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Comic Book / The Girl with the X-Ray Mind

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The Girl with the X-Ray Mind is a Supergirl storyline published in Action Comics 295-298 (1962-1963) and authored by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney.

Supergirl meets a strange girl named Lena Thorul, who has weird psychic powers. Since her new friend is facing difficulties in finding work since she is an orphan with no known family, Kara decides to investigate her background. Unexpectedly, she discovers Lena's birth name is Lena Luthor. She's Lex Luthor's little sister, whose parents changed their family name and moved out of Smallville to avoid association with him when Lena was a toddler. Shortly after, Jules and Arlene Luthor died in a traffic accident, and Lena was raised in an orphanage. Kara confronts Luthor, who admits Lena is his sister and asks Supergirl to not tell Lena anything. Lena has no memory of him or her parents, and she does not need the burden of being a Luthor.

Moved by Luthor's unexpected selflessness, Kara agrees to keep his secret, and she starts spending time with Lena. Meanwhile, her oldest enemy Lesla-Lar is scheming a new ploy to take revenge on Supergirl and conquer the world, and the criminals of the Phantom Zone are putting in motion a plan to wipe humanity out.

This story introduced the idea of Superman's cousin being friends with Lex Luthor's little sister, which would be used by the Supergirl (2015) show.


  • Age Lift: When she was introduced in Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane #23, Lena Thorul was a grown woman instead of a teenager who could hang around with Linda Danvers and Dick Malverne. When asked about it in a letter in issue #298, Mort Weisinger admitted Lena had been quietly deaged because they thought her character would work better as a friend to Supergirl.
  • Alliterative Name: Lena Thorul (real name: Lena Luthor) pretends to join a criminal gang called the Bank Busters.
  • Always Save the Girl: Sibling version. Supergirl needs to help to defeat the Phantom Zoners, and with nobody else to turn to, she resorts to Lex Luthor. As far as Luthor is concerned, the Zoners can wipe humanity out with his compliments; nevertheless, he agrees to team up with Supergirl because the Zoners' scheme has endangered his little sister Lena, and he will not put up with that.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Why did Lesla-Lar kidnapped, mind-wiped and impersonated Lena? Was it part of a larger scheme which she never had the opportunity to implement? Or did she simply want to hurt Supergirl through her friend?
  • Artistic License – Paleontology: Kru-El's devolutionary device -called Time-Reversal Ray- turns a flock of seagulls into pterosaurs. It does not make sense because birds are descended from theropod dinosaurs, not pterosaurs.
  • Asshole Victim: Lesla-Lar is a jealous, arrogant madwoman who attempted to destroy Supergirl's life out of petty envy and was willing to destroy Earth just for amusement. She is murdered by the Phantom Zoners when they need a target to try their weapons on.
  • Badass Boast: Supergirl cannot beat the three Phantom Zoners on her own, but she declares she will stop them anyway because they cannot beat her, either.
    Supergirl: "I know your plans for conquering the Earth, but it's a stand-off! No matter what evil deeds you try with your super-powers, I'll use my super-powers to block you!"
  • Ballroom Blitz: Linda is attending a costume party when two costumed crooks suddenly barge in the place to steal the rich guests.
  • Bank Robbery: After -apparently- talking Lena into joining their gang, the Bank Busters attempt to rob Midvale Bank. However, Lena tricks them into triggering an alarm system which releases a flood of tear gas.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Linda used to wish Dick Malverne stopped suspecting she is Supergirl. Then Dick transfers his suspicious to Lena Thorul and starts ignoring Linda, who is definitely not happy with such a development.
    Linda Danvers: Ever since Dick began to suspect that Lena was Supergirl, he's danced only with her! I suppose I should be grateful his suspicions are turned away from me... But I'm not!
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: As Lena is sleeping, she is kidnapped and brainwashed by Lesla-Lar into believing she is Lesla.
    Lesla-Lar: My brain-washing helmet will erase Lena's memories and replace them with selected details of my life here on Kandor! When she awakens she'll believe she's me!
  • Beware the Superman: After being given powers by Kru-El, Lex Luthor shows exactly what he would do if he had Superman's powers: bragging about his power, bullying and terrorizing helpless innocent people, and committing random acts of destruction.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Lesla-Lar is a brilliant, ambitious and cunning mad scientist who is a skillful manipulator but can never win a direct physical confrontation. So, Lesla-Lar tries to deceive Supergirl and manipulate the Phantom Zone criminals as part of her world-conquering plans, but she is easily and swiftly killed off by the Phantom Zoners as soon as they stop needing her.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Supergirl needs Lex Luthor's help to stop the Phantom Zone inmates. Luthor cannot care less if a trio of Kryptonian criminals wipe out all of mankind, but he agrees to help to thwart them only because their scheme is endangering his little sister Lena.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: After gaining powers, Lex Luthor breaks out of his cell, but he is intercepted right away by several prison guards. Quickly, he uses his heat vision on their guns, forcing the guards to drop them.
    Lex Luthor: Watch, I'll use my heat vision on your puny weapons!
    First Guard: One glance and he melted our machine-guns into scrap metal!
  • Bound and Gagged: When the Bank Busters rob Midvale Bank, they tie the manager up to a chair.
  • Brain in a Jar: Teenager Lex Luthor kept a big alien brain in a glass cage to study the weird waves of psychic energy that radiated from its grey matter.
  • Brainwashed: Lesla-Lar mindwipes Lena Thorul into believing she is Lesla herself.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": After being given powers, Lex Luthor steals a super-hero costume and then he plasters two "L"s on the shirt's blank front side.
  • Cardboard Prison:
    • Lex Luthor manages to slip into his cell materials needed to build a radio.
    • Lesla-Lar, called "Kandor's most dangerous outlaw", escapes her supposedly maximum-security cell by short-circuiting the energy bars via some unrevealed method.
  • Chekhov's Exhibit: When Luthor loots the Superman's Museum, a fake Golden Kryptonite rock can be seen on a display in the background. Seven pages later, Luthor reveals he used that fake Kryptonite to fool the Phantom Zoners into believing they had removed their enemies' powers.
  • Chronoscope: As a battle is raging between Supergirl and the Phantom Zoners in the present day, the 31st century super-team the Legion of Super-Heroes are using some sort of time-viewer device to watch their teammate's actions in the past. Unfortunately, they cannot go back in time to back her up.
  • Clone Army: When the Phantom Zoners explain what crimes got them exiled in the Zone, General Zod tells he created an army of Zod clones to take over Krypton.
    General Zod: I, General Zod, devised a duplicator ray and created an army of duplicates of myself to take control of Krypton!
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Linda and her mother are watching tv when the program is suddenly interrupted by a special bulletin. Upon hearing Supergirl is needed at Metropolis Penitentiary, Linda at once suits up and flies off.
  • Complexity Addiction: Before opening a portal to the Phantom Zone, Lesla-Lar foresees Mon-El (Superman's friend who is stuck in the Zone and has powers but is vulnerable to lead) will try to attack her, so she builds a gun which sprays lead dust... instead of stealing a normal gun which shoots normal bullets, which would work just as well.
  • Computer Equals Tapedrive: Lesla-Lar. Brilliant and mad Kryptonian scientist. Capable of building size-changing devices, memory-rewriting helmets and pocket teleporters. Her computers use tapes.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Contrived Coincidence: Dick Malverne is led to believe Lena is Supergirl through a convoluted chain of events: Lena goes to a costume party in Dick's house disguised as Supergirl. When a pack of thieves crash the party, the real Supergirl takes advantage of the smoke screen caused by their smoke bombs to take them out without being seen. When Lena sees the thieves have been knocked down, she gets to tie them up, causing Dick to believe she may be Supergirl. Later, Dick invites Lena over to his house. Lena is knocked out by a smoke pellet which accidentally slipped in one vase during the costume party, and Dick believes she has been hurt by a sample of Kryptonite which his geologist of a father conveniently keeps in his home. Still later, Supergirl gives Lena several diamonds as a birthday gift. Lena is admiring her present by the chimney when one of them drops in the coal bucket. Right when she is retrieving the diamond, Dick walks into the room and believes she has pressed one chunk of coal into a diamond; whereupon he "demands" the "truth".
