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Comicbook / Power Girl


"Stand aside, Busty Airborne Lass!"

Quite possibly Most Common Superpower incarnate.

The 1970s version of All-Star Comics, starring the Justice Society of America, featured the original versions of many of DC Comics' superheroes and their families, living in a parallel universe known as Earth-2. In issue #58 (January-February, 1976) a new character debuted, created by Gerry Conway, Ric Estrada, and Wally Wood. Power Girl was introduced as the counterpart of Supergirl- she was the cousin of Earth-2's Superman (Kal-L). It was decided to make her as different as possible from Supergirl - including a different costume, code-name, personality and (most notably) a sexier body.

Karen Starr, the name she adopted, proved a hit with readers. She received solo stories in "Showcase" #97-99 (February-April, 1978). DC was considering launching a Power Girl series. But in 1978, the DC Implosion struck, with the cancellation of over 24 ongoing titles. There was no room for new titles. Karen did however become a founding member of Infinity, Inc.. Regularly appearing in the 12 first issues of said series, and occasionally turning up in subsequent ones.

And then Crisis on Infinite Earths hit and not only wasn't there an Earth-2 anymore, but Superman was now again the last Kryptonian. Power Girl still existed, but she was given a new origin as an Atlantean. After some silly retcons, including one period where she was vulnerable to "natural, unprocessed materials," Infinite Crisis and a Power Girl mini-series finally cleared up her origin by having her be... the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman (after reality got Cosmic Retconned again).

She was a member of the Justice Society of America and had her own comic book, started in 2009, originally written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and beautifully drawn by Amanda Conner. After issue #12 the original creative team left the series, replaced by Judd Winick and Sami Basri, and the series shifted both its visual and writing style. In her series, she reestablished her Secret Identity of Karen Starr and established the company Starrware, all the while mentoring Atlee, the new Terra, and trying to stop the Ultra-Humanite or really hot aliens from destroying New York. The series took a Lighter and Softer approach to the character and the DC Universe at large, at first focusing on Power Girl's attempts to reintegrate into living a normal life and forming a stable relationship with Terra. After the creative team change, the book focused less on Power Girl's personal life, instead revolving around her heroic activities and how they affected her personal life, and also dealt with the reappearance of Maxwell Lord. The story was heavily tied into the Brightest Day event, though not published under the Brightest Day banner, and had interweaving plotlines with Justice League: Generation Lost.

After the "New 52" DC Universe reboot, Power Girl reappeared as Karen Starr, at first in a supporting role for Mister Terrific, and later in an ongoing series with the Huntress, a new volume of ''World's Finest'', where she is revealed to be ...the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman. This time, however, she has been explicitly described as the Supergirl of Earth-2, having started her superhero career as Supergirl when she was younger, before coming to Prime Earth together with Huntress (who served as the Robin of Earth-2). Controversially, the New 52 version of Power Girl lacked her iconic costume for the year or so, but before long the writers (either because they planned it all along or because of public demand) had her sporting the famous cleavage window again.

Power Girl has examples of these tropes:

Let's put these right up front, shall we?
  • Boobs of Steel: As you may have noticed, Karen is rather buxom. And being a Kryptonian she's one of the strongest heroes DC has the offer.
  • Buxom Is Better: In Wonder Woman #34, Dinah Lance, the Black Canary, mentions Power Girl as having the top bosom of DCU comparing her assets with a "national treasure".
  • Cleavage Window: Famously there's a giant hole in her uniform's chest, exposing a fair amount of cleavage.
  • Gag Boobs: She's never been depicted as being even "average" in size - or even average in comparison to her superheroine compatriots, having universally been shown as having breasts noticeably larger than her peers. Jokes, comments, whole issues, have been literally built around her breasts In-Universe.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: She tried to use this a time or two with varying levels of success.
  • Most Common Superpower: Superhero and big boobs. As said in the description she is the incarnation of this trope.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The most buxom superheroine of all the DCU who wears a white Leotard of Power with her famous Cleavage Window. No surprise that she provide the trope image!
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Given her Cleavage Window, this happens a lot.

