Aliases: Linda Lang, Kara Kent, Flamebird
Superman (Clark Kent) (cousin)
Lois Lane (cousin-in-law)
Lana Lang (adoptive aunt)
Jonathan Kent (adoptive uncle)
Martha Kent (adoptive aunt)
Superboy (Kon-El) (genetic cousin)
Base Of Operations: Metropolis; New Krypton
Height: 5'5" (168cm)
Weight: 135 lbs (61 kg)
Place of Birth: Argo City, Krypton
Kara Zor-El is the daughter of Superman's uncle Zor-El and his wife Alura. Kara is actually older than Kal-El (Superman); she was a teenager when he was a baby. When Krypton was attacked by Brainiac, he took Kandor with him, while Kara and her parents remained in Argo. After Brainiac's attack, her father created a force-field around Argo using a Brainiac Probe. When Brainiac came to consume Argo City, her parents had no choice but to send her in a rocket headed for Earth. However, her rocket was caught in a large kryptonite-encrusted meteor and she arrived on Earth years after her cousin did.
After some initial confusion, Kara was found by Superman and trained by Wonder Woman. She was captured by Darkseid, and after being brainwashed, attacked her own cousin. Superman defeated her and returned her to Earth, where he faked her death so Darkseid would not come looking for her.
She then assumed the role of Supergirl. However, she felt out of place, not sure where she really belonged. Kara was uncomfortable with her cousin's over-protectiveness, and she could not hang out with her Earth-Two counterpart Power Girl since their powers went haywire whenever they touched. She found kindred spirits in her other "cousin" Superboy and fellow alien Starfire.
Kara's self-discovery was interrupted when Lex Luthor used Black Kryptonite to split her into a good Kara and an evil Kara. The evil Kara stated that she was sent to Earth by Zor-El for the sole purpose of killing the infant Kal-El. Zor-El had devised a special crystal that would influence her personality as she traveled to Earth, making her "innocent", thus creating the good side of Kara's personality. However, the good side became dominant.
At the climax of the struggle between the two Karas and the Justice League, the good Kara urged Wonder Woman to use her golden lasso of truth to bind the two together and ask: "Who is Kara Zor-El?" The two Karas fused back into a single good Kara, who decided her past was not important and acknowledged Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman as her foster parents.
Supergirl joined Donna Troy and other heroes to help prevent a coming crisis. While in deep space, Kara was struck by an altered zeta-beam and disappeared.
Powers and Abilities
Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, The average Kryptonian possesses the potential for the following power set:
Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of their super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. Their biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and their bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
Heat Vision: Kryptonians can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. Typically, the power is seen as two beams of red light emanating from the eyes. These beams can be made invisible, allowing the power to be undetectable. The maximum temperature of their heat vision is said to be around that of a nuclear detonation. They can also consciously determine the area affected, down to the microscopic level.
Super-Hearing: Kryptonian hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill, practice, and concentration, they can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency. As such, they can identify a person by their heartbeat, or pick out a single voice in an entire city.
Enhanced Vision Kryptonian vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus. This umbrella ability includes the following:
Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Kryptonians can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. They can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, they can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows them to see the aura generated by living thing.
Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Kryptonians can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. They can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived - such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans - is unclear. this ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
Infrared Vision: Kryptonians can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
Flight: Kryptonians are able to manipulate graviton particles, in an unknown and apparently unconscious manner, to defy the forces of gravity. Under one Earth gravity, they are capable of speeds of multi-Mach speeds in Earth's atmosphere. Their control of their flight is very precise and they can perform aerobatic feats such as hovering, flying backwards and even lifting great weights while flying.
Invulnerability: The bodies of Kryptonians are nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, their immune systems protects them from toxins and diseases. The most common explanations for this rely on the presences of a super-dense molecular structure, a supercharged bio-electric aura which acts as an invisible force field, or a combination of the two. With the aura, it is presumed to extend a few millimeters from the skin as well as within the body. A byproduct of the aura is that items close to the skin share their invulnerability. Using clothing as an example, loose fitting fabric would tend to shred or burn in adverse conditions, but skin tight outfits would not.
Superhuman Stamina: Kryptonians have the ability to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. In theory they have unlimited stamina as their enhanced nourishment is produced from the yellow solar energy their cells process, which also provides the majority of the power for their superhuman abilities. However, their base physical structures do need to process food stuffs and they have a psychological need to eat and drink just as Earth humans do. They also require sleep on occasion so that they can dream. They can also hold their breath for an indefinite period of time.
