The Maid of Might. The Girl of Steel. The Girl of Tomorrow. The Last Daughter of Krypton. The Princess of Power. The Blonde Blockbuster. The Stanhope Sensation. The female Flying Brick.
The Distaff Counterpart Superhero.
Supergirl is a comicbook superheroine, originally created as a Distaff Counterpart of Superman, drawing inspiration from Mary Marvel (in fact one of Supergirl's co-creators, legendary comic artist Otto Binder also created Mary Marvel.) A summary of her history both in and out of comics can be found hereand here. An in-depth, light-hearted exploration of the character can be found here: Supergirl: the Life and Times of Kara Zor-El. And a chronology of her pre-Crisis appearances can be consulted here.
Though there have been other variations (see below) Supergirl is best known as Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin from the planet Krypton. A fellow survivor of that planetary catastrophe, she arrived on Earth later than Kal-El. Far younger than her now-adult cousin, she oftentimes struggles with Earth's strange mores and being in the shadow of the world's greatest hero while growing into a compassionate and heroic young woman. Her role, especially in earlier comics, fluctuated between being a supporting character in Superman stories, occupying in the Superman mythos a similar niche to Robin in the Batman mythos and having her own largely unrelated stories. She has been an on-again-off-again member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, different incarnations of the Justice League of America, the Teen Titans and the Red Lanterns Corps.
In 1985 the original Supergirl was killed off in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover when DC Comics decided to return Superman to the status of Last of His Kind. For the next two decades various characters occupied the mantle before Kara Zor-El was restored to continuity. Over the years the various versions of Supergirl have held their own solo titles at several points.
"Lucy de Borgonia"DC's first character named Supergirl is possibly Lucy de Borgonia, a South American princess who made her only appearancee in Superboy #5 (November, 1949). Wearing an orange-and-purple costume, Lucy had no powers but Superboy helped her fake them.
"Super-Girl"As a test, they released Superman #123 (August, 1958), a Jimmy Olsen story where he got three wishes. One wish was for a woman to keep Superman company, but though meaning well, this magical Super-Girl kept messing up her super-feats. Jimmy sadly wished her away when she sacrificed herself to save Superman from kryptonite, and was about to die anyway. (Note that in most later reprintings of this story, Super-Girl was intentionally miscolored to look different from Supergirl; originally, and as seen in DC Archives, she looks identical to Supergirl except that the skirt of her Mini Dress Of Power is rednote .)
Kara Zor-El (Linda Lee Danvers)The issue sold well and the DC powers that be decided that Supergirl's time had come. Thus was born Supergirl - a.k.a. Kara Zor-El, Kal-El's cousin. She first appeared in Action Comics #252 (May, 1959). At first, she was "Superman's secret weapon". As Linda Lee, an orphan at the Midvale Orphanage, she hid the existence of Supergirl from the world, secretly doing good and helping those in trouble.
Eventually, as the audience for good female characters increased, Superman judged her ready, and Supergirl was unleashed on the world. She was adopted and became Linda Lee Danvers; she gained her own Smallville-esque supporting cast, becoming an occasional member of the Legion of Super-Heroes and love interest to popular LSH member Brainiac 5.
Very unusually for DC Comics (at the time), Kara's adventures in Action Comics were serialized from the early 1960s onwards rather than stand alone as was the general practice (including for Superman himself who she shared the comics with). Supergirl's status quo gradually changed over the course of the decade and she aged at a slightly slower than real time rate, going from a cute 15 year old to a high school graduate and then on into a college student.
Power GirlIn the 1970s, a fateful decision was made: If Superman had a cousin on Earth-1, where Supergirl had long been established to live, why not one for the original Superman, Kal-L of Earth-2? Thus was Power Girl, aka Kara Zor-L of Earth-2, introduced (in All-Star Comics #58, Feb. 1976), with an origin much like Supergirl's, except for a Hand Wave to the effect that her capsule had taken much longer to reach Earth. Power Girl used a very different costume, an all-white one which highlighted her breasts, large even by comicbook standards. note She was instantly inducted into the Justice Society of America and soon became a fan favorite. See more on her own page.
The CrisisSupergirl's monthly strip was published throughout twenty-six years in Action Comics, Adventure Comics, her first solo, Superman Family and her second self-named title. DC cancelled Supergirl (Volume 2) in 1984, planning to launch a new title, DC Double Comics, starring Supergirl and Superboy.
But as the 1970s and early 1980s came along, Supergirl fell out of fashion with comic fans. A number of creatives disliked the character and wanted her gone even before the failure of her big budget live-action film.
