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Tropes found in Supergirl

  • Kangaroo Court:
    • Zigzagged in the post-Crisis New Krypton arc. When Kara brings Reactron to Kryptonian justice, Alura coldly informs him that he'll be judged, found guilty and executed. However she intends to put him on trial rather than lynching him, unlike a lot of Kryptonians. However during a preliminary hearing a judge questions the trial's legality since Reactron hasn't been extradited lawfully, and Alura dismisses his concerns. However, when a lynch mob breaks into the building, she protects Reactron.
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    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, secondary character Sheko became a Red Lantern because she was a judge on a planet where kangaroo courts were the rule, the concept of justice had been turned into a joke, rich and powerful people got away with anything, and when she tried to make her job fairly, she got shot.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • In The Killers Of Krypton, Empress Gandelo slaps Harry Hokum with her rock-hard, razor-sharp hand and then she gets him dumped into space. It is not a pretty or clean way of dying, and you would almost feel sorry for him... if Hokum wasn't an utterly amoral, sadistic tyrant who regards people as tools, blames his own mistakes on his loyal subordinates and has murdered countless people in atrocious ways. Gandelo does not care about any of his misdeeds, though; she is pissed off because he revealed her organization's secrets to Supergirl.
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    • Starfire's Revenge: Derek Marlowe/Ames is a conman who enthusiastically seduces and steals gullible wealthy women. His boss gets him killed off because he cannot be trusted to keep quiet about her ambitious scheme.
  • Kid Hero: Pre-Crisis Supergirl was fifteen when she landed on Earth and started out her superhero career. Her Post-Crisis and Post-Flashpoint incarnations also started out as teen heroes.
  • Kid Hero All Grown Up: Pre-Crisis Supergirl began her hero career when she was fifteen. Through the duration of the Pre-Crisis era she grew up, graduated college, changed jobs several times... by the end of the 70's she was in her late twenties and a seasoned crimefighter and world-savior.
  • Kid Sidekick: Silver Age Supergirl played it straight at the beginning, but she eventually subverted it. She was Superman's sidekick and emergency secret weapon while he was training her, but when he revealed her existence to the world, he made clear that she was his partner. Before that, in The Unknown Supergirl, Kara becomes invulnerable to Kryptonite for a while, and Superman seriously regards her as superior to him, and wonders if he should become her sidekick. During the Silver and Bronze Ages both cousins interacted as equals, but in the Post-Crisis universe, teen Kara became his sidekick again.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence:
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    • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, an alternate Supergirl fades into oblivion as shouting she has to warn her counterpart about...
      Supergirl: Oh no! I'm too late! The timeline where I go back in time never happened! I'm fading from existence! Now I'll never be able to tell myself that the Principal is secretly— <POOF>
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, a crime-lord gets gunned down as pleading with her mistreated and pissed-off dancer for mercy:
      Crimelord: N-now, Suchin, let's not be hasty...! If I ever hurt any of you girls, it was only because—
    • Bizarrogirl: Bizarro Lex Luthor is explaining to Supergirl and her twin where the current threat came from when a giant critter turns up all of sudden and chomps on him.
      Supergirl: What happened to Bizarro World, Lex? And what is the Godship?
      Bizarro Lex Luthor: Godship am Big Bad. And it came because of me. Me was trying to find worstest way to hurt Bizarro #1, my worstest enemy, so me sent signal into core of the planet, hoping to find someone to come out and help. But signal went opposite direction into space and it attracted—-
    • In The Killers Of Krypton, Supergirl has just scared an alien into confessing everything he knows about Rogol Zaar, but he is blasted to ashes by one of his own allies right when he is about to spill the beans:
      Alien: Okay, Okay, Okay. I'll spill my guts! Just don't use his axe on me! Please! What do you wanna-
      He is struck by an energy beam
  • Kill It with Fire: In Superman vs. Shazam!, Karmang casts a fire spell to try to burn Supergirl and Mary Marvel to ashes when both heroines storm his stronghold.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Kara is a cat person. Back in the Silver Age she owned a pet tomcat called Streaky -which accidentally got super-powers-. In the 80's she found a stray female cat and she adopted it and named Streaky right away. She really adores her cats. In The Coming of Atlas, Kara is playing with a pride of thoroughly confused lions when she hears her cousin is in trouble. It must be a genetic trait, because Post-Crisis Kara and Power Girl also own pet cats (although Power Girl's is called Stinky).
