ultimately distracting Power Girl long enough for Jade to knock her unconscious using her powers. Following this, Kara is told by the Batman that she can stay with the League, as they will likely need her help in discovering what drove Power Girl insane. After learning that Power Girl and other metahumans across the world are being possessed by a cosmic entity known as the Starheart, Supergirl travels to Gotham in order to save the city from a crazed water elemental named Naiad. After defeating and capturing Naiad, Supergirl is officially welcomed into the JLA by Batman.
The New 52 
Supergirl #1 was one of the New 52, and featured a new origin for Kara. In this new continuity, Kara's ship lands as part of a meteor shower in Smallville, Kansas, but Kara's ship travels through the Earth's crust and Kara emerges in Siberia. Kara has no memory of the destruction of Krypton, and she believes she is dreaming. Her arrival is tracked by the military, and she is immediately attacked by a group of American soldiers in mech suits. She fights them as her powers suddenly start emerging as the fight goes on, terrifying Kara, who has no idea what is happening. She defeats the soldiers, and then Superman arrives. Superman tries to convince Kara that he is her cousin but Kara, still believing only 3 days have passed since she last saw baby Kal, accuses him of being an imposter and attacks him. They fight until Kara throws Superman through the Great Wall Of China. Superman refuses to fight her, as now they will be putting innocents at risk. When Kara realizes how close she's come to hurting innocent people, she also stops fighting. Superman explains Kara is now on Earth, and reveals to her that Krypton has been destroyed. Refusing to believe him, Kara decides to get her pod back, finding no interest in staying on Earth. When she gets back to Siberia, she realizes her pod's been taken away. It is then that a man, Simon Tycho, sends her a message. He guides her through the stratosphere, eventually reaching a space station in which he subjects her to numerous attacks to test her capabilities. Both frightened and enraged at this betrayal, Kara fights her way through the space station, eventually reaching her pod. But as she starts to approach it, she realizes the pod has been turned into kryptonite, inflicting her great amount of pain. Tycho enters the room and has her arrested. For the next few days, Supergirl is subjected to torture by kryptonite radiations, slowly poisoning her. Unbeknownst to Tycho, one of the soldiers that previously attacked her frees her out of guilt and disgust at seeing an innocent person being treated like an animal.
Powers and abilities 
Like all Kryptonians under a yellow sun, the current version of Kara Zor-El possesses vast superhuman strength, speed, and stamina; invulnerability; flight; super breath; x-ray vision; telescopic and microscopic vision; freeze breath; heat vision; and super hearing.
Continued exposure to a yellow sun will cause the level of her abilities to slowly increase. Many characters in the DC Universe have noted that Supergirl appears at times to be even more powerful than Superman himself. However, as Superman explains, this may be because he has spent a lifetime subconsciously suppressing his powers so that he doesn't hurt the people around him, while Kara, without such experience, simply uses her powers to the fullest without being as fearful of risks to others.
Other versions 
Power Girl of Earth-Two 
Power Girl is the Earth-Two counterpart of Supergirl and the first cousin of Kal-L, Superman of the pre-Crisis Earth-Two. The infant Power Girl's parents enabled her to escape the destruction of Krypton. Although she left the planet at the same time that Superman did, her ship took much longer to reach Earth-Two.
Possessing superhuman strength and the ability to fly, she is a member of the Justice Society of America and the team's first chairwoman. Power Girl sports a bob of blond hair; wears a distinctive white, red, and blue costume; and has an aggressive fighting style. Throughout her early appearances in All Star Comics, Power Girl was frequently at odds with Wildcat, who had a penchant for talking to her as if she were an ordinary human female rather than a superpowered Kryptonian, which she found annoying.
The 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths eliminated Earth-Two, causing her origin to change; she became the granddaughter of the Atlantean sorcerer Arion. However, story events culminating in the 2005-2006 Infinite Crisis limited series restored her status as a refugee from the Krypton of the destroyed pre-Crisis Earth-Two universe.
This version of Supergirl is ranked as the 153rd greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine. IGN also ranked this version of Supergirl as the 94th greatest comic book hero stating that for a character born of the Silver Age that saw everything from a Super Baby to a Super Monkey, Kara Zor-El grew into something much more than simply another marketing ploy to slap an “S” on. Supergirl was ranked 13th in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.
- 1959 to 1969: Action Comics #252 to #376.
- 1969 to 1972: Adventure Comics #381 to #424.
- 1972 to 1974: Supergirl #1 to #10.
- 1974 to 1982: Her comic merges with Jimmy Olsen's and Lois Lane's to become Superman Family #164 to #222.
