Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Power Girl

Go To

    open/close all folders 

    Power Girl
Power Girl (2023) - Drawn by Stanley Artgerm Lau
Power Girl — Drawn by Alex Ross
Aka: Karen Starr, Kara Zor-L, Paige

Hailing from Earth-2, Power Girl, also known as Kara Zor-L and Karen Starr, is an alternate universe version of Supergirl. After the destruction of Earth-2, Karen was transplanted into the main Earth-1 universe. For a time, she was confused as to what her true origin were but her memories of Earth-2 were restored. Karen has served on the Justice League Europe, the Justice Society of America and the Sovereign Seven.

  • Action Girl: Karen has trained with several notable teachers including her teammate Wildcat, who is a world renowned boxer and hand to hand combatant. She was also trained in Karate by martial arts instructor Mongo Krebs. Combine this with her Kryptonian powers and she is quite the force to be reckoned with.
  • Adaptational Modesty: 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.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: In regards to her fellow Kryptonians and the rest of the Super-Family in Rebirth, pointing out to Kara that she's the one who tends not to get invited to barbecues and team-ups. She also claims she doesn't mind, but her expression says otherwise. In Power Girl Special, it's revealed that it's a side effect of being unable to grieve for the loss of her Krypton and Earth-2. Once she finally is able to do that, she willingly drags herself to the Super-Family and asks to be a part of their family, which they happily accept.
  • 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, besides the different hairstyles.
  • Alternate Universe Reed Richards Is Awesome: She is an alternate universe Supergirl. Not that the real one isn't, but still...
  • Amazonian Beauty: She is oftentimes drawn with muscular arms and the physique of a bodybuilder, and is almost always drawn larger (height-wise) than other female characters. She is depicted at her beefiest in Kingdom Come where she grew even Stronger with Age. Regardless, she is still considered quite the beauty in-universe, but that is mostly due to her softer features. 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 Resonance: For a brief period when her memories of her Earth-Two origins were coming back to her, she seeks out Huntress to talk to her... only this is the Helena Bertinelli version, not Helena Wayne, and neither of them have any idea why Karen's come to her.
  • 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.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Both Karas did this in New 52 Supergirl issue 19 when they fought Lex's forces.
  • Badass Cape: She wears a red cape.
  • Bash Brothers: Supergirl and she have fought together several times.
  • Big Eater: In Wonder Woman (vol 3) #41 Power Girl realizes she's been brainwashed, but since she knocked the lasso that could undo it away from Wonder Woman while under its effects Kara opts to clear her thought by devouring eight hotdogs while Diana retrieves the lariat.
  • Big Sister Instinct: In the JSA, Karen acted this way to Stargirl, warning Captain Marvel to leave her alone when his presence was upsetting the young girl. She's also very protective of Atlee, even going as far as maiming Satanna to make the later tell her where she was keeping Atlee prisoner.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Her debut consisted in her showing up all of sudden and saving the Justice Society from a volcano.
  • Blue Is Heroic: She wears blue gloves and boots. Some of her less famous costumes were partially blue. In the New 52 continuity, she started out as Supergirl and wore a leotard version of her mainstream counterpart's blue outfit.
  • Brainwashed
    • During Justice League: Generation Lost, 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.
    • Power Girl gets brainwashed twice back to back in Wonder Woman volume 3 #40 and #41 by The Children Of Ares, a quintet of corrupters with emotion controlling powers and compelling voices, into killing Wonder Woman, although after she fails the first time they don't actually think Power Girl can get the job done and are just using her as a distraction from then on.
  • Breath Weapon: Comes with the Kryptonian power set.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Her New 52 version's first costume has a stylized P on the left side of her chest. Her story in New 52 ends with her getting another red "S" in the center of her chest, despite being Power Girl, but DC Rebirth is back to the Cleavage Window.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Post-Crisis Power Girl is the Power Girl that teams up with Harley Quinn in the Harley Quinn & Power Girl miniseries and she would go on to become the Power Girl of the DC Rebirth era. However, she and Tanya Spears would get trapped in a dimensional void until the DC Infinite Frontier relaunch.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: Even the girls envy her. In Wonder Woman (Vol. 3) #34, Black Canary mentions Power Girl as having the top bosom of DCU comparing her assets to a "national treasure."
