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Comic Book / The Unknown Supergirl

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"The Unknown Supergirl" is a Supergirl storyline published in Action Comics #278-285, written, illustrated and edited by Jerry Siegel, Jim Mooney and Mort Weisinger, respectively. It was one of the first multi-part super-hero storylines. Not the first one -that honor probably belongs to The Monster Society of Evil-, but a nine-issue-long story arc was still almost unheard of in 1961, and completely unheard of in Superman comics, whose longer stories up to that point had been some few two-parters.

Kara Zor-El had been forced to remain hidden and operate as Superman's secret weapon since her arrival on Earth. After one year, though, Superman happily declares her training is finally over, and he will call a press conference to announce her existence to the world.

Kara is ready to burst with joy, until her powers suddenly disappear. Her cousin cannot figure out why, but now she has been depowered, he cannot make the announcement. Kara feels distraught, thinking all her effort and hard work for one year was all for nothing. On the plus side, she does no longer need to dodge an adoption which would jeopardize her cover, so she allows herself to be adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers, a kindly couple of Midvale. Kara leaves the orphanage, changes her civilian "Linda Lee" name to "Linda Lee Danvers" and starts adapting to her new life. In the meantime, she is constantly wondering why her powers went away.


The answer lies in the Bottle City of Kandor. Lesla-Lar, a brilliant Kandorian scientist, is jealous of Supergirl and the accolades she will receive when the Earth people learns of her existence. Driven by envy, she sets a sinister plan in motion to replace Supergirl, get rid of Superman and take over the world.

Unusually for the time, the storyline was collected almost in its entirety only six years later in the giant-sized Action Comics issue #360. Since then, it has been collected in Showcase Presents, Archives and Omnibus trade editions.


Tropes found in The Unknown Supergirl:

  • Adoptive Name Change: Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee was renamed as Linda Lee Danvers when she was adopted by Fred and Edna. Shortly later she found out Dick Wilson had been adopted, too, and he had changed his name to Dick Malverne.
  • The Apprentice: This story marked the point when Supergirl stopped being Superman's apprentice and became his partner. Subverted when Kara briefly becomes invulnerable to Kryptonite, and Superman wonders whether he should become her assistant.
  • As the Good Book Says...: In issue 282, an overthrown tyrant pleads for clemency, telling "A great book says... 'Return good for evil'" (1 Peter 3:8-9). Kara flatly reminds him that said great book is one of the millions of books he ordered burned to keep the enslaved masses dumb and subdued.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: At the end, Supergirl battles the Infinite Monster, a scaly humanoid red monster from a parallel dimension. It is so colossal that his head hits the upper atmosphere.
  • Beach Episode: In issue #282, Kara accompanies her new parents on a beach picnic where she meets Dick -now Malverne- again.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: Lesla-Lar brainwashes Kara in her sleep into believing she is Lesla herself in order to replace her.
  • Been There, Shaped History: In issue #281, Kara time-travels to 1692, and is reminded of rumors about a so-called "Golden Witch" who terrorized the country in that same year and then disappeared suddenly. As wondering if she will manage to unravel the mystery, Kara decides to help a nearby village. Kara provides food, potable water, coal and medicine for the frightened farmers before flying back to her own time, unaware that their powers have been mistaken for witchcraft. Once she checks an encyclopedia, Kara realizes she was the "Golden Witch".
  • Big Bad: Lesla-Lar comes very close to destroying the Superman Family and Lex Luthor and taking over the world with nobody suspecting of her existence until it was almost too late.
  • Book Burning: Kara travels to the distant future and finds out Earth has been taken over by a tyrant who has ordered which all books are burned so no one even remembers that men used to be free.
  • Brain in a Jar: Kandor's greatest minds' brains are preserved in fluid-filled vats so they can keep coming up with new ideas for their countrymen's benefit.
    Kara: The brains of Kandor's geniuses are preserved in chemicals, so they can continue to create great ideas, after their bodies have died! The brains can actually "write" their thoughts!
  • Brainwashed: Lesla-Lar uses a memory-rewriting helmet-like device developed by herself to brainwash Kara into believing she is Lesla herself.
  • Bridal Carry: At one point, Superman gets hit by Kryptonite radiation while flying and starts falling. Supergirl quickly grabs him and holds him in her arms while flying him away from the Kryptonite.