  • Crazy-Prepared:
    • Although there is no reason to think Mon-El knows about or can stop her plans, villainess Lesla-Lar builds a lead-spraying gun just in case that he tries to stop her when she breaks the Phantom Zoners free. And, indeed, Mon-El spots the Zoners floating out of the portal and tries to interfere.
    • Supergirl carries a tiny mirror in her cape's inner pouch which she uses to send messages in morse code to Superman when she cannot use her powers.
  • Cry into Chest: A flashback scene shows Lena Luthor's parents dying in a traffic crash when she was a little girl, and Lena sobbing into the chest of the woman who was taking her to an orphanage.
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check:
    • Luthor builds a machine which turns coal into diamonds and intends to use it to fund his criminal career... instead of selling his legitimately owned diamonds and becoming rich outright without being hassled by super-heroes.
    • Lesla-Lar comes up with a way to undo the effects of Brainiac's shrinking ray. Rather than informing the Kandorians about her discovery and becoming rich and famous, she hounds Supergirl and tries to take over the world.
  • Deader than Dead: Lesla-Lar is disintegrated by a ray weapon. In Strangers at the Heart's Core, it's that revealed her ghost endured and kept plaguing Supergirl for years until Kara obliterated her soul during a psychic battle.
  • Deflector Shields: Kru-El, one of the Phantom Zoners, activates a device which spreads a multi-layered force-field around the Earth. The force field not only blocks anybody from entering or leave the Earth's atmosphere but also disrupts time-travel.
  • Devolution Device: One of the devices invented by Kru-El can de-evolve all living beings on Earth one million years.
  • Disappeared Dad: Jules Luthor died in a road accident when his daughter Lena was a little girl. Lena does not even remember his name.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Kru-El built one disintegrator gun capable of reducing anything to atoms, including Kryptonians. Since its prototype appears damaged, he tests it on Lesla-Lar, one of his allies.
    Kru-El: This disintegrator gun I invented can vaporize anything into nothingness, but it looks damaged!
  • Domino Mask: The members of a criminal gang known as the Bank Busters wear tiny black domino masks. Lena also wears one when she pretends to join them.
  • Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: When Lena was a girl, she went into her brother Lex's lab and touched one of his experiments despite Lex explicitly telling her to not touch it. Lena was zapped with energy but fortunately she was not harmed.
  • Drawing Straws: The Phantom Zoners have a weapon which can disintegrate anything, but it seems damaged. Since they want to be certain that it works before engaging Superman or Supergirl, and since there are no other Kryptonians around to test it on, they decide to draw straws. Lesla blanches when she draws the shorter straw, and she reminds them that she got them out of the Zone. The Zoners do not care and shoot Lesla.
  • Dynamic Akimbo: Supergirl rests her fists on her hips and puffs out their chest when she declares she can and will hold back the Phantom Zoners single-handedly.
  • Easily-Overheard Conversation: The Phantom Zoners huddled together aside to argue how they intend to betray Luthor... clearly forgetting Luthor has super-hearing and zero reason to not eavesdrop. After sabotaging their ploy, Lex calls them out on their stupidity.
  • Enemy Mine: Supergirl and Lex Luthor are forced to team up twice. First, Luthor warns Supergirl about a criminal gang trying to recruit his little sister so Supergirl can stop them before they ruin Lena's life. Supergirl cannot help but feel surprised by this development. Later, Supergirl talks Luthor into helping her stop the Phantom Zoners by pointing out their scheme is endangering Lena's life.