  • 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.
  • 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. One 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. The most recent and more prosaic one is air-flow, suggesting it to Omen, who turns it down, leading to the immortal quip, "say hi to your boob sweat for me." 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.
    • Since returning to Earth-2, her costume has regained the "S" insignia.
  • 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.
  • Cleavage Window: She wasn't the first in comic books to have one, but she is certainly the most famous.
  • 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.
  • Combo Platter Powers: She has the full Kryptonian package: she's a flying brick with super senses, heat vision, hurricane breath and freezing breath.
  • 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. Then we have two Power Girls in the New 52 and DC Rebirth, one being from that multiverse's Earth-2 (which ended being Put on a Bus) and the other coming from the pre-New 52 multiverse which is the same one that survived the Crisis in Infinite Earths and lived in the main Earth before teaming up with New 52 Harley Quinn with her later adopting the colors of the New 52 Power Girl.
  • Costume Evolution: Power Girl has gone through a number of different costumes during her run. Her most well-known and original costume consists of a white leotard, blue boots and gloves, and a red cape. She's also worn outfits that either had no cape or changed the amount of blue fabric, as well as several full-body suits with white and gold. Only two of them lack her infamous Cleavage Window, however.
  • Crystal Prison: Was cast into one by her Post-Crisis grandfather Arion to protect her from being possessed by her granduncle Garn Daanuth, which then turned into the symbio-ship that carried her from the past to the present while she only ages twenty years in the process.
  • Cute Kitten: Karen's pet cat, Stinky.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Putting up with people focusing on her cleavage has given Karen a very dry sense of wit.
  • Demonic Possession:
    • In her 1986 Secret Origins Post-Crisis origin story, Karen as an infant was being threatened with possession by the spirit of her granduncle Garn Daanuth, who attempted to reenter the realm of the living through her. Her grandfather Arion prevented this from happening by placing Karen in a magic crystal and sending her through time and space to the present-day world, selecting Superman as the one who she would be connected to upon her arrival.
    • During a JSA / JLA crossover during Brightest Day, she's possessed by the Starheart thanks to her Kryptonian physiology. A fight with Supergirl, not possessed (thanks to reasons involving Black Kryptonite), ensues until Karen is snapped out of it.
  • 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. Karen is a very intelligent, smart person, but their enemies assume that she's stupid because she's a super-strong blonde. It doesn't matter how many times she outwits them, they keep treating her as a blonde bimbo.
  • Eaten Alive: The first issue of Harley Quinn and Power Girl features multi-headed Hydra that initially swallows Power Girl whole, until she immediately erupts her way out from the monster's throat, decapitating the head.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: In JSA Classified, she mentions that even some women have been impressed by her bust. She once caught Crimson Fox staring at her chest once or twice.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: Karen's beauty does not go unnoticed.
  • Fetus Terrible: Prior to the Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! 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.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: She is more or less friends with Harley Quinn, although the first time they met she was (understandably) pissed that Harley decieved her when she had amnesia, once she got her memory back. Much later they have to team up again against an Eldritch Abomination that's way out of Harley's league, and it's clear Power Girl does care about Harley, as she even saves her life a couple times.
  • Flanderization: Karen in the New 52 had a slightly mischievous, flirty side. In World's' Finest she has little characterization other than "extremely lewd and man-hungry".
  • 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.
  • Genius Bruiser: On top of being a Kryptonian Karen is highly intelligent, regarded as a first rate scientist by Mr Terrific, who himself is one of the smartest heroes in the DC Universe.
  • Good Wears White: Karen's costume consists of a white Leotard of Power with blue gloves and boots, and a red cape. In the Judd Winick run, she gets an Evil Knockoff named Divine who dresses in black.
  • Happily Adopted: Earth-2 Superman and Lois Lane took his cousin Karen in when she arrived on Earth, and they treated her like their daughter.
    Power Girl: [tearfully] You took me in! You treated me like I was your daughter!
    Earth 2 Lois Lane: Oh, honey... as far as we were concerned, you were our daughter.