A popular Urban Legend states that all of this was the result of an in-joke by her original artist, Wally Wood, who drew her breasts bigger every issue just to see how far he could get away with it. However, examination of her original issues shows a consistent portrayal, and no source has been presented to give authenticity to this legend, so it has been effectively debunked.

All of the above, for the most part, apply to her so called "classic" costume, an attempt to create a new costume without the Cleavage Window was made when the DCU was rebooted in the New 52, but that lasted for about a year before she got a variant of her classic costume back. DC previously attempted to downplay her assets with a more modest costume in the late 1980s, which likewise didn't last long.

And now for the rest:
  • Action Girl
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: She is an alternate universe Supergirl. Not that the real one isn't, but still...
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: The Judd Winick run seemed to exist to see how much of the DC's roster could be crammed into her series.
  • Anti Heroine: A Type II in the "New 52" series, where she seems to have no qualms whatsoever about stealing equipment and money so long as it is in a good cause.
  • Alternate Self: Of Kara Zor-El (Supergirl) though how closely connected they are varies. In the New 52 they are quite explicitly the same person from different universes ("We... are me.")
    • Usually Power Girl is said to be Supergirl as an adult, which is why they don't typically look exactly alike in terms of height and body shape.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She is oftentimes drawn with the physique of a bodybuilder, and is almost always drawn larger (height-wise) than other female characters except the likes of Wonder Woman. This also applies to Supergirl, since (even though they're the same person, a few dimensions removed) Karen is 10-15 years older than Kara.
  • Amnesiac Dissonance: After his final defeat, Ultra-Humanite had his memory erased and was reintroduced into society. He does not seem happy with the plan, but he is accepting of the future...until Power Girl turns him back and he swears that it will never be over between them. It is unknown how much of his original nature will remain after his mind wipe.
  • Art Shift: When the original creative team left her series in 2010 there was a change in style adapted by the new pencilers and inkers. The bright colors of Amanda Conner were dropped, replaced with the more subdued palette of Sami Basri, and the character designs became slimmer, losing the pronounced curves of the early issues.
    • In her 40-year history the depiction of Power Girl has varied wildly, from artists who choose to embrace her traditional build, to those who prefer to draw her as a woman with more normal proportions.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Power Girl, Superman and Zatanna are briefly turned into rock people by Siphon, who can copy Zatanna's powers.
  • Berserk Button: Atlee being Grand Theft Me causes PG to become just a touch unhinged.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: It's implied Satanna had sex with the Ultra-Humanite when his brain was first implanted into his gorilla body. Not to mention the fact he was covered with the blood of the men who later attacked him. She told him not to wash off before the sex.
  • Big Applesauce: She has now moved to Manhattan.
  • Big Bad: When breaking into New Cadmus, which is being orchestrated by Max Lord, Kara and Nico actually comment that this is the headquarters of the bag guy that is behind everything.
  • Brainwashed: Max Lord hits Power Girl with a mental suggestion to go kill the Justice League International. She sees everyone on the team as another hero (Captain Atom as Superman, Fire as Starfire, Ice as Supergirl, Rocket Red as Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Booster Gold as Batman) and hears all their dialogue as plans to conquer and rule humanity.
  • Breath Weapon: Comes with the Flying Brick package.
  • Brought To You By The Letter P: Her New 52 version's first costume has a stylized P on the left side of her chest.
  • Call Back: The gags used when Karen and Atlee go shopping together first appeared in the Terra mini-series.
  • Captain Ersatz: Vartox was originally based on Sean Connery, with his appearance taken from the movie Zardoz and his over-the-top machismo from Connery himself.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: "'Rue the day'? Nobody talks like that anymore. It just sounds stupid." "It's a classic villain line."
  • Character Development: Kind of a boring character in the '80s, she became a one-note bitch "Girl Power!" archetype by the mid-'90s, and was generally unlikable. Geoff Johns brought into the Justice Society of America and fashioned a personality that had portions of her prior bitchiness, but added some sadness about her lack of past and good friendships. She eventually became its Superman equivalent (until Earth-22 Superman arrived) and, later, the team's first chairwoman.
