The OTHER Last Daughter of Krypton, the Last Daughter of Earth-2 and quite possibly Most Common Superpower incarnate.
The '70s version of All-Star Comics, starring the Justice Society of America, featured the original versions of many of DC Comics' superheroes and their families, living in a parallel universe known as Earth-2. In issue #58 (January-February, 1976) a new character debuted, created by Gerry Conway, Ric Estrada, and Wally Wood. Power Girl was introduced as the counterpart of Supergirl- she was the cousin of Earth-2's Superman (Kal-L). It was decided to make her as different as possible from Supergirl - including a different costume, code-name, personality and (most notably) a sexier body.
Karen Starr, the name she adopted, proved a hit with readers. She received solo stories in "Showcase" #97-99 (February-April, 1978). DC was considering launching a Power Girl series. But in 1978, the DC Implosion struck, with the cancellation of over 24 ongoing titles. There was no room for new titles. Karen did however become a founding member of Infinity, Inc.. Regularly appearing in the 12 first issues of said series, and occasionally turning up in subsequent ones.
And then Crisis on Infinite Earths hit and not only wasn't there an Earth-2 anymore, but Superman was now again the last Kryptonian. Power Girl still existed, but she was given a new origin as an Atlantean. After some silly retcons, including one period where she was vulnerable to "natural, unprocessed materials," Infinite Crisis and a Power Girl mini-series finally cleared up her origin by having her be... the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman (after reality got Cosmic Retconned again).
She was a member of the Justice Society of America and had her own comic book, started in 2009, originally written by Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti and beautifully drawn by Amanda Conner. After issue #12 the original creative team left the series, replaced by Judd Winick and Sami Basri, and the series shifted both its visual and writing style. In her series, she reestablished her Secret Identity of Karen Starr and established the company Starrware, all the while mentoring Atlee, the new Terra, and trying to stop the Ultra-Humanite or really hot aliens from destroying New York. The series took a Lighter and Softer approach to the character and the DC Universe at large, at first focusing on Power Girl's attempts to reintegrate into living a normal life and forming a stable relationship with Terra. After the creative team change, the book focused less on Power Girl's personal life, instead revolving around her heroic activities and how they affected her personal life, and also dealt with the reappearance of Maxwell Lord. The story was heavily tied into the Brightest Day event, though not published under the Brightest Day banner, and had interweaving plotlines with Justice League: Generation Lost.
After the "New 52" DC Universe reboot, a young-adult Power Girl reappeared as Karen Starr, at first in a supporting role for Mister Terrific, and later in an ongoing series with the Huntress, a new volume of ''World's Finest'', where she is revealed to be... the cousin of the Earth-2 Superman. This time, however, she has been explicitly described as the Supergirl of Earth-2, having started her superhero career as Supergirl when she was younger, before coming to Prime Earth together with Huntress (who served as the Robin of Earth-2). Controversially, the New 52 version of Power Girl lacked her iconic costume for the year or so, but before long the writers (either because they planned it all along or because of public demand) had her sporting the famous cleavage window again.
With the launch of DC YOU, both her and Helena Wayne returned to Earth-2 in Earth 2 Society and her costume has the "S" shield in place of the Cleavage Window. Her name hasn't disappeared from Prime Earth, however, as Tanya Spears officially inherited the "Power Girl" name after Karen's departure.
In 2015's Harley Quinn & Power Girl series, Harley finds and teams up with an older and amnesiac Power Girl with the two having various misadventures and fighting various D-list villains and Vartox, who still tries to seduce Power Girl in order to repopulate his race. It's later revealed that this Power Girl is from the Pre-Flastpoint Prime Earth (the same one from the 2009's comic series) with the second Terra; Atlee, also reappearing. However, both ends up disappearing from the universe and only reappears after the Dark Nights: Metal event following the fall of the source wall keeping the universe separated, but kept in the background.