    Supergirl: I never dreamed that some day Luthor would ask my help against the underworld!
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Luthor asks Supergirl why he should help her out. Kara's "Because Lena is being threatened by the Phantom Zoners' scheme" reply gets him to join forces with her.
    Lex Luthor: "Supergirl, I'm against truth, justice and everything else you stand for— But to save Lena, I promise to use my last atom of brain-power to help you against those Kryptonian goons!"
  • Evil is Petty: Lesla-Lar has zero reason to mess up with Lena Thorul other than her being Supergirl's friend.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Subverted with the "Plant Scourge". After hearing its name, Supergirl assumes it is a device which scourges all plant life. Then she finds out it turns all animal life into plants.
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Lesla-Lar impersonates Lena Thorul, Supergirl fails to notice her best friend has been replaced by a similar-looking older woman. She does not even think of using her microscopic vision to make sure that the super-serum which "Lena" claims" granted her powers did not mess up with her DNA, an action which would have instantly given Lesla away.
  • Fake Memories: After kidnapping Lena, Lesla implants in her sleeping mind fake memories where Lena is a Kandorian scientist instead of an Earth woman.
  • Flashback: Lex Luthor tells Supergirl through a flashback scene how he met Superboy and lost his family. Later, Lesla-Lar flashes back to the first time she harassed Supergirl.
  • Force-Field Door: Kandorian prison doors are made of glowing bars of translucent energy. Lesla-Lar somehow short-circuits her cubicle's door, though, and breaks free.
  • Forgot About His Powers: When Supergirl throws several giant trees at the Zoners, Jax-Ur is frightened that he and his companions will be impaled, until Kru-El mockingly reminds him they became impervious to harm after getting out of the Zone. Jax-Ur admits he forgot about their invulnerability.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: Played with. Linda wants to attend a fancy-dress ball, and her mother hints that she should NOT go as Supergirl because she would be foolishly drawing attention to herself. Lena Thorul goes as Supergirl, though, and when she is mistakenly credited with subduing a gang of bank robbers crashing the party, Dick Malverne believes Lena is Supergirl and was hiding in plain sight.
    Dick Malverne: Clever of her to pretend her Supergirl outfit is only a hired costume!
  • Genius Loci: A flashback panel shows that Supergirl and Superman once faced a strange and hostile living planet whose surface was covered with humongous, sharp throwable spikes. They named it "porcupine planet".
  • Giant Spider: Kru-El's device materializes a car-sized, crimson Reptilian Spider which used to live in Krypton's Flame Forest. Its giant fangs can easily uproot large trees.
  • Hard Light: Kru-El created a mind-over-matter machine which lets him turn anything his brain is imagining into solid holograms. After turning on his device, he creates a monstrous Kryptonian critter.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Lesla-Lar imprisons Lena Thorul in Kandor and heads towards a deserted island to break the Phantom Zoners out of their dimensional prison. The Zoners are not interested in teaming up with Lesla, though, and test a disintegrator gun on her. Their raygun kills Lesla and destroys one mountain, causing one earthquake which lift Atlantis above the waters, drawing Supergirl's attention. When Supergirl appears to fix the mess, Lori Lemaris reveals she telepathically listened to the villains' conversation, since Lesla and her garish costume drew her attention when the villainess was flying over the ocean. Now Supergirl knows what the Zoners are plotting, but she cannot stop them without help. So, she turns to Lex Luthor, who agrees to help Supergirl just because Lesla-Lar imprisoned his sister Lena in Kandor.
  • Hypno Ray: Lesla uses a mind-control ray cannon to take over Lena's mind.
  • Identical Stranger: Lesla-Lar, who had previously posed as Supergirl, impersonates Lena Thorul.