Then came the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The powers that be decided that Supergirl was a symptom of the longstanding decline in the Superman franchise, which had made the books a poor seller for DC Comics. In order to try bringing back Superman's uniqueness, it was decided that Superman should be the only surviving Kryptonian. So in issue #7 of the Crisis (October, 1985), Supergirl made a Heroic Sacrifice to help stop the villain's plan. But then DC decided to do a full-on reboot of the Superman franchise, resulting in the now dead Supergirl being declared to have never existed. In a bit of major irony though, the copycat Power Girl survived and was given a new origin story, as the granddaughter of an Atlantean sorcerer sent through time to the present day.
MatrixEventually, John Byrne decided to "cheat" his way around the "Superman: Last Son of Krypton For Real" edict to bring Supergirl back, in the form of "Matrix", a shape-shifting purple creature who just so happens to take Supergirl's form. The new version first appeared in Superman vol. 2 #16 (April, 1988). Hailing from a pocket universe where Superboy existed (in order to keep the Legion of Super-Heroes universe from collapsing from the removal of Superboy from canon) and all life was destroyed by escaped Phantom Zone villains, Supergirl followed Superman into the mainstream DC Universe and for a time, things were good even as Supergirl began dating the Post-Crisis Lex Luthor (who, granted, was pretending to be his own son).
"Laurel Gand/Andromeda"At the same time, DC ran into still another trouble. Supergirl had been a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Those stories still were in continuity, but Supergirl had been erased from existence. How did they solve this? In Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 4) #5 (1990), Keith Giffen and other writers introduced Laurel "Andromeda" Gand, a Daxamite and Mon-El's cousin. Laurel was identical to Kara in all ways but name: she had her same powers, personality and attitude, was cousin to the Legion's inspirational figure (Mon-El pre-Zero Hour) and even dated Brainiac 5. Andromeda was also a member of the Reboot Legion, but she faded to comic limbo when that version of the team was shelved.
"Kara of Odiline"In the first Superman/Aliens crossover, written by Dan Jurgens, Superman finds a blonde, blue-eyed alien girl named Kara living in a floating city named Argo City, named after the original Kryptonian city since the inhabitants of Odiline -"Kara"'s homeworld- were big Krypton fanboys. Superman instantly took a liking to "Kara" and treated her like a long-lost close relative, but she was believed dead at the end of the crossover, and she was never mentioned again.
"Linda Danvers (Post-Crisis)"Meanwhile, Matrix grew stale, and in a few years Peter David was called in to retool her. In Supergirl vol. 4 #1 (September, 1996), Matrix traveled to the town of Leesburg, and melded with a troubled girl named Linda Danvers, in a nice Call-Back Mythology Gag to her pre-Crisis situation. The fusion of the two resulted in an "Earth-Born Angel", a holy being with powers of fire that would serve as the Myth Arc for her new series.
Eventually, the "angel" aspect and the "Linda" aspect separated, with Linda keeping some powers of her own. This came at the same time that Supergirl was introduced in Superman: The Animated Series, so in a bit of media property alignment, Linda was given the cartoon Supergirl's costume. In Many Happy Returns, the final story arc of the series, Linda met the original Pre-Crisis Supergirl whose rocket somehow detoured to the Post-Crisis universe. David hoped to use the arc to kickstart a new series entitled Blond Justice, and while the story sold very well, the new series was not to be. Ultimately, Kara returned to her universe, and Linda retired from superheroing. However, the success of Many Happy Returns, suggested that there was interest in the original Supergirl...
Cir-ElBut first, a new character showed up; the Darker and Edgier Cir-El, who claimed to be Clark and Lois Lane's daughter from the future. She first appeared in Superman the 10 Cent Adventure #1 (March, 2003). However, she was a very unpopular character, and in short order her claims were debunked and she vanished into the timestream.
Kara Zor-El (Post-Crisis)At this point, Dan DiDio rose to power at DC Comics. As urban legends goes, DiDio freaked out when he accidentally discovered the current Supergirl's convoluted origin of pocket universes and "earth angels" and made one of his first edicts upon taking over DC Comics to be DC bringing back the real Supergirl. (The success of the aforementioned Many Happy Returns arc probably didn't hurt either). A new Kara Zor-El was introduced, having crash-landed onto Earth just in time to be (re)introduced into DC Universe canon in Superman/Batman #8 (May, 2004). In a twist, it was revealed that Kara was older than Kal-El when they lived together on Krypton, and had been sent into space in order to care for her baby cousin on Earth; her rocket, however, going off-course (in a re-appropriation of Power Girl's origin) had meant she arrived as a teenager when he was an adult.