  • Brought Down to Normal: While unknowingly depowered by Lesla-Lar, Kara finally gets adopted by a kindly couple and briefly considers abandoning her career as Supergirl until Mr. Mxyzptlk grants her all the abilities of Superman, plus a temporary invulnerability to green kryptonite.
  • Build Like an Egyptian: At the start, Jerro the Mer-boy shows Supergirl a valley of undersea pyramids built by Aquaman's Atlantean race in honor of their land-dwelling ancestors.
  • Bus Full of Innocents: When the bridge Fred and Edna were driving on collapsed, Linda quickly picked the car and flew it back to solid ground.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Lesla-Lar replaces Linda Danvers by brainwashing her into believing she is Lesla herself, but later she needs to return Linda to her proper place; so Lesla puts Linda to sleep, brings her to her bedroom and undoes the brainwashing. Linda wakes up crying out for help, believing she is suffered a nightmare where she was other person living someone else's life.
  • Cephalothorax: The unnamed alien race which appears in Supergirl's hallucination are spherical, spiky, orange heads with tiny tentacles.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Most of previous Supergirl's adventures had been innocent tales where Kara helped orphan kids until this story did away with the orphanage setting and introduced her first supervillain. From that point on, her stories started getting more serious, involving darker themes and higher stakes. By the 80's, she was dealing with racism and gentrification.
  • Chronoscope: Lesla-Lar's Time-Viewer lets her see into the past, but it cannot show images of the future.
  • Coming of Age Story: The story focuses on sixteen-years-old Linda Lee being adopted, leaving the orphanage, and adjusting to her new life while she deals with abrupt physical and psychological changes. Finally, her cousin reveals her existence to the world, and she must struggle to take on new responsibilities and to live up to Superman's legacy.
  • Continuity Nod: After Linda's hallucination episode, an editor's note reminds readers that Red Kryptonite can cause hallucinations, as seen in Superboy (Vol 1) #74 and Superman (Vol 1) #144.
  • Cry into Chest: Kara cries into her cousin's chest when, after spending one year training and striving to prove she was ready to go public, her powers disappear right when Superman is about to announce the world her existence.
  • Continuity Creep: First Supergirl storyline which was a multi-part turning point story arc instead of standalone stories with extremely loose continuity.
  • Dangerous Clifftop Road: The Danvers are driving along a cliff when their car suddenly drops off the edge, forcing their daughter Linda to forgo her secret identity to save them.
  • Daydream Surprise: Linda is sitting in her home's living room when she suddenly develops an uncontrollable deadly gaze. Before she can react, has killed a potted flower, her parents' goldfish, and her parents themselves. Horrified, Kara decides leave Earth, but as heading spacewards she kills a mailman and Krypto by accident. Then she decides to atone for her accidental murders by exterminating an alien race of evil, world-ravaging monsters. Afterwards, she collapses, crying... and suddenly she is sitting in her living room again, and she can see her parents arriving. Linda remembers she was exposed to Red Kryptonite earlier, and she realizes it was all just a hallucination.
  • Deadly Gaze: After being exposed to Red-Kryptonite, Kara has a hallucination where she suddenly develops the uncontrollable power to kill living beings by staring at them.
  • Deflector Shields: The Infinite Monster is surrounded by an impenetrable, white-glowing shielding aura. Nothing can seem to damage it, not even a Kryptonian's full strength.
    Supergirl: "I'll bring it down in a flying tackle...! [...] I bounced off that glowing aura! It must be an impenetrable force-shield similar to the one used by Brainiac, the space villain!
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: The Infinite Monster is an absolutely gigantic, invulnerable and unstoppable monster who drops out of a dimensional warp hole and goes on a rampage through the countryside for no apparent reason. It has no name, backstory or motivations and its sole reason to exist is to prove Supergirl can protect Earth in her cousin's absence and deal with dangerous threats on her own.
  • Doing In the Wizard: Supergirl travels to the year 1692 and uses her powers to help a little settlement, unwillingly making the villagers believe she is a witch.
  • Driven by Envy: Lesla-Lar sets out to ruin Supergirl's life because, even though Lesla is a well-recognized and respected Kandorian scientist, she knows Supergirl's popularity will dwarf hers when Superman reveals his cousin's existence to the world.