  • Imagine Spot: During a bout of jealousy, Linda Danvers fantasizes briefly about stopping her boyfriend Dick Malverne from going after Lena Thorul by telling him Lena's secret (her being Lex Luthor's little sister). One second later, she completely shoots the idea down, feeling ashamed of herself for having even considered it.
  • Immune to Bullets: When Lex Luthor gains super-powers, a bunch of guards try to stop. Luthor smugly boasts over his newly-gained invulnerability to bullets.
    Lex Luthor: Ha, ha! Shoot, you fools! I'm invulnerable! Those bullets don't even tickle me!
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Subverted. Jax-Ur is frightened of being impaled when Supergirl starts throwing giant trees at the Zone trio, but Kru-El mockingly reminds him they became invulnerable after stepping out of the Zone.
  • Internal Reveal: Finally, Supergirl learns a Kandorian has been messing up with her, something readers knew since The Unknown Supergirl, published one year before. She seems unaware of the exact details until later storyline Strangers at the Heart's Core, though.
  • In the Blood: Subverted. When the F.B.I. learn Lena Thorul is Lex Luthor's sister, they refuse to hire her just in case that she becomes a criminal like her brother. When she learns Lena has joined a criminal gang, Supergirl wonders if being a criminal really runs in the Luthor family. Then, it turns out Lena only joined the Bank Busters to have an opportunity to take them out from inside.
    Inspector 1: So Lena is Lex Luthor's sister, eh? I'm afraid that makes three strikes against her, Supergirl!
    Inspector 2: Suppose she became a criminal like Luthor? Working in the F.B.I., her telepathic powers could discover our country's most vital secrets!
  • It Only Works Once: The Phantom Zone criminals get their hands on a ray gun powerful enough to kill a Kryptonian, but they want to be certain what it works before using it on the Els. So, they test it on their partner-in-crime Lesla-Lar, and after verifying it does work just fine, they realize the weapon was too damaged to be used more than once, and it is now useless.
  • Kill and Replace: Subverted. Lesla-Lar replaces Lena after kidnapping her; but instead of killing her, Lesla rewrites her memories and dumps her into an alien city.
  • Killed Off for Real: Lesla-Lar is vaporized by a disintegrator weapon, and albeit her soul returns to bedevil Supergirl many years later, she does never come back to life.
  • Kryptonite Factor: After giving Lex Luthor powers, the Zoners intend to trick him into retrieving a sample of Golden Kryptonite to remove Superman, Supergirl and Luthor's powers.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Dick Malverne's father is a famed geologist. Among his mineral collection he keeps a piece of Kryptonite which he found in the middle of a desert.
  • Minor Living Alone: Jules and Arlene Luthor were driven out of their home by angry townsfolk only because their son happens to be a criminal. They changed their names, moved to another city, and died in a car crash, leaving their little daughter all alone at the mercy of the foster care system.
  • Missing Mom: Arlene Luthor died in a car crash when her daughter Lena was a toddler. Lena barely remembers her.
  • The Mole: Lena joins a criminal gang called the Bank Busters; then she takes them down right when they are robbing a bank and reveals that was her plan all along.
  • Motive Decay: How Luthor Met Superboy makes clear that Luthor hates Superman because he is convinced that Superboy deliberately destroyed his breakthrough experiment out of jealousy as saving him from a fire lab. The incident also caused Lex's baldness, but Lex considered it an added insult to the bigger injury. Here, Lex only mentions his baldness as narrating the event, giving the false impression that his hair loss was his only motivation.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • When Supergirl sees a bridge about to collapse, she flies beneath the archway, holds it upwards to stop it from falling, and uses her heat vision to repair the broken beams.
      Supergirl: Relax, folks! I'll have this bridge fixed in a super-jiffy! I'll use my heat-vision to re-weld and strengthen the old steel beams!