Power Girl has appeared in:
- (1976-1978) All-Star Comics Vol 1
- (1980-1983) Wonder Woman Vol 1 Huntress back-up feature
- (1982) Judgment In Infinity
- (1984-1988) Infinity, Inc. Vol 1
- (1988-1988) Power Girl Vol 1
- (1988-1992) Starman Vol 1 intermittent appearances
- (1989-1993) Justice League Europe Vol 1
- (1989-1996) Justice League America Vol 1 intermittent appearances
- (1992-1993) Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt Vol 1
- (1993-1994) Justice League International Vol 2
- (1994) Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!
- (1999-2006) JSA Vol 1
- (1999-2007) Birds of Prey Vol 1 intermittent appearances
- (2005-2008) JSA Classified Vol 1 "Power Trip"
- (2005-2011) Supergirl Vol 5 intermittent appearances
- (2006-2010) Wonder Woman Vol 3 intermittent appearances
- (2007-2011) Justice Society of America Vol 3
- (2006) Infinite Crisis
- (2009-2011) Power Girl Vol 2
- (2009-2009) Terra Vol 1
- (2010-2011) JSA All-Stars Vol 1
- (2012-2015) Earth 2 Vol 1 intermittent appearances
- (2012-2015) Worlds' Finest Vol 1
- (2014-2015) Earth 2: Worlds End Vol 1
- (2015-2017) Earth 2: Society Vol 1
- (2014-2015) Harley Quinn Vol 2 intermittent appearances
- (2015-2016) Harley Quinn & Power Girl miniseries
- (2016-2017) Harley Quinn Vol 3 intermittent appearances
- Justice League: While Power Girl herself doesn't appear, a character inspired by her called Galatea is introduced in Unlimited. She is a evil clone of Supergirl created by Cadmus to act as their enforcer, and despite resembling Power Girl very closely down to her looks and the uniform, she is a villain. That said, the Superbabes scene in Batman and Harley Quinn does suggest an actual version of Power Girl exists. Much like Supergirl, Galatea was voiced by Nicholle Tom.
- Superman/Batman: Public Enemies: Her animated debut, where she is voiced by Allison Mack.
- Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: She has some appearances in crowd shots throughout the film, though she's not voiced.
- DC Super Hero Girls (2019 version): Voiced by Nicole Sullivan, the series's version of Supergirl has a similar personality, muscular build, and haircut to Power Girl — and the episode "#PowerSurge" even sees this version of Kara take up the costume and codename of Power Girl. Barring the haircut, a similar fusion of Power Girl's personality and build with Supergirl (even complete with Sullivan voicing her) first appeared in Super Best Friends Forever.
Power Girl provides examples of the following tropes:
- Amnesiac Dissonance: After his final defeat, Ultra-Humanite had his memory erased and was reintroduced into society. He does not seem happy with the plan, but he is accepting of the future...until Power Girl turns her back and he swears that it will never be over between them.
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: The Judd Winick run seemed to exist to see how much of DC's roster could be crammed into her series.
- Art Shift:
- When the original creative team left her series in 2010 there was a change in style adapted by the new pencilers and inkers. The bright colors of Amanda Conner were dropped, replaced with the more subdued palette of Sami Basri, and the character designs became slimmer, losing the pronounced curves of the early issues.
- In her 40-year history the depiction of Power Girl has varied wildly, from artists who choose to embrace her traditional build, to those who prefer to draw her as a woman with more normal proportions.
- Asteroids Monster: The Ix Negaspike is a self-replicating alien monster. When Karen freezes and smashes it to bits, it regenerates into more monsters.
- Barely-There Swimwear: Issue 12 has Karen wearing a swimsuit provided by Atlee and comments on its brevity resembling a "thought balloon".
- Baleful Polymorph: Power Girl, Superman and Zatanna are briefly turned into rock people by Siphon, who can copy Zatanna's powers.
- Beneath the Earth: Atlee's people live in a vast underground city. Their technology is so advanced that even Power Girl was impressed.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: It's implied Satanna had sex with the Ultra-Humanite when his brain was first implanted into his gorilla body. Not to mention the fact he was covered with the blood of the men who later attacked him. She told him not to wash off before the sex.
- Big Applesauce: She has now moved to Manhattan.
