Power Girl

Created by Gerry Conway and Ric Estrada

NAME + ALIASES:
Kara Zor-L, Karen Starr, Karen Steele

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Kal-L (Superman, cousin, deceased), Allura and Zor-L (parents, deceased), Equinox ("son")

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Justice Society of America, Infinity, Inc. (honorary), Justice League International, Birds of Prey, All-Stars

FIRST APPEARANCE:
All-Star Comics #58 (Jan./Feb. 1976)

History

The character of Power Girl was originally created as the Earth-Two counterpart to Supergirl. Like Supergirl, Kara Zor-L was the cousin of that universe's Superman, the daughter of Allura and Zor-L.

After Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1986, the timeline and inhabitants of Earth-Two were collapsed into a new Earth and most duplicate characters from Earth-Two were either killed off or somehow "wiped away" from continuity. Apparently Power Girl was deemed sufficiently popular and unique, so she survived the Crisis (perhaps because they had killed the Supergirl of Earth-One in Crisis). DC writers struggled with the challenge of defining the post-Crisis Power Girl. They spent years trying to shoehorn the character into an alternate mold.

A new origin story was created for Secret Origins #11 (Feb. 1987), explaining that she was the time-tossed granddaughter of Arion, Lord of ancient Atlantis. The reinvention failed to resonate with creators or fans, as the character's Kryptonian identity was too strong. It was easier to ignore issues about her heritage and focus on the present.

After twenty years in limbo, DC's multiple Earths were restored (by 52 and Infinite Crisis in 2005), and it was explained that Power Girl had been an anomaly, an outlier whose presence could not be righted by the new universe. Her true cousin, Superman, was revealed to have survived the Crisis, and her Kryptonian origins were reaffirmed.

Power Girl's primary post-Crisis role was as a member of Justice League Europe/International (1989–96). She then rejoined the reformed Justice Society, and became its chairperson (2002–11). She starred in her own solo series for 27 issues from 2009–11, which ended when DC performed another reboot to create the "New 52."

The Girl from Krypton

Zor-L and Allura plan to save their daughter Kara. From Showcase #97 (1978); art by Joe Staton and Joe Orlando.
Kara's symbioship creates an artificial reality in her mind. From Showcase #98 (1976); art by Joe Staton and Dick Giordano.
The all-new Power Girl meets the Justice Society of America. From All-Star Comics #58 (1976); art by Ric Estrada and Wally Wood.
Superman hands over his full-time membership to his cousin. From All-Star Comics #63 (1976); art by Keith Giffen and Wally Wood.
Huntress takes a super-taxi, a ride from her bestie, Power Girl. From All-Star Comics #74 (1978); art by Joe Staton and Joe Giella.
Superman is corrupted by the Stream of Ruthlessness. From Infinity, Inc. #6 (1984); art by Jerry Ordway and Al Gordon.
Huntress and Power Girl define their status among in Infinity, Inc. From Infinity, Inc. #12 (1985); art by Tim Burgard and Tony DeZuniga.

Kara Zor-L was born on Krypton in the Earth-Two universe circa 1918. Her parents, Zor-L and Allura lived in the city of Kandor (which unlike the Earth-One universe, was not shrunk by Brainiac). Kara was born just after her cousin, Kal-L, and shortly after their births, Krypton exploded and both children were placed in rockets bound for Earth. Kal-L's rocket arrived much earlier than Kara's, which took 60 more years to reach Earth. (Showcase #97)

During her journey, her "symbioship" kept her in suspended animation and she aged only about the equivalent of 20 years. The ship also subconsciously educated her, and manufactured a fictional reality of her of life — a normal adolescence on Krypton. (Showcase #97-98)

On Earth, she somehow reconnected with her lost cousin, who was now known as Superman. He and his wife, Lois Lane, took in Kara but kept her existence a secret for a time. She burst onto the scene publicly during a battle between the Justice Society and the villain Brain Wave. She was brash and direct when she met their members, the Flash and Wildcat; she proposed a new era for the JSA — one defined by "new blood" that would include herself, Robin, and the Star-Spangled Kid. (All-Star Comics #58) After the team defeated Brain Wave, she was welcomed into the Justice Society. (#59) As Power Girl was throwing herself into her new role, Superman decided to retreat. He formally retired and nominated his cousin as his full-time replacement. (#63)

Naturally Superman stepped in occasionally to help the Justice Society, and the two of them worked in tandem to overcome a time-twisted plot by Vandal Savage. (#65)

Earth-Two Kryptonians were less powerful than their Earth-One counterparts. Power Girl's powers grew gradually; instead of flying she took great leaps. And she was gravely injured by the power of a super-weapon. (#69)

Brain Wave attacked again with a vengeance and after Power Girl foiled his robbery of an electronics warehouse. It drew the attention of the press and Kara met reporter Andrew Vinson. He took more interest in her than the crime. He pressed her for personal details, and she fled from him in frustration. (Showcase #97)

Brain Wave seized upon their connection and imprisoned Vinson inside a remote controlled suit of armor. He was forced to attack Power Girl and she defeated it only to discover that the armor was made from her Kryptonian symbioship — transformed into a weapon. The ship then attacked Power Girl and tried to draw her back into the fantasy life it had created en route from Krypton. The struggle ended inside the Superman Museum, where Vinson used a hologram projector to confuse the ship. Power Girl smashed it and thanked Vinson for his help. (#98)

Kara emerged from this challenge even more determined to establish a unique identity on Earth. With Vinson's help she created the civilian identity of Karen Starr. Wonder Woman offered her Amazonian technology called the Memory Teacher to essentially "program" Karen with expert knowledge in computers and software. Karen was hired by UCC in Gotham City and worked for Dr. Ginsberg. (#99)

While she was brusque with her male colleagues, Power Girl bonded instantly with the JSA's newest member, the Huntress (the Batman's daughter). (All-Star Comics #72) They became best friends and Kara helped the Huntress in a case against the JSA's foe, the Thinker. (Wonder Woman v.1 #274-276)

Both were called upon by the Wonder Woman of Earth-One and Black Canary to join an army of female heroes in a campaign against the Adjudicator and his Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. (#291-293) There was little time for introductions, but during this case Power Girl came to know of her Earth-One counterpart, Supergirl (Kara Zor-El).

Her adventures with the JSA took her across the multiverse and across time especially during the team's annual meet-ups with the Justice League of Earth-One. In her first meeting with them, they traveled into the 30th century to help the Legion of Super-Heroes battle Mordru and the Demons Three. (Justice League of America #147-148) Next, they journeyed to New Genesis where they met the New Gods and squared off against Darkseid. (#183-185)

The teams also went backward in time to join forces with the All-Star Squadron to stop Per Degaton from conquering the world in 1942. (#207-209, All-Star Squadron #14-15)

Power Girl was a proponent of a younger generation of Justice Society members, so when the children and proteges of the JSA's founders applied to join the group, she was supportive. The elders rejected the young heroes and when they left, Huntress, Power Girl, and the Star-Spangled Kid accompanied them out the door. (Infinity, Inc. #1)

This second generation formed their own group called Infinity, Inc. Power Girl and Huntress became honorary members and participated in the team's first case, which pitted them against their fellow JSA members. (#3) Power Girl fought her cousin Superman when he became corrupted by the "Stream of Ruthlessness." (#6-7)

The Star-Spangled Kid quit the Justice Society to lead Infinity, Inc. At their official press conference in Los Angeles, Power Girl and the Huntress voiced their support for the new group but rejoined the JSA. (Infinity, Inc. #12) NOTE: Infinity, Inc. #8 (Oct. 1984) includes a "personnel file" on Power Girl.

During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, all existence was collapsed into a single universe and timelines were united and streamlined. Power Girl's cousin and his wife chose to join Alexander Luthor of Earth-3 and the Superboy of Earth-Prime in an artificial reality that existed outside the time/space of the new Earth.

The Girl from … Atlantis?

