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Comic Book / Girl Power

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2016 edition cover

Girl Power is a Supergirl storyline published in Supergirl (2005) #1-5 (October, 2005-March, 2006). Superman/Batman #19 served as a prologue, being reprinted as Supergirl (2005) #0. It was penned and illustrated by Jeph Loeb and Ian Churchill.

After arriving on Earth in The Supergirl from Krypton (2004), Kara Zor-El is trying to get acquainted with her new home. Unfortunately, she gets involved in fights wherever she goes, someone is spying on her, and there is something wrong lurking within her.

One of the plot points is based on an earlier Supergirl storyline, Adventure Comics #313: The Condemned Legionnaires, and it was reused in DC media as Smallville and Supergirl (2015).

This storyline was collected in two trades: "Power" (2006) and "Girl of Steel" (2016).


  • Adaptational Wimp: When Pre-Crisis Supergirl battled Luthor for the first time in The Death of Luthor, she easily beat his tricks and humiliated him before turning him over to the cops. When her vastly less powerful and more poorly trained Post-Crisis incarnation engages Luthor for the first time, she is easily beaten by his tricks, humiliated and nearly killed off.
  • Batman Gambit: In order to find the fake Supergirl, Superman hits both Supergirls, assuming his real cousin will not retaliate. His plan fails because both girls fight back.
  • Being Watched: Early on the story, Kara is flying back to Earth when she realizes she is being spied via satellite.
  • Born as an Adult: Dark Supergirl is born as a fully grown girl when Supergirl gets exposed to Black Kryptonite.
  • Breaking the Bonds: When Kara gets tired of letting the Outsiders beat her up, she shouts, "No more games!" and breaks her Kryptonite manacles into a thousand shards.
  • Bring It: When the Justice League of America interrupts a battle between Supergirl and her Evil Counterpart, Dark Supergirl suggests the Leaguers to run. In reply, Black Canary begs her to try and attack them.
    Black Canary: "Please. Make a move on us."
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Supergirl uses herself as a shield to cover Batgirl from gunfire.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Batman's villain Clayface ambushes and taunts Supergirl. Annoyed, Kara lifts the ground where he is standing and she dumps Clayface into the ocean.
  • Canon Immigrant: Black Kryptonite from Superman III is introduced into comic-book continuity.
  • Cat Fight: Kara gets into a fight with Wonder Girl when Cassandra "Cassie" Sandsmark sees her and Conner together and misunderstands the situation.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Subverted. Starfire is clearly irritated when Kara kisses Nightwing, but she does not even want to talk about it when Kara tries to apologize herself for smooching her boyfriend.
  • Complexity Addiction: Lex Luthor has a golden opportunity to kill Supergirl; but instead of finishing her off, he decides to test the effects of Black Kryptonite on her. Not only does his radioactive rock fail to turn Supergirl into her loyal and evil minion how he expected, but he wastes the only chance he will ever have to kill Kara in that continuity.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Supergirl faces off against Lex Luthor for the first time, but she is too young and unexperienced to pose a threat to him. Thus, Luthor quickly uses a Kryptonite blast to weaken her before beating her up easily.
  • Declaration of Personal Independence: The story begins with Kara complaining she can't learn from her mistakes and stand on her own if her overprotective cousin doesn't stop babying her.
    Supergirl: Thanks. I'm sure there were a few times, particularly out there on the street, when you wanted to fly in— but you let me handle it. It's the only way I'm going to learn, Kal.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In the aftermath of the battle wherein Supergirl trashes Wonder Girl, who had attacked her because of a misunderstanding, Kara and Cassandra become good friends.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: As saving the Air Force One, Kara rips one wing off because she has not yet achieved complete control of her inhuman strength.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Kara becomes so entranced with Nightwing's face when he is speaking that she barely hears whatever he is saying.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: When Power Girl agrees to see Supergirl, the younger Kara chooses the Statue of Liberty as the meeting point for no particular reason.