  • Headbutting Heroes: She and Wildcat got into a lot of arguments in the early days. It didn't help that he could be a bit sexist sometimes, and she was not having it.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Helena Wayne alias Huntress in the original Earth-Two.
    • In the pre-Crisis universe they were best friends but her friendship came to an end when the Anti-Monitor destroyed Earth-2.
    • In post-Flashpoint DC universe, Karen met Helena when she saved her life. Since then they became "Best Friends. Forever". When they got stranded in the main Earth, they lived together. Helena called Karen her "oldest and dearest friend".
  • 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.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Some writers on the Justice Society tend to have Karen not being much in the way of a genius. Eventually it was given a handwave of her preferring to keep the genius part in her life as Karen Starr, while letting Power Girl just be a Flying Brick.
  • I Hate Past Me: Her relationship with her junior counterpart is often pretty rocky.
    • In the Post-Crisis universe, Karen and Kara don't get along well because Kara was being written like a jerk in the first issues of her book. Kara apologized to Karen after getting her head together, but Karen turned her down.
    • In Supergirl Vol 6 #20, Power Girl gets mad with the eponymous heroine because Kara called her "old". Supergirl apologizes, explaining she didn't mean anything by it, but she is prone to say stupid things when she gets upset. Power Girl admits that she used to be like that, too.
    • After Lazarus Planet, they have a bit of a heart to heart when a newly telepathic Power Girl is giving her psychic speech therapy (since Kara is limited to gibberish at the time), and Power Girl admits to feeling like she's the imperfect version of Kara and gets a teeny bit tetchy about Kara's apparent self-perception that everything's perfect. Of course, she's intentionally trying to aggravate Kara at the time, but her comments after imply there's some truth. In Power Girl Special, Power Girl learns that Kara really wants her to accept her as well.
  • I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: She tried to use this a time or two with varying levels of success.
  • In a Single Bound: Pre-Crisis, she, like Earth-2 Superman, could not fly and so jumped huge distances to get where she was going.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Karen owns a cat called "Stinky". It must be genetic, because her Earth-One and New Earth counterparts also like cats. In Power Girl Special, she ends up taking up Streaky the Super-Cat. Kara doesn't know why, but it's probably because they had a Let's You and Him Fight that started with Paige punching the cat through a wall.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Karen possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian like the vulnerability to Kryptonite and magic.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In JSA Classified #3, Mister Terrific asks D.E.O. Director Bones why he's interested in Power Girl. Bones says, "Let's just say the bosses on high are working on completing some files... and Power Girl's is far from complete, Mr. Terrific. We can't even get a proper reading on her abilities." The whole point of that storyline was that people like Dan DiDio and Geoff Johns realized how badly Power Girl's backstory and powers needed to be stabilized and clarified.
  • Legacy Character: Karen officially dubbed Tanya Spears as the new Power Girl after the former was able to return to Earth-2, essentially allowing the name to continue to exist in works set in the Prime Earth universe.
  • Leotard of Power: Her most common outfit is a leg-baring, figure-hugging, long-sleeved white leotard with an opening in the chest.
  • Light Is Good: Karen has blonde hair, wears a white leotard and gains power from the sun.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Pre-New 52 reboot Kara was also very close to Superman, even during the time they thought that she was not his Alternate Universe cousin. Post-52 and Rebirth, she's not so close, and more than a tad irritated about being the member of the Super-Family who tends not to get invited to the family barbecues and what-not.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: In her original origin, way back in Showcase #98, she was placed in a rocket on Krypton as a baby, and as she travelled through space, she grew physically and also experienced a virtual reality that gave her the experiences she would have had if she had grown up on Krypton.
  • Lovely Angels:
  • Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex: Karen has this trouble due to being a super-strong Kryptonian.
  • Meaningful Rename: In the Dawn of DC backups in Action Comics, Power Girl reveals she dropped the "Karen Starr" identity. She ends up taking the name "Paige" through Jon after he notes that her constantly using "PG" almost sounds like the name.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: In Harley Quinn and Power Girl, she was caught by an alien magistrate who suspected her of being a hooker because of the way she was dressed.
