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YMMV / Supergirl

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Tropes referring to all incarnations of the character:

  • Audience Awareness Advantage: A large number of people seem to know Supergirl is Superman's cousin rather than his girlfriend, little sister or fangirl. They know she is specifically his cousin and has his same powers and weaknesses, even in realities where they haven't made their relationship public.
  • First Installment Wins: Ask someone on the street who Supergirl is and they will describe a blond girl wearing a female version of Superman's costume and who happens to be Clark Kent's cousin. Ask them about her name and "Kara" is the only one you will get. No one will mention or describe Matrix or human Linda Danvers. Supergirl's writer Peter David tells that his book -featuring human Linda Danvers- hardly sold anything because most of fans only cared for the original Kara Zor-El who was Kryptonian's Superman cousin. Of course, appearances in animated shows and movies, as well as videogames, Smallville and her own live-action show have solidified this.
  • Girl-Show Ghetto: Supergirl had this problem for decades. Even though she is one of the most recognizable superheroines in the world, she has never been on the same level of sales as her cousin, and her character is often disregarded and put down by people who never read her stories due to their perception of her being a "Superman with skirt/boobs", to the point that DC decided to kill her in the Crisis On Infinite Earths (in spite of her books having decent, albeit no great, sales). This situation started changing gradually since her reintroduction in 2004. She has starred in several comic-book series, cartoons and tv shows -including her own series- and she has become a kind of household name since then.
  • Hard-to-Adapt Work: For Supergirl, it's been difficult (outside of the 1984 movie and 2015 series), for Kara Danvers to make any stand-alone appearances in other mediums, and she hasn't even had a DC Extended Universe movie made, unlike Batman, Superman and The Flash. The fact her character varies Depending on the Writer and the fact that Alternate Self Power Girl version exists contribute to this.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: A number of Superman and Supergirl fans ship both characters together despite of being first cousins, either because they think there's no getting around the "Kryptonian of Steel, Human of Kleenex" trouble or because they genuinely think Clark/Kal and Linda/Kara make a good couple. To be fair, Silver and Bronze stories provide plenty fuel, accidental innuendo and subtext if you know where look (Action Comics #260, Action Comics #270, the infamous Action Comics #289, Superman #309 during the Krypton No More story arc, this panel from The Superdictionary). Fanfic writers such like Megamatt09 have penned long tales featuring them together.
  • Informed Real Life Fame: A weird example in that Supergirl has never been a terribly prominent part of the Superman mythos. However, she is instantly one of the most recognizable superheroines in the world to both children and adults. Despite this, there have been literal decades where Supergirl has had little-to-no-major role in comics. Likewise, she rarely plays a major role in Superman's stories. This is changing in recent years with the Post-Crisis New Krypton storyline and incorporating her into the New 52 Superman stories from the beginning.
  • Newer Than They Think:
    • Although Supergirl is an iconic and inextricable part of the Superman mythos, the best-known and most enduring version of the character (Superman's cousin Kara Zor-El) didn't make her first appearance until 1959, twenty-one years after the debut of Superman. In 1985 DC killed the character and attempted to replace her several times with little success, finally reintroducing a modern Kara Zor-El in 2004.
    • Supergirl going by "Kara Danvers" appears in most adaptations and in many comics. Despite this, Supergirl went by the civilian name "Linda Danvers" until the 2000s, and she's still often called that.


The Comics

  • Accidental Innuendo: In Action Comics #270, Superman asks his sixteen-year-old cousin to take off her clothes. In context, he wants Kara to put on her civilian clothes because he is going to give her a costume-compressing device and he needs to show her how it works. Taken out of context... well...
    Superman: Take off that Supergirl costume right now! And remove those boots, too!
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Writer Sterling Gates reconciled Post-Crisis Kara's origins.
    • Many Happy Returns almost saved the Supergirl series by Peter David. Long chided for its Writer on Board use of Christianity and religious themes, the series introduced the Pre-Crisis Supergirl to her Earth Angel Post-Crisis incarnation and did a Continuity Nod-filled hilarious romp which ended on a tear-jerking note. It also established a reason for why Linda Danvers is a member of the Superman family other than wearing the "S" crest. She's the wife of the Pre-Crisis Superman and mother of the DC One Million Supergirl.