- Big Bad: When breaking into New Cadmus, which is being orchestrated by Max Lord, Karen and Nico actually comment that this is the headquarters of the bad guy that is behind everything.
- Buried Alive: Ultra-Humanite tries to do this to Karen in Power Girl 10. It doesn't work.
- Call-Back: The gags used when Karen and Atlee go shopping together first appeared in the Terra mini-series.
- Captain Ersatz: Vartox was originally based on Sean Connery, with his appearance taken from the movie Zardoz and his over-the-top machismo from Connery himself.
- Card-Carrying Villain: "'Rue the day'? Nobody talks like that anymore. It just sounds stupid." "It's a classic villain line."
- The Chikan: An issue featured a pervert who groped her in a subway. Bad idea..
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: After the author/artist switch to Judd Winick and Sami Basri, Terra, who had been Power Girl's sidekick/partner/sister throughout the early issues, appears in a grand total of one panel, with the kicker being Power Girl mentioning her as a Super Hero In Training, and afterwards is neither seen nor mentioned again.
- C-List Fodder: The Blue Snowman is the initial villain of the Vartox arc, and is introduced with the caption "Blue Snowman... Life Expectancy: Panel 4, Page 14"
- Cloning Blues: Power Girl discovers that fighting an exact duplicate of herself is not very fun. On the plus side, apparently Krypto is so damn heroic that even his evil clone comes to Karen's aide.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting:
- Towards the end of the pre-New 52 series, it was noted that the character, either intentionally or otherwise, was starting to resemble Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks. And not just due to Hendricks having a similar build.
- Recurring character Vartox, as he was in his original Superman appearances in the 1970s, continues to be based on Sean Connery in his role in the sci-fi film Zardoz.
- Crazy-Prepared: Not as crazy as some, but Power Girl has repeatedly stressed that Terra needs to wear her uniform all the time, under her regular clothing if need be, so she will always be ready for danger to strike at any moment.
- Crossover: Issue #20 is directly continued in Justice League: Generation Lost, which follows up on Power Girl's brainwashing at the hands of Max Lord to kill the Justice League International.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Once Power Girl is pushed past her limit and stops holding back she takes Ultra-Humanite, who a few pages earlier had been bragging about destroying all of civilization, and beats him down in six panels. Four of those panels are PG slamming his head against a wall. The other two were her punching him in the face.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Deconstructed. Power Girl (In her role as Karen Starr, head of Starrware) holds the patents to several miraculous technologies and heads what seems to be a well-running corporation. However, now that they have engineered these miraculous technologies they need to develop them into some form of marketable product, deal with worried overseeing government agencies and also contend with the almost insurmountable issues of normal office paperwork. Starrware might be on the cutting edge of human technology, and its stock prices will probably go through the roof once it goes public, but right now it needs to find some way to actually gain revenue from its assets. Power Girl herself is struggling to make ends meet until the profits start to come in, and lampshades this when fighting the Blue Snowman, who had developed the technology to create weather and was using this technology to steal jewels not worth half of what her equipment was worth.
- Day in the Life: Volume 12 of Power Girl's ongoing series is largely this. As it turns out, her daily life involves bathing in an empathic bikini, bonding with Terra and stopping a fight between an alien monster and Space Sean Connery.
- Deconstruction: After the initial 12 volumes Karen learns the hard way that the life of a superhero and a business tycoon don't exactly mix well together, leading to her losing her company. Reconstructed later on, as she finally finds a balance in her life.
- Depending on the Writer: The most consistent part of Power Girls character is that she must be an empowered woman with her own unique identity, a grown up Supergirl that doesnt want to take her cousins symbol and legacy, she is her own woman; anything beyond that, however, varies from writer to writer - such as how serious Karen is, from full blown put off by anything she considers nonsense to more an approachable fun girl; to what extent her female empowerment must be part of her character, from little moments where Karen asserts herself as a woman put off by slimy men, and wont tolerate women being taken advantage of, to a more constant and very outspoken person to point out many faults men have, including her superhero colleagues.