Since then Supergirl's basic identity in The DCU has held steady as Kara Zor-El. Confusion didn't end there though as her own named title was prone to retconning Kara's personal backstory on Krypton every three issues or so under a string of writers before finally settling down some 30 issues in. This roughly coincided with being brought into the extended New Krypton storyline, dealing with several hundred Kryptonians appearing on planet Earth led by Supergirl's parents. The book finally managed to become well regarded and is now a stable part of the Superman Family of comics. Supergirl also appeared in Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, in which she was stuck a thousand years in the future with the Legion (having made the Time Travel trip during a Time Skip in her own book, and then getting Laser-Guided Amnesia before she returned). To top it off, 2009 saw a toony-style miniseries aimed at kids, called Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade which was Exactly What It Says on the Tin. The original writer says he had plans to write sequels retelling her pre-Crisis story (her time in the Legion ''et al''), taking her up to the 12th Grade.
Power Girl (Post-Crisis)Meanwhile, Power Girl had gone through some changes as they tried to figure out what to do with her. Recruited for the Justice League Europe branch, Kara had her powers decreased (due to a Deus ex Machina lifesaving operation). She developed a new edgy, ultra-feminist attitude to let her serve as the resident shit-disturber on the JLE team (which was briefly retconned as being the result of allergies caused by diet sodas). She was made a businesswoman with her own computer company, mystically pregnant caused by her Atlantean grandpa, and most humiliatingly, was given a short-lived vulnerability to "natural, unprocessed materials" by Chris Claremont that was so silly and stupid that it was quickly dropped as soon as it was established.
Eventually, she found a home in the ongoing JSA series, and now that she was being focused on by a single writer, she started to gain some consistency. In the series, it was revealed that she wasn't Atlantean after all — but that left the question of what she was.
In the run-up to Infinite Crisis, the surprisingly simple answer was revealed: she was... Kara Zor-L, the cousin of the Superman of Earth-2. As the Earths were being merged, she had somehow fallen through a crack in time, emerging in the Post-Crisis universe unchanged, and the inconsistencies in her powers and origins since then had been side effects of the universe trying to fit her in. (Note: She is specifically from the Earth-2 that existed prior to Crisis of the Infinite Earths. A new Earth-2 that’s like the old one appeared after Infinite Crisis but it has its own Power Girl. Much to the original's dismay.)
Thus, both Supergirls have ended up right back where they started. See? It wasn't so complicated after all!
Post-Flashpoint Kara Zor-El and Power Girl...Oh, what's that? DC rebooted their entire universe again in 2011, you say? Well, since Superman was rebooted this means Supergirl had to start from square one too. It's being kept simple this time: Supergirl is still Superman's cousin from Krypton who crashed to Earth much later and only remembers her cousin as a baby. Under the reboot Supergirl has experienced some personality shifts emphasizing she's an alien in contrast to her cousin.
Meanwhile, on Earth 2, Power Girl is also Superman's cousin from Krypton. Only she started her career there as Supergirl, her Superman is dead, and she's wound up stranded on the main Earth for several years. She co-starred in Worlds' Finest with her best friend, Huntress (who, much like PG, started out as a sidekick in E2, having been Robin to her dad Batman). And in an interesting twist, both Karas do eventually meet and discover they have a strange bond due to their status as Alternate Universe counterparts of each other.
- Action Comics: Anthology series for most of its run, starring Superman as the lead feature plus various backup characters. Supergirl made her debut in Action Comics #252 and has been a recurring supporting character since 1959. Her strips ran as a backup in most issues from Action Comics #252 (May 1959) to Action Comics #376 (May 1969).
- Superman: Superman's self-named series (renamed Adventures of Superman between the Byrne reboot of the late 80s and the mid-2000s). Once again, Supergirl was a recurring supporting character since her creation.
- Adventure Comics: Featured various Superman family member stories. The second publishing home of Supergirl, after her run in Action Comics; her strips ran from Adventure Comics #381 (Jun 1969) to Adventure Comics #424 (Oct 1972).
- Supergirl (1972): First Supergirl's self-named series, published from November of 1972 until October of 1974 spanning a total of ten issues.
- Superman Family: Anthology title featuring Superman's secondary characters. The publishing home of Supergirl from Superman Family #165 (Jun 1974) to Superman Family #222 (Sep 1982), excluding reprints.note During this time she fought the Mad Scientist Lesla-Lar, dabbled in some romance, moved to New York, and became a soap opera star.
- Supergirl (1982): The final publishing home for Pre-Crisis Supergirl, running from The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (Nov 1982) to Supergirl Vol. 2 #23 (Sep 1984) — the name change occurs at issue #13. Usually known as Supergirl vol. 2, spanned a total of 23 issues. It was cancelled shortly before the premiere of Supergirl (1984) and was the last book featuring the original Kara Zor-El, but the expectation was that she would be continued in a new title, DC Double Comics, with Superboy as a companion strip.