  • More Deadly Than the Male:
  • 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 provides this trope's image for The DCU!
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Until it was cleared up in Infinite Crisis.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Zig-zagged. Karen 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. Wonder Woman was drawn almost as buff as Power Girl when Power Girl had been brainwashed into trying to kill Diana in Wonder Woman volume 3, making it more like anterior and oblique muscles are meaningless at that time.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: Given her Cleavage Window, this happens a lot.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: Sometimes feels like the Zoidberg to the rest of the Super-Family, pointing out to Kara that she's the one generally not invited to the family barbecues.
  • The Needless: She doesn't need to eat, breathe or sleep. Justified because she's sun-powered.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: In the Silver Age Karen was constantly trying to prove she didn't need her cousin's mentoring anymore, going so far to tell him she couldn't listen to his well-meaning advice because she needed to follow her own path.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Karen cannot get drunk due to her Kryptonian metabolism... although bizarre alien drinks can get her tipsy.
    Power Girl: Not that I've done either. Ridden mass transit or gotten drunk... y'know, with the ability to fly and the Kryptonian metabolism. But I did once get tipsy when Guy Gardner got me this Eltarian rice whiskey. It was mostly rocket fuel, but—
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: During the 90's when no one was sure whether she was Kryptonian or Atlantian, or even what to do with her, she was frequently shown to have a different power set in every issue she appeared in, at one point even displaying telekinesis.
  • Odd Friendship: With Harley Quinn in the New 52 and DC Rebirth.
  • Older Than They Look: During her decades-long travel to Earth, the symbio-ship aged her very slowly, so when she finally reached her destination she was physically around twenty, despite being chronologically in her 60s.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: During the "Kingdom Come" arc of Justice Society, Karen meets the Power Girl of the new Earth-2... who is a vicious paranoiac that thinks Karen's an impostor who murdered her Superman, attacks her, chases her, tortures her and never apologizes once matters are cleared up.
  • Otaku: There are some hints that Power Girl may be a closet anime and manga fan, especially given her preoccupation with "manga monsters".
  • Paradox Person: Kara's conflicting backstories after Crisis on Infinite Earths are due to the universe itself trying to make sense of her existence, since she was born in a parallel universe whose existence was retroactively erased.
  • Parental Substitute:
    • Pre-New 52 Power Girl was already an adult woman when she arrived on Earth, but Superman and Lois Lane treated her as their daughter anyway.
      Power Girl: [tearfully] You took me in! You treated me like I was your daughter!
      Earth-2 Lois Lane: Oh, honey... as far as we were concerned, you were our daughter.
    • Post-New 52 Power Girl was a little child when her rocket landed on Earth. Pa and Ma Kent volunteered to raise her, and Superman took her in when she was a teenager.
  • Pietà Plagiarism:
    • The seventh issue of Infinite Crisis inverts the iconic "Superman carrying Supergirl'' image when Power Girl holds her cousin's body while Earth-2 Superman dies.
    • In the cover of Supergirl vol. 6 #20, Power Girl is holding the body of a dying Kara.
    • And in the cover of "DC Comics Presents issue #56", Superman holds Karen's body... two years prior to the Crisis.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: In the seventh issue of Infinite Crisis, as her cousin is dying, Power Girl cries out "please, don't leave me alone".
    Power Girl: No. Don't leave me alone, Kal. Please, don't leave me alone again.
  • Power Incontinence: After hitting a temporal anomaly just before Infinite Crisis, Kara's kryptonian physiology starts reasserting itself without warning. Karen finds her heat vision suddenly bursting out in the middle of a fight, leaving her blind.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Karen has blonde hair and her most iconic costume is a white bodysuit with blue gloves and boots and a red cape.
  • Put on the Bus: Both Karen and Tanya are trapped in an interdimensional void between worlds. In Deathstroke Annual #1 (March 2018), Tanya tried to rescue Karen, who was already seemingly trapped since post-DC Rebirth, but her plan ended in disaster.
  • Red Is Heroic: She wears a red cape.