- Destination Defenestration: Satanna really should learn the art of small-talk and cuddling.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Atlee, the new Terra, and Power Girl's new best friend. They go see movies together.
- Dressed in Layers: Though Power Girl herself is always prepared for trouble, Terra has not quite grasped the concept that she always needs to wear her costume underneath her clothing just in case. As such, she is completely unprepared when a monster rises up when she and PG are out watching a movie and she ends up going into battle dressed only in adorable lady-bug underwear.
- Note that the writer actually put effort into making it plausible for PG.
- Drop the Hammer: The weapon Sivana provides Satanna with to defeat Power Girl is a giant mallet that unleashes sonic booms as it strikes which bypasses Karen's invulnerability and gradually ruptures her insides.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Not if the
monkeygorilla is the Ultra-Humanite.
- Evil Brunette Twin: "Divine," the evil clone of Power Girl, has black hair opposed to PG's blonde, but is otherwise identical in every way.
- Eviler Than Thou: Satanna goes to Dr. Sivanna to get a weapon to revenge herself on Power Girl and gives him what he wanted as payment. Afterwards he attempts some minor small-talk and she, because she and he are villains, does not feel it is necessary to disguise the fact that she felt this was a heartily disgusting event which she did solely as part of a business exchange. He agrees with her, then points out that since they are bad guys he no longer cares about her desires since she gave him what he wanted, and throws her out the window.
- Evil Laugh: Apparently, characters differentiate between your Mad Scientists and scientists who happen to be mad by the presence or absence of a good "Moo-Ha-Ha!"
- Evil Twin: "Divine," the dark haired clone of Power Girl.
- Faceship: Vartox's spaceship looks like a human head... with an impressive mustache.
- Fanservice: Lots, including the new series with a trio of gorgeous aliens.
- Fire-Forged Friends: She is more or less friends with Harley Quinn, although the first time they met she was (understandably) pissed that Harley deceived her when she had amnesia, once she got her memory back. Much later they have to team up again against an Eldritch Abomination that's way out of Harley's league, and it's clear Power Girl does care about Harley, as she even saves her life a couple times.
- Frame-Up: In Power Girl #24 and #25, Rayhan Mazin was flying from New York to Gotham when his plane threatened to crash. Mazin used his weather-controlling powers to right the ship and get it to land safely, but unfortunately it was thought he was the one who caused the plane to go down. Mazin surrendered willingly, thinking he would be released once he could explain. Six months later, he remains in Renatta detention facility. Nobody believes him and he is worried about his ill father, whom he isn't allowed to speak to. Mazin escapes to see his dying father, with Power Girl and Batman attempting to capture him. Mazin summons a hurricane above Gotham and slips away while Power Girl goes to undo it. Mazin visits his father as he dies and Batman believes his story, stopping some security men from going inside. Later Power Girl apologizes to Mazin for getting him locked up. Batman is looking into Mazin's case and has found out some federal investigators were interested in apprehending a metahuman terrorist, so they framed him to get more funding. The story ends with Batman investigating who's responsible for Mazin's detention while he visits the Justice Society of America.
- Freudian Excuse: Discussed when Karen assumes that Ultra-Humanite's "behavior can be partly explained by childhood bullying and a lifetime of failure and humiliation, especially by women" since the guy transplanted his brain into an albino gorilla. Obviously he has issues.
- Deconstructed later on. Ultra-Humanite's reason for going evil was his body was deteriorating quickly. In Power Girl 11, he has his own -and healthy- body back thanks to Karen. And he still wants to have his revenge. From that point on, he hasn't an excuse anymore, and he deserves whatever happens to him.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: In a story arc, Ultra-Humanite swaps bodies with Terra.
- Funny Background Event: Amanda Conner's artwork is full of these, such as PG's cat not liking who she is interviewing or stealing shrimp from their Chinese take out. When a flasher tries to expose himself to PG and Terra PG uses her freeze breath on his exposed areas; after she calls for a cop the next panel pans back to reveal that they are standing in front of a dermatology clinic whose current special "will freeze off your..." When PG and Terra change out of their regular clothes into their costumes, a bum can be seen enjoying the show.