    • Since Lena's application for a job is rejected by the FBI on grounds of her having no past, Supergirl decides to find out the truth about Lena's family by going back in time.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: As testing his flight powers, Luthor notices his prison clothes are being burned by the friction of the air, so he breaks into the Metropolis Superman Museum and steals an indestructible alien costume.
  • Never Recycle Your Schemes: Subverted with Lesla-Lar. In The Unknown Supergirl, she kidnaps, brainwashes and swaps places with Supergirl as part of a scheme to get Superman and Lex Luthor killed and then take over the world. Here, Lesla kidnaps, brainwashes and swaps places with Lena, albeit the next phase of her evil plan is markedly different.
  • No Honor Among Thieves:
    • Lesla-Lar releases the Phantom Zoners from their prison, and they pay her back by killing her as soon as she is no longer useful.
    • When the Phantom Zoners want Luthor to work for them, he promptly he is smarter, ergo they should work for him.
    • The Phantom Zoners invite Luthor to join them, intending to betray him and depower him all along.
  • Noodle Incident: As going through a crisis of confidence, Supergirl reminisces and briefly refers to old, weird adventures:
    Supergirl: I've failed as Supergirl! Why couldn't this be a simple mission like the time I fought the metal androids of Asteroid X? I'll give up my career... Never again will I use my super-powers at Superman's side... like the time we destroyed the porcupine planet!
  • No-Sell: Supergirl starts off the battle against the Phantom Zoners by uprooting giant trees and hurling them at them, but her makeshift spears explode upon impact.
    Jax-Ur: Those jagged trees! They'll spear us!
    Kru-El: Fools! What are you afraid of? Those giant darts can't harm us! We're super!
    Jax-Ur: Of course! I forgot our invulnerable bodies will splinter those trees into matchwood, ha, ha!
  • Not Enough to Bury: Lesla-Lar's body gets vaporized when she gets shot with a disintegrator raygun.
    Jax-Ur: It worked! Lesla-Lar was vaporized! She disintegrated into atomic mist!
  • Only Six Faces: Not only does Lesla-Lar look like Kara, but also she looks like Lena.
  • Origins Episode: The first issue tells the origin of Lena and her psychic powers.
  • Paper Tiger: In "The Unknown Supergirl", Lesla-Lar was billed as Supergirl's first real nemesis; unfortunately, albeit she proves to be a cunning and manipulative schemer, she turns out to be a complete failure at face-to-face confrontations, being unable to defend herself when her would-be allies decide to obliterate her physical body.
  • Phantom Zone: Lesla-Lar builds a portal device to pull the Kryptonian criminals out of the Zone. Later, Supergirl creates a Phantom Zone Projector to send them back in the "twilight dimension".
  • Planet Destroyer: Supergirl mentions she and Superman destroyed a hostile living world which they called "the porcupine planet".
  • Planimal: After being infected with the Plant Scourge, Supergirl unwillingly turns any animal into a half-beast, half-plant creature.
  • Powers as Programs: Jax-Ur uses a belt device to give Lex Luthor Kryptonian powers.
  • Properly Paranoid: Lesla-Lar builds a portal door to break the Phantom Zone criminals free. However, she is worried that Superman's friend Mon-El, who is stuck in the Zone, can spot them and try to stop them despite the Zone being literally endless, so she builds a gun just in case that he appears. Which he does.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: Lena touches her temples with one hand or one pair of fingers every time she reads minds.
  • Psychic Powers: Lena Thorul -who is outright called an Esper- has at the very least telepathy and low-level precognition.
  • Put Their Heads Together: Supergirl smashes against each other the heads of two crooks crashing a costume party.
  • Put on a Bus: After this story, Lesla-Lar would not be seen again until Strangers at the Heart's Core, published fourteen years later.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Phantom Zoners give Lex Luthor powers and talk him into allying himself with them to take Superman and Supergirl down. Of course, they fully intend to betray him before long. Nonetheless, Lex Luthor anticipates and ruins their plans, calling them out on being foolish enough to talk about doble-crossing him where he could hear them.