    • Tony Bedard's Red Daughter of Krypton was a redemption story that fixed Supergirl after a series of stories where she was depicted as a childish, angry brat.
  • Awesomeness Withdrawal: Gates and Igle's run. Arguably the best Supergirl's run, and then it was over.
  • Bizarro Episode: Both issues of the Supergirl — Matrix Convergence tie-in, which are written by Keith Giffen, notorious for writing satirical stories about the DC Comics staff, current status quo, and characters.
  • Broken Base:
    • The fanbase is polarized between fans of Kara Zor-El and fans of the other Supergirls that DC spent eighteen years attempting to replace Kara with. Kara fans feel she's the only Supergirl who actually makes sense, worked fine during twenty-six years until DC killed her off, and her death and failed attempts to replace her with short-lived substitutes led to a gigantic Continuity Snarl. Other Supergirls' fans think Matrix, Cir-El... are better characters and resent Kara's increased popularity and exposure since her return in 2004.
    • Kara becoming a Red Lantern in the New 52 Red Daughter of Krypton storyline. While being Hot-Blooded is a long established character trait, and she has plenty of reasons to be angry, many feel its just out of character to make her so Darker and Edgier by making her a member of a group known for being the most volatile of the Lantern groups. However, Tony Bedard and Charles Soule's handling of the story in the Supergirl and Red Lanterns books have been mostly well received, and many feel they made the story actually work.
    • The miniskirt costume. Some find it demeaning and stupid, considering the obvious implications of flying in a skirt and how regularly its used for fanservice. Others however (not including the ones who just like it for the fanservice) like the skirt because its so synonymous with her character, like Superman's trunks; its a stupid design choice, but something so iconic to her design at this point. The New 52 outfit is generally given a similar mixed reception, since it doesn't do anything to reduce the fanservice while also doesn't resemble her classic outfit at all.
    • Back in 2009, Jamal Igle drawing bike shorts under Supergirl's skirt split the fanbase and was a hot topic on Newsrama and other comic sites.
  • Character Rerailment: Supergirl was originally a short-tempered but optimistic, sweet girl. When she was reintroduced in 2004, editors thought the best way to bring the character up to date was characterizing her as a permanently angry, immature, edgy jerkass. Fans hated it and mass-dropped the book. The next creative team hurried to revert her to her kind-hearted self, and writer Sterling Gates dismissed her initial weird characterization as temporary Kryptonite-induced craziness. No one complained.
  • "Common Knowledge": Everyone thinks Supergirl's a squeaky-clean, weaker Superman with skirt who never had a recurring villain and dated to her horse... Except not: she has a different personality (more impulsive, more short-tempered, more flawed), has always been established to be as powerful as her cousin, has her own Rogue's Gallery and didn't date her horse. Comet was a centaur-turned-into-horse. For a short time he got his human shape back and romanced Supergirl, who ignored that handsome rodeo star was Comet.
  • Complete Monster: The Post-Crisis version of Benjamin Martin Krull, aka Reactron, is Supergirl's Arch-Enemy. Having been rebuilt by Lex Luthor into a cyborg with a Gold Kryptonite heart, Reactron invades New Krypton alongside Metallo, depowering and killing numerous Kryptonians, threatening to rape Supergirl, and then murdering her father, Zor-El, in front of her by giving him radiation sickness. Tasked by General Lane with eliminating Supergirl, Flamebird, and Nightwing, Reactron murdered all the soldiers assigned to help him when they expressed doubts about the mission, and did his best to slowly torture Supergirl and Flamebird to death. Captured and tortured by Supergirl's mother, Alura, Reactron waited until Supergirl came to free him from the torture chamber to reveal that his capture had been a set up and that Luthor had transformed him into a living bomb. Detonating himself with a smile, Reactron gives a serene look as he incinerates Alura, the city of Kandor, and the entire planet of New Krypton, killing over ninety percent of the population in a single fell swoop.
