DC Animated Universe
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"I don't believe it! A Super...girl?
"Believe it.
Jimmy Olsen and Supergirl[1]

Supergirl was Superman's foster cousin, later serving as a member of the expanded Justice League and afterwards joining the Legion of Super-Heroes.


Early adventures[]

Kara Storage

Kara, alive in storage.

Kara In-Ze was the only survivor from Krypton's sister planet, Argo. She was born 16 years before the Kryptonian Kal-El but remains younger due to her time in suspended animation.[2] While exploring the sector of space once occupied by Krypton, Superman discovered a hidden cryogenic facility which had sustained heavy damage. Only one chamber was intact, containing the last survivor of Argo: Kara. Taking the young woman back to Earth, Superman introduced her to his adoptive parents.

Eventually inspired by her adopted cousin Clark, Kara made a costume similar to Superman's and occasionally joined on missions as Supergirl. When Darkseid dispatched Granny Goodness to build a device that would pull a comet to Earth without directly intervene, Supergirl was involved in the failure of his plan and fought against the Furies.[1][3]

Kara's diguise

Supergirl's secret identity.

The Kents took Kara in for three years, isolated from the world at large under Clark's instructions, in the guise of Jonathan Kent's teenaged niece.[4] Despite this, she frequently visited Clark in Metropolis. As Supergirl, Kara had full access to Superman's Fortress of Solitude.[5] In her, Superman found a living link to his alien heritage and someone he could talk to about his dual lives as Superman and Clark Kent. She became a frequent friendly ally who could be trusted with Superman's secret. Although she was publicly Jonathan's niece in her human persona, she came to call him and Martha "Pa" and "Ma" as Clark did, and freely did so around other heroes.

Before joining the Justice League, Kara had little interaction with other heroes. Her first official team-up was with Batgirl. When Livewire teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, Batman asked for Superman's help, but inadvertently gets Kara instead. Together, Batgirl and Supergirl defeated the trio of super-villains and formed a friendship.[6] The two stayed friends; a few years later, Barbara and Kara went skiing together for Christmas.[7]

When Superman went missing, Kara took to the Fortress of Solitude to dispatch his robots in order to convince the world that he was still around. When Superman returned to Earth under Darkseid's control, Supergirl stood against him but was defeated. She was placed under the care of Professor Emil Hamilton, something that would come back to bite her in subsequent years.[8]

Justice League recruitment[]



Supergirl exudes confidence.

Although no longer sequestered there, Kara continued to live with the Kents in Smallville[9] and was later recruited into the new Justice League. Her first assignment was to go to Chong-Mai, alongside the Green Lantern, Captain Atom and (against his will) Green Arrow to deal with a possible radioactive accident. Supergirl's juvenile, playful spirit charmed Green Arrow and the two became friends. Her somewhat immature nature made her act impetuously, which was frowned upon by some members of the League, especially John Stewart. However, despite her rushed judgment, she was goodhearted and well-intentioned.[10]

When Amazo returned to Earth, Supergirl and Steel went after Lex Luthor to take him into protective custody. After Luthor escaped into a refuge of his own, she aided the League's second line of defense against the android. She bravely attacked Amazo, but his cosmic power knocked her out with one strong impact.[11] Sometime later, Supergirl participated in the battle against the Dark Heart but she, like many of the others present, had a hard time against it until it was shut down by the Atom.[12]

The Doppelganger mystery[]

Supergirl and Galatea

Supergirl and the clone meet.

At one point, Supergirl started to have disturbing dreams in which she chased and incinerated men she had never seen before. She contemplated the possibility of those so-called dreams being in fact suppressed memories while she was under the government's custody. Supergirl, Green Arrow, and the Question set off to investigate this strange occurrence. They went to S.T.A.R. Labs, where Professor Hamilton assured her that she was under their care and vigilance the entire time and that her dreams may be an expression of her traumatic experience. While leaving, the trio got attacked by robots and soldiers that linked them to the U.S. Army, and more specifically to General Hardcastle. They confronted him and he admitted to having to be in charge of government experiments in metahuman and mutant studies, but he couldn't explain Supergirl's dreams.

The Leaguers connected Hardcastle to Nuvo-Gen, so Supergirl and Green Arrow went there to investigate. They ascertained that Supergirl's DNA was used to create a clone, whom they trained to be a living weapon. Supergirl deduced that they shared some sort of psychic link that made her see her clone's actions. She and Green Arrow were lured into a hologram-training room, where the clone, referred to only as 'Tea', attempted to kill Supergirl and thus erase their psychic link, from which Supergirl's conscience and morals were holding her back. Supergirl fought her off, until the entire facility blew up, seemingly destroying Galatea.[9]

When Supergirl found out that it was Hamilton who cloned her under Cadmus's sanction, she was set to take them down. However, when trouble arose and the JL core members turned themselves over to the government, Supergirl was left in charge of the League. While the heroes were struggling to get the power back online, Galatea and an army of Ultimen invaded the Watchtower. Supergirl tried to stop Galatea from overloading the reactor, but she was overwhelmed by her clone's slightly superior strength. She stalled Galatea long enough for the reactor to reboot, whereupon she used one of its cables to electrocute her doppelganger, finally defeating her.[13]

Coming into her own[]


Supergirl in her new costume.

During one mission in Japan, Stargirl, S.T.R.I.P.E. and John Stewart were working together to ward off a mutated turtle, when Supergirl stole the limelight as she swooped in, sporting her new uniform modeled after that of Superman's. She saved the day with great ease and was received with overwhelming reverence from the eyewitnesses. Stargirl didn't take this lightly. En route through the North Pole, the team was suddenly sucked into a portal and arrived in Skartaris, a hidden land at the center of the Earth where the sun was red. Consequently, Supergirl's powers were quickly depleted, which left her considerably vulnerable. However, this didn't hold her back; she joined the battle against Deimos' army and engaged them in a hand-to-hand sword fight. Despite her feebleness, she intercepted Metallo when he was trying to obtain the Great Stone.

Supergirl bluffed, claiming to be immune to Metallo's Kryptonite heart. However, Metallo engaged her, and she attacked him with Stargirl's rod and was forced to retreat. She attempted to thwart Metallo by all means available ― she tilted a giant statue over him and tried to shoot him down with a blaster. When Metallo finally snared Supergirl, she managed to cut out his battery with a dagger, leaving him immobilized. This display of bravery and endurance finally earned Supergirl the respect of Stargirl, who intervened in the nick of time to get rid of the chunk of Kryptonite, before it could kill Supergirl.[4]

31st century[]

Supergirl and Brainiac 5

Supergirl decides to stay with Brainiac 5.

By her twenty-first birthday, Kara — now with a few years' League experience under her belt — was truly beginning to come into her own despite the perception some might have had of her as being in her cousin's shadow. Even Stewart admitted that there was little more he could teach her. Along with Stewart and Green Arrow, Supergirl was transported to the 31st century by members of the Legion of Super-Heroes. The three Justice Leaguers aided Legionnaires Brainiac 5 and Bouncing Boy in freeing their teammates from the mental domination of the Fatal Five — a mission from which, historical records of the era claimed, Supergirl wouldn't return, with most fearing she wouldn't return because she would die.

After teaming with Brainiac 5, Bouncing Boy, and Green Arrow to stop the Fatal Five, Supergirl elected to stay behind in the 30th century as a Legionnaire—a position in which she felt she could truly make a difference. Her decision was further influenced by the fact that the 30th century was more like the world she had known on Argo and her growing romantic attraction to Brainiac 5. Supergirl sent a farewell message to her cousin Kal-El, wherein she expressed her love for Ma and Pa Kent and subtly expressed her desire to make a name for herself separate from Superman. She presumably lived out the rest of her days in the 31st century.[2]

Powers and abilities[]

Because Argoans and Kryptonians sprang from a common humanoid ancestor millions of years before and both lived on planets orbiting a red sun, Supergirl's powers closely parallel Superman's, including superhuman strength and speed, near-invulnerability, super hearing, flight, super breath, heat vision, as well as x-ray vision, telescopic and microscopic vision.

Because Supergirl was much younger than Superman, her power isn't yet equal to her cousin's. By her 21st birthday, it was evidenced how much her power has grown, as her strength seemed to be near his.[2] Additionally, Supergirl shared Superman's vulnerability to Kryptonite,[11][4] was weakened by red sun radiation,[8] and presumably has the same problems with magic.