  • 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.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Pretty much everyone, both fans and creators, have collectively said "fuck it" in regards to trying to explain exactly how and why Power Girl exclusively survived the original Crisis on Infinite Earths, as well as the myriad of irreconcilable Continuity Snarls that cropped up in wake of that. Even the DC Database offers nothing. Infinite Crisis even takes a moment to address it, with Kal-L and Alex Luthor talking about the matter. Alex can't figure out how she's still around, but Kal just figures it's because of Heroic Willpower. That's as close an explanation given as any.
  • 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 Sleepless: In an interesting twist, Kryptonian bodies don't need to sleep — yellow sunlight gives them so much energy as they need, as well as quick cellular regeneration and healing — but their minds have to. Karen's mental health deteriorates if she doesn't sleep and dream.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She is every bit as tall as Wonder Woman.
  • Straw Feminist: By the Justice League Europe days of the late '80s, she was portrayed as an obnoxiously outspoken feminist. She has mellowed out since then and her past behavior was retconned as a diet soda allergy.
  • Strong and Skilled: As depicted in the Palmiotti and Conner run, Karen is a lot smarter than her appearance would make people believe and is very experienced in using her powers in tactical ways. She has also received training in boxing and karate.
  • 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.
  • Super Power Lottery: Since she's a Kryptonian, she hit the jackpot: she has super-strength, super-speed, invulnerability, super-senses, heat vision, hurricane breath, freezing breath, she can fly and she doesn't need to eat, breathe or sleep.
  • Thinking Tic: Back in the Silver Age, Karen put her finger to her mouth as she pondered something much like her main universe counterpart did.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Her mouth may say Oh, Crap!, but her eyes say this trope.
  • Trapped in Another World: After the Crisis, Earth-2 didn't exist anymore, and Karen was trapped in the single surviving universe.
    Power Girl: I'm from a distant planet called Krypton. I first landed on a parallel Earth similar to this one where I was a member of the Justice Society. There was a Crisis and somehow I wound up here, cut off from everything I knew and everyone I loved.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Intellectually. 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 in a non-romantic example with Captain Atom. Considering the one who got her dere side was the only one who didn't spend all his time ogling her, probably justified.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Power Girl gets this often. People see her and think: "Blonde, buxom and muscled equal dumb". Ultra-Humanite calls her brainless and quips that her brain is her less used body part... even though she always, always, always outsmarts him. It irks Power Girl, but she admits that it's good being underestimated.
    Power Girl: He thinks he's already won. He thinks I'm stupid. It's okay. I like being underestimated.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Pre-Crisis, when she decided to set up a secret identity, Wonder Woman brought a "Memory Teacher" from Paradise Island that taught her all about computers.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
    • In Wonder Woman, volume 3, #40 Quetzlotl and Power Girl are used to show The Children of Ares can brainwash even gods and kryptonians. Wonder Woman handles Quetzlotl easily enough by wrapping him in her lasso, but then gets sucker punched by Power Girl, which apparently makes her too angry to think clearly and wrap her in the lasso too. Kara proceeds to punch Diana out of Washington DC and into Canada, drawing blood in the process before trying to kill Diana with heat vision while Diana focuses more on saving people from Kara's collateral damage than fighting back. Finally Wonder Woman drops the Idiot Ball and remembers her lasso, only to drop it, but still manages to beat Power Girl stupid and force her head to the ground while applying a double hammer lock. Apparently since it was nine years publication time since she faced a Circe controlled Superman it was time to remind readers that Wonder Woman can beat a Kryptonian in a fist fight.
    • Lampshaded in her own series "Why, oh why do I keep getting my ass kicked?!"
  • World's Strongest Woman: A contender for strongest woman in the DCU, being, powerwise, a female Superman.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain:
    • During Infinite Crisis, she regains her memory of who she really is and finds her cousin again... and then he's beaten to death by another version of himself and dies in her arms.
    • During "Thy Kingdom Come", the Old God Gog tries to send her 'home'. She winds up on a recreation of Earth-Two where her friends and family are alive again... and then that Earth's Power Girl shows up, and attacks (adding to the dog-yanking chain, Kryptonite from that Earth does effect her. Per the rules of DC's multiverse, Kryptonite doesn't work on Kryptonians from different universes. So it is a recreated Earth-2... it's just that it got a recreated Power Girl along for the ride.)