- 1982 to 1984: The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 to #23.
Kara Zor-El appeared in over 750 stories published by DC from 1959 to 1985.
- 2004 to 2005: Superman/Batman #8 to #13 and #19
- 2005 to Present: Supergirl, Vol. 5 #0 to (ongoing)
- 2006 to 2008: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Legion of Super-Heroes, Vol. 5) #16 to #37
- 2007: Action Comics #850
- 2008: Final Crisis
Kara Zor-El also appears as a supporting character in several issues of other DC Comics, including Superman, Action Comics, Teen Titans, Amazons Attack, World War III, and Wonder Girl. She has also appeared in many issues of Superman, Action Comics, and Superman New Krypton starting with the World Without Superman event in 2009, and continuing with the World Against Superman event going into 2010.
Collected Editions 
Listed in chronological order. All ages titles are not in continuity with the original or modern Kara.
|Supergirl Archives Vol. 1||Superman #123, Action Comics #252-268|
|Supergirl Archives Vol. 2||Action Comics #269-285|
|Showcase Presents: Supergirl Vol. 1||Action Comics #252-282,
Adventure Comics #278,
Superman #123, 139, 140, 144,
Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane #14,
Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #40, 46, 51
|Showcase Presents: Supergirl Vol. 2||Action Comics #283-321|
|Superman/Batman Vol. 2: Supergirl||Superman/Batman #8-13|
|Supergirl Vol. 1: Power||Supergirl Vol. 5 #1-5
|Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes Vol. 3: Strange Visitor from Another Century||Legion of Super-Heroes #14-15, Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16-19|
|Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes Vol. 4: Adult Education||Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #20-25|
|Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes Vol. 5: The Dominator War||Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26-30|
|Supergirl and the Legion of Super-heroes Vol. 6: The Quest for Cosmic Boy||Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #31-36|
|Supergirl Vol. 2: Candor||Supergirl Vol. 5 #6-9
|Supergirl Vol. 3: Identity||Supergirl Vol. 5 #10-19
Infinite Holiday Special #1
|Supergirl Vol. 4: Beyond Good and Evil||Supergirl Vol. 5 #23-27
Action Comics #850
|Supergirl Vol. 5: Way of the World||Supergirl Vol. 5 #28-33|
|Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom||Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #1-5|
|Supergirl Vol. 6: Who is Superwoman?||Supergirl Vol. 5 #34, 37-42|
|Superman: New Krypton Vol. 2||Supergirl Vol. 5 #35-36|
|Superman: Codename Patriot||Supergirl Vol. 5 #44
Action Comics' #880
Superman:World of New Krypton #6
|Supergirl Vol. 7: Friends and Fugitives||Supergirl Vo. 5 #43, #45-47
Action Comics #881-882
|Supergirl Vol. 8: Death and the Family||Supergirl Vol. 5 #48-50
Supergirl Annual Vol. 5 #1
|Supergirl Vol. 9: Bizarrogirl||Supergirl Vol. #51-57|
|Supergirl Vol. 10: Good Looking Corpse||Supergirl Vol. 5 #58-67
Supergirl Annual Vol. 5 #2
|Supergirl Vol. 1: Last Daughter of Krypton||Supergirl Vol. 6 #1-6|
|Supergirl Vol. 2: Girl in the World||Supergirl Vol. 6 #0, #8-12|
|Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade||Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #1-6|
In other media 
- Supergirl appears in Superman: The Animated Series voiced by Nicholle Tom. This version is based on the original Silver Age concept of Supergirl according to writer Paul Dini ' We wanted to do the original version, which is Superman’s cousin from Krypton; [however], we ran into a wall with DC because they insisted that Superman be the last Kryptonian. So we did a compromise: she’s from a small planet in the neighboring system that was colonized by Kryptonians, but they’ve evolved slightly differently.' She is depicted as Kara In-Ze, not Superman's cousin as in the comic book but rather a near-Kryptonian from Krypton's sister planet of Argo.
- Nicholle Tom reprises her role of Supergirl in Justice League Unlimited. As continued in this show, she and Superman have grown very close, almost like siblings. She joins the Justice League in "Initiation" and assists Green Lantern, Green Arrow, and Captain Atom in fighting a robot based on Brimstone which is attacking an Asian country. In "Far From Home," Supergirl talks about how she wanted to be seen as more than just 'Superman's cousin'. She departs his company when she discovers love for Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes in the distant future.