  • Characterisation Marches On: In her very earliest appearances in All Star Comics Power Girl was presented as kind of a brash young hot head with a serious chip on her shoulder. She lacked a civilian identity entirely and while she was never depicted as Dumb Muscle she wasn't shown to be particularly brilliant either - her Genius Bruiser traits came later thanks to a 'memory teacher' borrowed from Wonder Woman implanting vast knowlege of computers into her mind.
    • Terra in her own mini series meanwhile, was an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl who actually threatened Power Girl just because she put her hand on her.
  • Chest Insignia: Classically, a notable lack of one, she has what is termed a "boob window." Because of her long and complicated history there have been numerous explanations as to why, exactly, she has this window. The current story behind it is kind of sad - she could not think of a symbol, so she left it blank and never filled it and is actually undergoing a minor identity crisis as she tries to figure out where she fits in the world. Though not all reasons have been as poignant, they are all intentional and rational. Previously, one of her explanations was that the window gave a clear indication of who and what she was: Strong, feminine and yes, big-breasted. If people were overly preoccupied or distracted by the last part that was their problem, not hers, she would not be bound by what they thought of her.
    • Even when she temporarily switched to a full bodysuit sans boob window for a time in the late 1980s (as seen in Justice League International), she chose not to use a symbol.
    • The New 52 version has a stylized P on the left side of her chest on the costume she wore before she switched over to the variant of her pre-New 52 version's "boob window" costume.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the author/artist switch to Judd Winick and Sami Basri, Terra, who had been Power Girl's sidekick/partner/sister throughout the early issues, appears in a grand total of one panel, with the kicker being Power Girl mentioning her as a Super Hero In Training, and afterwards is neither seen nor mentioned again.
  • Clark Kenting: Her disguise as Karen Starr for most of her existence has been tying her hair back. That is it. She herself explains that her large breasts actually help keep her identity secret, especially considering the Cleavage Window, since they draw attention away from her face. In issue #22, Superman himself advises her to make Karen Starr a real person, not just a costume. She gets a makeover to make Karen appear more different from Power Girl, involving a business suit, red hair, and, of course, glasses. The reveal alternates panels between her and Clark Kent to highlight their similar disguises.
  • C-List Fodder: The Blue Snowman is the initial villain of the Vartox arc, and is introduced with the caption "Blue Snowman... Life Expectancy: Panel 4, Page 14"
  • Cloning Blues: Power Girl discovers that fighting an exact duplicate of herself is not very fun. On the plus side, apparently Krypto is so damn heroic that even his evil clone comes to Kara's aide.
  • Clothing Damage: She suffers from this a suspiciously large amount. Her costume is often portrayed as being hardly more resilient than Empowered's. She never lets it slow her down, though.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Towards the end of the pre-New 52 series, it was noted that the character, either intentionally or otherwise, was starting to resemble Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks. And not just due to Hendricks having a similar build.
    • Recurring character Vartox, as he was in his original Superman appearances in the 1970s, continues to be based on Sean Connery in his title role in the sci-fi film Zardoz.
  • Continuity Snarl: Power Girl's origin is unusual in that it lampshades the utter failure of past writers to come up with a legitimate way of maintaining her character's existence in the face of endless rewrites of the DC universe's history. There is no way the character can exist in the currently "valid" history- and her character development directly involves her attempts to deal with that fact. She is the cousin of Earth-2 Superman, but it is explicitly the pre-Crisis Earth 2. The new similar Earth-2 created following the 52 event has its own Power Girl cementing our Power Girl's status as an orphan of the old Multiverse.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Not as crazy as some, but Power Girl has repeatedly stressed that Terra needs to wear her uniform all the time, under her regular clothing if need be, so she will always be ready for danger to strike at any moment.
  • Crossover: Issue #20 is directly continued in Justice League: Generation Lost, which follows up on Power Girl's brainwashing at the hands of Max Lord to kill the Justice League International.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Once Power Girl is pushed past her limit and stops holding back she takes Ultra-Humanite, who a few pages earlier had been bragging about destroying all of civilization, and beats him down in six panels. Four of those panels are PG slamming his head against the wall. The other two were her punching him in the face.