- Genius Bruiser: Karen says that she's not just superpowered, but super smart and she shows it. When faced with a Sadistic Choice between saving the Leaning Tower of Pisa, rescuing Cyclone, or rescuing a Vietnamese girl held hostage by Typhoon with a time limit, PG buys herself time by setting up a tidal wave in the middle of the ocean timed to knock out Typhoon in Vietnam. She also frees Cyclone as backup to either stop him or help her stop the wave from causing collateral damage. While flying around the world doing this she uses her super hearing to triangulate the location the villain is talking to her from, using only the delay between her speaking and hearing it echo from the other end as reference. The only thing that kept her from capturing the Calculator is the fact that he was broadcasting by proxy.
- Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Averted and played straight. Karen loves them, but Atlee can't handle even the PG-13 ones.
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Karen does this a lot when she is making a dramatic entrance or someone (usually a villain or Vartox) is annoying her.
- Good Is Not Soft: In Power Girl issue 10, Karen finds out that Ultra-Humanite transplanted his brain into Terra's body. After beating him up, she visits Satanna and demands Terra's brain back. When Satanna tries to mock her, she blasts her arm off.
- Goofy Print Underwear: PG's cherry panties.
- Grand Theft Me: In issue 11, Ultra-Humanite attempts to take over Power Girl's body to gain her immense power, even temporary gaining control of Terra's as part of one of his plans until Power Girl defeated him and restored her young friend to her rightful body with the help of Atlee's people.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Well, they do not have green skin, but other than that...
- Hand-or-Object Underwear: In issue 9, Karen runs from the shower and starts chasing after the kid blackmailing her and dashes down the stairs after him, runs past a neighbor, and literally collars the kid, at which point her towel drops, giving the kid and neighbor a good look at her naked body (the reader is not so lucky, due to a strategically placed bunch of carrots and an arm). She covers herself with bread and a pie pan.
- Heroic Dog: Apparently, Max Lord gave Professor Ivo very strict instructions not to clone Krypto, Superman's dog.Max Lord: "We talked about this! Don't clone the dog! Dogs are weird! The whole loyalty thing just seems to be branded right in on a genetic level, for Pete's sake!"
- How Do I Shot Web?: Power Girl actually discusses this trope when fighting her evil clone. She reasons that, even if "Divine" has all the same powers as her that does not mean she knows how to use those powers, since she has only been "alive" for ten minutes and has never worked with these abilities before.
- I Did What I Had to Do: When Cho - formerly a hacker - calls Karen out on threatening to out him if he didn't help her, she answered that she did what she had to do.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
- Simultaneously played straight and lampshaded in "Power Girl" issue 10. When Terra was taken over by the Ultra-Humanite and fighting Power Girl she kept taunting PG.TerraUltra-Humanite: Let's have one of those totally cliched hero-slash-friend fights. You get to say things like, "I know you're stronger than this", or "You can fight it"... oh, and "This isn't you"! And I'll say things like... "I know your secret identity" and "All the people you care about are going to die!"
- In Power Girl's crossover with Justice League: Generation Lost Power Girl has been brainwashed into believing that the members of the Justice League International are other heroes planning to conquer and rule humanity. The members of JLI, dreading the destruction and loss of life that would come from fighting Power Girl in earnest (Assuming they could survive such a fight), try to get through the brainwashing and have her recognize them.
- Simultaneously played straight and lampshaded in "Power Girl" issue 10. When Terra was taken over by the Ultra-Humanite and fighting Power Girl she kept taunting PG.
- Insistent Terminology: They are not "monsters," they are G.E.L.F.s. It is not that hard to remember.
- Just for Pun: "Oh yeah, this rocks!"
- Kaiju: One that looks almost exactly like the King of the Monsters himself appears in the fourth issue.
- Kick the Dog: Ultra-Humanite and Satanna are already well past the Moral Event Horizon, they were murderers and psychopaths long before this series started, but when they put Atlee's brain inside the burned gorilla body it is just wrong.