Supporting Characters

    Terra III

Aka: Atlee

The third character to go by the moniker of Terra. Atlee hails from the subterranean world of Strata and possesses control over earth and earthly substances. Her people's culture is intrinsically tied to the sanctity of the Earth, and they occasionally take measures to insure that the ecosystem is protected. To this end, Atlee was given geokinetic powers based upon the genetic template of her predecessor, Tara Markov. Taking human form, she rose to the surface world and began adventuring as a superhero. For the page relating to her own self titled miniseries see Terra.

  • Action Girl: As expected of a female superhero.
  • And I Must Scream: Atlee states she was fully awake when Satanna performed the operation that switched her brain with Ultra-Humanite.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Atlee is a pretty nice person for the most part but she is not to be trifled with. She once threatened to blind and kill Satanna to make the villain deactivate the gravity well device she put on Power Girl's chest.
  • The Bus Came Back: After being missing for a while since the end of the Connor/Palmiotti run, Atlee returned in Starfire's solo book.
  • The Champion: To the people of Strata.
  • Characterization Marches On: Originally Atlee was an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl who actually threatened Power Girl just because she put her hand on her. When she became a character in Karen's book she was depicted as a cheery, peppy, and nonsensical adolescent, completely innocent about surface life, and hailing from a society who apparently banished malice and human greed from their lifestyles.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Like the previous Terras, she can control earth and earthly materials and substances.
    • Gemstone Assault: She's shown the ability to manipulate any form of mineral like when she made a crystalline sphere to confine some mystical mind-controlling goo.
    • Magma Man: She can also control lava and can survive falling into it.
  • Good Is Not Soft: When Satanna placed a Gravity Well in Power Girl's chest to kill her, Atlee threatened to torture and kill Satanna if she did not save Power Girl's life. Her mini-series also shows her being willing to use lethal force.
  • Grand Theft Me: Became a victim of this at the hands of the Ultra-Humanite, who captured her and removed her brain to insert his into her body while hers was put in his disfigured Gorilla body.
  • Hates Being Touched: As mentioned above, she threatened to hurt Power Girl for touching her and dealt a harsh blow to Silver Banshee for putting her hands on her. In fairness, she was also naked when Karen touched her as well as angry at having her blood taken by Dr. Mid-Nite while she was in a coma and Silver Banshee did threaten to kill her.
  • Healing Factor: Atlee can heal herself to some degree. After being burned by lava, she went into a temporary self-induced coma. She woke up, healed, after a period of some hours.
  • Not Quite Flight: Like her predecessors, Atlee can use her powers to uproot a large mound of earth to carry her across the air.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Ultra-Humanite showed just how scary Atlee's powers can be in the hands of someone who doesn't care for civilian casualties or collateral damage. While residing in her body, Ultra-Humanite was able to shift nearby tectonic plates with ease or cause volcanoes to erupt at his will. He surmises that Atlee has always had this amazing amount of power, but willingly chose to limit herself in fear of the damage she could cause.
  • Redeeming Replacement: To Tara Markov, the original Terra. While Tara was a sarcastic, cynical sociopath who was evil for the hell of it, Atlee is a kind-hearted, environmentally-conscious superhero dedicated to protecting people.
  • Scenery Censor: There is an extended sequence of this in Dr. Mid-Nite's office when a nude Atlee regains consciousness, jumps off the treatment table, and flounces angrily around the room while searching for her clothes.
  • Superpower Lottery: Atlee's control over earth and earthly substances is more versatile than the original Terra's. She also has other powers like enhanced strength, durability and a healing factor.
  • Super-Strength: She's strong enough to kill an underground creature she was fighting with her bare hands.
  • Super-Toughness: Survived getting smacked a distance away by a demigod and then got right back up with no injuries. She also survived a dip in lava.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Atlee is a superhero for no other reasons than because it is the right thing to do.

    Nicholas "Nicco" Cho

A brilliant computer and nanotechnology expert, Nicco once used computer hacking skills to steal millions of dollars through identity theft, but reformed and spent several years working for the FBI in exchange for a clean criminal record. Karen Starr, his employer at Starrware Labs, uses his criminal past to blackmail him into accessing secret military databases to discover a weakness in the villain Crash. Cho later confronted her and forced her into admitting that she is Power Girl. Although Cho resented being used as a tool by Power Girl, he accepted her apology and begins working as her support staff.

  • Asian and Nerdy: He's a Korean-American man and expert in computers and nanotechnology.
  • The Atoner: Cho was a criminal hacker once but reformed.
    I did my time. I helped the government stop idiots like me for six years. And then...when they gave me a life back, I wanted to help. To serve. To make this a better world.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Cho has been MIA since the end of the Winnick run.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Cho invented a pair of nanotech devices disguised as earrings that allow him to communicate directly with Power Girl while she is in the field and see what she sees. They have also been used to actively scan her opponents for weaknesses.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He did not appreciate Karen using his past to manipulate him.

    Marcus Teman

An NSA agent who was assigned as a liaison to Starrware.

  • Scary Black Man: Subverted. Despite his large and imposing form he's pretty restrained and laid back.

    Donna Anderson

Karen's former Chief Financial Officer. She had two children via her ex-husband Xander Bevlin.