    Supergirl: Well, now... What've got here? Hiya, little kittycat! You live around here?
    Joan: I've seen her scrounging around the block for days now. I figure she's a stray.
    Supergirl: Not anymore, friend — 'cause this little darling's just been adopted! Isn't that right, little Streaky?
    Joan: You sure don't waste time thinking up names! How'cum Streaky?
    Supergirl: Oh... Let's just say she reminds me of a cat I used own!
  • Kirby Dots: This visual effect was often used in Red Daughter Of Krypton when Supergirl's eyes poured sheer red energy or her Battle Aura flared up.
  • Kissing Cousins:
    • The infamous Action Comics #289 where Superman reveals that he's saddened that Kryptonian law forbids first cousins from marrying because he wishes he could find a girl like Kara. In that one, Kara tries to find Kal a girlfriend. After many failed attempts, we get the creepy panel above, which seems to make it perfectly clear that the law is the only thing stopping them from pursuing a relationship (maybe they minded a lot less in the '60s?). Supergirl proceeds to use a computer to find a girl who looks and acts like her as an adult named Luma Lynai in another galaxy. Superman and Luma hit it off but sadly, she couldn't exist under a yellow sun. Luma would get referenced several times thereafter as the one who got away. Discussed here and here. Any implications of romance between the Superman and Kara Zor-El version of Supergirl, however, was completely averted Post-Crisis.
    • Action Comics #260 is worse in that respect. Clark has Kara disguise herself as a superheroine from another dimension, and she and Supes proceed to have make-outs (in front of Lois), all to fool some dim alien invasion. They even get married. She was explicitly underage at the time, too. Yeesh.
    • And from Bronze Age storyline Krypton No More comes Superman walking out of the shower and finding his cousin waiting for him... and the writer seems completely unaware of the tone he is setting. At least Kara was already an adult woman at the time.
    • Also, from the same source as Lex Luthor stealing forty cakesnote  comes Kara and Clark deserving a rest. Maybe it's just hard to make her look unsexy, but... that looks far from innocent, and the repetition, though intended to drill the definition into a kid's mind, really makes it sound like she is saying "We deserve a rest, nudge nudge wink wink," and the big blue boy scout just isn't getting it yet.
    • Peter David would make fun of this issue in Many Happy Returns where the Pre-Crisis Superman does marry Linda Danvers a.k.a the second Post-Crisis Supergirl. Superman, of course, knew she wasn't his cousin the entire time due to his super senses.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Supergirl has the same weaknesses that her cousin. Namely: kryptonite and magic.
    • In the New Krypton storyline, Supergirl faced off against Reactron, an enemy powered by golden kryptonite which nullified her powers.
    • In the Red Daughter of Krypton arc, Silver Banshee managed to contain Supergirl for a short while when they fought because her sonic attacks are magic, and Kryptonians are vulnerable to magic. Later on, Kara was weakened when she fought Worldkiller-1 because Earth's atmosphere was poisoned with kryptonite.
  • Kryptonite Ring: In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Lex Luthor has a Kryptonite ring that he plans to use against Supergirl... until Batgirl steals it from him and takes it to a lead-lined vault, saying "I see it as insurance... which I hope I never need to use."
  • Kubrick Stare: If Supergirl is doing this, congratulations. You have pissed off someone who is as powerful as Superman and is more hot-tempered and less self-controlled. And now you are about to get pummelled. And God helps you if you hurt her cousin.
  • Lady Legionnaire Wear: Kara wears a red and golden armoured skirt during her Amazon training in The Supergirl from Krypton.
  • Language Drift: In Legion of Super-Heroes (Vol. 5) #23, Supergirl travels to Kandor -a surviving Kryptonian city- and meets 31st century Kandorians. Although they talk Kryptonese, their language has become barely intelligible to her. At the same time, her speech is an archaic, thousand-year-old dialect from their perspective, so they do not even understand a simple request for some water.
    Supergirl: Are all the wires necessary? They're making me uncomfortable. And could I have some water?
    Scientist 1: What's she going on about?
    Scientist 2: Weird, isn't it? It's Kryptonese, but it's an ancient dialect! Something about liquid wires...?
    Supergirl: Water? In a cup?
    Scientist 1: Oh. For thirst.