Kara accepts Arion as her long-lost grandfather. From Secret Origins v.2 #11 (1987); art by Mary Wilshire.
Power Girl comes to terms with having reduced super-powers. From Justice League Europe #9 (1989); art by Art Nichols and Bart Sears.
Power Girl catches up with her erstwhile "grandfather," Arion. From Justice League Quarterly #13 (1993); art by Michael Collins and Terry Beatty.
After giving birth, Kara seeks the protection of her mentor Echidna. From Justice League America #93 (1994); art by Chuck Wojtkiewicz and Bob Dvorak.
Her newborn son gives Power Girl the mystic might to defeat the demon Scarabus. From Justice League America #94 (1994); art by Chuck Wojtkiewicz and Bob Dvorak.
Power Girl's son returns as Equinox, to end the war between Order and Chaos. From Justice League America #108 (1996); art by Chuck Wojtkiewicz.

When DC published Crisis on Infinite Earths, Earth-Two was merged with others into a "New Earth." Power Girls still existed but it was decided that Superman should be the sole survivor of Krypton. This meant that Power Girl would require a completely different origin.

As the new universe coalesced (an "interregnum" period), Power Girl retained her memories and insisted that she was Superman's cousin. But there was no evidence to prove it. When she revisited her symbioship, she was beset by the ancient Lord of Atlantis, Arion. He told her that she was his time-lost granddaughter from ancient Atlantis, the daughter of his son, Calculha the second (she also had a brother named Khater). Arion said that Kara was born 45,000 years ago and her parents had died after her birth. As an infant, she was attacked by Arion's evil brother, Garn Danuuth. To save her, he used a special crystal and created a ship to carry her far into the future. When she emerged, she had aged about 18 years. She had also gained great super-powers from a combination of Garn's possession and Arion's magic lineage. Arion then disappeared, leaving Power Girl with his sigil imprinted upon her belt buckle, and a fair amount of confusion. (Secret Origins v.2 #11)

For the most part, Kara believed Arion's story but she continued to live with a sense disconnectedness. She threw herself into her crime fighting career after the JSA disappeared into Limbo (Last Days of JSA), and joined the newly-formed Justice League Europe, where she remained for a lengthy tenure. (Justice League International v.1 #24-67)

Her powers became significantly reduced because of injuries sustained in battle with vampires and the Gray Man. After 30 hours of surgery performed with the help of Superman, she recovered quickly but she lost her vision powers and a fraction of her strength and invulnerability. (Justice League Europe #8-9) During her time with the JLE, a friendly, other-dimensional imp named Ghy assumed the identity of Kara's cousin, Gina Starr, and began running her company. Since she was busy with the League, Kara allowed Ghy continue in this capacity. (Justice League Quarterly #6) Power Girl also made a strange bargain with a mythical monstress called Echidna. To prevent the goddess' incursions to the surface world, Kara agreed to return to the Underworld once a year to and study with her. (Justice League Europe #42)

She ultimately reconnected with Arion, who was still alive and living in New York City. (Arion #6, Justice League Quarterly #13) When they met, Power Girl's supposed grandfather had implanted her with some essence from the demon Scarabus. It developed into a fetus and she became pregnant. This child was born during the "Zero Hour," (Zero Hour #0) and she fled with it to the safety of Echidna's lair.

The child (she was strangely compelled not to name him) had inherent magical abilities that protected them both from harm, and the baby boy grew abnormally fast. Scarabus arrived to destroy this child, and Arion returned and confessed to his manipulations. He claimed he had acted according to prophesy, knowing only that his great-grandson would be a key player in future events. The League helped battle Scarabus but it was Power Girl who sent him packing — her son magically empowered with mystic might. (Justice League America #93-94) Soon the boy had aged several years and he left his mother to undertake an unknown mission. (#97)

By the time Scarabus escaped from Hell (#106), Power Girl's child had studied with monks in Thailand and aged to adulthood. He emerged with great powers and took the name Equinox. Equinox proclaimed that he was destined to end the war between the Lords of Order and Lords of Chaos. He destroyed his "father" Scarabus then disappeared and was never seen again. (#108)

After her time in the Justice League, Power Girl partnered with Oracle (formerly Batgirl), to form the first so-called "Birds of Prey." On her final mission with Oracle, many people lost their lives. This caused great feelings of guilt and regret, and Kara cut ties with Oracle, working with her only very reluctantly. (Birds of Prey #42)

JSA

Doctor Mid-Nite calls Karen's Atlantean history into question. From JSA #32 (2002); art by Patrick Gleason.
D-Bomb crashes Karen's press conference. From JSA #39 (2002); art by Patrick Gleason.
Arion admits to having deceived Power Girl. From JSA #50 (2003); art by Leonard Kirk and Keith Champagne.