- Prior to the seventh season (2007-2008) of the CW's hit show Smallville where she is introduced into the cast and is portrayed by Laura Vandervoort, Kara (portrayed by Adrianne Palicki) is briefly introduced in the Season 3 finale where Lindsey Harrison's body is given memories & powers of Kara by Jor-El. Smallville closely depicts her as Clark's (Tom Welling) cousin whose spaceship became trapped in stasis until the events of the sixth season finale. Much of season seven is concerned with Kara's attempts to adjust to life on Earth, especially after learning of Krypton's destruction. Her storyline sees her simultaneously become the object of Lex Luthor's (Michael Rosenbaum) obsessions and Jimmy Olsen's (Aaron Ashmore) affections, suffer a bout of amnesia, discover her father's (Christopher Heyerdahl) sinister motives and become a target of evil android Brainiac (James Marsters). The season finale sees Kara become trapped in the Phantom Zone, and Vandervoort is no longer a regular in the show's eighth season (2008-2009), but returned for a guest appearance. The episode in which she stars shows her release from the Phantom Zone and her departure from Smallville and her cousin's company, to search for Kandor, her birthplace, that is rumored to have survived during Krypton's explosion. Laura Vandervoort returned for the third episode in the tenth season of Smallville titled "Supergirl". Her picture also appeared in the 11th episode on a government wanted poster under the name Supergirl. Supergirl's next appearance is in the episode "Prophecy" in which she helps Green Arrow locate the "Bow of Orion" in order to be used against Darkseid. She is then called to the Fortress of Solitude, where she is told by the A.I. of Jor-El that her job on Earth is done, and then using a Legion of Super-Heroes Ring, travels to the future to seek her own destiny.
- A live action depiction of Supergirl first appears in the eponymous 1984 film starring Helen Slater as Supergirl. The film is a spin-off from the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve, to which it is connected by Marc McClure's character Jimmy Olsen. The film was poorly received, and it was not a box-office success. Its plot concerns Supergirl, Superman's cousin, leaving her isolated Kryptonian community of Argo City for Earth in an effort to retrieve the unique "Omegahedron." The item has fallen into the hands of evil witch Selena (Faye Dunaway), and havoc ensues.
- Summer Glau voices the post-Crisis version of Kara Zor-El in Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, which is based on the Superman/Batman storyline "The Supergirl from Krypton". Despite this, it was confirmed by director Lauren Montgomery that Supergirl's name was removed from the title due to the poor sales of the previous Wonder Woman animated movie, and the character was not permitted to appear on the cover in her trademark outfit. In the movie, Kara arrives on Earth in a rocket and is discovered by Batman and Superman. After living amongst the human race and receiving training from the Amazons, Kara is kidnapped by Darkseid and brainwashed into becoming one of his Female Furies. She is ultimately rescued by her cousin, and returns to Earth. After arriving back at the Kent home, Kara and Clark are attacked by Darkseid, and a massive battle ensues. Kara ultimately saves the day by using a Boom Tube to teleport Darkseid into an unknown area of space, where he is shown to be frozen and floating aimlessly. At the film's conclusion, Kara adopts the Supergirl identity and vows to fight injustice alongside her cousin.
Video games 
- Supergirl appears in DC Universe Online. In the villain campaign, the players help Doctor Psycho capture Supergirl using Kryptonite. In the hero campaign, the players fight Doctor Psycho to save Supergirl.
- Supergirl makes a cameo appearance in the IOS version of Injustice: Gods Among Us as a support card.
See also 
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- (1958) Superman #123. DC Comics
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- Jerry Siegel (w), Jim Mooney (p), Jim Mooney (i). "Supergirl's Three Super Girl-Friends!" Action Comics 276 (May 1961), DC Comics
- Jerry Siegel (w), Jim Mooney (p), Jim Mooney (i). "Supergirl's Secret Enemy!" Action Comics 279 (August 1961), DC Comics
- Jerry Siegel (w), Jim Mooney (p), Jim Mooney (i). "The World's Greatest Heroine!" Action Comics 285 (February 1962), DC Comics
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- Binder, Otto (1959). Action Comics #252. DC Comics.
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- Infinite Crisis #2
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- World's Finest #3-4
- Justice League: Cry for Justice #3
- Justice League: Cry for Justice #6
- Blackest Night: Superman #1-3
- Superman:Last Stand Of New Krypton volume 1 #1(2010)
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- DC Comics
- Kara Zor-El at the Grand Comics Database
- Supergirl (Earth-1) at the Comic Book DB
- Supergirl (Zor-El of New Earth) at the Comic Book DB
- Kara Zor-El on DC Database, an external wiki, a DC Comics wiki