  • Continuity Lock-Out: According to Jeph Loeb, this is the major reason why Linda Danvers and DC brought the original Supergirl back. His argument was that Linda's origin was far too confusing and tenuously-tied to the Superman mythos to make sense to casual fans, which is hard to argue. After all, "Kara Zor-El is Superman's teenage cousin who survived the destruction of Krypton while in stasis" is a far more coherent origin story than "Linda Danvers is a teenage Earth-born Angel of fire who merged with a protoplasmic creature from another dimension to become the new Supergirl".
  • Dork Age:
    • The 'Matrix Era' of Supergirl where Supergirl was a protoplasmic being from a pocket-universe resembling the Silver Age where Lex Luthor was a good guy. Later, she would date Lex Luthor's supposed son who was actually the original with his brain transferred into a clone body.
    • The Linda Danvers era, since it was all so contrived to avoid having a Kryptonian Supergirl. Angels?
    • Joe Kelly's run, where they tried to make Post-Crisis Kara an overly angsty and jerkish Anti-Hero, with wild, constantly Retconned plot swings as different writers tried to come up with something that worked, and notoriously ultra-sexualised artwork.
    • While not strictly Supergirl, Power Girl's Post-Crisis self had no origin since she was an alternate reality version of said character from a reality which never existed (nor had Supergirl). Her origin was retconned to being the daughter of Atlantean wizard Arion who used her as a baby-maker for the real Chosen One before being swiftly discarded (with good reason). Now she's back to being Supergirl's double from Earth 2.
    • The infamous Action Comics #289 where Superman falls in love with a woman identical to an adult version of his cousin. The really crazy part? Supergirl set the two up. Discussed here and here.
    • Superman vol 1 #415: Supergirl: Bride Of- -X? was published right after Kara's death and was an extra middle finger aimed at Supergirl fans. So she had a canon, never-before-or-after mentioned husband she completely forgot about? All Supergirl fans hate that story and no one thinks it is canon anyway (it was a time of way out stories as writers were cut loose to write any story they wanted before the reboot). "Superman's Super-Courtship!" was so ridiculous it was -arguably- funny at least.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Supergirl herself started out as a test to gauge fan interest in a female character with Kryptonian powers. Fan reaction was incredibly positive, and DC introduced a proper Supergirl -Kara Zor-El- the next year. Six decades and hundreds of comics later, Supergirl is still one of the most popular characters of the Superman mythos, even though DC killed her and tried to get the fandom to forget about her in 1985. They failed and eventually had to reintroduce the character.
    • Streaky the Supercat made his first appearance in 1960 and faded in comic limbo in 1971. He's still remembered fondly by fans.
    • The modern, Post-Crisis Bizarro-Girl turned up in a story by Sterling Gates. She became so popular that she made appearances in Tiny Titans and the live-action show.
  • Fair for Its Day: Much of Supergirl's early comic book appearances in the Silver Age focused more on her love life and whims versus adventures. She also would chiefly use her superpowers for things like super-cleaning in her downtime. Supergirl was, however, the most powerful female comic book character in the world and did have many fantastical adventures. Defenders also point out a huge number of then-Superman stories focused on his love-life and misusing his powers in oddball ways.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Suggesting that Supergirl is nothing but a "Superman with skirt/boobs" with no distinguishing traits who added nothing to the Superman mythos and had no good stories prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths or Peter David was the first who wrote the character right will get everyone who actually know Supergirl's character and history laughing their asses off or groaning in exasperation.
  • Fandom Rivalry: Kara Zor-El fans vs Linda Danvers fans. The first -and considerably larger- group isn't interested in a Supergirl that isn't Superman's Kryptonian's cousin. The second group refuses to consider that other Supergirls may be good characters and bash Kara at every turn.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Fans of Linda Danvers will refuse to accept how the character was treated in Reign in Hell and tend to ignore it completely.
    • The aforementioned Action Comics #289 and all of its creeptacular implications verges between this and Narm Charm.