Supergirl's personality traits often hindered her in her early career, but she has also found ways to use them to her advantage. Over time, Supergirl also obtained hand-to-hand combat skills.[4]

Background information[]

  • With regards to her origin, Supergirl is based on Kara Zor-El, the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Supergirl and biological cousin of Kal-El. Her parents were Jor-El's brother Zor-El and Alura In-Ze, from whom the surname of the animated Supergirl is derived from. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini intended to use the original origin, but were denied by DC Comics, due to DC's then-present edict that Superman was to remain the only surviving Kryptonian, as Kara-Zor El had been dead in the comics at the time.[14] Therefore, a compromise was made where Supergirl came from the planet called Argo, a sister planet to Krypton which was colonized by Kryptonians. The Superman Adventures tie-in comic series had an issue titled Last Daughter of Argo which paralleled her introductory episode. Kara was born to Kala In-Ze, a physician and Zor-El, Argo's chief physicist. She was the eldest of three daughters.
  • Concerning her character design, the DCAU Supergirl was initially given a new design that would later be adopted in the comics by the post-Crisis Linda Danvers, a human who had herself become Supergirl after Matrix fused with her to save her from dying. It was not until "Chaos at the Earth's Core" that she would adopt a look more akin to classic Supergirl comics (without the tiara on her hair and wearing an outfit looking more like a female version of Superman's own uniform), which looks like a blend between the modern-day Supergirl and the Supergirl persona adopted by Matrix shortly after the Crisis on Infinite Earths.


See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dorkin, Evan, Dyer, Sarah, Dini, Paul, Burnett, Alan (writers) & Geda, Curt (director) (May 2, 1998). "Little Girl Lost, Part I”. Superman: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 27 (airdate). Episode 37 (production). Kids WB!.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 McDuffie, Dwayne (story) & Dini, Paul (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (April 15, 2006). "Far From Home". Justice League Unlimited. Season 2. Episode 10 (airdate). Episode 36 (production). Cartoon Network.
  3. Dorkin, Evan, Dyer, Sarah (writers) & Fogel, Rich (story) & Geda, Curt (director) (May 2, 1998). "Little Girl Lost, Part II”. Superman: The Animated Series. Season 2. Episode 28 (airdate). Episode 38 (production). Kids WB!.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Wayne, Matt (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (September 24, 2005). "Chaos at the Earth's Core". Justice League Unlimited. Season 2. Episode 3 (airdate). Episode 29 (production). Cartoon Network.
  5. Fogel, Rich (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (February 5, 2000). "Legacy, Part I". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 4. Episode 2 (airdate). Episode 49 (production). Kids WB!.
  6. Bader, Hilary J. (writer) & Geda, Curt (director) (October 17, 1998). "Girl's Night Out". The New Batman Adventures. Episode 7 (airdate). Episode 20 (production). Season 2. Kids WB!.
  7. Dini, Paul (writer) & Lukic, Butch (director) (December 13, 2003). "Comfort and Joy". Justice League. Season 2. Episode 23 (airdate). Episode 47 (production). Cartoon Network.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Dini, Paul, Fogel, Rich (writers) & Riba, Dan (director)). (February 12, 2000). "Legacy, Part II". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 4. Episode 3 (airdate). Episode 50 (production). Kids WB!.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Berkowitz, Stan (story) & Goodman, Robert (teleplay) & Riba, Dan (director) (September 4, 2004). "Fearful Symmetry". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 6 (airdate). Episode 4 (production). Cartoon Network.
  10. Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 31, 2004). "Initiation". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 1 (airdate). Episode 1 (production). Cartoon Network.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Berkowitz, Stan (story) & DeMatteis, J.M. (teleplay) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (September 18, 2004). "The Return". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 8 (airdate). Episode 7 (production). Cartoon Network.
  12. Ellis, Warren (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (December 11, 2004). "Dark Heart". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 10 (airdate). Episode 10 (production). Cartoon Network.
  13. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 9, 2005). "Panic in the Sky". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 24 (airdate). Episode 24 (production). Cartoon Network.
  14. "We wanted a take on her that was not the current version, (where she was) some sort of alien who is combined with a human girl and is all confused and angst-ridden, and we didn’t want to do the blob of protoplasm that takes the shape of Supergirl’s form. We wanted to do the original version, which is Superman’s cousin from Krypton. We ran into a wall with DC because they insisted that Superman be the last Kryptonian. So we did a compromise: she’s from a small planet in the neighboring system that was colonized by Kryptonians, but they’ve evolved slightly differently. -- Paul Dini, The Justice League Watchtower: Supergirl. Retrieved on 14 September 2008.

External links[]