- Lampshade Hanging: Atlee seems to derive nourishment from all the lamps she keeps pointing out:"Yeah, who would ever believe that under those mild-mannered clothes is a superhero named Power Girl? I mean, you two look nothing alike!""Well, it seems a lot of things up here follow a formula...a series of events that happen over and over, isn't that true? Take supervillains ... you guys catch them committing crimes, they go to jail, they break out and you guys put them back again."
Redheaded love interest: I thought you were dead.Blonde guy played by Alan Barry: I got better!
- When Karen and Atlee go to see a movie for the first time, the movie has an obvious reference to the resurrection of Barry Allen, the second Flash who had recently come back to life.
- Large Ham: Vartox is either the single greatest event to happen to comic-books since an artist thought "Wait a second, I can make them as big as I want," or he has come to murder all Power Girl fans with overexposure to the "sexy superstud from planet Valeron."Vartox: "Bask in the seduction musk distilled from tears of the ghost poets of dimension seven...to prove his manly prowess, Vartox has arranged for a demonstration of masculinity."
- Karen herself flies into a Les Grossman style rant at the beginning of issue 14.
- Let's You and Him Fight:TerraUltra-Humanite: "Let's have one of those totally clichéd hero-slash-friend fights. You get to say things like 'I know you're stronger than this', or 'You can fight it'...oh, and 'This isn't you!'"
- Lingerie Scene: Vartox decides to dress appropriately for his dinner with Power Girl. The results are... not quite right for a formal dinner, but Power Girl can not help but peek through her fingers just a little.
- Lovely Angels: Karen and Terra fought together in Power Girl's book. Usually Karen fights at the forefront as Terra handles group control and attacks from afar with her geokinesis.
- Mad Scientist: For your convenience, models come both with and without "Moo-Ha-Ha!"
- Mars Needs Women: Vartox needs Kryptonian women in particular.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": In issue #11, all of Satanna's minions stare terrified when Power Girl blasts Satanna's arm off and they realize Miss Kryptonian Powerhouse is pissed.
- Medium Awareness: The narrator is quite aware of how things work in comic-book land:Power Girl, Kara Zor-L... Life Expectancy: It's her series, what do you think?
Dr Mid-Nite...Life Expectancy: Shaken, not stirred
Blue Snowman...Life Expectancy: Panel 4, Page 14
Vernon O'Valeron A.K.A. Vartox... Life Expectancy: Waiting to hear back from the editors
- Megaton Punch: Karen gave one to Vartox when he hit on her.
- Mirror Match: She's fought her double from the recreated Earth-2, and her evil clone, "Divine".
- Motherly Scientist: Subverted. When Power Girl strikes Cadmus, she breaks the jails keeping the cloned creatures, hoping that Dr. Ivo stops focusing on her in order to save his creations. However he runs away, and Karen notes that he isn't motherly at all.
- Mundane Utility: Karen has been seen using her heat vision to shave her legs. Since she is nigh invulnerable, her options are limited.
- Naked People Are Funny: Karen accidentally exposes herself to some of her neighbors chasing down the teenager who was blackmailing her.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Magic dinosaurs with minigun arms, carrying axes and shooting lasers from their eyes are just some of the creations of Siphon, a man who copied Zatanna's powers.
- No OSHA Compliance: "Note to mad scientists and would-be world-conquering psychopaths... safety regulations exist for a reason."
- Nobody Poops: Averted. The first two panels of issue #9 has Karen on the toilet.
- Oh, Crap!: Power Girl utters the line after realizing that she only has 3 seconds until a ship explodes. Her face in that panel totally sells it◊.
- Later on both Power Girl and Superman have this when they realize the dinosaurs they're fighting can actually wound them.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Normally, Power Girl is just as noble and heroic as her cousin. With that said when her sidekick Terra's brain was switched with Ultra-Humanite's, Power Girl demanded that the one responsible switched it back... By using her heat vision to blast off her arm.