    • Superman vol 1 #415: Supergirl: Bride Of- -X? was published right after Kara's death and was an extra middle finger aimed at Supergirl fans. So she had a canon, never-before-or-after mentioned husband she completely forgot about? All Supergirl fans hate that story and no one thinks it is canon anyway (it was a time of way out stories as writers were cut loose to write any story they wanted before the reboot). Action Comics #289: Superman's Super-Courtship! was so ridiculous it was arguably- funny at least.
    • Most of fans tend to pretend the fist 19 issues of the fifth volume — Loeb and Kelly's runs — never happened. Loeb's run is tolerated, but Kelly's one is reviled.
  • Flanderization: Supergirl started off as a sweetheart with quite a temper if pushed and a snarky side. Then she got killed and writers and fans got into their heads the notion that Kara was a saccharine-sweet, ever-smiling girl who never, ever, talked against her cousin (which flies in the face of her character development throughout the Pre-Crisis period). In order to (over)compensate for this, subsequent reboots amped up her hotheadness and hotbloodedness to the point she was turned into a Red Lantern and became "Miss Rage Issues" to the fandom's eyes.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Supergirl fans and Batgirl fans tend to get along marvelously, perhaps because of the similarities between both heroines (both are distaff counterparts of famous male heroes, both have been looked down on by comic fans because of it, both were fridged for decades, replaced and eventually brought back). Or perhaps because they are always friends in every comicverse and even other media as the DC Animated Universe, Super Best Friends Forever or DC Super Hero Girls. Regardless of the reason, Kara Zor-El fans use to be Barbara Gordon (and/or Stephanie Brown) fans too, and vice versa; and both fandoms respect each other.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In Action Comics #270, Superman dreams he travels to the future and his cousin is now Superwoman, the world's greatest heroine. Fast-forward twenty-five years and she is killed by the Anti-Monitor, never becoming Superwoman or taking over her cousin. On the other hand, Superwoman is one of her worst enemies in the Post-Crisis universe.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In Action Comics #275, Kara dreams that Superman never turned up and she lived her cousin's life. In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, written 37 years after, Superman never turned up and Supergirl was world's greatest hero... because Lex Luthor found Kal-El's rocket and murdered the baby.
    • The cover of Adventure Comics #383
    • Adventure Comics #421 stated that Kara had an internal death wish. It was written by Marv Wolfman, who fourteen years later wrote Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.
    • In the last page of Supergirl vol. 2, this paragraph was inserted: "It is at this dramatic moment that we reluctantly suspend publication of Supergirl. In the near future we hope to announce the reappearance of the Maid of Steel in a new magazine! Meanwhile, you can look forward in July to seeing Supergirl at your local movie theater — as well as in DC's magazine adaptation! IT'S A DATE!" Shortly after the movie bombed, DC killed the character because they didn't care about her at all, and Kara Zor-El didn't reappear for nearly twenty years.
    • The original Supergirl was mistreated and dissed by a number of vocal fans after her death. Matrix fans claimed that Mae had more personality than Kara ever had. Linda Danvers fans told that Kara only did what Superman didn't and "the only ones who miss her are a small but very vocal group of fans." And still Peter David said people missed Kara's Silver Age self, not any other later version, and that sales of his Supergirl book were almost non-existent (improving during the Many Happy Returns arc). Fast-forward to 2016. Supergirl is again Kara Zor-El. She stars in her own book and Live-action series and shows up in other characters' books, cartoons, live-action shows and video-games. Silver Age Kara Zor-El has made several appearances and her death has been undone. And Matrix and Linda Danvers have disappeared.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: When Supergirl made her appearance in Action Comics #252 she spent several years training and struggling to be treated with respect and be able to operate publicly. Then, in Action Comics #275 Superman revealed his cousin's existence to the world, making all her effort and hardships worthwhile.
    • "Super Britney," the derisive nickname given to the Post-Crisis Kara back when she was whiny and insufferable, becomes rather ironic when noting how, much like Kara Took a Level in Kindness and gained more stability later in her series, Britney Spears saw her career getting revitalized and is in a much more emotionally healthy place than she was before.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In Action Comics #270, Superman dreams he has travelled to the future, and Linda Lee works as a reporter in the Daily Planet. Linda never was a reporter in the comics, but in 2016 she became one in her Live-Action show.