  • Cute Kitten: Karen's pet cat, Stinky.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Deconstructed. Power Girl (In her role as Karen Starr, head of Starrware) holds the patents to several miraculous technologies and heads what seems to be a well-running corporation. However, now that they have engineered these miraculous technologies they need to develop them into some form of marketable product, deal with worried overseeing government agencies and also contend with the almost insurmountable issues of normal office paperwork. Starrware might be on the cutting edge of human technology, and its stock prices will probably go through the roof once it goes public, but right now it needs to find some way to actually gain revenue from its assets. Power Girl herself is struggling to make ends meet until the profits start to come in, and lampshades this when fighting the Blue Snowman, who had developed the technology to create weather and was using this technology to steal jewels not worth half of what her equipment was worth.
  • Day in the Life: Volume 12 of Power Girl's ongoing series is largely this. As it turns out, her daily life involves bathing in an empathic bikini, bonding with Terra and stopping a fight between an alien monster and Space Sean Connery.
  • Destination Defenestration: Satanna really should learn the art of small-talk and cuddling
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Atlee, the new Terra, and Power Girl's new best friend. They go see movies together.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Along with Evil Counterpart. Power Boy, who wears a black version of her outfit (yes, including the Cleavage Window) except his costume doesn't have sleeves and covers his legs. He also was abusive to Supergirl during the brief period they dated.
  • Dressed in Layers: Though Power Girl herself is always prepared for trouble, Terra has not quite grasped the concept that she always needs to wear her costume underneath her clothing just in case. As such, she is completely unprepared when a monster rises up when she and PG are out watching a movie and she ends up going into battle dressed only in adorable lady-bug underwear.
    • Note that the writer actually put effort into making it plausible for PG.
  • Dumb Blonde: the ultimate "first impression" trope, especially for readers coming into the pre-New 52 series cold. In truth, the trope has been subverted and averted and occasionally lampshaded constantly since the character was first introduced.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Not if the monkey gorilla is the Ultra-Humanite.
  • Evil Brunette Twin: "Divine," the evil clone of Power Girl, has black hair opposed to PG's blonde, but is otherwise identical in every way.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Satanna goes to Dr. Sivanna to get a weapon to revenge herself on Power Girl and gives him what he wanted as payment. Afterwards he attempts some minor small-talk and she, because she and he are villains, does not feel it is necessary to disguise the fact that she felt this was a heartily disgusting event which she did solely as part of a business exchange. He agrees with her, then points out that since they are bad guys he no longer cares about her desires since she gave him what he wanted, and throws her out the window.
  • Evil Laugh: Apparently, characters differentiate between your Mad Scientists and scientists who happen to be mad by the presence or absence of a good "Moo-Ha-Ha!"
  • Evil Twin: "Divine," the dark haired clone of Power Girl.
  • Expy: In the DCAU, Supergirl's evil clone, Galatea, is an expy of Power Girl. Her costume is basically Power Girl's minus the cape, and she has very noticeably larger breasts than Supergirl.
  • Eye Beams: Power Girl has them, unfortunately for Satanna.
  • Fanservice: Lots, including the new series with a trio of gorgeous aliens.
  • Fetus Terrible: Prior to the Zero Hour Crisis Crossover, Power Girl became mysteriously pregnant, and during the crossover, she gave birth to a son named Equinox, who managed to defeat the Big Bad, Scarabus, in an issue of Justice League America and was never seen nor mentioned again. And the father is... Arion, who was her grandfather at the time this was published. Like many things from the Gerard Jones JLA run, this has been one of those things quietly allowed to fade from DCU history and fan memories. Letter column remarks back in the day seemed to unofficially indicate that such stories were definitely not going to be touched again.
  • Flying Brick: After finally being established (again) as Superman's cousin she gets most of his powers as well, including heat vision and ice breath.
  • Funny Background Event: Amanda Conner's artwork is full of these, such as PG's cat not liking who she is interviewing or stealing shrimp from their Chinese take out. When a flasher tries to expose himself to PG and Terra PG uses her freeze breath on his exposed areas; after she calls for a cop the next panel pans back to reveal that they are standing in front of a dermatology clinic whose current special "will freeze off your..." When PG and Terra change out of their regular clothes into their costumes, a bum can be seen enjoying the show.
  • Genius Bruiser: On top of being a Kryptnoian Karen is highly intelligent, regarded as a first rate scientist by Mr Terrific.