During this time the Justice Society was only semi-active and Power Girl served in a reserve capacity. Many such "All-Stars" were called upon during the Earth's war against Imperiex. (JSA: Our Worlds at War)

When the Justice Society officially reformed with second generation heroes, Power Girl was not among the first to join. Not long thereafter, she was designated by Black Canary to be her replacement. (JSA #31) She underwent an extensive medical examination by Doctor Mid-Nite, who curiously found no trace of magic in her. He called into question the matter of her Atlantean heritage and suggested she try hypnotic regression. (#32)

Karen was involved with upgrading the JSA communications systems in each members' homes, which came from her company, Starr Software. (#38) She sold her first company and used the proceeds to establish a charity for children. Her press conference announcing this was interrupted by a former rogue called Force. He was in turn attacked and killed by a super-admirer (and felon), D-Bomb. (#39)

During a Justice Society case, Arion was killed by Mordru and his spirit captured on Gemworld by Flaw and Child. When Power Girl, Hawkgirl, and Dove freed him, he admitted to Karen that he had lied to her. Arion was not her grandfather but claimed to have "protected" Karen at the request of her (unnamed) mother. (#50) She learned nothing more, and later during a visit to Hawkman's hometown of St. Roch, a psychic told Power Girl that she had much to learn about her identity. (Hawkman v.4 #23)

Infinite Crisis

The Psycho Pirate (who remembers pre-Crisis events) teases Power Girl about her true past. From JSA Classified #3 (2005); art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Kara's memories are restored upon her reunion with Clark and Lois. From Infinite Crisis #2 (2006); art by Phil Jimenez.
Alone again, naturally. From Infinite Crisis #7 (2006); art by George Pérez.

After years of loneliness, Power Girl eventually rediscovered her true past — and family — when reality was altered again. From their home outside of normal reality, her cousin Kal and Lois had witnessed events on the new Earth, but could not leave their "heaven" to intervene.

Over time, however, Superboy-Prime became so powerful that he could breach the crystalline barrier that kept them separated. With each of Superboy's powerful blows against the barrier, the timestream readjusted and settled into a new reality. One of these blows recreated the history of this universe's previously absent Kara Zor-El. Amid this and other changes, Power Girl's powers began to go haywire, becoming once again more Kryptonian. (JSA #72) She again manifested heat vision powers during a battle with Black Adam, then was blinded. (#74)

The reintroduction of a Kryptonian Supergirl in the universe caused an anomaly. When the two Karas met and shook hands, Power Girl went mad, her powers out of control. Mister Terrific hypothesized that their origins were so similar that they were like the same person, and had "overloaded" one another. The two quickly made amends. (Supergirl #1) Note: After Supergirl's return, Power Girl was more often referred to as "Karen" than "Kara."

Karen unwittingly became a pawn Alexander Luthor, who was now hell-bent on creating a "perfect" universe. He sent another Crisis anomaly — the Psycho Pirate — to capture her. (JSA Classified #1) The Pirate's power made her hallucinate a myriad of different pasts, but she also began to subconsciously remember her life on Earth-Two. This led her to seek out the current-day Huntress, who on Earth-Two had been her best friend. (#2-3) Note: One of her hallucinations was that she was Andromeda from the 30th century Legion, and in another she was the Supergirl of the anti-matter universe.

Karen eventually managed to escape from the Pirate, but fell into Alexander Luthor's trap. At long last, Kal-L had left his heavenly home. The cousins' reunion was disorienting for Karen, but she began to remember everything. Luthor claimed that she was not meant to survive the collapse of the multiverse, but somehow fell through a crack, like several others (such as Dark Angel, Harbinger, Pariah, and Lady Quark). The new universe had tried to reconcile her existence with false histories. Kal went on to tell her about the multiverse, and when Lois touched Karen's hand, her memories of Earth-Two came flooding back.