    • Linda Danvers worked for San Francisco news station KSF-TV in the 1971-1972 period. Some years later a real life San Francisco TV station with call letters similar to the one in the Supergirl comics was started. The station is KTSF-TV, channel 26. It is an independent station broadcasting mostly in Chinese, serving the Chinese community there.
    • In Supergirl Volume 2 #17, Linda thinks about adding glasses to her disguise but discards the idea. Flash-forward several years and her disguises usually include glasses.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Red Daughter of Krypton has Supergirl becoming a Red Lantern after a severe breakdown. Her becoming a Red is in no way treated as a positive change but as a sign that Kara Zor-El had severe psychological issues dragging her down which she needed to overcome. Nonetheless, a number of fans chose to focus on how badass she looked, complained when she left the team, and later demanded a Red Lantern arc in her live-action show.
  • Misblamed: A number of Dark Age DC fans blame the cancellation of Supergirl's fourth self-named book on Dan Didio and alleged old-school fans and writers who supposedly hated the Earth Angel Supergirl and wanted her out of the way of Kara Zor-El. In reality the book was always in hot water due to perpetually dismal sales, and the decision to cancel it was taken long before Kara was reintroduced because of her less convoluted backstory (and not because of old-school fans).
  • My Real Daddy:
    • Jerry Siegel Supergirl's stories are simplistic and maybe somewhat dated, but they are more complex and emotionally-charged than the then-current Superman stories, and Supergirl was depicted as a girl who had flaws and made mistakes but was determined, brave, slightly impish and a worthy heir of her cousin's mantle. He also created most of her early supporting cast and her first real nemesis.
    • Paul Kupperberg, writer of The Daring Adventures of Supergirl depicted her as a mature, self-reliant and confident young woman who was finding her own path and started following it, and was not under the shadow of Superman. He also came up with several of her main villains as Reactron or Psi.
    • Jack C. Harris wrote lengthy, serious story arcs with plenty emotional and personal conflicts in the Superman Family books.
    • Peter David's run with the Linda Danvers Supergirl in which she was treated as someone with interesting stories to tell about.
    • Mark Waid -who is a big fan of Silver Age Kara- treated post-Crisis Supergirl as a smiling, optimistic young hero as opposite to Joe Kelly's run's self-absorbed jerkass.
    • Sterling Gates for post-Crisis Kara. He gave her a personality that was palatable to the fans. Artist Jamal Igle moved her away from Ms. Fanservice, drawing her more like human being than a stick, and lengthening her skirt and putting shorts under it. Their run is incredibly well-regarded.
    • Tony Bedard gets an excellent handle on the character and his post-Crisis and New 52 runs are noteworthy for rehabilitating the character and transforming her from a self-absorbed jerkass or an angry, angsty loner to a heroic, young woman.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Peter David's Supergirl's fans think she's more unique than the original Supergirl because of her stories' supernatural bent. However, Kara Zor-El ran into and fought ghosts, sorcerers and demons every so often during her Adventure Comics run in the early 70's.
    • In Supergirl (2015) Kara and Jimmy have a short-lived romance. Some fans have shipped both characters since the late fifties, and they married in imaginary story Superman's Pal #57
    • As revealed in Action Comics #303, the original Supergirl already had an adoptive big sibling, although Jan Danvers passed away before Kara got adopted by the Danvers.
  • Never Live It Down: Pre-Crisis Kara is never going to live down dating her horse, Comet. Whether the constant ignorance of the fact that he was actually a sentient centaur-magically-turned-horse and he had become human when they actually dated is ignorance or just Rule of Funny is unknown.
  • Paranoia Fuel: If Supergirl knows you well enough, she can identify your heartbeat from across the city... or even hear it from the moon. It's not as bad as it could be because she's a nice girl... except she's also short-tempered and reckless. Short-tempered enough to draw a Red Lantern Ring and becoming a mindless, living "extinction level threat".
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • The Matrix incarnation of Supergirl wasn't Superman's cousin but a protoplasmic shape-shifting blob with some of Superman's powers. She was a Naïve Newcomer and The Ingenue who dated Lex Luthor II (not knowing he was the original in a cloned body). In short, many fans viewed her as an In Name Only incarnation of the character as well as Too Dumb to Live.