    Kru-El: But I thought the Gold Kryptonite had taken-away their super-powers!
    Lex Luthor: Fools! Did you really think I'd bring you Gold Kryptonite after my Super-Hearing detected you plotting against me? You tried to double-cross me, so I decided to work with Supergirl against you!
  • Revenge: Lesla-Lar puts in motion a plan to take revenge on Supergirl.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Lesla-Lar gaslights, kidnaps and brainwashes Lena Thorul to take revenge on Lena's friend Supergirl.
  • Revenge Myopia: After escaping prison, Lesla-Lar plots her revenge against Supergirl, even though Supergirl literally did nothing to Lesla. In The Unknown Supergirl, Lesla nullified Supergirl's powers because she was pettily jealousy of Kara's future fame. Then she brainwashed and replaced Supergirl, intending to kill Superman and Luthor and then take over the world, but she was caught by the Kandorian police before she could carry her scheme out. In a nutshell, Kara did nothing to earn her enmity, Kara was not the one who brought Lesla down, and Kara did not even know Lesla exists.
  • Right in Front of Me: As Lena and the Danvers are watching a bridge which is threatening to collapse, Linda Danvers sneaks out, changes costume, repairs the bridge, changes back and sneaks back in the car right before Lena -who failed to notice her absence- turns to Linda and asks if she didn't wish she was Supergirl and had her powers.
  • Rule of Perception: Lena's mind-reading is illustrated like a floating image depicting one scene invisible to everyone in-universe.
  • Secondary Character Title: The title character is Lena Thorul, whereas the main character is her friend Supergirl, who is investigating Lena's mysterious past.
  • Secret Chaser: Dick Malverne comes up with an elaborate and ridiculous scheme -revolving around blowing explosives up inside his own home- to "expose" Lena's secret identity.
  • Secret-Keeper: After Lex Luthor confesses Lena is his little sister, but he does not want her to know about it to not create problems for her, Supergirl agrees to keep their blood relationship secret from Lena.
  • Self-Imposed Exile: After being hit by the Plant Scourge, Supergirl must seek shelter in a barren desert island in the middle of the ocean to not endanger animal life.
  • Shooting Superman: When Luthor gets Superman powers and breaks out of his cell, the guards futilely attempt to stop him, even after seeing he has become invulnerable.
    First Guard: It's Luthor! He shattered that cell to smithereens!
    Second Guard: It's no use trying to stop him! Our bullets bounce off him like raindrops!
  • Shrink Ray: Lesla-Lar uses a shrinking ray cannon to bring Lena into Kandor.
  • Significant Anagram: Supergirl finds out Lena Thorul's real family name is Luthor. Lex Luthor's family changed their name to Thorul to avoid association with him.
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Supergirl tries to fly into the time-barrier to warn Superman that the Phantom Zoners are on a rampage, when she collides against a translucent, shimmering energy barrier. Kara realizes some kind of barrier is blocking her and tries to punch her way through it, to no avail. Similarly, Superman crashes into something invisible when he tries to return to Earth, and he realizes it is an indestructible force-field which is surrounding the planet.
    Superman: The time-barrier! It's been turned into an impenetrable wall! [...] It's a force-field which seals off the Earth from the past! Not even my super-strength can shatter it!
  • Spanner in the Works: Lori Lemaris secretly spies on Lesla talking to the Phantom Zoners and later lays out their plans to Supergirl.
  • Super Serum: As posing as Lena Thorul, Lesla-Lar pretends she has gained powers because she drank a serum created by her brother Lex.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Downplayed example. As showing her powers off, Lena lifts one bookcase and flies with it, dropping several books by accident, since being strong enough to lift something does not mean it will not come apart.
    • Lesla-Lar deliberately seeks Krypton's worst scum to team up against the Super-cousins and take over the world. It turns out that the worst criminal scum are not trustworthy allies, though, and five minutes later they turn against Lesla.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands:
    • Lesla's devices can monitor both Linda and Lena at once, no matter where they have gone.