Superhuman Strength: A Kryptonian develops enhanced physical strength after absorbing a sufficient amount of yellow solar radiation. This radiation interacts with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of their musculature to trigger superhuman levels. While the exact magnitude of their strength is unknown, it is generally accepted that it is sufficient to lift 100,000 tons or more. The specific range is unknown as a their strength, like their other powers, may fluctuate over time. Their strength is also more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables them to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass. At full power, their normal strength levels are well into the multi-megaton range.
Superhuman Speed: Kryptonians are able to move at incredible speeds by sheer force of will. They can match most other speedsters in super-fast movements, reactions, and processes. They can use this power to disarm opponents without heightened reflexes, catch bullets or shrapnel or cross vast distances in seconds.
Super-Breath: Kryptonians are able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from their lungs. They can chill the air as it leaves their lungs to freeze targets in a variation sometimes called "freeze" or "arctic breath". They can also reverse the process and pull large volumes of air or vapor into their lungs.
Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): She has been trained by Batman in advanced martial arts and trained with the Amazons ,on Themyscira, in combat and sword fighting. She has trained with Wonder Woman and Artemis extensively and knows Klukor (Kryptonian Martial Arts), one of the few people on Earth who do. While under Darkseid's mind control she was made a Female Fury and presumably trained with them.
Multilingual: Supergirl speaks a multitude of languages fluently. She learned all of Earth's languages in less then a month. She also speaks interlac. She is also fluent in Kryptonese. Plus, through precise muscle control, she can mimic other peoples voices.
Genius-Level Intellect: Supergirl has shown incredible intelligence and computational abilities; her mind works sharply and with extreme speed relative to earth-humans. Her analytic powers are impressive — she is able to use her senses to read information directly from machines (and, with careful usage of her heat vision, she can even reprogram machines). Kryptonians, though otherwise completely human, were superior both intellectually and physically to natives of Earth. Supergirl who lived on Argo City for some time learned much about science and technology. Supergirl excels in engineering and has been shown at a young age to be able to reprogram advanced Kryptonian technology, like a robot, with little effort. She is even a member of the Kryptonian Science Council the ruling body of Krypton.
Artistry: Kara is also artistic and was once approached by the head of the Art Council who wanted to mentor Kara just like he did with her father.
Supergirl is a female counterpart to Superman. As his cousin, she shares his super powers and vulnerability to Kryptonite. She was created by writer Otto Binder and designed by artist Al Plastino in 1959. She first appeared in the Action Comics comic book series and later branched out into animation, film, television, and merchandising. In May 2011, Supergirl placed 94th on IGN's list of the Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.
Supergirl (Kryptonian name Kara Zor-El) plays a supporting role in various DC Comics publications, including Action Comics, Superman, and several comic book series unrelated to Superman. In 1969, Supergirl's adventures became the lead feature in Adventure Comics, and she later starred in an eponymous comic book series which debuted in 1972 and ran until 1974, followed by a second monthly comic book series titled The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, which ran from 1982 to 1984.
Supergirl dies in the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths, and DC Comics subsequently rebooted the continuity of the DC Comics Universe, reestablishing Superman's character as the sole survivor of Krypton's destruction. Following the conclusion of Crisis on Infinite Earths, several different characters written as having no familial relationship to Superman have assumed the role of Supergirl, including Matrix, Linda Danvers, and Cir-El. Following the cancellation of the third Supergirl comic book series, starring the Linda Danvers version of the character, a modern version of Kara Zor-El was reintroduced into the DC Comics continuity in issue #8 of the Superman/Batman comic book series titled "The Supergirl from Krypton" (2004). The modern Kara Zor-El stars as Supergirl in an eponymous comic book series, in addition to playing a supporting role in various other DC Comics publications.
Kara Zor-El first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May 1959).
Reaction at the D.C. Comics offices to Supergirl's first appearance was tremendous, with thousands of positive letters pouring in. The first published of these letters, in the August 1959 issue of Action Comics (#255), was written by an eleven-year-old from Garland, Texas named Dave Mitchell, who would go on to become a well-known Miami radio personality.
Issue #8 of the Superman/Batman series originally published in 2004 re-introduced Kara Zor-El into the DC continuity. Like the pre-Crisis version, this Kara claims to be the daughter of Superman's uncle Zor-El and aunt Alura In-Ze. Unlike the traditional Supergirl, Kara is born before Superman; she is a teenager when he is a baby. She is sent in a rocket in suspended animation to look after the infant Kal-El; however, her rocket gets caught in the explosion of Krypton and becomes encased in a Kryptonite asteroid. She arrives on Earth years after Kal-El has grown up and become known as Superman. Due to this extended period of suspended animation, she is "younger" than her cousin (she is referenced to be about 16, while Superman is portrayed to be about 29). At the end of "The Supergirl from Krypton" arc, her cousin Superman officially introduces her to all the heroes of the DC Comics Universe. Then she adopts the Supergirl costume and accepts the name.