- Supergirl (1994): Four issue limited series published in 1994, featuring the Supergirl Matrix.
- Supergirl (1996): The fourth volume featured a Supergirl that was a fusion of two different characters: the Matrix Supergirl and a human girl named Linda Lee Danvers.
- Supergirl (2005): Supergirl's fifth solo book saw the return of Kara Zor-El to the DC Universe after the 2004 storyline The Supergirl From Krypton. The series spanned 67 issues and 2 annuals. After some very shaky beginnings the book became well regarded. The Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle's issues are considered one of the best runs of the character.
- Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: Book featuring Supergirl and the "threeboot" version of the Legion.
- Power Girl (1988): Mini-series featuring Earth-Two Kara Zor-L.
- Power Girl 2009: Series about Supergirl's older self from another dimension. Supergirl herself occasionally appears.
- Supergirl (2011): Supergirl's sixth solo book redefined and introduced Kara Zor-El in the post-Flashpoint universe. It spanned forty issues until it was cancelled in 2015.
- Supergirl (Rebirth): DC Rebirth tie-in one-shot issue and prologue to her next solo book, Supergirl Rebirth introduced several characters and locations of Supergirl (2015) to the main DC universe.
- Supergirl 2016: After the death of post-Flashpoint Superman, Supergirl tries to adapt to life on Earth as she carries on her cousin's work.
- Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow: 2021 maxi-series by Tom King and Bilquis Evely.
- "The Supergirl From Krypton (1959)": Her origin story.
- "Superboy Meets Supergirl!": Superboy Volume 1 #80. Supergirl travels to the past and meets Superboy.
- "Supergirl's Three Super Girl-Friends": Action Comics #276 (May, 1961). Supergirl officially joins the Legion of Super-Heroes and first meets Brainiac 5.
- "The Unknown Supergirl": Running in Action Comics #278-285, and written by Jerry Siegel with art by Jim Mooney, it is one of the first multi-part storylines in super-hero comic-books. Superman decides it is past time for him revealing his cousin's existence to the world. However, something -or someone- is affecting Supergirl's powers, and plotting against both heroes as well as the whole planet.. Historically important storyline in where Supergirl was adopted by the Danvers, made her first enemy (Lesla-Lar), and her existence was revealed to the world. Part of this arc was reprinted in Action Comics #360.
- "The Death of Luthor": Action Comics #286 (March, 1962). After Supergirl has revealed herself, Lex Luthor plans to expose her as a Superman-fabricated robotical hoax or, should she be real, destroy her.
- "Supergirl's Greatest Challenge": Action Comics #287 (April, 1962). By Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney. Supergirl is called to the 30th century to replace the Legion as they get their powers back. However, her friends being depowered is part of a greater and subtler scheme to destroy the whole Legion.
- "The Last Days of Superman": Superman (Volume 1) 156 (October, 1962). After Superman getting infected with an incurable illness, Superman intends to accomplish his most important tasks. When he collapses, though, it is up to Supergirl to complete his grand work.
- "The Girl with the X-Ray Mind": Action Comics 295-298 (1962-1963). Supergirl befriends a strange girl named Lena who hides several disturbing secrets. At the same time, Supergirl's oldest enemy is scheming a new ploy against her, and the Phantom Zoners are putting in motion a plan to enslave the human race.
- "The Condemned Legionnaires": Adventure Comics #313 (October, 1963). Supergirl is called to protect her Legion female teammates from someone who looks like a sinister and twisted reflection of hers.
- "The Untold Story of Argo City": Action Comics #309-310 and 314-316. Supergirl investigates the death of Argo City and her parents' real fate... and that is only the beginning of her problems.
- "Brainiac's Blitz": Action Comics #339 (July, 1966). The whole Justice League must carry out a space mission, so Superman tasks Supergirl with protecting Earth until their return. Right then, Brainiac decides to attack Earth to take revenge on Superman, and Kara is the only one who can fight him.
- "The Supergirl-Batgirl Plot": World's Finest (1941) #169 (September 1967). Supergirl and Batgirl meet each other for the first time, and suddenly they decide to team up to take Superman and Batman down. What -or who- has caused their change of behavior?
- "The Leper from Krypton": Action Comics 363-366 (May-August, 1968). Lex Luthor cultures his own strain of Virus X and gets Superman infected with an incurable disease.
- "Starfire's Revenge": Adventure Comics #402-407. Supergirl's powers are taken away by Starfire, a queenpin who is raising an army to overthrow the government.