  • Gendered Outfit: Power Boy, who wears a tank top unitard rather than Power Girl's leotard. He keeps the Cleavage Window however.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In a flashback Satanna can be seen wearing a shirt that reads "CU Next Tues".
    • Karen says to a potential employee that was playing with her snow globes to "Please, stop messing with my globes." The visual joke is evident. To really hammer it in, the next panel has the guy say "sorry, force of habit."
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Averted and played straight. Karen loves them, but Atlee can't handle even the PG-13 ones.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: PG's cherry panties.
  • Grand Theft Me: In issue 11, Ultra-Humanite attempts to take over Power Girl's body to gain her immense power, even temporary gaining control of Terra's as part of one of his plans until Power Girl defeated him and restored her young friend to her rightful body with the help of Atlee's people.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Well, they do not have green skin, but other than that...
  • Hand or Object Underwear: In issue 9, Kara run from the shower and starts chasing after the kid blackmailing her and dashes down the stairs after him, runs past a neighbor, and literally collars the kid, at which point her towel drops, giving the kid and a neighbor a good look at her naked body (the reader is not so lucky, due to a strategically placed bunch of carrots and an arm). She covers herself with bread and a pie pan.
  • Hello, Nurse!: Heck, even the superheroines probably want her.
  • Heroic Dog: Apparently, Max Lord gave Professor Ivo very strict instructions not to clone Krypto, Superman's dog.
    Max Lord: "We talked about this! Don't clone the dog! Dogs are weird! The whole loyalty thing just seems to be branded right in on a genetic level, for Pete's sake!"
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Helena Wayne alias Huntress in the original Earth-Two.
  • Homage Shot: At one point when Atlee and Power Girl are at the movies, the main cast of The Big Bang Theory are seen, most notably Howard, who then proceeds to hit on her. And strike out. HARD.
  • Homeworld Evacuation: She left Krypton at the same time as her cousin Kal-L, but her ship kept her in suspended animation for 60 years while she aged only 20 years during her travel to Earth.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Power Girl actually discusses this trope when fighting her evil clone. She reasons that, even if "Divine" has all the same powers as her that does not mean she knows how to use those powers, since she has only been "alive" for ten minutes and has never worked with these abilities before.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    TerraUltra-Humanite: "Let's have one of those totally clichéd hero-slash-friend fights. You get to say things like 'I know you're stronger than this', or 'You can fight it'...oh, and 'This isn't you!'"
    • In Power Girl's crossover with Justice League: Generation Lost Power Girl has been brainwashed into believing that the members of the Justice League International are other heroes planning to conquer and rule humanity. The members of JLI, dreading the destruction and loss of life that would come from fighting Power Girl in earnest (Assuming they could survive such a fight), try to get through the brainwashing and have her recognize them.
  • Insistent Terminology: They are not "monsters," they are G.E.L.F.s. It is not that hard to remember.
  • Just for Pun: "Oh yeah, this rocks!"
  • Kick the Dog: Ultra-Humanite and Satanna are already well past the Moral Event Horizon, they were murderers and psychopaths long before this series started, but when they put Atlee's brain inside the burned gorilla body it is just wrong.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Atlee seems to derive nourishment from all the lamps she keeps pointing out:
    "Well, it seems a lot of things up here follow a formula...a series of events that happen over and over, isn't that true? Take supervillains ... you guys catch them committing crimes, they go to jail, they break out and you guys put them back again."
    • When Karen and Atlee go to see a movie for the first time, the movie has an obvious reference to the resurrection of Barry Allen, the second Flash who had recently come back to life.
    Redheaded love interest: I thought you were dead.
    Blonde guy played by Alan Barry: I got better!
  • Large Ham: Vartox is either the single greatest event to happen to comic-books since an artist thought "Wait a second, I can make them as big as I want," or he has come to murder all Power Girl fans with overexposure to the "sexy superstud from planet Valeron."
    Vartox: "Bask in the seduction musk distilled from tears of the ghost poets of dimension seven...to prove his manly prowess, Vartox has arranged for a demonstration of masculinity."