  • Easy Amnesia: After abducting Supergirl, Lesla-Lar brainwashes her into believing she is Lesla herself. Kara spends two days living as Lesla in Kandor until she is found and rescued by Krypto. As being brought out of the Bottle City and enlarged, though, Kara hits her head, is knocked unconscious and forgets the false memories imprinted in her brain.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Mr. Mxyzptlk gives Kara her Kryptonian powers back (minus her vulnerability to Kryptonite) because he thinks Superman's ego will be unable to handle a mere girl being more powerful than him. Superman's actual reaction is "It would be unfair for her to remain my apprentice when she is more powerful. Maybe I should become her assistant."
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Lesla-Lar impersonates Supergirl, and neither her cousin nor her adoptive parents notice that Kara has been replaced by an impostor. Nonetheless, Krypto sees through her act as soon as he meets her due to "Supergirl"'s different scent, mannerisms and behavior.
  • Evil Is Petty: Lesla is a well-off scientist, whose research has been recognised and awarded and who has no trouble finding work, including movie roles. And still she sets out to ruin Kara's life, whom she does not even know, only because Supergirl will receive way more acclaim and praise than Lesla ever got when she goes public.
  • Evil Laugh: Subverted. As pondering that her plan to replace and impersonate Supergirl, kill Superman, dispose of Luthor and take over the world is coming together nicely, Lesla-Lar laughs surreptitiously to avoid suspicion.
    Lesla-Lar: I'll arrange to "accidentally" kill Luthor while capturing him after he destroys Superman with the Kryptonite Ray... A dead Luthor won't be able to reveal the truth about me! And with Superman out of the way, I'll be the mightiest person on Earth, free to conquer or destroy Earths, as I please! Ha, Ha, Ha!
  • Evil Plan: Lesla-Lar mind-wipes and replaces Supergirl, and as she is pretending to be Superman's beloved cousin, she allies herself with Lex Luthor and helps him design a superweapon. After Luthor kills Superman, she will "accidentally" kill Luthor while bringing him to justice, and then "[She'll] be the mightiest person on Earth, free to conquer or destroy Earth as [she pleases]"
  • Failed a Spot Check: When Lesla poses as Supergirl, her cousin and adoptive parents fail to notice sixteen-year-old Kara has become a grown woman overnight. Similarly, Lesla-Lar's co-workers fail to notice Lesla has been replaced with a shorter and definitely kinder girl. Months later, Lesla will do the same thing to Lena Thorul, who does not even is Kryptonian, and Supergirl will be unable to notice her best friend has been replaced.
  • Fake Memories: Lesla-Lar kidnaps Kara and implants fake memories in her mind to make her believe she is a Kandorian scientist called Lesla.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In issue #283, Supergirl, who had been affected by a Red Kryptonite meteor, got shrunk to microscopic size, which she used to her advantage to take care of some infectious viruses that were inside Dick Malverne's adoptive father.
  • Fleeting Demographic Rule: Subverted. Linda Lee being adopted by a kindly couple had been a recurring plot since the first stories, but she always returned to the orphanage by the end of the issue because until this story, her new "adoptive" parents always turned out to be exploitative crooks. This time, Linda's adoption sticks.
  • Forced Transformation: Exposure to Red Kryptonite causes Kara to undergo through several embarrassing and irritating transformations which jeopardize her secret identity: she suddenly becomes overweighed, later she turns into a werewolf and at the end, she gains a second head.
  • Free-Range Children: After being adopted by the Danvers, Linda is essentially allowed free rein to do whatever she wants after school, which is because her adoptive parents know nothing about her adventures as Supergirl until she finally comes clean about her secret identity.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: The Infinite Monster, an enormous humanoid monster who accidentally fell to the Earth through a dimensional gap and stomped a path of destruction through USA soil. Its name, species, home universe and goals are not known, and most likely the damage it caused was accidental instead of unintended. Nonetheless, it was so sturdy and heavy that it could not be harmed or moved by a Silver Age Kryptonian.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Played straight. The Infinite Monster is so big that its head touches the upper atmosphere, and its already extra-tough body is protected by a personal force field. It cannot be harmed by the army or the local superheroes, and Kara's godlike strength is not enough to even move it. Finally, she resorts to build a changing-size ray and shrink it down to miniature size to defeat it.
  • Giant Flyer: Martian Angarks are weird, purple-feathered, snail-eyed birds of prey. They are large and strong enough to catch and lift tanks.