  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: She is killed in the Winnick run.
  • Sudden Sequel Heel Syndrome: Subverted. Donna was believed to have embezzled more than $50 million from Starrware and illegally signed away many of Starrware's intellectual properties. It was ultimately revealed however that the real culprit was Maxwell Lord.

    Simon Peters

Karen's executive assistant.

  • Beleaguered Assistant: While he clearly likes Karen, her habit of leaving him high and dry often frustrates him.

    Stinky the Cat

Power Girl's orange furred cat.

  • Expy: Of Streaky the Super cat, and possibly the one-eyed stray from Justice League International.


    Satanna the Tiger Girl
AKA: Sara Descarl

Satanna started her scientific career as a lab assistant to the brilliant but physically weakening Gerard Shugel. After Shugel's experiments on organ transplants on animals were shut down by the university authorities, Satanna left with Shugel and they eventually came to the Congo where they successfully transplanted Shugel's brain into the body of a massive white gorilla. While initially admiring Shugel's intellect and bravery, Satanna was now sexually attracted to the new Shugel's ferocity and raw power. They parted since, with Satanna perfecting what she had learned from Shugel.

  • Avenging the Villain: Satanna targets Power Girl after the Kryptonian hero injures the Ultra-Humanite whom Satanna was in a past relationship with and still had feelings for.
  • Badass Normal: Satanna doesn't have any superpowers and relies solely on her intellect.
  • The Beastmaster: She discovered how to transplant human brains into the bodies of tigers, which then followed her every command, both in her stage act as “Satana the Tiger Girl” and in her extortion-murder plots.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: It's implied Satanna had sex with the Ultra-Humanite when his brain was first implanted into his gorilla body. For extra squickiness, he was covered with the blood of the men who later attacked him and she told him not to wash off before the sex.
  • Bullying a Dragon: When Karen confronts Satanna and demands to know where Atlee's brain is, Satanna responds with mockery. Karen blasts her arm off to show she means business.
  • Humiliation Conga: After having her arm blasted off by Karen, Satanna sleeps with Dr. Sivana in exchange for a weapon that can defeat the Kryptonian. Sivana reneges on the deal and throws Satanna out of his house.
  • Mad Scientist: Given her mentor and crush was the Ultra-Humanite, it isn't too surprising.
  • Make Some Noise: Satanna fought Power Girl with a hammer that generated sonic booms capable of penetrating the nervous system.
  • Powered Armor: She wore armor durable enough to take a hit from Power Girl. It was also insulated against sound meaning it was immune to the effects of her sonic boom hammer.
  • Red Right Hand: After her arm is blasted off by Karen, Satanna replaces it with a leopard arm.
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: She was originally a Hawkman villain.

AKA: Randall Mikavic

Randall Mikavic was an arms dealer whose human body was destroyed by a Cybernetic Re-Adaptive Simulant Humanoid (C.R.A.S.H.) which needed to absorb his neural pathways to complete its programming. A copy of his personality is now housed inside the android alongside its programming. Crash's resting state is a thin 9' purple humanoid. His fully-powered state was unlocked once his full programming came on-line, causing him to bulk up significantly, with a corresponding increase in strength and stamina.

  • Achilles' Heel: Crash's fully-powered mode was initially only active for a 4 hour period. His programming automatically powered down at the end of this period, incapacitating him. He has since been seen in the fully-powered mode, although it is unknown whether or not he is still subject to the 4 hour time limit.
  • Arms Dealer: What he was before his accident.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Much to his dismay.
    Randall: I'm like a Ken Doll down south. This is no way for a man to have to live!
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was an immigrant from the Soviet Union who was bullied because of his accent and weight. He stole electronics and sold them to a pawn shop for money which he used to pay other kids for protection since he wasn't a fighter himself. This taught him that certain types of commerce could dictate power and he would eventually become the third richest arms dealer in the world.
  • Formerly Fat: On account of his mind being transferred to a robot body.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Randall went from a Russian kid who was bullied to the fourth richest illegal arms dealer in the world. Becoming Crash made him even more dangerous.
  • Fun with Acronyms: C.R.A.S.H. (Cybernetic Re-Adaptive Simulant Humanoid).
  • Purple Is Powerful: His new body is purple.
  • Super-Strength: Was able to hold his own against Power Girl.
  • Super Mode: He can enter a full power state where he is bulkier and stronger.

