Superhero Spotlight: Supergirl
February 16, 2017
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Many of you may think you know of Supergirl’s origins because of the recent popularity of CW’s “Supergirl.” But did you know that Kara Zor-El’s past is a lot more complicated than the television show makes it seem. Kara Zor-El was originally Superman’s cousin, and yes she has the same powers as he does (some argue that she’s stronger than he is), but she hasn’t always been Supergirl. Actually, Supergirl wasn’t always Kryptonian.
In the late 1980s DC wanted Superman to be the last surviving Kryptonian, so instead of Kara being sent to Earth in order to protect her baby cousin, DC came up with a different backstory. In “Superman v2 #16,” (Matrix) published in 1988, Supergirl was revealed to be a man-made hero created by a heroic Lex Luthor in a “pocket continuum,” or dimension where Luthor remained good. She does not have all of the same powers as Superman and eventually reinvents herself into her own hero and joins the Teen Titans.
In 1996, Matrix’s Supergirl was fused with a human named Linda Danvers, becoming an “Earth-Born Angel.” She is later wiped from existence by later events in the 2005 series “Infinite Crisis.” Next up was Cir-El, a woman who claimed to be Superman’s and Lois Lane’s future daughter. It was later discovered that she was actually only a human whose brain was altered by The Brainiac. She later dies trying to defeat the villain. In “Superman” vol. 2 (#200) it is implied that she too, has been erased from existence.
Which brings us, full circle, back to the version that we all know and love, Kara Zor-El. Or her early alter-ego, Linda Danvers. CW’s “Supergirl” may have gotten a few things right, but DC’s Kara Zor-El has gotten yet another makeover thanks to the “New 52.” Hopefully these new comics will succeed in making sense of Supergirl’s confusing past.