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: In the final issue, Supergirl fights a gigantic creature who is so large, all one can see are its legs tromping across the land. At one point, the monster's right foot tramples on Kara.
  • Good Morning, Crono: The story begins with Linda Danvers waking up and noticing the first sign of trouble.
  • Good Parents: Fred and Edna Danvers adopt Linda and immediately shower her with love and support. Later, when Linda reveals her powers to save their lives, the Danvers are shocked, but they note she saved them, and kindly ask for an explanation. Then they promise to keep her secret.
    Edna Danvers: "To others, she's the world's greatest heroine, but she's more than that to us! She's the daughter we dearly love!"
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Kara takes advantage of getting shrunk by a chunk of Red Kryptonite to go into her boyfriend's sick father's bloodstream and help the leukocytes fight the infection off. Afterwards, she decides against revealing the Malvernes she saved her life, and they never learn about her involvement.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Lesla-Lar schemes against Kara because she feels mad envious of the fame and praise Supergirl will be showered with when she finally goes public.
  • Guile Hero: Since the Infinite Monster is so massive it does not even notice her attempts to fight it physically, Supergirl builds a shrinking ray.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: During a Kryptonite-induced hallucination, Kara believes she has developed an uncontrollable Deadly Gaze and leaves Earth to not hurt anybody. Then she remembers the existence of a planet inhabited by an utterly evil monster race who prey on other planets, destroy civilizations and kill people. Kara heads towards there to glare all of them to death, and after wiping them out, awakens from her hallucination.
  • He Knows Too Much: Lesla-Lar plans to help Lex Luthor kill Superman and then "accidentally" kill Lex while capturing him so he cannot tell that the "hero" who avenged Superman was in fact Luthor's ally.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the end, Lesla gets arrested because she uses her depowering ray on Kara so many times that Kandor's police ends up noticing that someone is using banned technology and trace the ray's heat signature back to its source.
  • Identical Stranger: Lesla-Lar was identical to Kara; to the point Lesla posed as Supergirl for several days and neither her cousin Superman nor Supergirl's adoptive parents suspected anything.
  • I Let You Win: Linda lets Dick win a swimming race out of kindness towards his fragile ego.
  • I Miss Mom: When Superman sees Supergirl happily interacting with her parents, he cannot help remembering his deceased adoptive parents and his happy childhood in Smallville.
  • Imagine Spot: At issue #283, Linda imagines that she finally reveals her Secret Identity to her parents and they accept her and become her secret keepers.
  • Insecure Protagonist, Arrogant Antagonist: Kara is still a young, rookie super-hero; ergo she is shy, lacks self-confidence and is frequently riddled with self-doubt. Her nemesis Lesla-Lar, though, oozes hubris and arrogance; to the point Lesla matter-of-factly believes she deserves getting worldwide fame and praise just because she does exist.
  • Institutional Apparel: Luthor is wearing his prison grey jumpsuit when Lesla visits him in his cell.
  • Keeping Secrets Sucks: Linda Danvers really hates to keep her secret identity from her loving adoptive parents, and frequently wishes she could come clean about all her secrets. She is overjoyed when she at last gets her wish right before her public debut.
  • Kill and Replace: Subverted. Lesla-Lar replaces Supergirl after getting rid of her; but rather than killing Kara, Lesla dumps her into an alien city after brainwashing her into believing she is Lesla herself.
  • Kryptonite Is Everywhere: Shortly after Superman's first departure, a ring of Kryptonite dust approaches Earth, forcing Kara to dive underwater to be safe. Superman and his cousin would be inconvenienced by Kryptonite several more times in the course of this single storyline.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Lesla-Lar plans to pose as Supergirl as helping Luthor kill Superman, and once the Man of Steel is dead, kill Luthor accidentally while pretending to capture him to silence him.
  • Medieval Morons: Supergirl travels to the year 1692 and arrives at a poor, little British colony. Settlers are portrayed as ignorant, unhygienic people, and regarded by Kara as gullible, superstitious fools because they believe in witches (even though she knows for a fact that witches are real)
  • Militaries Are Useless: An eldritch Abomination named the Infinite Monster slips through a dimensional rift and starts rampaging through America. It is so big that its body's upper half towers above the clouds, and it is surrounded by an impenetrable aura field. The USA army can do nothing other than wasting bullets and missiles on it repeatedly.
