Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Who's Who: Supergirl

by Russell & Siskoid & Anj

Real Name: Kara Zor-El (Linda Lee Danvers)
Super-Power(s): Super-strength, super-speed, super-invulnerability, various super vision powers, etc.
Planet of Origin: Krypton
Legion Seniority: Supergirl was asked to join after Chameleon Boy, Colossal Boy, and Invisible Kid but before Shrinking Violet, Sun Boy, and Bouncing Boy. Although there is some disagreement on this, according to DC Role Playing Reference: LSH (co-authored by long-time LSH author Paul Levitz) she is Legionnaire #9.

Legion Log 
Supergirl made her debut in Action Comics #252 in 1959. She was rocketed to Earth from the dying Krypton city of Argo. She meets up with her cousin, Superman, and he arranges for her to live at the Midvale Orphanage until she is sufficiently proficient at using her super-powers. Supergirl met the Legion for the first time in Action Comics #267. In a plot similar to how the Legion teased Superboy in Adventure Comics #247, Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad all meet Supergirl while she is in her Linda Lee identity but call her "Supergirl." Eventually, they reveal themselves to her and invite her to the future to join their club. Unfortunately, during this adventure Supergirl comes across some red kryptonite that temporarily ages her past the 18 year-old age limit for new members; she is therefore denied membership at this time. In Action Comics # 276 she is asked to join again, and this time succeeds, joining at the same time as Brainiac Five. 

Supergirl's membership with the Legion was uneven and inconsistent. Although she is shown to crave teen-age companionship in both of these initial appearances, she does not appear with the Legion again until Action Comics #287, nearly a year later. She does not attend any missions in the page of Adventure Comics at this time, only showing up to Lightning Lad's "funeral" in Adventure Comics #304. Incidentally, this appears to have been the first time Supergirl meets SuperBOY, but nothing is made in the story itself of this chronologically-odd occurrence.

When Supergirl did appear with the Legion she was helpful and friendly, enjoying her time with her super-heroine friends without making any particularly close friendships. Perhaps the on-again off-again romance with Brainiac Five was one of the reasons Supergirl did not attend meetings as regularly as her cousin.

Supergirl offers to quit in Year Seven, then does quit in Year Nine, citing her lackluster attendance record and her business in her own time as factors. In reality, during the Legion's Adventure Comics run, editor Mort Weisinger probably believed that Supergirl was not as strong an attraction to readers as Superboy was, and as The Boy of Steel was a regularly featured member, Supergirl was superfluous. This would help explain why in most of Supergirl's LSH appearances she is the victim of red kryptonite or is otherwise incapacitated, or is featured simply because she is a woman or because of her romance with Brainiac Five.

As a reservist, Supergirl helped fight Darkseid in The Great Darkness Saga as well as against the Emerald Empress and the Dark Circle. It was during this last adventure that Supergirl was annoyed at herself for the unsatisfactory conclusion of this mission. She then decided to stop spending time in the future until she had gotten her "present day" life in order; this was the last time the Legion ever saw her alive. In Year 14 of Legion history, Supergirl perished during the Crisis on Infinite Earths while defending her cousin from The Anti-Monitor. Supergirl has a memorial statue in the Legion headquarters' Hall of Heroes to honor her.

After Glorith changed Legion history, Supergirl's role was played by Laurel Gand AKA Andromeda. This change carried over into the Reboot era.

After the Threeboot, Supergirl joined the Legion once again. The title of the book was changed to Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. This Supergirl initially thought she was having some vivid dream, but came to realize that, somehow, she had been thrust into the future. She became a powerful member of the team and was elected leader. She stayed on the team for 20 issues.

After Infinite Crisis, the original Legion history was more or less restored. One obvious change is that the post-Flashpoint Supergirl cannot have been a member. Who played her role in the stories now is not known.

Supergirl was one of The World's Greatest Super-Gals action figures dolls made by MEGO in 1975-1976. Supergirl starred in her very own motion picture in 1987 which starred Helen Slater as The Maid of Might. It also featured Faye Dunaway and Peter O'Toole. The TV-series Smallville featured "Supergirl" Kara Zor-El, from 2007-2011. Laura Vandervoort portrayed her. She played a role in both Superman:The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, where she was voiced by Nicholle Thom. She left the JL and joins the Legion in 'Far Away from Home' (Episode 36, Season 2 of JLU). She also has been the star in two recent DC Animated features: Superman/Batman Apocalypse (voiced by Summer Glau) and Superman Unbound (voiced by Molly Quinn). She was part of the recent Super Best Friends Forever DC Nation Shorts on Cartoon Network. And CBS recently picked up Supergirl as a series, planning to broadcast it in 2015.

Important Supergirl LSH Stories: 

Action Comics  #267
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
Supergirl is asked to join the Legion for the first time

Action Comics #276
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
Supergirl joins the Legion on her 2nd try (alongside Brainiac Five)

Action Comics #287
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
Supergirl covers for temporarily de-powered Legionnaires

Adventure Comics #304
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1)
Supergirl meets Superboy at the funeral for Lightning Lad

Adventure Comics #313
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 2)
Red Kryptonite splits Supergirl into herself and  Satan Girl

Adventure Comics #334
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 4)
 Red Kryptonite causes Supergirl to lose her memory

Adventure Comics #342
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 5)
 Supergirl votes against Star Boy's expulsion
(but why is Jimmy Olsen, an honorary member, allowed to vote!?!) 

Adventure Comics  #350
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
 Supergirl and Superboy both quit the Legion...

Adventure Comics  #351
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6)
...but then re-join an issue later!

Adventure Comics #368
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8)
Supergirl foils Thora's plot to take over Earth

Adventure Comics #374
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8)
Supergirl helps fight the Taurus Gang & Scorpius

Action Comics #387
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 9)
 Supergirl offers to leave the Legion

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #204
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13)
Supergirl officially resigns from the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #294
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Great Darkness TPB)
 Supergirl helps fight against The Great Darkness

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #300
Supergirl attends the Legion Anniversary Ceremony

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #302-303
Supergirl helps fight the Emerald Empress

Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes #314-315
Supergirl helps fight the Dark Circle in what turned out to be her last Legion mission

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #16
Brainiac Five reacts to Supergirl's death during the Crisis on Infinite Earths

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #25
Sensor Girl is unmasked and proven not to be, as some suspected, a resurrected Supergirl

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #16-36
 Supergirl joins the Threeboot Legion

Supergirl Action Figure (1975)
Part of The World's Greatest Super-Gals set

Supergirl (1987)
Helen Slater as Supergirl

Smallville (2007-2011)
 Laura Vandervoort portrayed Kara Zor-El  

Superman the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited (1996 - 2006)
Voiced by Nicholle Thom; joins the Legion

Superman/Batman Apocalypse (2010)
Voiced by Summer Glau; retells new origin from 2004
Super Best Friends Forever 2012
Series of shorts on Cartoon Network; produced by Lauren Faust
Superman Unbound (2013)
Voiced by Molly Quinn; retells Geoff Johns' Brainiac storyline


  1. Supergirl is probably my most favorite least favorite character. What I mean by that is, I love the *idea* of Supergirl. I always wanted to like her! But every time I picked up an issue, it was just not very good. I bought every issue of Paul Kupperberg & Carmine Infantino's run, and it was okay, but nothing really memorable about it. I really liked Peter David & Leonard Kirk's run on her book, but after they left I did, too.

    Really wish she had been used better in the Legion, too.