    • The Peter David version of Supergirl had detractors due to the angel angle, which was rather outside the norm for Supergirl (or even Superman). There are plenty though who greatly appreciated the series and wish the character wasn't Put on a Bus (see above in Rescued from the Scrappy Heap). Her later popularity was ironic, as Peter David noted, leading to many incarnations of Kara Zor-El getting unfavorably compared to Linda Danvers the Earth Angel.
    • Cir-El was loved by nobody, in large part due to being a Replacement Scrappy for the Peter David version of the character. So, she was a Replacement Scrappy for a Replacement Scrappy. The fact she came in the heels of the wildly popular Many Happy Returns arc didn't help. The backlash over it was so fierce, they ended up Retgone-ing the character.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Mark Waid was the first to make Post-Crisis Kara a likable character in Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes, but it were Tony Bedard and Sterling Gates who made it permanent in her main series.
    • Those fans who hated the Earth-Angel version of the character during the Linda Danvers years came to like the character a great deal more in Many Happy Returns.
    • For as much as Cir-El was initially hated for being a Replacement Scrappy to Linda Danvers and Kara Zor-El, she's developed a noticeable fanbase of people who liked the idea of her being a daughter figure to Superman because of how much she wanted to be a hero in order to earn her father's approval, to the degree she willingly retconned herself out of existence to save his life. They tend to focus more on her bubbly, plucky personality instead of her convoluted backstory and the "split personality" aspect of her character. Seriously, go on tumblr and you'll have a harder time finding people who don't like her.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Supergirl flying out of her space rocket in the cover of Action Comics #252 has been paid tribute to, referenced and parodied countless times.
    • Kara's space rocket leaving Argo.
    • Superman finding Kara after her rocket crashed into Earth.
    • Superman and Supergirl hugging after discovering that they are cousins.
    • The Danvers adopting Linda.
    • Superman revealing his cousin's existence to the world and the Earth's people organizing a parade in the cover of Action Comics #285.
    • Superman telling his cousin if he ever married it would be to someone lovable like her.
    • Supergirl kneeling and crying in the cover of Supergirl Vol 1 # 3.
    • The cover of Supergirl Vol 2 #19 in which Supergirl fights Supergirl has been referenced several times.
    • Kara fighting the Anti-Monitor, being blasted away and dying in her cousin's arms.
    • Superman holding Supergirl in his arms in the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 has been frequently referenced and/or parodied and has sold tons of merchandising.
    • Superman wrapping her body in her cape and taking her to her birth parents.
    • Post-Crisis Linda Danvers unfolding her fire wings.
    • Post-Crisis Kara wandering around the streets of Gotham, naked and confused after having just left her space rocket, and scaring three bullies away.
    • Kara stopping a missile launched by Brainiac and aimed at the Sun in Superman: Brainiac.
    • The cover of Supergirl Vol 5# 53 in which Supergirl rips off her shirt as she runs towards several thugs while they shoot at her.
    • Supergirl becoming a Red Lantern.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: In Convergence #7, the Silver Age Supergirl punches the Flashpoint Wonder Woman into a mountain and expresses disbelief at someone like her being Wonder Woman.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Back in 2009 DC took steps to correct several issues which had plagued the book until then, such like excessive, disturbing fanservice. Artist Jamal Igle started to drawing bike shorts under Supergirl's skirt, which led to fans complaining loudly, to the point Newsrama and other comic sites echoed the "controversy".
  • Unexpected Character: Saturn Queen was a villain in an arc of Superman/Batman who was seemingly erased from time when her story was over. No one ever expected her to show up again when Absolute Power ended.
  • Wangst: There was a brief attempt to turn the Post-Crisis version of Kara into a dark, brooding, whiny teenager. The fans didn't like it, and now she's upbeat again.
  • The Woobie:
    • Post-Crisis Kara has now survived three holocausts, two home planets exploding from under her, and losing her parents twice.