  • Monstrous Germs: The bacteria fought by Supergirl in Mr. Malverne's bloodstream look like weird multi-limbed grey worms with furry, six-eyed, antennaed, beaked heads.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • At the start, Linda uses her super-speed to fix a carnival display made by the Orphanage's kids which had been ruined by a windstorm.
    • As cleaning her home, Linda ponders it would be easier and quicker if her parents were aware of her secret identity, since she would use her heat vision to dry dishes instantly or would literally blow the dust out of the place.
      Linda Danvers: It's maddening to have to wipe these dishes so slowly! Actually, I could dry them in an instant, with my heat vision! How dull to feather-dust at a snail's pace... <Sigh>... If I hadn't promised Superman to keep my Supergirl identity a secret, I'd puff away the dust with my Super Breath!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Mr. Mxyzptlk pops in Superman's Earth to bedevil him, thinks "Would not it be funny if I made an ordinary girl more powerful than Superman? Imagine how humiliated Superman will feel!", finds a girl wearing a female Superman's costume and gives her Superman's powers without his weakness to Kryptonite. Thanks to him, Kara finally gets her powers back, and although his magic wears off, her natural powers return since Lesla-Lar is no longer around to aim her depowering ray at her.
  • No Honor Among Thieves: Lesla-Lar Lex Luthor join forces to destroy Superman, but they don't trust each other, and with good reason. Once Superman is dead, Lesla intends to dispose of Lex before he has the chance to backstab her... which Lex completely intends to.
  • No-Sell: Supergirl versus the Infinite Monster can be described as: "An irresistible force met an unmovable object; and the object won". The Infinite Monster did not even feel her blows, Supergirl bounced off its skin when she tried a charge attack, and her planet-pusher strength wasn't enough to even move it.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Lesla is a brilliant mad scientist, a cunning schemer and a subtle manipulator, but she has zero fighting skills. She gets easily caught by ordinary cops, and the only time she will fight Supergirl hand to hand, she will lose badly.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Infinite Monster is not really infinite.
  • Noodle Incident: From Lex's viewpoint: a woman sneaks into his cell, calling herself Supergirl and claiming to want to be his partner-in-crime, and talks him into building a Kryptonite ray. Then she leaves his cell, promising to return... and she never does. Lex never found out who she was, where she came from, or why she disappeared.
  • Obliviously Evil: A humongous eldritch abomination named the Infinite Monster stomps a path of destruction through America, but it does not seem malevolent or aggressive, but completely unaware of the existence of little living things scurrying around its massive feet.
  • Oh, Crap!: As rebuilding a display made by the Orphanage's kids at Super Speed, Linda freaks out when she realizes she has been seen using her powers.
  • One Hero, Hold the Weaksauce: Mr. Mxyzptlk turns Supergirl temporarily invulnerable to Green Kryptonite as part of one prank. As invulnerable, Supergirl took Superman away from one Kryptonite meteor, and then she caught the radioactive rock with her bare hands and buried it deep underground.
  • Only Six Faces: Lesla-Lar was almost identical to Supergirl. She managed to pose as Kara for several days without Superman himself suspecting that woman was not his cousin.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: Supergirl must stop the Infinite Monster, but it is so big and heavy that she cannot hurt it, push it or lift it. Neither her immense strength nor any of her powers have any effect on the Monster whatsoever. So, Kara borrows a size-changing ray and shrinks the Monster down until it is so small that she can simply pick it and put it in a bottle-cage.
  • People Jars: Kandor has "The Hall of Sleepers", a chamber where volunteers are placed into a state of suspended animation inside transparent cylindrical pods to be awakened one thousand years later.
  • The Pollyanna: So Kara saw her civilization dying, lost her parents, was stranded in an alien planet and dumped into an orphanage by her only living relative, and after spending one year forced to train hard and operate in secret, got her powers suddenly and mysteriously stolen right before her cousin revealed her existence to the world. Kara is initially upset that her hard work was all for nothing, but then she says herself crying is useless, so she must see the bright side and simply adapt to her new life.
  • Raised by Humans: Kryptonian teenager Kara Zor-El is adopted and raised by Fred and Edna Danvers, one human couple.
  • The Resenter: Lesla-Lar hates Supergirl because, as an Earth super-hero, Kara will receive more adoration and accolades than Lesla ever earned.
    Lesla-Lar: "I envy and hate her! The honors that I, Lesla-Lar, have earned in Kandor as a scientific genius are as nothing compared to the acclaim the people of Earth will give Supergirl when they learn of her existence!"