- "Demon Spawn": Adventure Comics #421. Linda Danvers's stressful routine of dealing with bullying co-workers and a lousy boss at her work gets disrupted when a mysterious Amazon called Nightflame, wielding a sword with terrible energy powers appears in San Francisco through a portal, raises havoc, and demands that Supergirl be brought to her. Who -or what- is Nightflame and where she comes from?
- "Krypton No More": As Superman is under tremendous stress and on the verge of a mental collapse, Supergirl tells him that they are both mutants from Earth, and Krypton never existed. Superman #307-309.
- "The Plague of the Antibiotic Man": Superman (Volume 1) #311-314 (1977). A mysterious and terrible plague is spreading over Earth, and Superman believes it has been engineered to kill not only humans but also the last living Kryptonians.
- "Strangers at the Heart's Core": Superman Family (Volume 1) #183-189, #191-195 and #206. Supergirl is being relentlessly harassed by villains who are being unwittingly manipulated behind the scenes by an old, forgotten and deadly enemy.
- "The Other Side of Doomsday": Super-Team Family #11 (July, 1977). Supergirl, The Flash and Atom are lured by an old enemy of the League into a parallel dimension controlled by himself.
- "Superman vs. Shazam!": "When Earths Collide!". First Superman/Captain Marvel crossover, published in All-New Collectors' Edition Vol 1 #C-58 (May, 1978)
- "The Museum of Eternity": In Superman Family #190, the Man of Steel, his family and the whole city of Kandor are kidnapped by a group of alien civilization-collectors. The Superman Family has to choose between submitting to their captors or seeing Earth destroyed.
- "Let My People Grow!": Superman Volume 1 #338 (May, 1979). Superman and Supergirl finally manage to enlarge Kandor after a battle against Brainiac.
- "Celebration": Superman Family issue 200 presents a possible alternate future for the Pre-Crisis Superman Family.
- "Judgment In Infinity": Wonder Woman Vol 1 #291-293. Supergirl teams up with Wonder Woman and heroes from four earths to save every earth in the multiverse.
- "War World": DC Comics Presents Vol 1 #27-29. Superman and Supergirl must work together to destroy Warworld, a star-sized weapon-satellite after galactic conqueror Mongul manipulates Superman into stealing and handing over the control key. First appearance of Mongul and Warworld.
- "The Krypton Chronicles": Three-issue limited series that explores the genealogy of the House of El.
- "The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor": Superman Family #211-214. Lena Thorul finally learns her friend's Secret Identity and her connection to Lex Luthor.
- "The Attack of the Annihilator": Crossover with the Batman books published in Detective Comics #508-510. Barbara Gordon must stop another dangerous lunatic from razing Gotham to the ground. Good thing that a certain friend of hers happens to be visiting Gotham.
- "The Great Darkness Saga": Legion of Super-Heroes Vol 2 #290-294 (1982). The Legion of Super-Heroes face the rise of a very ancient and vastly powerful evil in the 30th century.
- "The Phantom Zone": Miniseries which explores the history of the Phantom Zone and features a new conflict between the Earth's heroes and the Zoners.
- "Those Emerald Eyes Are Shining": Legion of Super-Heroes (Volume 2) #301-303 (July-September, 1983), by Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen. Supergirl and the Legion are heading towards Chameleon Boy's homeworld to aid their depowered teammate when they run into a conspiration to take over the United Planets.
- "Who Stole Supergirl's Life?": Supergirl Vol 2 #19. A Linda Danvers without powers. A Supergirl with no memories of being Linda Danvers. Has someone stolen Linda's powers? Or Supergirl's memories and Secret I Dentity have been stolen?
- "The Supergirl Saga": A three-part Story Arc that introduced the first Post-Crisis version of Supergirl known as "Matrix".
- "Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot": Christmas with the Super-Heroes Vol 1 #2 (1989). Kara Zor-El may have become a forgotten ghost when the universe was remade, but she still has time to comfort a distraught Deadman at Christmas Eve.
- "Many Happy Returns": Post-Crisis Linda Danvers meets Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El and lives her final adventure.
- "Young Love": Short story published in Solo Vol 1 #1 and written by Diana Schutz which brings the relationship between Pre-Crisis Linda Danvers and Dick Malverne to a conclusion. Linda and Dick meet again after many years. Dick has something to tell the young Kryptonian woman. And Supergirl remembers an earlier love during simpler times.
- "The Supergirl from Krypton (2004)": Superman/Batman #8-13. A Kryptonite meteor that lands in Gotham is revealed to have contained Superman's cousin, Kara Zor-El, and the evil New God Darkseid targets her as a potential powerful minion. This arc introduced Kara Zor-El to Post-Crisis continuity. The arc also received an Animated Adaptation: Superman/Batman: Apocalypse.