  • Large Ham: Supergirl villains tend to get this way. Scenery-chewing, dramatization and verbosity are practically mandatory. Some examples:
    Nightflame: NAY! Your chrome-plated chariot does not frighten me! Now you shall know of the power of Nightflame! And of my flame-sword!
    Black Starr: FOOL! You think all there is to reality is what is seen? Yes – I appear young – and I may be younger still... or even be you, if I so desire!
    Satan Girl: Fool, you'll NEVER find a cure for them! I know... because it was I who unleashed this doom of the crimson virus on them!
    Darkseid: Darkseid IS!
  • Laser Cutter:
    • In an issue, Superman is called upon to use his heat vision as a laser beam to perform surgery on Supergirl - since she is Kryptonian, no Earth scalpel can cut her.
    • Supergirl has also used her heat vision as a kind of scalpel. In Who is Superwoman?, she used her heat vision to cut a fabric sample off Superwoman's cowl in order to get it analyzed. In New 52 story arc Crucible, Kara combines her Eye Beams with her microscopic vision to perform surgery on Kon-El on a cellular level. More mundane uses include to shave her legs and cut her hair off.
  • Last Kiss: In Solo #1, Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El and her childhood crush Dick Malverne gave each other one last kiss goodbye before he died from cancer.
  • Last of His Kind: She and her cousin are the last Kryptonians. It was discussed in the New 52 story arc Red Daughter Of Krypton. Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner -who had never met Supergirl previously in this universe- are shocked to learn that there's another living Kryptonian besides Superman, who was supposedly the last one.
  • Latex Perfection:
  • Law of Alien Names: Kara, which is an example of the trope, but an odd one in that the name became popular in English as an actual name after the introduction of the character, to the point where on Smallville she just calls herself Kara and there's nothing weird about the name. In truth, it is not actually alien, rather of Proto-Italo-Celtic origin (Italian "beloved", Irish "friend"), but as stated above, it was hardly ever used as a given name until long after Supergirl started.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: Kara is more reckless and more hot-headed than her older cousin and just so invulnerable, so she is prone to take more risks and head-diving into a situation with little concern about her safety.
  • Law of Disproportionate Response: In Superman: Brainiac, Supergirl accidentally reveals that Daily Planet's journalist Cat Grant has fake boobs. Later, Supergirl accidentally gets Cat slightly bruised while saving her. As a result of this, Cat spends one whole year slandering Supergirl in the hope that her tripe drives the young hero away from Metropolis.
  • The Leader: Albeit usually a solo fighter, Supergirl has led teams like the Legion of Super-Heroes from time to time, proving she can be level-headed and make good decisions when it's required. In Good-Looking Corpse story arc she quickly puts together a team to take down a villain who is targetting young heroes, and although she doubts her leadership skills, her team thinks she did just fine.
  • Leave Me Alone!:
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl asked her cousin, Batman and Wonder Woman leave her alone for a while as she figured her new life out. Unfortunately she spent one whole year completely aimless and screwing around due to Kryptonite poisoning altering her personality until she understood she needed help.
    • Kara kept this attitude for a long while in the New 52 universe. When Superman and Supergirl argue in Red Lanterns #30, he reminds his cousin that she wanted him to leave her alone to live her own life since she showed up on Earth.
  • Left Hanging: Justice League 3000's abrupt cancellation left a ton of subplots unresolved, such like: Why did past Superman send Supergirl to the far-flung future? The final issue doesn't even conclude the battle between the League and the Legion of Death, and readers had to read a completely different book -Blue Beetle Vol. 9 #12-13, published one year later- to find out whether the League won or lost that battle.
  • Legacy Character:
    • In The Death of Superman (1961), Supergirl becomes the Earth's protector after her cousin gets murdered by Lex Luthor.
      Supergirl: You can stop wasting bullets! I have all of Superman's astonishing powers! — Gangdom may have succeeded in treacherously killing Superman, but I'm going to carry on his great work!
    • After the death of the original Supergirl, two characters took up the mantle of Supergirl (Matrix and Linda Danvers) before Kara Zor-El returned to the main universe.
    • In Superman: Super League, Superman tells his cousin that he is dying and asks her to carry on in his name. In Supergirl (Rebirth) she joins the DEO -Department of Extra-normal Operations- to help her to restore her powers and carry on her cousin's work.
  • Legend Fades to Myth: Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #16 reveals some people believe the heroes of the 21st century were mere comic-book characters.
