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Comic Book / Supergirl (1972)

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Wishing and Hoping... on the threshold of new life for herself — the Maid of Might swoops over San Francisco's majestic Golden Gate!

"I'm so happy... I think! Quitting my job at KSF-TV was the smartest thing I've ever done... I hope! Now I'm going to pursue my real ambition... at last!"

Supergirl (1972) or Supergirl Vol 1 was Supergirl's first solo book (previously her stories had been published monthly in Action Comics and Adventure Comics). Cary Bates and Art Saaf handled story and art duties.

After quitting her photographer job at San Francisco station KSF-TV, Linda Danvers/Kara Zor-El alias Supergirl flies to San Francisco where she enrolls at Vandyre University, eager to take acting classes. However, mysterious roommates, serial killers, street gangs, other-dimensional invaders, body-snatchers ghosts and lousy boyfriends will make her life harder.

The series usually included back-up stories featuring Zatanna and Hawkman.

Supergirl's book actually enjoyed decent sales, but by the mid-'70s DC developed a new publishing strategy: keep their profitable big-name (licensable) characters in their own regular comic-books, cancel the worst selling titles outright, and merge everything in-between into super-sized anthology titles. As such, characters with good sales but limited licensing possibilities found themselves sandwiched together into the pages of titles such as Superman Family, Batman Family, or Super-Team Family. And so, in March 1974, Supergirl's adventures were moved to Superman Family, a new 100 page bimonthly anthology spotlighting various characters within the Superman universe (including Superboy, Supergirl, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the private life of Clark Kent and the adventures of Earth-Two Superman and Lois Lane).

Supergirl (1972) provides examples of:

  • The '70s: The period this story was written in.
  • '70s Hair: The hairstyles, the long sideburns… a Linda’s classmate sports an afro.
  • Action Girl: Linda's one of the greatest heroes of The DCU. During her adventures she faces up to supernatural entities, alien invaders, crime lords and comes out on top every time.
  • Almost Kiss: In Supergirl #8, then-boyfriend Mitch is about to kiss Linda when her super-hearing senses trouble and she has to leave him alone.
  • Anti-True Sight: In Supergirl #4 gang boss David Grahm wears a lead helmet to hide his real identity from Supergirl.
  • Assassination Attempt: In the final issue, Supergirl is watching President Prez opening a mall when she spots among the crowd a man wearing a hidden gun, and she swiftly intercepts the would-be assassin by shielding Prez from the blast.
  • Badass Cape: Supergirl's cape is indestructible and can even withstand her own optic beams.
  • Big Dumb Body: Subverted because Linda is not at all dumb, but Medusa’s ghost wants to take over her body specifically because of her superhuman powers.
  • Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti: In issue #7 "The Sinister Snowman", Supergirl and Zatanna fight a giant Snowman while exploring a Himalayan mountain.
  • Blackmail: In Supergirl #1, a murder victim was being blackmailed by a crook who knew that he had a prison record.
  • Body Snatcher: Medusa's ghost tries to possess Linda. However, Perseus’ ghost possesses Mitch–a guy Linda was dating-and they defeat Medusa together.
  • Breath Weapon:
    • In Supergirl #4 Kara uses her freezing breath to put out a burning meteorite.
    • In Supergirl #7, Linda soaks two super-strong cavemen and then petrifies them in ice with a blast of super-cold breath.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": She wears her "S"-shield on the left breast.
  • Captain Obvious: A blackmailer when he sees Supergirl.
    Crook: S-S-Supergirl!
    Supergirl: Clever of you to notice!
  • Carpet-Rolled Corpse: Rare heroic example in Supergirl #6. Linda needs to stop a gang war so she picks two huge rolls of insulation and lays them out, knocking the gangers over and rolling them up inside. Once they are paralyzed, they have no option but listening to her.
  • Catch a Falling Star: In Supergirl #1, a serial killer manipulates a crane to lift a student and drop him onto a group of steel spikes, but Linda grabs the boy before he gets impaled.
  • Chest Insignia: She wears her "S"- emblem on her left breast.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: In the course of the story, Linda saves people from drowning, tries to cure degenerative diseases, saves cars from falling off cliffs, stops gang wars... Her drive to help people clashes with her desire to be a normal woman and have a decent dating life.
  • City in a Bottle: The Bottle City of Kandor. Linda often visits the Bottle City looking for aid. In issue #2 she almost destroys it by accident.
  • Clark Kenting: Kara dyes her hair brown and wears a different hairstyle.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Subverted. Linda used to wear long, loose clothes when she was fifteen. Here she wears tight clothes which make nothing to hide her figure or her muscles. However, she doesn’t stand out because most of people she meets are well-built.
  • Collapsing Lair: In the seventh issue, Orgox brings his mountain crashing down after being found by Supergirl and Zatanna.
  • Comics Merger: In 1974, DC Comics canceled Supergirl, Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, and Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane. The three features were combined (along with other occasional Superman-related features) in the (ahem) super-sized Superman Family title, which ran until 1982.
  • Conveyor Belt o' Doom: Subverted in the first issue when Supergirl tries to save a guy from a conveyor belt and finds the buzz saw is made from plastic. The conveyor belt wasn't supposed to cut the weak-hearted guy in half, it was meant to scare him to death.
  • Covers Always Lie: In the cover of seventh issue, Supergirl and Zatanna are pulling the arms of a Snowman. That scene doesn't happen in the book.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: In "Death of a City", Supergirl uses CPR on one of her teachers after saving him from drowning in the sea.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In Supergirl #2, Linda's friend Jeff made several passes at her even though she was not really interested. Still he was jealous every time Linda spent time with another guy and behaved as if she was cheating on him in spite of them NOT being together.
  • Crossover: With Prez (1973) in Supergirl #10.
  • Cryonics Failure: Invoked in Supergirl #7. Supergirl finds Zatanna's frozen body and does her utmost to thaw her carefully because Zatanna can die if she is not careful.
  • Demonic Possession: In issue #8, Medusa’s ghost tries to take over Linda’s body. However, Perseus’ spirit possesses Mitch’s body and helps Supergirl defeat Medusa.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Subverted. Supergirl thinks Orgox pretends to be a kind of demon-sorcerer in order to deceive a bunch of superstitious, insular villagers, but it turns out that Orgox is really a demonic sorcerer.