- "Girl Power": Supergirl (2005) #0-5. Kara Zor-El tries to make friends as finding her place in Earth. Unfortunately, everyone seems to want to fight her for one reason or another. And something dark, evil and dangerous is stirring within her and wanting to get out.
- "Power Trip (2005)": JSA Classified #1-4 (July-October, 2005). Power Girl is sick of lies about her past and does not care anymore for her origins. Nonetheless, someone is determined to reveal the truth to her, even if it kills her.
- "Last Son": Superman discovers a Kryptonian child in a strange pod that falls to Earth, and, as his adoptive parents did with him, decides to raise this child with Lois Lane. Along the way, the child, named Chris Kent by Clark, discovers the joys of living like a human and having Flying Brick powers.
- "The Dominator War": Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #26-30 (March-July, 2007). The Dominators enact a plan to conquer Earth by taking over every machine in the planet. Meanwhile, a Dominator scientist uses genetic samples taken from Legionnaires to engineer a new breed of super soldiers.
- "The Third Kryptonian": Superman Vol 1 #668-670. After an alien reveals the existence of another Kryptonian living on Earth, Superman and Batman scour the planet. Who is that person? Is he or she a friend or a menace? Why have they remained hidden for decades and what or who they are hiding from?
- "The Coming of Atlas": Superman #677-680, this story works as one of the preludes to New Krypton. A superpowerful meta called Atlas starts tearing apart Metropolis, demanding a battle with Superman, and not even the Superman Family can stop him.
- "Way of the World": Supergirl Vol 5 28-33. Supergirl meets a little child that is suffering from inoperable brain cancer and vows to save his life. Unfortunately she's about to learn a harsh lesson about her power's limits.
- "Superman: Brainiac": (Action Comics #866-870) Superman and Supergirl fight the actual Brainiac for the first time in the post-Crisis universe. This story reintroduces the Bottled City of Kandor to post-Crisis continuity, reintroduces many elements associated with Silver Age Brainiac and leads directly into "New Krypton" below. This arc was also adapted to Superman Unbound.
- "Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom": Five-issue mini-series in which Supergirl and her cousin fight a dangerous and vicious villain from Apokolyps named Maelstrom who is determined to kill Superman to win the favor of Darkseid.
- "New Krypton": The Kryptonian cousins have to deal with the death of Jonathan Kent and the return of Zor-El and Allura, their loyalties being divided between humanity and the 100,000 Kryptonian survivors they managed to rescue, and a government/military conspiracy to kill them.
- "Who is Superwoman?": Part of the New Krypton saga. Alura sends Supergirl on a mission to Earth to find Zor-El's murderer, Reactron. However, a mysterious masked woman called Superwoman will make Kara's task harder. At the beginning claiming to be Kara's friend, Superwoman soon reveals to be an elusive, ruthless enemy determined to hinder Supergirl. Who is Superwoman?
- "The Hunt for Reactron": Crossover with Action Comics. Supergirl has to find her father's murderer, Reactron, and bring him back to Krypton? But how can she fulfill her mission when the entire planet hates her?
- "Death & the Family": Supergirl has to solve a crime involving Silver Banshee as dealing with Lana Lang's incurable illness which is only a prelude to a bigger conflict with a ruthless, cunning enemy.
- "Bizarrogirl": In the wake of the destruction of "New Krypton", a Bizarro-alike Supergirl arrives on Earth. What does she want and what is she escaping from? And can a depressed and demoralized Supergirl stop her before Bizarrogirl tears Metropolis apart? Tto make things worse, an even bigger threat looms on the horizon with an eye for the Girl of Steel.
- "Day of the Dollmaker": Supergirl (2005) #58-59 (November-December, 2010). Sterling Gates' final storyline. Believing Toyman may be behind a wave of children kidnappings, Catherine Grant blackmails Supergirl into helping her investigate the case. Can both women put up with each other long enough to find the culprit?
- "Good Looking Corpse": Younger heroes are being targeted all over the country, and Supergirl has to lead a team to take down their mysterious enemy before it manages to destroy them.
- "This Is Not My Life": Supergirl goes to college to solve the case of a mindwiped runaway girl. Final Pre-Flashpoint story arc.
- "Reign of Doomsday": Luthor uses Doomsday as a pawn against not only Superman, but his entire family and supporting cast.
- "Last Daughter of Krypton": The first New 52 Supergirl storyline. It established her continuity and new origins in the rebooted Prime Earth.
- "H'el on Earth": A crossover event where Superman, Supergirl and Superboy go up against H'el: a mysterious powerful Kryptonian who wishes to resurrect Krypton at the expense of Earth.
