Kara Zor-El is a female comic superhero that features in DC Comics.
Kara was the daughter of the scientist Zor-El from the planet Krypton. A tragedy came to their world when it faced a cataclysm that caused it to explode but a city on the surface was blown into space where it survived. Among the Kryptonians in this fragment was Zor-El who continued to live as a food machine maintained their lives. Initially, their lives came to be threatened when the explosion of their homeworld had started to convert the rock beneath the city to had been converted to Kryptonite. To survive, they made use of sections composed of lead that shielded them from the fatal radiation allowing them to continue living in this fragment of their home planet. During this time, Zor-El got married with him and his wife having a daughter they named Kara. Their city later came upon a meteor storm whose collisions on the city damaged the lead shield causing the fatal radiation to begin to affect the population once more. Thus, Zor-El sought a means to save his daughter and determined that his brother Jor-El had shielded his own son by sending him to the planet Earth where he developed super-powers. They observed the now adult Superman on his adoptive home planet and that he had superpowers with him being a protector for the world. Thus, Zor-El and his wife decided to send Kara on a rocket ship to that planet just before the radiation affected the remaining Kryptonians on the city. Kara was launched with her becoming an orphan as she believed her people had died with her rocket landing on Earth where she encountered her cousin Superman. Unable to keep her with him, Superman decided to create a life for her as a human with her orchestrating a disguise for her and Kara adopting the secret indentity of Linda Lee with her being taken in by the Midvale Orphanage. This time was used for her to get used to her new abilities and learnt to be human whilst she operated as Supergirl who patrolled the town of Midvale. (Action Comics v1 #252)
Following the Crisis of Infinite Earths, the Kara Zor-El Supergirl was removed from continuity. Instead, there were other characters that took on the identity of Supergirl including; Matrix, Linda Danvers, and Cir-El.
Her father Zor-El listened to Jor-El's warnings of the impending doom of Krypton and constructed an escape ship for his daughter Kara with its navigation being keyed to follow her cousin Kal-El's craft. Kara's ship got caught in the destruction of Krypton with her being kept in a state of suspended animation as its journey to follow its target ship was delayed. (Superman/Batman v1 #9) Whilst there, she was corrupted by Darkseid and came to see Apokolips as her home with its ruler as her master. When Superman came to rescue her, Kara turned on him and attacked him on behalf of Darkseid. (Superman/Batman v1 #11)
After awakening from her pod, she found herself in Gotham City where she was unfamiliar with the language or the people leaving her in a confused state as her powers began to manifest. She was found by Batman who used Kryponite to render her unconscious as he took her to the Batcave where she met with Superman who learnt that Kara was his cousin. (Superman/Batman v1 #8) Kara was then taken to the Fortress of Solitude in order to adjust to her new home though Batman did not trust her and intended to run more tests on her as he doubted her version of events. (Superman/Batman v1 #9) She was then taken to Themyscira against the wishes of Superman where Wonder Woman had her train with the Amazons. During this time, she went through weeks of combat training under Artemis whilst also making friends such as Harbinger. At this time, forces from Apokolips struck with an army of animate Doomsdays being deployed to fight the Amazons whilst a secondary force captured Kara for Darkseid. (Superman/Batman v1 #10) Whilst there, she was brainwashed by Darkseid to be his enforcer and he commanded her to attack her cousin Superman when he came to rescue her. She was defeated by the Man of Steel and Darkseid was forced to abandon his claim to her when Batman threatened to detonate Hellspores on Apokolips. Upon returning to Earth, she learnt of Harbingers death and adjusted to life on her new home with her getting a costume made by Martha Kent. As Supergirl, she went to the Kent Farm in Smallville with Superman only for them to be ambushed by Darkseid who targeted the Man of Steel. To protect her cousin, Kara went into the path of an Omega Beam where she was seemingly disintegrated. (Superman/Batman v1 #12) In reality, she was transported away at the last second by the Justice League to fake her death to allow Kara to decide if she wanted to live an ordinary life or become a superhero. She ultimately decided she wanted to become a hero with her telling her cousin who proudly introduced her to the other heroes of the Earth with her taking the name Supergirl. (Superman/Batman v1 #13)
Whilst finding her place on Earth, she went to the Justice Society during a battle with Solomon Grundy in order to meet with Supergirl. However, Power Girl's powers went out of control as both her and Kara were the same person occupying the same space in time causing them to act out against one another. (Supergirl v5 #1) She then went to Smallville to the Kent Farm to meet with Superboy who went into self-imposed isolation and reacted aggressively to Kara's arrival with the Teen Titans arriving leading to a misunderstanding that resulted in a fight. (Supergirl v5 #2) Starfire later informed her that they discovered that it was Lex Luthor that was spying on her leading to Kara being with the Outsiders for a brief time before confronting the supervillain. Luthor ended up beating her and used black Kryptonite on Kara leading to the creation of an evil duplicate known as Dark Supergirl. (Supergirl v5 #3)
Following a discussion with Owen Mercer, she decided to attempt to create a secret identity for herself and started enrolling at high school where he took the name Claire Connor who was a teenage girl from Kansas. To complete her disguise, she used a wig, glasses and plain clothes to appear as an ordinary human being. Despite her attempts, she failed to assimilate because she was unable to connect with the other students leading to her dropping out after a week due to the actions of cruel classmates. (Supergirl v5 #10)
Congorilla later called upon her help where she helped assist the new Justice League following when the mystical force of the Starheart had corrupted a number of heroes including Power Girl causing her to run amok. Kara was able to stop her alternate world counterpart and was asked to help assist in the crisis. (Justice League of America v2 #45) Thus, she was invited into the ranks of the new Justice League of America in responding to various crises around the world. (Justice League of America v2 #46)
Following the Flashpoint, a new version of history was created with a different series of events.