  • Domed Hometown: Bottle City of Kandor. In issue #2, Supergirl visits it and nearly destroys it by accident.
  • Eye Beams: Supergirl has heat vision.
  • Expo Label: The sixth issue The cover shows the interior of a gang's headquarters, with one "Gang Lords' Clubhouse" sign bolted above the door.
  • Fleeting Passionate Hobbies: In the first issue, Supergirl has decided to devote herself to her true passion and take a degree in dramatic art. However, she never showed interest in acting before, and it will only be mentioned again ten years later in some few Superman Family issues.
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: In issue #1 Kara uses Super-Suction Breath to capture a serial killer.
  • Flying Brick: Supergirl is one of the most prominent examples. In the first scene she is flying back to Earth after spending a while soaring through the cosmos, lifts her whole luggage and flies with it to her new dorm in a matter of seconds.
  • Flying Firepower: Linda is a Flying Brick with heat vision.
  • Forced Transformation: In the seventh issue, Tony Martyn, a Peace Corps volunteer who Kara has a crush on, is turned into a giant Yeti by evil wizard Orgox.
  • Forceful Kiss: In the cover of issue #6, a guy kisses Supergirl forcefully (a scene that never happens in the issue).
  • Frazetta Man: In issue #7 "The Sinister Snowman'', Supergirl bumps into two large, hairy and apelike cavemen trapped in a large slab of ice as she is exploring a mountain in the Himalayas. Suddenly they awaken, break free and attack Supergirl, uttering unintelligible noises but showing immense strength.
  • Giant Flyer: In the seventh issue, Zatanna fights an ice eagle several times larger than a man.
  • Girl of the Week: All her relationships are very short-lived.
  • Grand Theft Me: In issue #8 the mythical Medusa curses Supergirl and attempts to get her killed to take over her body.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In Supergirl #7, Supergirl and Zatanna spend a while seeking Tony out and struggling to save him. As soon as both women learn that he has a fiancée, they refused to speak to him.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In issue #2, Linda has to rescue a man from two giant octopi and a giant manta. Linda grabs manta's left flipper and slams it into both cephalopods, wielding it like a flail.
  • Harmless Freezing: In issue #7, Supergirl is exploring a mountain in the Himalayas when she comes upon two cavemen trapped in a large block of ice. Suddenly both cavemen come back to life and burst out of their icy prison with no ill effects. Justified since there was magic involved.
  • Human Popsicle: In the seventh issue, Supergirl finds two frozen cavemen as she is exploring the Himalayas.
  • Iconic Outfit: Supergirl wears her famous hot-pants outfit.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: In Supergirl #2, Jeff thinks Linda is cheating on him with a professor. However, Linda is not interested in either of them.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In Supergirl #1, a serial killer attempts to murder someone by dumping him on metal spikes.
  • Incredible Shrinking Man: In Supergirl #2, Kara shrinks herself and one of her teachers to go in the Bottle City of Kandor and find a cure to her professor's illness.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Kara has blue eyes. And she's a nice, kind and compassionate young woman. Moreover, her teen self was pretty innocent, optimistic and dangerously naive when she arrived on Earth.
  • Instant Costume Change: In Supergirl #1 Linda takes advantage of her Super-Speed to change clothes in a split-second when someone opens her dorm's door.
  • It's All My Fault: In issue #4, David Grahm hits his head when he takes a dive in a pool. Linda blames herself because she wasn't around to save him.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey: In issue #2 "Death of a City!", Supergirl and her professor Allan Forsyte are attacked by a Satan Swallow, a giant Kryptonian bird of prey, as they are travelling through the outskirts of Kandor. The humongous predator easily captures and dumps both humans on its nest, built on top of a high spire, and leaves to look for its mate. Unfortunately for both hungry birds, they return after Supergirl has recovered her powers.
  • Kirby Dots: In the second issue, masses of white and black dots are used to depict currents of sea foam.
  • Lilliputians: In several adventures, Linda turns to the shrunk people of the Bottle City of Kandor to help her out. In issue #2 she enters Kandor to find a cure for her professor's brain malady. In issue #4 she asks a Kandorian surgeon his brain-surgery equipment to cure a person who sustains a brain injury.
  • Lover Tug of War: Supergirl and Zatanna do this in the cover of the seventh issue.
  • Love at First Sight: Linda believes she fell for Tony as soon as she saw him.
    Supergirl: Ohh... What a dreamboat! I thought love at first sight was just for fairy tales — until now!
  • Love Hurts: Every time Linda falls for someone, she gets her heart broken. Sometimes the guy turns out to be a cheater, evil or jerkass. Sometimes he is nice but he is taken. Sometimes he is nice and available but her secret life ruins the relationship.