- In an issue crossing over with Justice League: Generation Lost, Kara (who finally remembers Maxwell Lord's existence after he mind-wiped the world into forgetting him) is trying to get Dick Grayson to remember Lord. Batman (who also remembers Lord) shows up to make Dick go over the death of Blue Beetle, who Max had murdered but, thanks to the mindwipe, everyone thinks killed himself. Every time Bruce points out inconsistencies in the bullet wounds, etc, Dick offers an explanation. When Bruce points out that Dick is going out of his way to avoid the evidence, Dick stops, realizing that goes against everything he's been trained for. This finally allows him to break through the mindwipe and realize Beetle was murdered.
- Panty Shot: Not of the usual sort, but Terra does not quite get the whole thing about wearing your costume under your clothes and winds up taking off her pants and fighting in her lady bug underwear.
- Pervert Revenge Mode: While Power Girl is used to being ogled by people (specially dudes) around her, she does have her limits. In one issue while going on a subway in her civilian persona, a pervert groped her from the behind and she knocked him out of the train, and in a later instance, some creep flashed her and she used her super-breath to freeze his junk so he would have no choice but to let the police catch him.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: When Vartox decides to slip into something more comfortable the result is not quite what he intended, and Power Girl rather firmly insists that he puts more clothes on. Now.
- Porn Stache: Deliberately employed for Vartox, who claims to 'embody masculinity.'
- Rant-Inducing Slight: One of Satanna's minon's goes nuts ranting about how much emphasis people put in sports and celebrities rather than science.
- The Real Heroes: Power Girl managed to squeeze one in. When a firefighter is helping her limp away from a bomb crater he comments that he does not often get the opportunity to help somebody like her ("Like me?" "Yeah... a hero") and she replies "I can say the same thing about you."
- Reality Warper: Who turns out to be a young girl who reads a lot of fantasy.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Inverted. Power Girl blasts Satanna's arm off first, then gives her the mother of all stink eyes.
- Refuge in Audacity: The planet Valeron is ruled by the sexy superstud Vartox, assisted by Chancellor Groovicus Mellow, and Vartox wields his mighty moustache from his happening pad while fending off Yeti pirates. All in one issue!
- Right in Front of Me: In "Power Girl" issue 4, Dexter - one of Karen's employees - asks her if she can tell Power Girl that she's fantastic.
- Rise from Your Grave: In Power Girl issue #11, Ultra-Humanite makes use of Terra's geokinesis to bury Karen alive. She only needs a few seconds to escape. Justified because she's a Kryptonian, ergo she is super-strong and she doesn't need to breathe.
- Samus Is a Girl: Blue Snowman is short, stocky and wears a Powered Armor which resembles a cartoony robot. When the villain takes her helmet off, and Karen sees she's been fighting a girl, she's shocked.Power Girl: What the hell? You're a chick?
- Security Cling: Terra does this to Karen after being rescued from the Ultra-Humanite and Satanna.
- The '70s: The planet Valeron might actually be an alien world perpetually stuck in the era of disco.
- Shopping Montage: With Atlee to get furniture for her new apartment. Also Cinnamon Buns.
- When Power Girl knocks out Siphon and reverses his spell to "Unleash Hell," the demonic maelstrom vanishes and she says "so long H. P. Lovecraft."
- "Rue the day?" Who talks like that?
- At the cinema Power Girl and Terra are approached by Howard and the other boys of The Big Bang Theory. Naturally Karen gives him a short lesson on how to treat a woman.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Satanna tries to taunt Karen after transplanting the Ultra-Humanite's brain into her best friend's body, Karen isn't in the mood for her crap and blasts Satanna's arm off.Satanna: My arm! What kind of heroine would do that to someone's arm?
Power Girl: Quit your bawling, Satanna! You're a surgeon, you can pick your arm up and do whatever you want with it — after you tell me where I can find my friend Terra!
- Shut Up, Kirk!: Whenever Karen tries to talk down a villain she sees needs at least a second chance she's dismissed as being sanctimonious and condescending.
- Sidekick: Terra generally fills this role, though she does complain about always being put on crowd control.
- Slip into Something More Comfortable: Vartox decides to attire himself properly for his dinner with Power Girl. She instructs him, rather firmly, to put more clothes on. Now.
