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Comic Book / Supergirl: Being Super

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Story by Mariko Tamaki. Art by Joëlle Jones
Where do I begin? Good question, right? I hate beginnings: the cheesy music swelling, the deep man voice saying, "This is the story of Kara Danvers, who lived in Midvale." I don't know. I guess you need a beginning to make sense of the rest of the story... to know where you are, who I am.

Supergirl: Being Super is a 2016 Supergirl origin and coming-of-age tale set outside of the main continuity of The DCU. Written by Caldecott Honor-winning and Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer) and illustrated by Eisner Award-nominated artist Joëlle Jones (Lady Killer).

Flying and crushing coal into diamonds may come easy, but try popping a Kryptonian zit! But while growing pains shake up Kara's world, a deadly earthquake rocks the small town of Midvale beneath her feet! The Girl of Steel has a choice: let her world die, or overcome her adolescent insecurities and be super!

Supergirl: Being Super provides examples of:

  • Alien Among Us: Kara came to Earth as a small child, and the sudden appearance of new powers gives her trouble fitting in.
  • Asleep in Class: Kara Danvers falls asleep in history class after spending the whole night cleaning up her house's bathroom.
  • Big Bad: Coach Stone.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Kara's best friends are Jennifer — big and tall — and Dolly — short and chubby. Kara is thinner than Dolly and shorter than Jen.
  • Birthday Beginning: The story begins on Kara Danvers 16th birthday, right before an earthquake -triggered by an individual highly interested in harnessing her powers- hits her hometown, causing the death of her dear friend Jennifer.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kara (blonde) and her two friends Dolly (black-haired) and Jennifer (red-haired).
  • Came from the Sky: The story begins with Kara's space rocket crash-landing on Earth.
  • Damsel in Distress: Lampshaded when Kara rescues Dolly from Tan-On.
    Dolly: Is this what being the damsel in distress feels like?
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: In the first issue, Kara turns sixteen. Or at least, so she approximates - no one knows her exact age or birthday because she was found in a field years ago. At sixteen is when Kara realizes she's an alien.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kara has a dry sense of humor.
    Kara: Some things make no sense no matter where you start. Like yearbook photos. Why do we take yearbook photos in September?
  • Doesn't Know Their Own Birthday: Kara doesn't know her birthday or her exact age. She was a refugee from another planet who suffered amnesia. It's assumed she's around sixteen.
  • Earthquakes Cause Fissures: Jen is swallowed by a gigantic fissure when a severe quake strikes Midvale.
  • Everytown, America: Midvale is an average, sleepy Midwestern town.
  • Farmer's Daughter: Kara Danvers is adoptive daughter of a couple of farmers from a rural Midwestern town, and pretty sweet and innocent (at least until she realized someone was after her cause of her powers).
  • First Contact Farmer: Kara lands as a toddler on the farm of the Danvers and is raised by them.
  • Flying Brick: Kara is one of the best known examples.
  • Gay Best Friend: Dolly, one of Kara's best friends.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Flashbacks show Kara wore pigtails as a child.
  • Good Ol' Boy: Jeremiah Danvers is of the sympathetic variety. He's a slightly eccentric -he doesn't believe in birthdays or sickness-, Government-wary gruffy man who doesn't know how handle emotionally-sensitive matters and thinks his country would be better off if "people worried less about revolution and more about getting stuff done". He is also visibly a devout husband and father.
  • Grave-Marking Scene: At the end of the story, Kara visits her friend Jennifer's grave to say her goodbyes before leaving Midvale.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Lex Luthor as Coach Stone was working for Lexcorp.
  • Hair Flip: Kara plays with a lock of her hair when she is confused, nervous or overwhelmed.
  • Happily Adopted: Kara was adopted as a child. She doesn't fret about it much and loves her adopted parents.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: Kara's friend Jen is killed in an earthquake when she falls out of Kara's arms. Kara feels bad for being unable to save her.
  • In-Series Nickname: Jennifer Bard goes by "Jen".
  • Ironic Name: Dolly's parents named her after Dolly Parton in hopes that she'd turn out like the singer. Dolly is nothing like her namesake.
  • The Joy of First Flight: The first time Kara is shown flying, she propels upwards and starts dancing among the clouds smiling blissfully.
  • Local Hangout: Kara and her friends often eat at a local burger shack.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: One of Dolly's shoes falls off when Tan-On throws her off the Lexcorp power plant.
  • Moses in the Bulrushes: Kara was sent off into space by her parents Zor-El and Alura In-Ze to save her from Krypton's destruction. Her rocket landed in the town of Midvale, and she was found and adopted by the Danvers. Kara grew up not not knowing where she came from until her sixteenth birthday, when she learns about her Kryptonian heritage.
  • Morality Chain: Tan-On presumes Dolly is this, when pondering why Kara isn't joining his cause to kill all humans, and decides to kill her so as to sever Kara's chain to humanity.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Kara's friend Jen is taller and brawnier. However Kara can bench press vehicles.
  • Rise of Zitboy: In the first scenes, Kara has a pimple on her chin that everyone, including her parents, bugs her about. When she pops it, the pimple bursts and she gets gunk everywhere. It's one sign Kara isn't a normal teenage girl.
  • Secret Identity: Kara Zor-El/Supergirl's secret identity is Kara Danvers.
  • Secret Legacy: In a subversion of her usual origin stories, Kara does not know where she came from or about her heroic parents Zor-El and Allura until she is sixteen.
  • Skipping School: Kara is still angry and depressed after her friend Jen's death so she skips gym class. When she goes back home she finds her coach checking to make sure she's fine. After the woman is gone, Kara's adoptive father Jeremiah sternly points out that her skipping school leads people to poke their noses into their family matters -which he hates- and her own business -which he knows she hates-, so she has to go to school likes or not. Kara grudgingly agrees.
  • Super-Strength: In one of the first scenes Kara lifts a tractor with one hand.
  • Talking to the Dead: Before leaving Midvale, Kara pays a visit to Jennifer's grave to say goodbye and apologising for being unable to save her and never telling her about her powers.
  • Token Minority Couple: Subverted when Kara finds a Kryptonian named Tan-On. She's attracted to him but it doesn't work out because he hates humanity and wants to kill earthlings.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Kara's friend, Dolly, is a Latina lesbian.
  • Withholding the Big Good: Superman isn't heard of until the last pages, when Dolly mentions news reports of a flying strongman hero operating in Metropolis. Kara finally meets him in the flesh in the very final page.
  • World of No Grandparents: Kara Danvers' maternal grandparents only show up in one flashback scene. They stopped visiting their daughter's family because they were frightened of Kara's powers, and their son-in-law refused to throw her out.