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me: Setting aside Linda Danvers' need to inform readers that she is Supergirl, she is about to use her X-Ray Vision or how her powers work, in issue #2 she flies to The Fortress of Solitude and explains that is her cousin's Fortress of Solitude, which only he and she can unlock with a special massive key.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Kara fights one of these in Supergirl #3: The Garden of Death!. A giant, mutant carnivorous plant tries to swallow Kara whole but it quickly spits Supergirl out because it can't bite through her indestructible skin.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: It happens to Kara the whole time. The. Whole. Time. She never can keep a steady boyfriend for longer than a single issue because she is prone to unexplained absences or ditch the guy abruptly when her Super-Senses pick up on something.
  • Mind Probe: In the first issue, Linda’s roommate Wanda Five probes Supergirl’s mind.
  • Mistaken for Cheating:
    • In Supergirl #2, Linda is doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a drowned man. One of her classmates who was flirting with her before meets them and thinks she is cheating on him... although they are not an item.
    • In Supergirl #6, Linda is hugging gang leader Ricky in gratitude for listening to her when Loretta -Ricky's girlfriend- walks in on them and thinks her boyfriend is cheating on her with Supergirl. However it was a totally innocent act.
  • Moment Killer: In Supergirl #8 Mitch is about to kiss Kara when her super-hearing detects trouble.
  • Mundane Utility: In Supergirl #7, Linda stumbles upon Zatanna's frozen body. She wraps her cape around the magician girl and uses her heat beams to warm up her cape like an electric blanket and revive Zatanna.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: All guys Kara meets are buff and larger than her. Neither of them can move planets.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • In the first issue, Supergirl picks and car and lifts it overhead.
    • Linda becomes an actress starring on the TV soap opera Secret Hearts, also the title of DC's own romance anthology series.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In issue #1, Linda uses Super-Suction Breath to capture a serial killer. Basically, she draws out the air out of a cab so the man in there faints.
  • New Transfer Student: The story starts out when Linda starts taking classes in Vandyre University.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Linda's body is nearly invulnerable.
  • Not What It Looks Like: It happened twice in the second issue when a friend of Linda thought she was flirting with a professor.
  • Oblivious to Love: Tony Martyn never guessed that Supergirl and Zatanna had a crush on him.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: In issue #10 a criminal tries to clone Supergirl in order to use her twin to commit crimes. The (male) twin -called Superlad- ends up committing suicide due to an ethical conflict between what his criminal creator has told him to do and what his twin wants him to do.
  • Pietà Plagiarism: Linda carries Professor Forsyte in her arms when she flies to the Fortress of Solitude.
  • Portal Door: In issue #5, villain Drax uses a dimensional gate resembling a normal door to drag the Maid of Might in another dimension.
  • Primary-Color Champion: Supergirl wears a blue long-sleeved shirt, and red cape, short pants and shoes.
  • Psychic Powers: Wanda Five is a telepath and precognitive.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Linda's friend and roommate Wanda Five is a telepath and precognitive. Wanda takes both hands on their temples when she uses her psychic powers.
  • Red Is Heroic: Linda’s outfit is mostly red.
  • The Ruins I Caused: In "The Sinister Snowman", Zatanna and Kara watch the crumbled remains of what used to be a mountain inhabited by the demon Orgox.
  • Rule of Perception: In Supergirl #2, Linda's X-Ray Vision is depicted as parallel white streaks coming from her eyes which no one else can see.
  • Scene Cover: The cover of the third issue features Linda kneeled and sobbing as her friends get fun without her. That scene happens in the last panel of that issue.
  • Secret Identity: Kara's secret identity is Linda Lee Danvers.
  • Secret Identity Change Trick:
    • Kara uses all kind of excuses such like saying "I'm going to buy a bottle of water!"
    • In issue #10 she sneaks out of the dormitory when everyone else is watching the TV.
  • Secret-Identity Identity: Kara Zor-El is torn between her responsibilities as Supergirl and her desire to be a normal woman and lead a normal life. Unlike her cousin -whose "real" person was Superman back in the Bronze Age-, she thought of herself as "Linda Danvers", and sometimes she felt frustrated because she spent so long being Supergirl that she forgot what being "Linda" was like.
  • Secret-Keeper: Supergirl knows Clark Kent is Superman. Superman, her foster parents Fred and Edna Danvers know that Linda Lee Danvers is Supergirl.