  • Leotard of Power: Her most common outfit is a leg-baring, figure-hugging, long-sleeved white leotard with an opening in the chest.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
  • Lingerie Scene: Vartox decides to dress appropriately for his dinner with Power Girl. The results are...not quite right for a formal dinner, but Power Girl can not help but peek through her fingers just a little.
  • Mad Scientist: For your convenience, models come both with and without "Moo-Ha-Ha!"
  • Mama Bear: Acted this way, in the JSA, to Stargirl at least once, warning Captain Marvel to leave her alone when his presence was upsetting the young girl.
  • Medium Awareness: The narrator is quite aware of how things work in comic-book land:
    Power Girl, Kara Zor-L... Life Expectancy: It's her series, what do you think?
    Dr Mid-Nite...Life Expectancy: Shaken, not stirred
    Blue Snowman...Life Expectancy: Panel 4, Page 14
    Vernon O'Valeron A.K.A. Vartox... Life Expectancy: Waiting to hear back from the editors
  • Mirror Match: She's fought her double from the recreated Earth-2, and her evil clone, "Divine".
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Until it was cleared up in Infinite Crisis.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Zig-zagged. Kara is typically portrayed as being one of the physically strongest women on the planet, especially in comparison to her younger, less-developed alternate self, Supergirl. And yet, some characters, like Wonder Woman, are often portrayed as equal, or superior, to her in strength, despite not being anywhere as buff.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Magic dinosaurs with minigun arms, carrying axes and shooting lasers from their eyes are just some of the creations of Siphon, a man who copied Zatanna's powers.
  • No OSHA Compliance: "Note to mad scientists and would-be world-conquering psychopaths... safety regulations exist for a reason."
  • Oh Crap!: Power Girl utters the line after realizing that she only has 3 seconds until a ship explodes. Her face in that panel totally sells it.
  • Otaku: There are some hints that Power Girl may be a closet anime and manga fan, especially given her preoccupation with "manga monsters".
  • Panty Shot: Not of the usual sort, but Terra does not quite get the whole thing about wearing your costume under your clothes and winds up taking off her pants and fighting in her lady bug underwear.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: When Vartox decides to slip into something more comfortable the result is not quite what he intended, and Power Girl rather firmly insists that he puts more clothes on. Now.
  • Porn Stache: Vartox rocks a 'stache the likes of which Earth is not prepared for.
  • The Real Heroes: Power Girl managed to squeeze one in. When a firefighter is helping her limp away from a bomb crater he comment that he does not often get the opportunity help somebody like her ("Like me?" "Yeah... a hero") and she replies "I can say the same thing about you."
  • Reality Warper: Who turns out to be a young girl who reads a lot of fantasy.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Inverted. Power Girl blasts Satanna's arm off first, then gives her the mother of all stink eyes.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted with Karen Starr and Starrware, who have managed to create some really cool technology, sometimes by reverse engineering alien tech. This includes nanotech that can create a 1966 Pontiac GTO from what appears to be a pile of rubber, scrap metal and rope. With a vanity plate already installed ("Starr"). Say what you will, Power Girl has style.
  • Refuge in Audacity: The planet Valeron is ruled by the sexy superstud Vartox, assisted by Chancellor Groovicus Mellow, and Vartox wields his mighty moustache from his happening pad while fending off Yeti pirates. All in one issue!
  • Rent-a-Zilla: One that looks almost exactly like The King of Monsters appears in the fourth issue of her own series.
  • Running Gag: A running gag throughout Power Girl's history has seen her destroy things by accident, usually as a result of losing her temper.
  • Secret Identity: Karen Starr. At the beginning of her solo series PG even says that she misses having one.
  • The '70s: The planet Valeron might actually be an alien world perpetually stuck in the era of disco.
  • Shopping Montage: With Atlee to get furniture for her new apartment. Also Cinnamon Buns.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Power Girl knocks out Siphon and reverses his spell to "Unleash Hell," the demonic maelstrom vanishes and she says "so long H.P. Lovecraft."
    • "Rue the day?" Who talks like that?
    • At the cinema Power Girl and Terra are approached by Howard and the other boys of The Big Bang Theory. Naturally Karen gives him a short lesson on how to treat a woman.
  • Show Some Leg: In Superman/Batman Public Enemies who do you get when you want to distract Toyman?