- Strange Minds Think Alike: When Zatanna is in the presence of a man who can copy her powers, she realizes that just beating him in a Wizard Duel will not solve the problem, she needs to physically leave his presence to keep him from getting her powers permanently.Zatanna: (In Narration) He's good right out of the gate. I'm just better. But being better isn't really the issue, I just need to get the heck away from this idiot!
Power Girl: "We need to get Zatanna the heck away from that idiot!"
- Squick: Power Girl's in-universe reaction to learning that the Ultra-Humanite had sex with his girlfriend Satanna... in gorilla form. Because Satanna was turned on by his new body.
- This Is Wrong on So Many Levels!:Power Girl: "No! No, you didn't!! You cloned Krypto?!?! What kind of sick @#$#$—this is Superman's dog. For crying out loud! Is nothing sacred!?"
- After Power Girl, Superman and Zatanna are turned into rock people she looks down at her new rocky body and comments that "this is wrong on many, many levels."
- Too Dumb to Live: Satanna has two moments, in back-to-back issues; first when Karen busts down the door to her lair, demanding to know where the real Atlee is, Satanna decides that taunting a visibly pissed off Kryptonian is a good idea. This costs her her left arm. Then, after sleeping with Dr. Sivana in an effort to get him to give her more weapons to fight Power Girl with, treats him with contempt and disgust, which he responds to by throwing her out a window since he got what he wanted and no longer had to bargain with her.
- Underground City: Strata, Atlee's people's secret underground city.
- Underwear of Power: Her normal costume is a pretty standard superheroine outfit, but Terra has not yet grasped the importance of always having your costume handy and one time she was forced to go into battle wearing nothing but adorable ladybug underwear when she and Power Girl were attacked while out at the movies.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Averted with the citizens of New York. They are nothing less than extremely grateful and friendly to Power Girl.
- Unwilling Roboticization: Randall Mikavic, a Russian Arms Dealer, becomes an android when one he is inadvertently buying boots up, determines its CPU isn't fully operational and decides to use nearest available one. His main complaints are having to follow his programming, which he only vaguely knows, and no longer having any "pork and beans" to have fun with. He enjoys being able to hulk out and cause mass destruction though.
- Use Your Head: She employs this technique multiple times throughout Volume 2. On one occasion, she knocked a giant Godzilla-like monster out cold by headbutting it in the nose.
- Vertical Kidnapping: Turned Up to Eleven when Ultra-Humanite does this to Manhattan.
- Wall of Text: Karen's real estate agent gives two in as many panels when she is introduced exiting the elevator; the first of which before it was fully opened.
- Was It All a Lie?: When Cho deduces Karen is Power Girl he accuses her of being a fraud whose secret identity is not something she actually cares about since she drags civilians into her conflicts. This is mostly a What the Hell, Hero? because he's connecting the dots after she had just blackmailed him into helping her.
- Water Is Womanly: In her 1988 four-issue series, Power Girl faced off against three villains named Pyro, Hydra, and Hurricane who had each been granted control of an element by Weaver, God of Madness. Hydra had control over water and was the only one of the three who was a woman.
- Weirdness Magnet: Lampshaded by Karen in the issue 6 of the Palmiotti run as she recaps the events of the previous issue.An alien ship landed in Prospect Park, three fashionable women got out and caused some trouble, I got caught in the self-destruction of the ship and now they turn up in midtown Manhattan throwing cars at some guy in a Buck Rogers backpack. Seems I'm becoming a magnet for this sort of thing.
- Well, This Is Not That Trope: In the first issue, Karen begins describing what apparently is her cousin's story, before saying "But it isn't that story. It's mine."Power Girl: It's the classic tale of a distant and doomed planet named Krypton. The one where a small child is the last hope of a dying race. A refugee cast among the stars in search of a new home where he becomes the savior of an alien world... This isn't that story. Not exactly...
- Who Writes This Crap?!: She does not say the actual line, but Power Girl simply can not believe the story of Vartox and the infertility bomb that requires him to find a mate to save his planet. Power Girl is stifling laughter by the time he gets to the part about the "pregno-ray".