  • Enemy Without: Upon being exposed to Lex Luthor's black Kryptonite, Kara spawns an evil duplicate called "Dark Supergirl" which embodies Supergirl's repressed anger over the loss of her people.
    Starfire: Listen. When Luthor flew off— I was pretty out of it, but I thought you went after him.
    Supergirl: I did. In a way. But it wasn't me. And it's not a good thing.
    Starfire: What? Like an evil twin?
    Supergirl: I... don't know. More like it was part of me.
    Starfire: I have a sister. They call her Blackfire. I feel like I'm responsible for every bad thing she does.
    Supergirl: Yeah, well, in this case... I think I am.
    Starfire: Do you know where this... "she" is?
    Supergirl: I do. She's been in my head... Maybe... All my life.
    Starfire: And now? How do you feel having her out?
    Supergirl: The truth...? Relieved.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: When Darkseid disappears during one battle against Kal-El, Luthor assumes Superman -of all people- has killed him. He also believes Superman likes pretending people cannot fall prey to their dark side, despite Superman being fully aware of it.
  • Evil Costume Switch: When Dark Supergirl emerges from Kara's body, she wears a black version of her normal costume. Exploited when Dark Supergirl switches her costume with original Supergirl's at Super-Speed to fool Batman and Superman as to who was the evil clone.
  • Evil Wears Black: Dark Supergirl wears a black version of Kara's regular costume.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: Kara flicks Harley Quinn into unconsciousness in "Girls Night Out".
  • First Kiss: Poison Ivy forcefully kisses Kara to put her under mind-control. After pushing Ivy back, Supergirl notes that was her -very weird- first kiss.
    Batgirl: That was weird.
    Supergirl: Sure was. Especially for my first kiss.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule:
  • Forceful Kiss:
    • Poison Ivy forcefully kisses Supergirl to impregnate her lips with her mind-controlling poison. In reaction, Kara pushes her back angrily.
    • Kara kisses Nightwing impulsively before flying away to face Lex Luthor.
  • The Glomp: Supergirl glomps Nightwing, and she even kisses him as well right in front of his girlfriend Starfire... who forgives Kara since it is only an unrequited crush.
  • Heal It With Fire: After Starfire has been shot by Luthor, Supergirl uses her heat vision to cauterize a gunshot wound on her friend's right shoulder.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lex Luthor exposes Supergirl to Black Kryptonite, thinking the radioactive substance will draw her inner darkness out. Rather than making Kara evil, though, the Black-K creates an evil Supergirl duplicate which nearly kills Luthor.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Starfire says Supergirl she has some of the answers she is looking for, Kara muses:
    Supergirl: (thinking) What would a girl who comes from another planet in a faraway galaxy know about — Oh. Says me, the girl from another planet in a far... Huh.
  • I Hate Past Me: Kara tries to bond with her older alternate self Power Girl, but her reality-displaced counterpart wants nothing with her because she feels like Supergirl has taken her uniqueness away from her.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: As the Calculator is monitoring Kara under Lex Luthor's orders, she glares straight in the direction of the Calculator’s camera. It is enough for him to freak out in a Spit Take.
    Lex Luthor: "Report in to me, Kuttler. What's going on out there?"
    Calculator: "I...I'm not sure, sir. But for the briefest of moments, I...thought she was aware of me."
    Lex Luthor: "You've told me that's impossible."
    Calculator: "It is. This operation transmits at a continually changing frequency at every end of the spectrum."
  • Inner Monologue Conversation: As they monitor Kara's rookie deeds, Batman thinks Superman assumes she will understand their actions if she finds out instead of getting angry. Meanwhile, Superman thinks Batman thinks wrong, since he is aware that Kara will not appreciate discovering that they are keeping an eye out for her.
  • I Will Show You X!: When Kara grabs Cassie's lasso, the latter suggests her to let it go because its power is fueled by her anger. Kara, who is already quite angry about being attacked because of a dumb misunderstanding, replies:
    Supergirl: "You think you know anger? I'll show you anger!"