With her powers unstable, she had joined the Department of Extranormal Operations where Director Cameron Chase offered to restore her abilities in exchange for her aiding the agency in its missions. The mission was successful with Supergirl helping to defeat Lar-On who had emerged from a tear in the Phantom Zone. To maintain her civilian life, she was given the identity of Kara Danvers with agents Eliza Danvers and Jeremiah Danvers operating as her foster parents. In her civilian life, she was meant to live an ordinary life whilst operating as Supergirl at National City. (Supergirl: Rebirth v1 #1)
Personality and attributes
When on Themyscira, she came to consider Harbinger to be her first friend on Earth and was deeply saddened at Lyla's death. (Superman/Batman v1 #12)
She was noted to had developed a school girl crush on Nightwing. (Supergirl v5 #3)
Powers and abilities
As a result of being trapped in suspended animation, Kara did not age and she was biologically 15-16 years old on Earth despite having been born before her cousin. (Supergirl v5 #1) Similar to other Kryptonians, her body metabolised yellow sun radiation giving her superhuman abilities. In the case for Kara, her escape pod had been outfitted with solar panels that constantly bathed her in this energy long before she arrived on Earth making her already quite powerful. (Supergirl v5 #5)
She learnt English in less than a month alongside several other languages. (Superman/Batman v1 #9)
During her ships journey to Earth, the vessel generated constant yellow sunlight which empowered her cells giving her superhuman abilities quickly. (Superman/Batman v1 #9)
From studying the Flash, she learnt to vibrate fast enough to make herself appear invisible allowing her to ambush enemies. (Supergirl v5 #2)
- The Kara Zor-El Supergirl was created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino where she made her first appearance in Action Comics v1 #252 (May, 1959) with her being based on Superman made by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
- Following the Crisis of the Infinite Earths, the character was wiped from continuity with three different characters taking the title of Supergirl namely Matrix, Cir-El and Linda Danvers.
- In Supergirl v5 #10 (2006), she briefly assumed the identity of Claire Connors.
- In Supergirl v5 #34 (2008), she assumed the identity of being Lana Lang's niece where she took the name Linda Lang.
- In Supergirl: Rebirth v1 #1 (2017), she took the civilian identity of Kara Danvers when she lived as the adoptive child of the Danvers family.
- In Action Comics v1 #332 (1966), an alternate imaginary story was shown that detailed events on a world designated as Earth-332. In this universe, Kara Zor-El was born prior to the destruction of Krypton where her family lived in Kryptonopolis. Her father Zor-El learnt of the planet’s impending destruction but his warnings were not heeded by the Council of Scientists. This saw him build a rocket for himself, his wife and their daughter Kara where they landed on Earth. Once there, they made a home for themselves on a farm near Smallville with them taking the name Zorelle. Kara came to be known as Carole Zorelle who operated first as Supergirl alongside her parents until they were exposed to Gold Kryptonite causing them to lose their powers. Thus, Kara operated by herself for many years and by adulthood came to be known as Superwoman.
- In Trinity v1 #25 (2008), an alternate version of Kara appeared in a world where the Trinity had been removed from history. On this Earth, she was found and discovered by the U.S. Navy SEALS who raised her with Kara being unaware of her Kryptonians origin. The navy operated as a top-level military super-powered agent called Interceptor for their operations who wore a unique suit.
- In Gotham City Garage v1 (2017), an alternate Kara Zor-El was shown to reside on this Earth with this one being raised as Kara Gordon who was the adoptive daughter of Jim Gordon in the dystopic world of the Garden.
In other media
- In the DC Animated Universe, Supergirl made a number of appearances in the shared continuity setting.
- In Superman: The Animated Series, Supergirl first appearance in the animated series as Kara In-Ze where appeared in the episode "Little Girl Lost" where she was voiced by actor Nicholle Tom.
- In Justice League Unlimited, Supergirl returned in the animated series where she was once again voiced by actor Nicholle Tom.
- In Smallville, Kara appeared in the live-action series where she was voiced by actor Laura Vandervoort.
- In Supergirl, Kara Zor-El appeared as a main cast member in the live-action television series where she was portrayed by actor Melissa Benoist.
- In Supergirl, Supergirl appeared in the 1984 live-action film where she was portrayed by actor Helen Slater.
- In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Kara Zor-El as Supergirl appeared in the animated film where she was voiced by actor Summer Glau.
- In Superman: Unbound, Kara Zor-El as Supergirl appeared in the animated film where she was voiced by actor Molly Quinn.
- In DC Universe Online, the Kara Zor-El Supergirl appeared as a boss level character in the MMORPG video game where she was voiced by actor Adrienne Mishler.
- In Infinite Crisis, the Kara Zor-El Supergirl featured as a playable character in the MOBA game where she was voiced by actor Camilla Luddington.
- In Injustice 2, the Kara Zor-El Supergirl featured as a playable character in the fighting video game where she was voiced by actor Laura Bailey.
- Adventure Comics:
- Superman/Batman v1:
- Justice League of America v2:
- Justice League United: