We Finally Understand Supergirl's Bizarre History
- Published: 07 October 2019
- Even by the standards of superhero comics, Supergirl's long history is truly weird. From her ill-fated romances to being obliterated from existence and replaced by a blob of protoplasm that used to sleep with Lex Luthor, here are the most unbelievably bizarre pieces of Supergirl's buck wild history.
The single weirdest thing about Supergirl might be that she didn't show up for a full 20 years after the creation of Superman. Despite introducing Superboy in 1944 and Krypto the Superdog in 1955, DC Comics wouldn't get around to even attempting Supergirl for another three years after that.
When they finally did get around to this whole "Super-Girl" thing, she was originally introduced as a one-off character. Not only was this version not Superman's cousin, she actually died at the end of the story, and was never seen again. The first version, the one with the hyphen in her name, showed up in 1958's Superman #123, when Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen found a magic genie belt and wished her into existence. After a few encounters in which she and Superman kept getting in each other's way, Super-Girl wound up exposing herself to Kryptonite and then begging Jimmy to end her hellish existence. Pretty dark.
Despite her unfortunate end, this Super-Girl served as a prototype for the Girl of Steel that would be introduced the following year after readers responded well to the idea. Like Super-Girl, Kara's relative inexperience with her powers would be a frequent plot point, and visually, they were almost indistinguishable. Super-Girl's costume was not only similar to what readers would see, it's virtually identical to the one Melissa Benoist would wear on the Supergirl TV show almost 60 years later.
In 1959, Action Comics #252 told the story of "The Supergirl From Krypton," and introduced readers to Supergirl for real. This time, it was Kara Zor-El, Superman's cousin whose family had survived the destruction of Krypton when their home, Argo City, was blasted into space as a single intact chunk of the planet. Unfortunately, the explosion turned Argo City into Kryptonite, poisoning the inhabitants and leading Zor-El to follow in his brother's footsteps by packing his kid into a rocket and shooting her to Earth. Keep watching the video because we finally understand Supergirl's bizarre history!
The prototype | 0:17
The Supergirl From Krypton! | 1:29
That boy's a horse | 2:38
Supergirl: The Movie | 3:38
Crisis on Infinite Earths | 4:48
The Ghost of Kara Zor-El | 5:38
Enter: the Matrix | 6:28
Who is Power Girl? | 7:46
Angels on fire | 9:19