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: When the Outsiders are training with a handicapped Supergirl, the team gang up on her until Kara gets fed up, breaks her chains shouting "No more games!" and starts fighting seriously.
  • Literal Split Personality: A piece of black Kryptonite creates an evil Supergirl, clad in a black version of Kara's costume.
  • Mirror Match: Supergirl vs Power Girl and later Dark Supergirl, where Kryptonian matches her power against another Kryptonian.
  • Mood-Swinger: Kara changes from fury to happiness to fury to gloominess as talking/fighting Superboy and the Titans. Later it is revealed that her wild mood swings were caused by Kryptonite poisoning.
  • Mythology Gag: Kara cites one line from For the Man Who Has Everything when she fights Luthor:
    Supergirl: "Burn."
  • Neck Lift: Luthor neck-lifts Kara after shooting her down with a pulse blast.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Darkseid tells Luthor he can use black Kryptonite to awaken a Kryptonian's dark side, without clarifying what it exactly entails. Luthor then tests it on Supergirl, assuming she will turn evil and become his minion. When his black Kryptonite creates an evil Supergirl twin, Luthor tries to persuade her that they should obviously be allies, but she wants nothing but killing him.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Kara decides she'll confront Lex Luthor alone... but before leaving she impulsively kisses Nightwing "because if half of what they've told me about Luthor is true... I might not be able to do it later..."
  • No-Sell: Luthor's warsuit shrugs off anything Supergirl throws at it.
  • One-Hit Kill: Kara knocks Solomon Grundy out cold with one single punch.
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Supergirl's attempt to befriend Power Girl is brushed off not only because their powers went haywire when they got closer, but also because PG was jealousy from the girl who gets to be Superman's actual cousin.
  • Paint It Black: When she is split from Supergirl, her evil alternate personality wears a black-and-silver version of her normal costume.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: When Supergirl gets tired of trying to reason with Wonder Girl, she shouts the next line before taking Cassie down:
    Supergirl: "You think you know ANGER? I'LL SHOW YOU ANGER!"
  • Properly Paranoid: Kara is being spied by Luthor's henchman Noah Kuttler, alias Calculator, when she suddenly turns towards the camera, freaking him out. Luthor tells him he's just being paranoid and Supergirl can't be aware of him. She is, though.
  • Sensory Overload: When the Titans attack Superboy, Cyborg uses an ultrasonic device to slow him down.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kara develops a crush on Dick Grayson because he makes a speech about being good teammates.
  • Speed Blitz: The Justice Society are having a tough time taking Solomon Grundy down when Kara dives into the battlefield and punches Grundy out in a single movement.
  • Spit Take: As spying on Supergirl, Calculator spits his coffee out when she looks straight at the camera, implying that she has somehow spotted him.
  • Split-Personality Merge: Wonder Woman uses her Lasso of Truth to merge both Karas back into a single being.
  • Spoiler Cover: The appearance of Dark Supergirl at the end of the third issue, was meant to be a plot twist which nobody who was not familiarized with the original Supergirl's history would see coming. Unfortunately, the cover of the original trade features Supergirl engaging her evil counterpart.
  • Spot the Imposter: Dark Supergirl switches her costume with the original Kara's at super-speed to fool Batman and Superman as to who was the evil clone. Superman tries to spot the imposter by punching both girls, assuming -wrongly- that the real one will not retaliate. Finally, the real Kara gets fed up with the situation, and tells Diana to use her Lasso.
  • Spotting the Thread: Clayface poses as the original Batgirl to get close to Supergirl. When he drops the pretense, Clayface smugly gloats about getting Supergirl fooled...until Kara reveals he did not. She already knew about Barbara Gordon getting crippled and was merely playing along to find out who was impersonating her.
    Clayface: "I thought it was kinda weird being the old Batgirl, but you didn't notice. Where you from that you didn't know, anyway?"[...]