- "Krypton Returns". Another crossover event which also serves as the sequel to "H'El on Earth." When H'El travels in time to prevent Krypton's destruction, Superman, Superboy and Supergirl travel to the past to stop him.
- "Red Daughter of Krypton": A crossover event which features Supergirl getting a Red Lantern Ring as a consequence of the events of the two previous crossovers.
- "Superman: Doomed": A crossover event which features a confrontation with Doomsday that caused Superman to mutate into a Doomsday-like creature.
- "Crucible": The last pre-Rebirth storyline. Kara attends Crucible, an interstellar super-hero academy. Does she really belong there at Crucible? And is Crucible to be trusted?
- "The Final Days of Superman": The final storyline for New 52 Superman. In the aftermath of "Savage Dawn", "The Darkseid War" and his fight with Rao, Superman is dying. But, before he goes, he's deadset on making sure humanity isn't defenseless without him.
- "Reign of the Cyborg Supermen": As Supergirl tries to adapt to her new life and new family, Cyborg Superman returns. And he's determined to turn Earth into a New Krypton.
- '"Escape from the Phantom Zone": Crossover with Batgirl (Rebirth). Supergirl and Batgirl meet again for first time in a case which will lead them into the Phantom Zone to rescue an innocent girl from a genocidal, murderous mad scientist.
- "The Girl of No Tomorrow": Emerald Empress goes back to the past to put together a new team and kill Supergirl before the Girl of Steel can defeat her in the future.
- Man of Steel (2018): Brian Michael Bendis makes his mark on the DC Universe as he explores Krypton's past and its destruction along with Superman's rise as a hero as the Man of Steel encounters a mysterious new villain with ties to Krypton and its destruction.
- "The Killers of Krypton": Supergirl sets on a journey across the galaxy to discover the truth behind the claims of Rogol Zaar and the destruction of Krypton.
- Superman (Brian Michael Bendis): A new era in the Superman Family's life begins.
- World of Krypton (2021): Mini-series delving into the past of Krypton and the House of El.
- "The Death of Superman (1961)": The original "The Death of Superman" story, told in Superman Vol 1 #149 by Jerry Siegel where Lex Luthor finally manages to murder Superman for real, and Supergirl takes over for her cousin. Initially an imaginary story, it became an existing alternate universe (Earth-149).
- "The Amazing Story of Superman Red and Superman Blue": Superman Vol 1 #162. Superman gets split in two Superman, and they set out to fix everybody's problems.
- Supergirl (1984): Also known as Supergirl Movie Special, it is the official adaptation of the 1984 movie.
- "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?": The final story featuring the pre-reboot Superman universe.
- Supergirl: Wings: The story is a reimagining of the "Earth-Angel" storyline from Peter David's run on Supergirl, taking the Matrix incarnation of Supergirl and turning her into a literal angel. Matrix is an Amenlee, specifically an angel whose role is to help human beings turn away from their inner darkness. Unfortunately, Matrix is beginning to question whether her latest charge, a human girl named Linda Danvers, can even be saved. What follows is a tale of redemption as Matrix finds herself being forced to question who she is and why she does what she does, and it becomes increasingly murky just who, Matrix or Linda, needs to be saved.
- Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl: Elseworlds Superman/Batman crossover written in 1998. In a world with no Superman or Batman, Supergirl and Batgirl must cast their differences aside and team up to solve a kidnapping.
- Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade: Alternate Universe series intended for children which retells the adventures of a pre-teen Earth-One Kara Zor-El.
- Kara Zor-El appears in Man of Steel Prequel, which is a tie-in to Man of Steel and is part of the DC Extended Universe. There, she is Kal-El's and Jor-El's distant ancestor instead of Kal-El's cousin. She is sent colonize a planet by the Council of Krypton. That mission will go awry.
- Adventures of Supergirl: (2016) Tie-in to the Supergirl (2015) series, written by Sterling Gates.
- Supergirl: Being Super: Four issue limited series. A coming-of-age story from writer Mariko Tamaki and artist Joelle Jones.
- DC Comics Bombshells, Supergirl is one of the main characters, in this universe being the daughter of Lara Lor-Van and Alura In-Ze, who was raised in the USSR as Kara Starikov, adopted sister of Stargirl.
- Final Crisis
- Gotham City Garage
- Infinite Crisis
- DC Retroactive Superman: September-October, 2011. Three-issue series spotlighting three different decades from the History of Superman in preparation for the 2011 reboot.
- Justice League 3000
- Justice League: Cry for Justice
- The Superdictionary
- Superman Family Adventures: An all-ages comic book about Superman, his cousins Superboy and Supergirl, and their pets Krypto and Streaky. Despite being published around the time of the New 52, it's mostly Silver Age Superman with a new belt.