  • Slave Liberation: In "The Devil's Brother", Supergirl leads a slave revolt against Dax, overlord of a parallel dimension. After helping them overthrow Dax, Supergirl urges the now-free slaves to never again let someone take their freedom away.
  • Spectacular Spinning: In Supergirl #7, a massive boulder is about to crush a village. Linda charges right away at it, spinning around at super-speed and becoming a super-drill, pulverizing her way directly into the rock core to stop it and drive it away.
  • Straw Feminist: In Supergirl #9 Linda goes through a short phase where she is sick of men and decides to stay in Paradise Island. It doesn’t last long.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: The Princess of Power, among others.
  • Superheroes Stay Single: Linda dates several guys. No relationship lasts longer than one issue.
  • Superpower Lottery: Linda is an Earth-One Kryptonian. She is an incredibly powerful Flying Brick with heat vision, several breath weapons and super-senses.
  • Super-Breath: Linda has this power: she uses her hurricane/arctic breath to put out fires, freeze or blow away people.
  • Super-Senses: In the first scene she uses her X-Ray Vision combined with her telescopic vision to read a letter while she's floating several hundred of meters over her apartment. And later she uses her microscopic vision to analyze a statue belonging to her roommate and determine that it was made from alien substances.
  • Super-Strength: Supergirl has incredible strength.
  • Super-Toughness: Supergirl is a nigh invulnerable Flying Brick on par with her cousin. In Supergirl #3, a giant mutant Venus fly-trap tries to swallow Linda/Kara whole but it ends up spitting Supergirl out because it can't bite her skin.
    Supergirl: This brute may become a vegetarian now! Trying to chomp down on my invulnerable body would ruin the appetite of any meat-eater!
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Averted with Zatanna, played straight with Supergirl… fortunately for Zatanna, since Linda used her cape like an electric blanket to save the young magician.
  • Taken for Granite: In Supergirl #8 Linda takes part in a play rehearsal in which she dons a snake-headed mask and portrays Medusa. The real Medusa's ghost gives her a head full of real snakes and the curse of turning any man who looks at her to stone.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Subverted in Supergirl #2. Linda saves her Professor Allan Forsyte from drowning. Several of her classmates find her as she is doing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and think they are making out.
  • Temporary Love Interest: All Linda’s boyfriends or Love Interests disappear after one or two issues and are never seen again.
  • There Was a Door: In issue #1, Supergirl is trying to prevent a murder and she is running out of time, so she flies through a wall to save the would-be victim.
  • This Is a Drill: In #7, a massive boulder is about to crush a village. Linda charges right away at it, spinning around at super-speed and becoming a super-drill, pulverizing her way directly into the rock core to stop it and drive it away.
  • Too Spicy for Yog-Sothoth: In the third issue, a giant, mutant carnivorous plant tries to swallow Linda whole but it quickly spits Supergirl out because its teeth can't bite through her indestructible skin.
    Supergirl: This brute may become a vegetarian now! Trying to chomp down on my invulnerable body would ruin the appetite of any meat-eater!
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Linda does this in issue #2 as she is pondering about Professor Forsyte's chronic condition.
  • Two First Names: Supergirl's civilian Earth name is Linda Danvers.
  • The Unapologetic: Linda's ex-boyfriend Dale. When she accused him on cheating on her, he wasn't even slightly sorry.
  • Uncertain Doom: The demon Ordox chooses to bring his mountain down rather than letting himself be captured by Supergirl and Zatanna. Both heroines theorize that Ordox possibly died with his mountain, but his fate is never revealed.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: A pilot in Supergirl #9. She saved him and he complained.
  • Unwanted Rescue: In the ninth issue, she saves a pilot who was caught in a downdraft. He then complains claiming he was practicing a stunt and not in danger.
  • Up, Up and Away!: Kara usually stretches her arms forward when she flies.
  • Vacuum Mouth: Linda has "Super-Suction Breath", which is a variant of her Super-Breath. In issue #1 she sucks all the air of a vehicle in order to cut off a criminal's oxygen supply and apprehend him safely.
  • Villainous Crush: In Supergirl #4 a guy called David Grahm romanced her. It turned out that he was a gang leader.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Linda is one of the most powerful heroes, she has fought countless villains… but she can hardly keep a boyfriend.
  • World of Muscle Men: Most of men are so well-built that their muscles appear under sweaters.
  • World's Strongest Woman: Played straight with Supergirl and invoked in Supergirl #7 where a dialog box calls Linda "The mightiest girl on Earth… Supergirl!"
  • X-Ray Vision: She uses her X-Ray vision in the first scene to see through several walls and an envelope and read a letter.

Linda Danvers: Ohmigosh! Not now! Why does a crisis have to crop up just now!