Her cousin Kal-L believed in Luthor's insidious plan restore Earth-Two, and convinced Karen that she'd been spared for a reason — to help them. (Infinite Crisis #1-2) But after Superman departed, Luthor and Superboy imprisoned Power Girl in a special tower designed to reconstruct the cosmos. (#4) During most of Earth's struggle against Alexander Luthor, Power Girl remained imprisoned there. In this crisis, both Lois (#5) and Kal-L perished. She was able to say goodbye to her cousin before his death (#7), but she was left alone again, save for her friends in the Justice Society.

Lois Lane had entrusted her diary to Power Girl. (Infinite Crisis #3) Karen turned it over to Ma Hunkel, the JSA's custodian. (JSA #82)

After this, the JSA ceased operating for a year and Karen became a friend and mentor to her younger counterpart, Supergirl. Karen accompanied Supergirl on a mission to rediscover her former Kryptonian home. This mission took them to the bottled city of Kandor, where they had to adopt the identities of Nightwing (Power Girl) and Flamebird (Supergirl). (Supergirl #6-9)

Reassemble

JSA elders appoint Power Girl as chairperson of the team. From Justice Society of America v.3 #4 (2007); art by Dale Eaglesham and Ruy José.
Power Girl of the new Earth-2 leads Justice Society Infinity's charge to Earth-0. From Justice Society of America v.3 Annual #1 (2008); art by Jerry Ordway and Bob Wiacek.
On the new Earth-2, Huntress, Robin and Power Girl are suspicious of Karen's motives. From Justice Society of America v.3 #20 (2008); art by Jerry Ordway.

A year after the Crisis, the JSA's founders were urged by the JLA to reassemble. They were encouraged to train the growing number of "legacy heroes," those who took on the mantle of older or retired heroes. They chose Power Girl as part of their core membership. She and Mister Terrific recruited Maxine Hunkel aka Cyclone, the granddaughter of the original Red Tornado. (Justice Society of America v.3 #1) After defeating the Fourth Reich, Power Girl enthusiastically accepted the elders' offer to make her the group's first chairperson. (#4)

En route to the planet Thanagar, Power Girl revealed she's had some sort of affair with Hawkman. She spent some time on Thanagar and returned home with JSA and JLA members after they came to the planet looking for the Legionnaire called Dawnstar. (Justice League of America v.2 #9)

Given the surprises of the Infinite Crisis, Karen remained hopeful that somehow her true cousin would return. These hopes were stoked by the arrival of the Superman from Earth-22, who resembled her cousin. (Justice Society of America v.3 #9) It was quickly apparent that this Superman was not from former Earth-Two but the two of them bonded regardless. (#11)

After the Infinite Crisis, the DC multiverse was restored, and there was again an Earth-2 (the mainstream Earth was now referred to as "Earth-0"). Her yearning for the original Earth-Two was sensed by the old god called Gog, who sent Power Girl across the multiversal boundary to the new Earth-2. (#17) Earth-2's history seemed to have unfolded as if the first Crisis had never happened. On it, Infinity Inc. and the Justice Society merged to form Justice Society Infinity — and they already had a Power Girl as a member. (JSA Kingdom Come Special: The Kingdom #1) Note: We differentiate the spelling of parallel worlds. Numerals were commonly spelled out in pre-Crisis writing, "Earth-Two." The multiverse after Infinite Crisis uses only Arabic numerals: "Earth-2."

Karen was elated to find that on the new Earth-2, things appeared much the same as she remembered. Her "friend" the Huntress found her unconscious and delivered her to the JSI. When she woke, she met the team, but it still felt wrong to her. Later, after helping the Huntress take down the Joker, the real Earth-2 Power Girl returned from space and called out Karen as an impostor. (Justice Society of America v.3 Annual #1)