- Batman/Superman: World's Finest
- "American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl": (1984-1986). A series of Public Service Announcement comic-book in which Supergirl taught the importance of wearing a seat belt.
- "Victory By Computer": Radio Shack teamed up with DC Comics to produce comics featuring mainstream DC superheroes and the "TRS-80 Whiz Kids". Said Whiz Kids would use their TRS 80s to help Superman, Supergirl, and Wonder Woman save the world, usually by doing things like converting Fahrenheit to Celsius.
- Superman: The Animated Series introduced its own version of Supergirl in 1998. This version was named Kara In-Ze and was rescued from the Kryptonian colony world of Argo. She wasn't actually a relative of Superman, beyond their being the same species, but she was adopted as his cousin and given a false civilian identity as Kara Kent. She was voiced by Nicholle Tom.
- Justice League Unlimited Kara In-Ze would later appear in this cartoon. An evil clone of Supergirl named Galatea also appeared, whose costume, voluptuous yet toned body, hairstyle and larger breasts were an obvious Shout-Out to Power Girl.
- Super Best Friends Forever: Supergirl, Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) and Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) starred in the DC Nation shorts by Lauren Faust.
- DC Super Hero Girls: Supergirl is one of the main characters in the web-cartoon and DC Super Hero Girls line of superheroine dolls.
- DC Super Hero Girls: A full television series that serves as a Continuity Reboot of the same concept as the web series, with noticeable differences, such as which characters are included and more stylized character designs.
- Young Justice (2010): Kara shows up at the end of the fourth season.
- Supergirl makes an appearance in the Superman 75th Anniversary Animated Short.
- Additionally, in Superman: The Animated Series Paul Dini and Bruce Timm wanted to use the original Kara Zor-El, instead of the then-current Supergirl (Matrix/Linda Danvers in the comics), but they were denied by DC Comics, due to the then-current "Superman is the only survivor of Krypton" edict. She was also supposed to appear in the third seasons of Legion Of Superheroes before it was cancelled.
- Superman/Batman: Apocalypse: The 2010 direct-to-video animated movie is an Animated Adaptation of the 2004 story that introduces the post-Crisis Kara Zor-El. She was voiced by Summer Glau.
- Superman Unbound: Kara also appeared in 2013's direct-to-video cartoon adapting the 2008 Brainiac arc in the Superman titles. She was voiced by Molly Quinn.
- Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash: Supergirl is a Justice League member and the only available besides Cyborg after the initial Brainiac's attack. She is voiced by Jessica DiCicco
- Legion of Super-Heroes (2023): The 2023 animated movie is set to feature Kara. She is voiced by Meg Donnelly.
- Smallville: In 2007, Kara (played by Laura Vandervoort) became a regular character as Clark's cousin from Krypton, using a variation of the origin where she is older than him and, as is typical in that series, Not Wearing Tights or using a codename. (There had earlier been a fake "Kara from Krypton" who turned out to be neither. It was a plan by an AI made in Jor-El's image.)
- Supergirl: The 2015 TV series starring Melissa Benoist as Kara Zor-El originally premiered on CBS before Channel Hopping to The CW and becoming part of the Arrowverse.
- Supergirl: Starring Helen Slater as the title character and a spin-off of the Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve. It flopped commercially as well as critically, but Slater's performance was well-received by Supergirl fans, and she has since reappeared in other DC Comics-based media.
- DC Extended Universe: Sasha Calle plays Kara Zor-El in The Flash.
- Supergirl: by Norma Fox Mazer, novelization of the 1984 film.
- Supergirl at Super Hero High: by Lisa Yee, set in the DC Super Hero Girls universe.
- Supergirl: Daughter of Krypton: by Daniel Wallace.
- Supergirl: Age of Atlantis: by Jo Whittemore, a companion novel for the show
- Supergirl: Curse of the Ancients: By Jo Whittemore
- Supergirl: Master of Illusion: by Jo Whittemore
- Supergirl: An Origin Story (DC Super Heroes Origins) by Steve Brezenoff
- Supergirl and the Man of Metal by Laurie S. Sutton, Gregg Schigiel
- Justice League Heroes: Playable in the PSP version.
- DC Universe Online: Playable character.
- Infinite Crisis: Two versions of Supergirl are playable characters.
- LEGO Batman: Supergirl is a playable character in LEGO Batman 2 and 3
- LEGO Dimensions: Supergirl is a playable character. She has a Red Lantern alternate version.
- Injustice 2: Supergirl is a playable fighter.
- Freedom City Play By Post: She is one of the playable characters.
- Cerberus Engine Games: Crisis Expansion Pack 2 adds Red Lantern Supergirl.
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