    Supergirl: "Guess you weren't paying attention when I said, "I've read a little about you." IT's horrible what happened to the original Batgirl... I didn't know who was impersonating her— But I knew sooner or later you'd reveal yourself— Clayface."
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Batman is the victim of this twice. It first happens when Superman flies out of the Batcave to help Supergirl. Later, Kara sneaks up on Batman when she realizes that he and her cousin are monitoring her from the Cave.
    Batman: "She's broken off the wing. Okay, Clark, if you manage to keep your distance, she might need some hel— I hate it when he does that."
  • Super-Breath: Parodied. When Kara expels out a gust of extremely cold air, freezing Grace in her tracks, the member of the Outsiders complains about her "freeze breath". Kara automatically and indifferently retorts that is not its name.
    Grace: "Not the freeze breath. Not the freeze breath. Not the G.D. Freeze Breath!"
    Supergirl: "Arctic Breath. At least that's what my cousin calls it. Argue with him about it."
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands: Batman uses satellites to monitor Kara's activities across the world. However, Kara notices them during one mission, and she goes to the Batcave to tell him personally how she feels about that invasion of privacy.
  • Symbol Swearing: When Superboy sees the Teen Titans arriving, he exclaims: "Oh, @#$%!".
  • Taking the Bullet: Supergirl does this for Batgirl when Poison Ivy mind-controls several guards into shooting her friend.
  • That Liar Lies: When Dark Supergirl declares Zor-El hated his brother and sent Kara to Earth to murder his nephew, Supergirl replies her duplicate is spewing out garbage lies, and why on Earth she should believe her Luthor-created evil clone anyway? Many issues later, when Supergirl meets her father in the Superman: Brainiac/New Krypton arcs, it becomes effectively proved that her dark duplicate was lying.
    Supergirl: "You're lying. Nothing like that ever happened."
    Dark Supergirl: ""Then, how do you explain— Me?"
    Supergirl: "Explain you? You're something that Lex Luthor made."
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Power Girl becomes real unpleasant and mean-spirited when she meets Supergirl and rejects her sincere offer of friendship because she is upset at no longer being Superman's only cousin.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Dark Supergirl smugly tells Kara her father wanted her to kill her baby cousin, Supergirl seems outwardly calm as softly -and rightfully- calling her evil clone a liar...but the soft, alarming red glow filling her eyes shows she is anything but that.
  • Vehicular Sabotage: Supergirl fries the Outsiders' jet's dashboard to prevent them from coming to her aid when she confronts Lex Luthor.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Kara spent thirty-five years trapped inside a space pod in suspended animation. As she explains to Raven, she gets frightened or mad when she's stuck inside a tight, dark space.
    Supergirl: You shouldn't have done that. Don't ever put me in the dark. Closed in. It's like I told Superboy. I can't handle it.
  • The Worf Effect: Solomon Grundy, who is usually a match for Superman, is knocked out by rookie hero Supergirl in one punch.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Lex Luthor claims he dislikes hitting women but he can forgive himself when he sees the "S"-shield as he's laying a beat-down on Supergirl:
    Lex Luthor: "There was a time when I wouldn't sully my hands with the pedestrian art of fisticuffs. Striking a woman— worse, a girl— reduces me to the level of some thug— a hooligan— on the street. Then, I see that "S" that you so brazenly decided to wear on your less than impressive chest. And I can almost forgive myself."
  • You Can See Me?: Calculator is monitoring Kara when she suddenly glares straight in the direction of his camera, causing him to freak out because she can see him even though it was supposedly impossible.
  • You Talk Too Much!: As sparring, Grace disparages Kara by constantly comparing her with a vapid pop idol. Eventually Kara gets tired of listening to Grace's ranting and taunting.
    Grace: "But, you know what gets me the most about you anorexic Barbie dolls...?"
    Supergirl: (breaking Grace's metal staff) You talk way too much!"