    Katana: But…The kid made it clear he wants to talk to Superman.
    Batman: He is also thirteen years old. Find a way to distract him.
    Powergirl: What’s everyone looking at me for? How am I supposed to distract…Oh.
  • Sidekick: Terra generally fills this role, though she does complain about always being put on crowd control.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Vartox decides to attire himself properly for his dinner with Power Girl. She instructs him, rather firmly, to put more clothes on. Now.
  • Stalker with a Crush: In one issue of JSA, Power Girl beats the stuffing out of a super-powered stalker named "D-Bomb".
  • Statuesque Stunner: She is every bit as tall as Wonder Woman.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: When Zatanna is in the presence of a man who can copy her powers, she realizes that just beating him in a Wizard Duel will not solve the problem, she needs to physically leave his presence to keep him from getting her powers permanently.
    Zatanna: (In Narration) He's good right out of the gate. I'm just better. But being better isn't really the issue, I just need to get the heck away from this idiot!
    Power Girl: "We need to get Zatanna the heck away from that idiot!"
  • Straw Feminist: Has come across as one in the past, but has mellowed out since then. Her past behavior was retconned as a diet soda allergy.
  • Squick: Power Girl's in-universe reaction to learning that the Ultra-Humanite had sex with his girlfriend Satanna... in gorilla form. Because Satanna was turned on by his new body.
  • Stripperiffic: Despite the notoriety of her costume, it is actually rather tame by modern standards (it more or less looks like a swimsuit), and the lack of protection is somewhat justified considering she is bulletproof.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Her mouth may say Oh Crap!, but her eyes say this trope.
  • This Is Wrong on So Many Levels:
    Power Girl: "No! No, you didn't!! You cloned Krypto?!?! What kind of sick @#$#$—this is Superman's dog. For crying out loud! Is nothing sacred!?"
    • After Power Girl, Superman and Zatanna are turned into rock people she looks down at her new rocky body and comments that "this is wrong on many, many levels."
  • Took A Level In Smartass: In the original continuity her scientific skills came from a 'memory teacher' borrowed from Wonder Woman. Before that she came across as reasonably smart, but not the brilliant woman she later became.
  • Tsundere: Power Girl herself during the Justice League Europe arcs. Considering the one who got her dere side was the only one who didn't spend all his time ogling her, probably justified.
  • Underwear of Power: Her normal costume is a pretty standard superheroine outfit, but Terra has not yet grasped the importance of always having your costume handy and one time she was forced to go into battle wearing nothing but adorable lady-bug underwear when she and Power Girl were attacked while out at the movies.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Averted with the citizens of New York. They are nothing less than extremely grateful and friendly to Power Girl.
  • Urban Legend: In Real Life, there is a long-lasting myth that Power Girl has such impressive powers because Wally Wood, one of her original artists, was playing a joke on/testing his editors. The story goes that he drew her steadily larger from issue to issue after her first appearance, trying to see how far he could go before he was stopped. However, examination of her first five issues shows a very consistent portrayal, and no sources have come forward to verify this rumor, so it has been effectively debunked.
  • Valeron Needs Women: Kryptonian women in particular.
  • Vertical Kidnapping: Turned Up to Eleven when Ultra-Humanite does this to Manhattan.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: The aforementioned "diet soda" allergy to explain her attitude in the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League Europe issues after they left the series, and her vulnerability to "raw, natural, unprocessed materials".
  • Who Writes This Crap?!: She does not say the actual line, but Power Girl simply can not believe the story of Vartox and the infertility bomb that requires him to find a mate to save his planet. Power Girl is stifling laughter by the time he gets to the part about the "pregno-ray".
  • World's Strongest Woman: A contender for strongest woman in the DCU, being, powerwise, a female Superman (with more muscle mass than Supergirl).
  • The Worf Effect: Since she's one of the most physically powerful members of the JSA, she sometimes gets beaten to show how serious the situation is. For example, it looks like she and Wild Cat won't have any trouble with the Crimson Avenger, but then we see that the Avenger's bullets can even break her skin. Again, when the team goes to Kahndaq the first time around, Black Adam takes her out with one hit in the climactic fight.
    • Lampshaded in her own series "why, oh why do I keep getting my ass kicked?!"