  • Leotard of Power: Post the Flashpoint reboot for the DC Universe. Although other versions of Supergirl had used it before.
  • Let's You and Him Fight:
    • In New Krypton storyline, Reactron kills Supergirl's father and later frames her best friend Thara Ak-Var (Flamebird) for his murder. In The Hunt for Reactron, both friends come to blows.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton, when Supergirl arrives on Earth, Superman introduces himself as Kal-El. She attacks him, thinking that he is a villain pretending to be a Kryptonian because she is unaware that Krypton has been destroyed and thinks that it has only been a short time since she left, and when she left, her cousin Kal-El was a mere baby. She eventually relents after the initial misunderstanding.
  • Light Girl, Dark Boy: Usually, Supergirl and Power Girl have a fairer skin than Superman and Superboy. Additionally both girls have blond hair, and their male cousin and his younger self/clone/son have black hair.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Supergirl is superhumanly strong, lightning fast and night invulnerable.
  • Like Brother and Sister:
  • Lilliputians:
    • People from the Bottled City of Kandor. Kandor was a Kryptonian city which was shrunk by Brainiac before Krypton's destruction. Superman managed to retrieve the city from Brainiac, and he and Supergirl spend most of Silver and Bronze Ages looking for ways to re-enlarge Kandor and its inhabitants (they finally succeeded in a 1979 story).
    • Supergirl's parents and the remainder survivors of Argo City shrank and moved to Kandor after Kara rescued them from the Survival Zone.
    • Whenever Kal and Kara wanted to visit the Kandorians they needed to shrink to go in the Bottle City.
    • In Krypton No More, they are so worried about Superman’s deteriorating mental stability that they talked Supergirl into convincing him that they did not exist for his own good.
    • In the Post-Crisis universe, the Kandorians and their shrunk city were reintroduced in the 00's.
  • Limited Wardrobe: For a period in the 1960s, Supergirl would change outfits every few issues. All costumes were designed by fans. Eventually they decided on one costume and she kept that outfit (with minor changes) until her death in the 1980s.
  • Lineage Comes from the Father: In The Krypton Chronicles, Kal and Kara trace their ancestry through their fathers' line (Jor-El and Zor-El, respectively) back to Erok-El, ruler of the continent of Urrika and founder of the first Kryptonian civilization.
  • Lingerie Scene: The Superman Family comics featured a reasonable amount of scenes where Linda Danvers lounged around her home wearing nothing but undergarments.
  • Literal-Minded: Kara Zor-El suffers from this at the beginning of Many Happy Returns. Justified because she is a very innocent kid who has just been stranded in another planet and can barely speak English. Sarcasm, jokes and idiomatic expressions tend to go over her head.
    Linda: Oh, I get it now. You're cute. Reaaaally cute.
    Kara: Do you think I am cute?
  • Literal Split Personality:
    • In Adventure Comics #313, Supergirl had an evil duplicate created by a piece of red Kryptonite. She came out wearing a black cowl and full bodysuit.
    • "Girl Power" is the modern version of that story. This time, Supergirl's evil clone -properly named Dark Supergirl- was spawned by black Kryptonite and wore a black version of Kara's normal outfit.
  • Literary Allusion Title: "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" story of Adventure Comics #420 named after a poem by Dylan Thomas.
  • Loafing in Full Costume: Post-Crisis Kara had no secret identity for over one year since her arrival in Earth. She spent all of her time wearing her costume and performing heroics, to the point her cousin grew concerned and talked her into creating her own secret identity in order to avoid a burn-out.
  • Long-Lost Relative: A constant in every Supergirl's origin story (some examples: Action Comics #252, The Supergirl from Krypton, Last Daughter of Krypton...): Clark Kent/Kal-El grows up believing he is his biological family's only survivor until another Kryptonian rocketship crashes on Earth, and Clark meets his long-lost first cousin Kara Zor-El, who -depending on the version- was launched into space later and/or took longer to arrive.
  • Long-Runner Tech Marches On: Supergirl was created in 1959. In one of her modern adventures a group of super-villains used a mobile app to track her location.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: It happens when Supergirl punches her counterpart so hard she flies away but her boot remains behind.
  • Love at First Sight: In the seventh issue of her first solo book, Kara remembers how she fell for a guy called Tony Martin as soon as she saw him.
    Supergirl: Ohh... What a dreamboat! I thought love at first sight was just for fairy tales — until now!