  • Scarecrow Solution: Supergirl spots a pack of smugglers escaping from the coastguard, but she cannot let herself be seen yet. So, she rips a sunken ship's figurehead off and waves the dragon-like head and neck out of the water. Frightened, the smugglers turn tail and flee back into the arms of the sea patrol.
    Coast Guard: "You almost got away! What made you come back?"
    Smuggler 1: "T-the demon from the ocean's depths..."
    Smuggler 2: "Awp! It's only a figurehead off an ancient ship! We panicked like dummies!"
    Coast Guard: "Superman probably tossed it up from the ocean's floor, so you'd turn back and be captured!"
  • Scene Cover: The Supergirl parade in the cover of AC #185 is featured inside, and it is one of the best remembered scenes of the Pre-Crisis version of the character.
  • Secret-Keeper: After being told about Linda's real identity, the Danvers agree to keep her secret.
  • Ship Sinking: After Supergirl goes public, Jerro guesses Kara'll be too busy for romance, hence he has lost his chance. As it happens, history proved him right.
  • Shooting Superman: The army keep wasting bullets, artillery fire and missiles on the Infinite Monster long after discovering that its shielding aura is impenetrable.
  • Shrink Ray: Supergirl uses a shrinking rifle provided by Brainiac 5 to shrink the way-bigger-than-a-mountain Infinite Monster down to the size of a lizard.
  • Slasher Smile: After convincing a totally clueless Superman that she is his cousin and is ready to go public, Lesla grins widely as pondering her scheme to get rid of Superman and Luthor before conquering Earth (or destroying the planet if it pleases her).
  • Sleeping Dummy: Lesla creates an inflatable Lex Luthor's replica to sneak the real Lex out of prison at the night without the guards noticing. They make off with an armored car by working together, and then Lesla sneaks Luthor back in his cell before dawn so nobody can prove he pulled that crime.
  • Small Steps Hero: In the first chapter, Linda goes on a crime-stopping global spree shortly after fixing a display built by the Midvale Orphanage's children.
  • So Proud of You: After Linda reveals she is Superman's cousin, her mother adoptive says she is proud of her daughter.
    Edna Danvers: Then the daughter we love is a... Supergirl! I'm so proud!
  • Some Kind of Force Field: Every time someone attacks the Infinite Monster, a white light flashes around its body, prompting its attackers to guess it is some kind of protective, impenetrable force-shield.
  • Spanner in the Works: Lesla-Lar's plan could have worked but for Krypto, who figured out she had replaced Kara and forced her to switch places back with the real Supergirl. The next chain of events ensured that Lesla had not opportunity to replace Kara again. Lesla even remarks she had not counted on Krypto showing up.
  • Status Quo Is God: Defied. Since she arrived on Earth, Kara had always failed to find adoptive parents and convince Superman to reveal her existence to the world. In the course of this story, Kara was adopted by the Danvers, left the Midvale Orphanage, and went public. And there was no turning back.
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands:
    • Justified. Superman Robots followed both cousins during their missions together, which is because Superman
    • Lesla-Lar's spying devices can see everything Supergirl does, anywhere and at any time, despite Lesla being stuck in a shrunken bottle city.
  • Take Over the World: Lesla-Lar cooks up a scheme to get rid of Superman and Lex Luthor, and then taking over the world. Or destroying it. Whatever she pleases.
    Lesla-Lar: I'll arrange to "accidentally" kill Luthor while capturing him after he destroys Superman with the Kryptonite Ray... A dead Luthor won't be able to reveal the truth about me! And with Superman out of the way, I'll be the mightiest person on Earth, free to conquer or destroy Earths, as I please!
  • Tears of Joy:
    • After Superman announces her existence, Supergirl nearly cries during a ceremony at the United Nations.
    • Kara cries when the children at the Midvale Orphanage, where she used to live before being adopted, thank her for saving their lives.
  • Technobabble: As posing as Kara, Lesla-Lar uses technical-sounding jargon to fool an incredulous Superman into believing she has recovered her powers by inhaling smoke from a frozen-and-overheated rock.
    Superman: How do you did it?
    Fake Kara: Simple! I figured that the gas released by the fusion of the chemicals in the rock could reactivate the super-energy of my body-cells!