    Da Bomb
Aka: Lucius Funk

Da Bomb is a meta human stalker that has an obsession for Power Girl. He is incredibly powerful but completely delusional and sexist.

  • Bald of Evil: Da Bomb is a villain with a shaven dome and sexist attitude.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Invoked. Da Bomb thinks the best way to seduce Power Girl is by defeating her. He's wrong.
  • Having a Blast: Funk has an ability he refers to as "touching the spot". With this, he can agitate individual molecules in an object, usually starting a chain reaction that explodes the object.
  • In a Single Bound: He may also be able to fly, but he might simply be able to jump large distances.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Towards Power Girl.
  • Straw Misogynist: Is an obnoxious sexist.
  • Supertoughness: Able to take multiple blows from Power Girl.
  • Villainous Crush: Is obsessed with Power Girl.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Usually shirtless with a leather vest.


A clone of Power Girl created by Dr. Sivana at the behest of Maxwell Lord.

  • Amazonian Beauty: Her top gets destroyed during her fight with Karen revealing that she is every bit as muscular and buxom as Karen.
  • Black Bra and Panties: Her top gets destroyed during her fight showing that she wears a black bra.
  • Dark Is Evil: If the black clothing isn't enough of a clue, she has black hair in contrast to Karen's blonde hair.
  • Evil Brunette Twin: She physically resembles Karen in every way except hair color. Lampshaded by her.
    I think my boss wanted to put his own spin on it. But I'm you in every way that counts.
  • Evil Knockoff: She's a clone of Karen's created by Max Lord to serve him.
  • Evil Wears Black: Even a black bra.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Continued to fight Karen in the snow while only wearing a bra, gloves and black pants. Justified given her physiology.
  • Expy: Of Galatea from Justice League Unlimited. Both of them are clones created from a version of Superman's cousin (Galatea from her continuity's Supergirl, Divine from Power Girl). Ironically enough, Galatea is an expy of Power Girl.
  • Malevolent Masked Woman: She first attacks Karen wearing a mask.
  • Superpower Lottery: She has all of Karen's abilities.


A native of the planet Areta, Rana grew up under the tyranny of the war lords of of Azaar for over a century. She managed to steal a spaceship belonging to the Azaar and fled Arenta to Earth, a planet populated by superheroes. Rana was convinced that her people could have defeated the Azaar if her planet had a large population of heroes just like Earth. Rana spent the next few years on Earth, researching the planet's heroes and came to the conclusion that Power Girl was the strongest one.

  • Empowered Badass Normal: While an alien, she had no super powers and was simply a smart and trained resistance fighter. Then she built a machine that granted her Karen's powers.
  • Expy: With her long purple hair, reliance on technology and gadgets, and intense jealousy of a super-strong heroine, Rana has a lot in common with Biko Daitokuji.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her home planet was invaded and she spent her life under oppression. The feelings of weakness and anger as an oppressed citizen made her crave power.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Deconstructed. Rana wants the power that comes with being a superhero but none of the responsibility of protecting others.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Karen doesn't buy Rana's excuse that her actions are to help her people and believes that Rana only wants the power of a superhero without wanting to actually help anyone.
  • Smug Super: After gaining Karen's powers she declares herself to be better than Power Girl. Karen proves her wrong with the help of some of her fans.

    Ophelia Day

C.E.O. of Day Work Industries, a laboratory rival to Power Girl's company Starrware, Ophelia comes across as a very proud and competitive woman. She is overjoyed at Starrware's bankruptcy, but it is short lived when Karen Starr manages to take everything back.

    Zoraida, the Elf Queen
Aka: Diane Dorst

A zealous environmentalist who came into possession of a spell book that transformed her into an elf and granted her magical abilities.

  • Anti-Villain: She truly fears for the environment and is trying to stop its destruction. Tellingly, she accepts an internship at an eco-friendly firm where her passion could be put to good use.
  • Nominal Villain: Diane Dorst is an environmental activist who comes into contact with a magic book that transformed her into Zoraida the Elf Queen, who tries to go full Gaia's Vengeance on the world. After Power Girl undoes the transformation, she gets Diane an internship at an environmentally friendly firm to help her best channel her activism.
  • Spell Book: The source of her power.
  • Summon Magic: Her spell book allows her to call forth magical creatures to fight for her.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She only wants to save the environment from further destruction and Karen was able to convince her to do it through more legal and less dangerous means.