A new Supergirl series, written by Jeph Loeb, began publication in August 2005. The storyline in the first arc of Supergirl depicts a darker, evil version of Kara emerging when Lex Luthor exposes her to Black Kryptonite. The evil Supergirl implies that Kara's family sent her to Earth to kill Kal-El as revenge for a family grudge; at the time, Kara herself refuses to believe this, but later flashbacks indicate that not only is this partly true, but Kara had been physically altered by her father as a child before being involved in several murders on Krypton. This was later revealed to be delusions as a result of kryptonite poisoning. Upon being cured she adopted a personality more like that of her golden age persona.
Kara Zor-El is the last survivor of Argo City, which had
survived the explosion of the planet Krypton and drifted through space. When the
inhabitants of the colony are slain by Green Kryptonite, which was released by
meteorites striking the lead barrier, Kara is sent to Earth by her father Zor-El
to be raised by her cousin Kal-El (Superman). Fearing that she might not be
recognized by Superman, Kara's parents provide a costume based on the Man of
On Earth, Kara acquires powers identical to Superman's
and adopts the secret identity of Linda Lee, a resident of Midvale Orphanage.
She conceals her blonde hair beneath a brunette wig and functions as Supergirl
only in secret, at Superman's request, until she can gain, in his opinion,
sufficient control of her powers. After she is adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers,
Superman decides his cousin is ready to begin operating openly as Supergirl.
She attends Midvale High School as Linda Lee Danvers. In
later years, after graduating from Stanhope College, she changes careers several
times, holding jobs in student counseling, news reporting, and acting in a TV
soap opera titled Secret Hearts. She also attends college in Chicago. Kara has
many boyfriends, including Richard (Dick) Malverne, Jerro the Merboy from
Atlantis, and Brainiac 5, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. She does,
however, shun serious commitments, putting her super-career first.
Supergirl's secret identity is a closely held secret
known only to Superman, her foster parents, and the Legion of Super-Heroes, of
which she is as a member for a time. Like all Kryptonians, Supergirl is
vulnerable to Kryptonite. Streaky, her orange cat, acquires temporary
superpowers as a result of its exposure to "X-Kryptonite", a form of Kryptonite
Supergirl accidentally created in an unsuccessful attempt to neutralize the
effects of Green Kryptonite. Comet the Superhorse, a former centaur, is
Supergirl's equine companion.
Supergirl's biological parents survive the radiation
poisoning that killed everyone else in Argo City by entering the Survival Zone
(a parallel continuum akin to the Phantom Zone). They are eventually rescued by
Supergirl and decide to live in the bottle city of Kandor.
One way DC demonstrated the epic nature of its 12-issue limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths (April 1985-March 1986) was through the deaths of important characters. In issue #7 (October 1985), Supergirl sacrifices her life to save her cousin and the multiverse from destruction. When the Superman continuity rebooted after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, DC editors felt that Superman should be the sole survivor of Krypton, resulting in Kara being removed. Unlike a number of other characters who are shown dying in the Crisis, no one remembers Kara dying or even ever having existed.
After the events of Infinite Crisis, the sequel to Crisis on Infinite Earths, many historical events from the multiverse are now being remembered. Donna Troy, after her rebirth and inheritance of Harbinger's Orb, recalls the original Kara Zor-El and her sacrifice.
A Post-Crisis Supergirl appears in Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, in which she is transported to the 31st century, and, as a result of her disorientation, for a time believes she is dreaming her surroundings into existence until finally convinced otherwise. Although her memories of her time with the Legion are erased before she returns to the present, the mental blocks break down upon encountering the pre-Crisis versions of Legionnaires Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl (Una).
Supergirl exhibits new powers, manifesting sunstone crystals from her body; so far she only does so while under great stress (for example, when Cassandra Cain tries to kill her). Supergirl's father implants the crystals within his daughter's body to protect her from malevolent beings from the Phantom Zone. The Zone dwellers are released when Jor-El creates the Phantom Zone Projector and exploits the Zone as a prison. Kara's father, believing that Kal-El is a lure to the Zone denizens, instructs Kara to destroy him. More recent comics have cast this plotline as the result of Kryptonite poisoning from the Kryptonite asteroid in which she was trapped.
A recently completed storyline focused on her promise to a little boy that she would save him. She tries to make good on her promise, following different avenues searching for a cure for his cancer. After he died, she tracks down a villain with the ability to jump through time, but decides not to use that solution, as she would just be doing the same thing as the villain. She accepts that sometimes she cannot save everyone.
After Superman manages to rescue the Kryptonian bottled city of Kandor from Brainiac, Kara is reunited with her parents. However that reunion becomes bittersweet, as Reactron kills her father, and her mother dies when New Krypton is destroyed by a trap in Reactron left by Lex Luthor.