  • Love Hurts:
    • Kara doesn't seem to have much luck in the romance department. Most of guys she dates turn out to be jerks, creeps, cheaters, or super-villains. When she dates a guy who is actually nice and well-meaning, she often has to break up with him. This is true of all her incarnations.
    • Pre-Crisis Kara dated Dick Malverne when they were teenagers. Many years later Dick sought her out to confess that he always loved her... because he was dying from cancer. They kissed the night he died, leaving Kara heart-broken.
      That was the last time I saw Richard. Tonight I know what it is to be human. Tonight my super skin is still invulnerable, but my Richard is never coming back, and my heart is broken into a million pieces.
  • Lovely Angels:
    • Kara and Barbara Gordon alias Batgirl during the Silver Age. They first teamed up in World's Finest 169 and they quickly became best friends and an excellent crime-fighting duo. In The Attack Of The Annihilator, Kara and Barbara team up to take the Annihilator down. Although Batgirl feels she has little to contribute to the fight, Supergirl is delighted to fight alongside her.
    • In the post-Crisis pre-New 52 continuity, Supergirl teamed up with the third Batgirl, Stephanie Brown. They hit it off from the start and often fight together. Kara goes to Steph's aid whenever she needs her, and doesn't put up with people picking on her friend.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl And Batgirl, Kara and Barbara are forced to team up. In spite of their differences, both super-heroines manage to work together and become a very effective crime-fighting duo.
      Bruce: Two cranky girls take down a pillar of society...
    • In the DC Universe Holiday Special 2008: A Day Without Sirens, Supergirl and Oracle team up to stop all crimes in Gotham during one day.
  • Love Makes You Evil: In Supergirl Rebirth Cyborg Superman makes horrible, horrible things such like turning corpses into reanimated, soulless zombie cyborgs and making human sacrifices. And everything -everything- he does is because he loves his daughter and wants her to be happy. He says "I'm doing this for you!" over and again, and he means it.
  • Lover Tug-of-War: Supergirl and Zatanna do this in the cover of Supergirl vol. 1 #7, although that scene never happens in the book.
  • Loves My Alter Ego:
    • In Action Comics #361, a boy wanted to date Linda because he suspected that she was Supergirl. When Linda/Kara managed to make him believe she was a normal, powerless girl, he stopped being interested.
    • During her time working as a photographer in San Francisco, Linda Danvers had a crush on her boss Geoffrey "Geoff" Anderson. Geoff was not interested in Linda but he liked Supergirl. He even kissed her at the end of Demon Spawn. However, Linda quit her job and moved away shortly after, and they never saw each other again.
    • In imaginary story Jimmy Olsen Superman's Pal #57 Linda and Jimmy marry. However Linda is amnesiac and depowered when the wedding happens, and doesn't remember anything about her Secret Identity. When Linda regains her memories and her powers she decides she needs to tell Jimmy she is Supergirl but in a tactful way. Her "great" plan was revealing Supergirl's existence to him. Then, as Supergirl, she will make him fall in love with her. Then when he is in love with both Linda and Supergirl, she'll reveal she is one and the same. Surprisingly, her nutty idea worked.
  • Luckily, My Powers Will Protect Me:
    • In Supergirl (1972), setting aside Linda Danvers' need to inform readers that she is Supergirl, she is about to use her X-Ray Vision or how her powers work, in issue #2 she flies to the Fortress of Solitude and explains that is her cousin Superman's Fortress of Solitude, which only he and she can unlock with a special massive key.
    • In the third page of Supergirl (1982) #1 Linda Danvers explains she is Supergirl -as she's changing clothes and flying off- and she has Super Senses. One page later she comments she is using her freezing breath as she blows away and freezes a shower of molten steel.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father:
    • Subverted with Lesla-Lar. After being disintegrated in The Girl with the X-Ray Mind, her consciousness lived on. In Strangers at the Heart's Core, it is revealed her mind has become so messed that she believes she is Supergirl's twin sister's even though Kara points out they cannot possibly be sisters.
    • Lampshaded in Peter David's Supergirl #57:
      Buzz: Dominique... I am your father... Oh, I'm certain that didn't sound too "Darth Vader".
    • In Supergirl vol 6 #24, super-villain Cyborg Superman gets his memories back... and remembers that he is Supergirl's father. Several months later, in Supergirl vol 7 #2 he tells Kara he is her father (who she had previously thought dead).


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