  • Teleport Gun: Superman keeps an "Exchange Ray" in his Fortress which allows two persons swap places. Its inner workings are not revealed, but it is apparently so easy to use that even a dog can do it (and does. Although Krypto the Superdog is not your average dog).
  • Temporary Bulk Change: Exposure to Red Kryptonite makes Kara suddenly grow morbidly obese while she is visiting a fair. Since she cannot let anybody see her strange transformation, for it would jeopardize her secret identity, Kara ties one rope around her waist, floats up to the parade's big balloon figures and passes herself off as one of them until the Red-K's effect wears off.
  • There Is No Kill like Overkill: Lesla-Lar suggests Lex Luthor he cannot destroy Superman because he is not thinking big enough: instead of using Kryptonite rocks or Kryptonite ray guns he should build a giant Kryptonite-powered beam cannon.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Kara arrives in Earth after losing her parents, and she meets her only living relative Superman, who proceeds to dump her in an orphanage right away, as telling her she must keep her existence and her powers a secret until he deems her ready. During the next two years, Kara could not get a break at all: she could not find decent adoptive parents, every attempt to convince her overbearing cousin that she was ready ended up in failure, and she could not even join the Legion of Super-Heroes, despite passing their tests, due to a temporary technicality. Even her attempt to build her own private Fortress goes awry. Finally, she gets adopted by a loving couple, and Superman reveals her existence to the world and declares she is his equal partner in crimefighting from now on.
  • Time Travel: As a test to find out if whatever is nullifying Kara's powers is limited to the present century, Superman takes her to the 17th century, and later he lends her a Legion's Time Bubble to travel to the future.
  • To the Future, And Beyond: Using a Legion's Time Bubble, Kara travels thousands of hears into the future, instead of "just" to the 31st century, hoping to find a way to regain her powers.
  • Toothy Bird: Martian Angarks are giant birds of prey with parrot-like, serrated beaks.
  • Transformation Comic: Supergirl goes through no less than five transformations during the final issues: she gets turned into a human balloon, later into a werewolf, shrunk down to bacteria size, grows a second head and finally turns into a mermaid.
  • Transformation Ray: Exposure to three different Red-Kryptonite asteroids turns Kara into a wereworld, a balloon woman and a mermaid.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: At the end of a hallucination where Kara is made believe that she has killed people accidentally, she sits on the ground, curls up in a ball and cries.
  • The Unfought: Lesla-Lar depowers, brainwashes and replaces Supergirl as part of a gambit to take over the world after disposing of both Superman and Luthor... and Supergirl never gets to fight her. Lesla gets arrested by Kandor's police before her plans completely come to fruition, and Kara does not even learn about her existence. It would be a while before Kara discovered the cause of her faulty powers, strange nightmares and memory lapses, and it would be even longer before both women square off.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: When Superman reveals his cousin's existence to the world, showing footage of Kara helping him save people dozens of times, Supergirl is praised by the public; but as soon as she has -temporary- trouble dealing with an Eldritch Abomination, people complain about her being overrated and a poor substitute for Superman.
  • Unknown Rival: Lesla-Lar hates Kara to death because the Girl of Steel will be more loved and praised than Lesla has ever been when she goes public. Driven by irrational jealousy, envy and ambition, Lesla concocts a scheme to depower Supergirl, abduct her, mindwipe her, replace her, get rid of Superman and Luthor and take over the world. Meanwhile, Kara remains unaware of Lesla's sinister machinations because she has never heard of Lesla.
  • Villain Episode: The second chapter introduces Lesla-Lar, narrates the events of the first chapter since her point of view, and goes into her motivations to mess up with Kara.
  • Villain Opening Scene: In the first issue, Kara experiences a sudden power loss for unknown reasons. The second issue opens with the Big Bad gloating, and the next pages show via flashbacks how and why Lesla-Lar is messing up with Kara, and which is her sinister endgame.
  • Villain Team-Up: Lesla-Lar allies herself with Lex Luthor to destroy Superman.
  • Villain Teleportation: Lesla developed her own teleport ray, which she uses to bring a sleeping Kara into Kandor, and a teleport bracelet which she uses to travel back to the Bottle City.
  • Villains Want Mercy: As soon as the self-called "The All-Seeing Eye" tyrant gets overthrown, he falls to his knees and cries for mercy.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Lesla-Lar plans to kill Luthor once he has helped her kill Superman.