Kara currently operates out of Metropolis, adopting the secret identity of Lana Lang's niece, Linda Lang.
DC Editorial wanted Superman to be the only surviving Kryptonian following DC's post-Crisis reboot of the Superman continuity. As a result, when DC reintroduced Supergirl, she needed a non-Kryptonian origin. Afterward, DC Comics tried to revamp the Supergirl concept, introducing several more non-Kryptonian Supergirls. Eventually, the rule that Superman should be the only Kryptonian survivor was relaxed, allowing for a return of Kara Zor-El as his cousin.
After the post-Crisis reboot in the late 1980s, Supergirl's origin was completely rewritten. No longer was she Superman's cousin or even Kryptonian. In Superman v2, #16 (April 1988), a new Supergirl debuted as a man-made lifeform made of synthetic protoplasm created by a heroic Lex Luthor of a "pocket continuum". Lex implants her with Lana Lang's memories, and she can shapeshift to resemble Lana. Matrix even believes herself to be Lana for a time. She wears a miniskirted version of Superman's costume, but does not have Superman's exact powers. While she can fly and possesses super-strength (like Superman), she also has psychokinetic, shape shifting and cloaking/invisibility powers. (The last makes her undetectable even to Superman.)
Matrix's Supergirl form resembles the pre-Crisis Supergirl. She lives in Smallville with the Kents, who treated "Mae" like their own daughter. While new to Earth, Matrix begins a romance with the DC Universe's Lex Luthor, until she realizes Luthor's villainous nature. She leaves him to find her own way in the world, serving for a time as a member of the Teen Titans and a hero in her own right.
Beginning in September 1996, DC published a Supergirl title written by Peter David. The 1996 Supergirl comic revamped the previous Matrix Supergirl by merging her with a human being, resulting in a new Supergirl. Many elements of the pre-Crisis Supergirl were incorporated in new ways. The woman that Matrix merges with has the same name as pre-Crisis Supergirl's secret identity, Linda Danvers. The series is set in the town of Leesburg, named after Danvers' pre-adoption surname. Linda's father is named Fred Danvers, the same as pre-Crisis Supergirl's adopted father. Furthermore, new versions of Dick Malverne and Comet appear as part of the supporting cast.
As the series begins, Matrix sacrifices herself to save a dying Linda Danvers, and their bodies, minds, and souls merge to become an "Earth-Born Angel", a being created when one being selflessly sacrifices him or herself to save another who is beyond saving. As the angel, Supergirl loses some of her powers, but gains others, including fiery angel wings and a "shunt" ability that allows her to teleport to any place she has been before.
The angelic aspect of Supergirl eventually falls from grace, and Linda and Matrix are separated into two beings. Linda retains some of Supergirl's super-strength and durability, and although she can no longer fly, she can leap an eighth of a mile. Linda acts as Supergirl for a while, attempting to locate her angelic aspect. After she is found in the Garden of Eden and freed from the Demon Mother, Matrix merges with a woman named Twilight and becomes the new Earth-born angel of fire. Twilight uses her healing powers to increase Linda's strength to Supergirl's level and restores her powers of flight and telekinesis. In Supergirl #75 (December 2002), detoured on her way to Earth, Kara Zor-El, the pre-Crisis Supergirl, arrives in post-Crisis Leesburg. After learning that Kara is destined to die, Linda travels to the pre-Crisis universe in her place, where she marries Superman and gives birth to a daughter named Ariella. With the stipulation that her daughter be the exception in the eradication of her alternate "life", Linda ultimately allows history to unfold as it should have, with Kara assuming her rightful but tragic place in the time-stream. However, finding no assurance that Ariella survived the restoration of post-Crisis history, a dejected Linda relinquishes the role of Supergirl, sends a farewell note to Superman, and leaves for points unknown.
Though David remained coy as to whether the two characters were one and the same during the DC run of the title, after it moved to IDW, David revealed Lee's origin, which clearly showed that Lee was not Danvers. However, Fallen Angel #14 introduced "Lin," who was said to be Lee's "predecessor" in Bete Noire[clarification needed]. Lin had recently escaped Limbo, an apparent metaphor for what happened to Danvers after the cancellation of Supergirl. David wrote in his December 13, 2006 blog entry, "Any fans of my run on Supergirl—particularly those who are torqued because Linda Danvers was consigned to oblivion in the DCU--must, must, MUST pick up "Fallen Angel" #14 and #15 when they come out next year." However, since David could not explicitly claim that a character owned by DC was the same as the character he owned, he stated, "Can I say this is Linda Danvers? Of course I can't. However, it's pretty freaking obvious that it is."