    • Kru-El's machine can materialize anything he can imagine. So Kru-El imagines a machine literally capable of spying on Superman and the Legion wherever and whenever they are.
  • Take Over the World: Lesla-Lar releases several Phantom Zoners to help her conquer Earth. Unfortunately, the Zoners are not interested in dividing up the planet and kill Lesla off.
  • Teleport Gun: Lesla-Lar's laser cannon which she uses to shrink Lena to diminutive size also teleports her into Kandor.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Subverted. After being rejected by the F.B.I., Lena Thorul gets a job offer from a criminal boss. Lena angrily takes up his offer, stating she will become a criminal since the authorities do not want her on their side. However, it turns out her true goal was to destroy her "employer's" criminal gang from within, hoping to prove she can become an asset for the F.B.I.
    Lena Thorul: I wanted to devote my talents to the law, but the F.B.I. turned me down! Very well then, I'll go where I'm appreciated! I'll join the underworld.
  • There Was a Door: When Luthor is given powers, he does not bother opening his cell's door. Instead, he smashes his way through the wall. Shortly later, he decides to loot the Superman Museum, and he literally bursts into through a wall. When he leaves, he breaks another wall instead of using the hole he has just done.
  • Time Travel: Supergirl goes back to the past to discover who Lena Thorul's real parents are. Later, the Phantom Zone criminals seal off the time-barrier so neither Superman -who had gone to the past- nor the Legion of Super-Heroes can travel to the present and ruin their plans.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Although Dick Malverne had previously suspected Linda Danvers was Supergirl, he no longer cared either way when they began dating. Then, he tricks himself into believing Lena is Supergirl and suddenly starts completely ignoring his girlfriend while paying attention to and trying to "expose" Lena. The retcon introduced in Young Love, according to which Dick was never fooled by Linda's tricks, makes him look even worse.
  • Touched by Vorlons: When Lena was a little girl, Lex took her to his lab to study the psychic energies emitted by an alien brain while babysitting her. Despite his warnings, Lena touched one antenna protruding from the sphere encasing the brain, and she was zapped with psychic energy. From that point on, Lena could read minds and foresee future events.
    Lex Luthor: When that [alien] brain short-circuited, it gave her a strange form of telepathy! It's incredible!
  • Transflormation: After being infected with the Plant Scourge, Supergirl can unwillingly transform any living being near her into a vegetal.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Lesla-Lar breaks the Phantom Zoners out of their dimensional prison, and they kill her off permanently to test an experimental ray gun.
  • Ventriloquism: Played for laughs. Supergirl needs Lex Luthor's help, but she cannot go near anybody at the time, so she uses her super-ventriloquism to talk Luthor into helping her and convince the warden to release him temporarily. Unfortunately, the warden believes Luthor is using some ventriloquism trick to fool him and decides to move him to a maximum-security cell.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • Subverted. Lesla-Lar breaks General Zod, Jax-Ur and Kru-El free to help her conquer Earth, but they kill her at the first available opportunity.
    • After Supergirl has failed to get Luthor released, the Phantom Zoners offer to break him out of prison if he allies himself with them.
  • Villain Teleportation: Lesla develops a teleporting device which she uses to kidnap a sleeping and helpless Lena.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Dick Malverne spends one whole issue trying to prove that Lena Thorul is Supergirl; but as soon as he gets a "confession", he is dropped from the story.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Superman & Family's code against killing does not seem to include sentient places. Supergirl mentions she and Superman once faced a hostile living planet, and they destroyed it because it was too dangerous to be allowed to exist.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Phantom Zone inmates kill Lesla off when they decide they don't need her anymore.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Supergirl engages the Phantom Zoners, stating that, even if she cannot beat them down, she can stop them from leaving the island for as long as she needs.