    • To say nothing of the Pre-Crisis version who had to spend years hidden in an orphanage and sabotaging well meaning attempts by would be foster parents to take her in so she could keep her role as Superman's 'secret weapon'. Not to mention the first time she did get adopted it turned out to be by crooks who only wanted to squeeze money out of having her.
    • And, as one reviewer put it, "her 'emotional vulnerability' can be overused as a plot point." Just look at the New 52.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Her New 52 outfit gets some scorn for the odd design choices, notable the cut-out knees on the high boots, the strange red patch on the crotch that almost evokes the image of panties but just looks off, and the general armoured look that, like Superman's costume, doesn't really make much sense. However, some fans like the armoured and distinctive look of the costume.

     1984 Film 

  • Awesome Music: Say what you want about what the film ended up being, but the score by Jerry Goldsmith isn't half bad and match John Williams' heroic compositions for Superman: The Movie quite well while being its own thing. The majestic main theme especially.
  • Fair for Its Day: The movie doesn't play Supergirl's heroism, or her rescuing Ethan, for laughs. The audience is never expected to feel that a woman rescuing a man is ridiculous or even awkward.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film received a lot more positive buzz in the UK.
  • Idiot Plot: Ok, Kara. So you're personally responsible for losing the Omegahedron and decide to man up and go after it yourself. You heard less than 5 feet from you that without the Omegahedron Argo City has only a few days to live. So you spend the first day learning to fly, go to sleep in a park, then spend the second day making up your alter ego and going to school. Even when you get a solid lead on the Omegahedron and get up to go after it you sit down and complete the day, play soccer and shower because...the teacher and Lucy Lane said so?
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Some people just watch the movie to see Helen Slater in the very flattering Supergirl suit.
  • Les Yay:
    • While Selena and Nigel are lovers and she takes an interest in Ethan, she and Bianca are very close, living together, and generally being on good terms even when they bicker.
    • An early draft is dripping in accidental subtext between Supergirl and Selena after the latter's Heel–Face Turn, as since there's no place for her on Earth Kara invites her to live with her in Argo City. The draft ends with Supergirl comforting her over stealing the Omegahedron and assuring her that Argo City is home.
  • Narm:
    • Ethan can't pronounce the name 'Selena'. It's not as if it's an obscure name.
    • Zaltar decides to forgo a Rousing Speech with Kara. When she says "I can't", he just replies "you can" and that works. It gets a Meaningful Echo too.
    • The fact that Kara's home is so easily damaged by a little toy butterfly popping the wall. Is a sheet of plastic all that's protecting it from the forces of space?
  • Retroactive Recognition: A pre-Max Headroom Matt Frewer is one of the would-be rapists.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Selena tries to choke Supergirl to death by having the demon pull on her, which due to the aspect ratio being changed looks like it's stretching the film as well as her.
    • Kara uses Super Speed to type up a letter to get herself enrolled in the school. Except while she's speeding around the room, the leaves outside can be seen moving fast - to show that the film was just sped up.
    • Probably the worst special effect in the movie is Supergirl's tornado to deal with Selena, Bianca, and the demon, which looks like a still image being moved around, especially when it heads toward the mirror.
    • Zigzagged with the flying effects. Some look like very obvious blue screen, others still hold up reasonably well.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Selena as a witch could have been quite a unique villain. Superman and Supergirl are actually vulnerable to magic - so Selena could have given Supergirl a run for her money. Instead she mostly uses her magic to cast a love spell on a man, and fights with Supergirl for his affections using more mundane tools, with her magic only being used offensively in the climax.
    • Not much effort is made to give Kara an arc. She jeopardises the safety of her home and goes to Earth to make amends, but spends most of her time at school and falling in love instead of actively looking for the Omegahedron, only finding it after Selena misuses its powers.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: As incoherent as the film ended up being Helen Slater really worked on her role, earning herself a Saturn Award nomination. Even the reviewers who hated the film tended not to criticise her performance. She also takes special care to give subtle differences between Supergirl and Linda Lee, making it very believable that they could be different people.
  • Trapped by Mountain Lions: Kara enrolling in school under the alias Linda Lee. She completely forgets that she went to Earth to find the Omegahedron - and that she's only got a few days to do so.

     TV Show 


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