Super of the Week: Supergirl

She comes from a famous lineage of Kryptonian heroes, but Supergirl is more than the Man of Steel’s cousin. She’s a powerhouse all in her own right.

Known as a powerhouse in her own right, Supergirl is a heroine many people tend to forget about when they talk about Superman. While her cousin is more famous, this woman knows how to fight the same hard battles and come out on top.

When Supergirl was first introduced, Kara Zor-El was the first version of the superheroine. However, there were other super women. While considered by some to be an extension of her cousin, Kara has shown she is her own hero. She is strong and bold while her motives for protecting her adopted home come across as the same as Kal-El’s.

Note: This week’s super of the week will draw on a number of sources from the comics and the Supergirl television series.

Full Name: Kara Zor-El

Nickname(s): N/A

Alias(es):

  • Linda Lee Danvers
  • Linda Lang
  • Kara Danvers
  • Kara Kent
  • Flamebird
  • Claire Connors
  • Girl of Steel
  • Maiden of Might (Arrowverse only)
  • Supergirl
  • Last Daughter of Krypton (Arrowverse only)
  • Paragon of Hope (Arrowverse only)

Comic Book Franchise: DC Comics

Creator(s): Otto Binder and Al Plastino

First Appearance(s): Action Comics #252 (May 1959)

Allies:

  • Superman
  • Batgirl

Powers/Abilities:

  • Superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability, endurance, agility. Reflexes/reactions, dexterity, intelligence, senses, hearing, and longevity
  • Can run, move or fly faster than speed of light
  • Ability to move, think and react at superhuman speeds
  • Immovability
  • Indestructible skin
  • Indestructible bones
  • Superhuman bones
  • Superhuman Vision

– Heat vision

– Electromagnetic spectrumVision

– Microscopic vision

– X-Ray Vision

– Night Vision

– Telescopic vision

– Infra-red Vision

  • Superhuman breath
    • Freeze Breath
    • Wind Breath
  • Regenerative healing
  • Invulnerability
  • Flight
  • Space survivability

Family:

  • Seyg-El (paternal grandfather)
  • Zor-El (father)
  • Alura In-Ze (mother)
  • Jor-El (paternal uncle)
  • Lara Lor-Van (paternal aunt)
  • Kal-El (cousin)
  • Eliza Danvers (adoptive mother – DC Rebirth and Supergirl only)
  • Edna Danvers (adoptive mother – early comics only)
  • Fred Danvers (adoptive father – early comics only)
  • Jeremiah Danvers (adoptive father – DC Rebirth and Supergirl only)
  • Alexandra Danvers (adoptive sister – Supergirl only)
  • Lois Lane (cousin-in-law – Arrowverse only)
  • Jonathan Kent (first cousin once removed)
  • Jordan Kent (first cousin once removed – Arrowverse only)

Friend(s):

  • Batgirl
  • Team Superfriends (Supergirl only)
  • Streaky the Cat

Team(s):

  • Justice League
  • Justice League United
  • Supermen of America
  • Teen Titans
  • Legion of Super-Heroes
  • Female Furies
  • D.E.O.
  • Red Lantern Corps

BIOGRAPHY

Born on the planet Krypton to parents Zor-El and his wife, Alura In-Ze, Kara is the first of two grandchildren of Seyg-El in most storylines. The other would be Kal, who would later grow up on Earth as Clark Kent and become Superman.

Kara is raised in Argo City which later survives Krypton’s destruction. Unfortunately, the city comes under threat by meteors. Zor and Alura send their daughter to Earth with the hope their nephew would raise her. However, upon Kara’s arrival, she took on the name Linda Lee and made an orphanage in Midvale her home. She promised her cousin, who had since grown up and become Superman that she would keep her powers a secret.

Later, Fred and Edna Danvers adopt her. Upon her adoption, Kara becomes Linda Lee Danvers. Kara would be Kal’s secret weapon in fighting crime, while taking on the persona of normal human girl.

During Crisis on Infinite Earths, Supergirl is killed. However, this wasn’t a decision made by writer Marv Wolfman. The decision came from DC Comics vice president Dick Giordano who saw her as a female Superman.

In the DC Rebirth story, 16-year-old Kara lives with D.E.O. Agents Jeremiah and Eliza Danvers after the death of the New 52 Superman. She attends high school is an agent of the D.E.O which is under the direction of Cameron Chase.

To hide her powers and her identity, Kara is given a special pair of glasses that hide her naturally blonde hair by making it darker. She later receives an internship ship at CatCo alongside Ben Rubel, whom she later becomes friendly with.

PAST MEDIA APPEARANCES

The Kara Zor-El version of Supergirl has appeared in a number of projects including:

  • Smallville
  • Supergirl (1984 film)
  • Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
  • Superman: Unbound
  • Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Cosmic Clash

RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCES

Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)’s most recent appearance is the CBS/The CW series, Supergirl, a series based on the DC Rebirth era of stories on the Girl of Steel.

A film will be based on the Linda Danvers/Kara Zor-El Supergirl is believed to be development. Despite the announcement, little information has been released. All that is know is the movie is a part of the DCEU. Zack Snyder confirmed Supergirl did exist, but the empty pod in Man of Steel wasn’t Kara’s.

PORTRAYALS – LIVE ACTION

The character of Kara Zor-El has been portrayed in a live-action setting three times over the years.

In 1984, Helen Slater would become the first woman to take on the character in the Superman spin-off film, Supergirl. Years later, Slater would take on the role of Eliza Danvers, Kara’s adoptive mother in a reoccurring capacity in the television series, Supergirl.

Kara was introduced before the seventh season of Smallville and portrayed by Laura Vandervoort. The actress would join Slater as part of a long list of Smallville stars to appear in the Supergirl show. She played Indigo (Brainiac 8), a distant relative to a later introduced Brainiac 5 (Brainy).

Finally, Kara Zor-El stars in her own series played Glee star, Melissa Benoist. Kara is sent to Earth with her infant cousin to guide him. However, her pod is knocked off course and ends up in the Phantom Zone.

PORTRAYALS – ANIMATION

Kara has appeared in more animated projects than she has live-action.

  • Nicole Sullivan (Super Best Friends Forever, DC Super Hero Girls television series)
  • Summer Glau (Superman/Batman: Apocalypse)
  • Molly Quinn (Superman: Unbound)
  • Jessica DiCicco (Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Comic Clash)
  • Anais Fairweather (DC Super Hero Girls shorts)

cjhawkings

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She now writes for FanSided and is loving it!

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