History Guy: Supergirl
(Silver Age Debut: Action Comics # 252)
(Modern Age Debut: Superman/Batman # 8)
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Copyright © 1998-2013 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 03.09.13
"The History Guy" is a Registered Trademark.
Copyright © 1998-2013 Roger A. Lee and History Guy Media; Last Modified: 03.09.13--This copyright notice covers the written text and written analysis and historical descriptions on this page.
Supergirl- (Kara Zor-El) --1st appearance: Action Comics #252 (1959). 1st Modern Age appearance: Superman/Batman #8 (2004)
Kara Zor-El, better known as Supergirl, is the only surviving woman from the now-dead planet of Krypton. Her only surviving blood relative is Kal-El, her first cousin, who is the only surviving man from Krypton. He is better known throughout the universe as Superman.
"The Girl Who Fell To Earth", as her foe Darkseid refers to her, did indeed fall to earth inside of a spacecraft built by her father, the Kryptonian scientist, Zor-El. He knew that Krypton was doomed to explode, as theorized by his brother, Jor-El. Knowing that Jor-El was sending his infant son Kal-El to safety on Earth, Zor-El similarly planned to send his teenage daughter Kara to Earth as well. Things did not turn out as planned, however, as Kara's ship was encased in a fragment of the dead planet, and made a much slower journey to earth, arriving decades after her cousin fell to Earth.
Her ship splashed down in Gotham Harbor, attracting the attention of the Batman, who discovers the ship empty. The young Kara, naked and alone in a strange, alien city, believes herself in danger and began destroying things with her heat vision and super-strength. Batman disables her with a piece of Kryptonite, and he and Superman transport her to the Batcave for examination.
Determining that she is indeed an alien who speaks Kryptonese, Superman welcomes her as a long-lost cousin. Kara is soon taken to Themyscira for protection and training by her Amazon warriors. The island is soon besieged by the forces of Darkseid, who kill Kara's new friend, Harbinger, and kidnap her back to their hellish planet of Apokolips.
There Kara's mind is controlled by Darkseid, causing her to battle Superman, nearly killing him. He resorts to Kryptonite to defeat her. Batman forced Darkseid to disavow any further efforts to control the "Girl Who Fell To Earth," and Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Big Barda return to Earth with Kara.
In this origin tale, as told in Superman/Batman #s 8-13, Kara is shown as a stranger on a strange planet, not quite sure what to make of her situation. Expecting that she would arrive on Earth while cousin Kal was still a child, and in need of protection, Kara is taken aback by the role reversal imposed by the adult Superman. He sees himself as the older adult authority figure, and she increasingly resents her subordinate role. Distrusted by Batman, who sees her arrival as too convenient, argued over by Superman and Wonder Woman, who both seek a role in protecting her, Kara adopts the superhero persona of Supergirl, wearing a "super-styled" costume designed by Superman's adoptive mother. She is now ready to take her place alongside Earth's other heroes, as she indicates when her cousin introduces her to the Justice League, the Teen Titans, and other groups of super-powered beings.
Following Supergirl's debut, she begins to experience anxiety and uncontrollable emotions. Not knowing what is happening to her, she seeks out other heroes (other than her cousin and his buddy, Batman), who can give her insight into her problems. After meeting up with, and fighting against Superboy and the Teen Titans, Supergirl flies from one misadventure to another while seeking answers. Finally, she encounter an armored and dangerous Lex Luthor, who possesses several varieties of Kryptonite, the only substance known to be fatal to Supergirl and Superman. After mocking Supergirl about her teen-aged figure (basically saying that her male cousin has a more impressive chest than she does), he hits her with the radiation from the black Kryptonite, causing Supergirl to split into two versions: the "good" Kara with the traditional red, blue, and gold costume, and the black-clad "bad" Kara, who claims that she is the true manifestation of Kara Zor-El. "Bad Kara" says that Zor-El sent the teen-aged Kara to Earth, not to protect baby Kal-El, but to kill him. She then proceeds to beat up Luthor, the JLA, and fights "Good Kara." Supergirl standoff ends when "Good Kara" tricks her evil twin into following her to Gotham City, where Batman awaits with green Kryptonite, which weakens "Bad Kara" and enables the heroes to reunite the two battling Karas into the original emotion-plagued Supergirl.
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Zor-El --Father; deceased
Alura In-Ze --Mother; deceased
Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman --Cousin
Jor-El --Uncle; deceased
Lara --Aunt; deceased
Associates, Colleagues, & Opponents
The Female Furies of Apokolips
Links and Resources on the [person]
Supergirl: The Maid of Might--Official biography from DC Comics.
Kara: The First Supergirl--Article on the history of Supergirl.
Superman/Batman # 8-13, (2004)--Origin of the current, Modern Age Supergirl.
Loeb, Jeph (w), Turner, Michael (a), Steigerwald, Peter (c), and Starkings, Richard (l). Superman/Batman Vol. 2:Supergirl.Ed. Anton Kawasaki. NY: DC Comic, 2005.