Power Girl fled and sought aid from that Earth's Prof. Michael Holt (#18) He helped her make contact with Starman back on Earth-0. Starman opened a portal which swapped heroes from both worlds. (#19) The Huntress and Karen's counterpart were agitated and highly suspicious of Karen's motives. Huntress used a Kryptonite ring to incapacitate her in the Batcave, until Karen's JSA teammates located her. Starman explained the state of the new multiverse to the JSI, and that the universe had essentially already "provided" a Power Girl for Earth-2. (This led the JSI to speculate that their Superman, who was missing, was also still alive.) (#20)

Going Solo

Power Girl is the target of the all-new Ultra-Humanite (Gerhard Shugel). From Power Girl #3 (2009); art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Power Girl agrees to help Vartox repopulate his planet. From Power Girl #8 (2010); art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Satana brings the pain. From Power Girl #9 (2010); art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Karen meets the parents of her friend, Terra, in their home of Strata. From Power Girl #12 (2010); art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Maxwell Lord and his creations, C.R.A.S.H. and Divine (a clone of Power Girl). From Power Girl #18 (2010); art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
Not long after strategizing with Batman and the JSA All-Stars, Max Lord's power makes them all forget him again. From Power Girl #19 (2011); art by Sami Basri.
Girl power saves the day against Rana of Arenta. From Power Girl #26 (2011); art by Sami Basri.
Power Girl and Supergirl undertake a mission to Kandor, becoming Nightwing and Flamebird. From Supergirl v.5 #6 (2006); art by Ed Benes and Norm Rapmund.

Karen decided to pick herself up and refocus on her civilian career as Karen Starr, head of Starrware Labs, which was looking to invest in ecological projects such as bio-ware, A.I., and nano-tech. She was attacked by the robots of a new Ultra-Humanite (Gerhard Shugel), who wanted to use her body as his new host. (Power Girl v.2 #1) The JSA stepped in to help (#2) and she also called in her friend, the new Terra. She triumphed and deposited Ultra in Blackgate Prison. (#3)

She and Terra next faced a sea monster created by Zoraida, a teen who was transformed by an enchanted book. Karen relocked the book and offered the girl a job instead. (#4)

When a trio of alien princesses from Vega 7 arrived on Earth, fleeing from their father, Power Girl was similarly magnanimous. She helped them set up lives and identities on Earth (#5-6) and these girls later invested $20 million in Karen's company. (#12)

More interference from space arrived in the form of Vartox the Hyper-Man. His planet, Valeron, was sterile and he sought Power Girl to serve as genetic breeding material. (#7) After explaining that his peoples' mating was asexual, Karen agreed to help him. He used his Imprego-Ray on her, which induced a spiritual rebirth in his people. (#8)

The villainess Satanna allied with Doctor Sivana in a plot to attack Power Girl. Terra saved Karen from defeat and only to reveal that the Ultra-Humanite had taken over Terra's brain. (#8-10) Karen managed to take both of them to Terra's subterranean home, Strata, and her friend Aurla restored them both to normal. Ultra was so grateful that he accepted Karen's job offer and promised to make her proud. (#11)

Karen Starr's life was turned upside down when she crossed Maxwell Lord, her old associate from the Justice League who revealed his true colors when he murdered the Blue Beetle. The Beetle's friends organized a manhunt for Lord, but his mental abilities were powerful and he always remained one step ahead of them. He disabled Karen's company by inducing her head of finance to bankrupt Starrware. (#13)

Max then used his powers to make the entire world forget his existence. Power Girl and Booster Gold were among the few to remember his crimes, and he unleashed a series of attacks on Power Girl. He transformed Randall Mikavic into the alien hybrid called C.R.A.S.H. (#14-15) and with the help of Professor Ivo, made a pseudo-clone of Power Girl called Divine. (#16)

Even the Batman (Dick Grayson) succumbed to Lord's mind-erasing after helping Karen track Max to Antarctica. (#17) They tried to mobilize a strike with the JSA but the entire assembly lost their memories again as soon as they had been briefed. (#19) Meanwhile Starrware lawyers tried to keep her company solvent. (#20-21) When the original Batman (Bruce Wayne) returned, he proved that the Beetle had been murdered. (#21) Power Girl joined many other heroes in the final battle — in which they did not succeed. Max escaped prosecution by taking the matter onto the public stage and spinning lies about all his misdeeds. (Justice League: Generation Lost #22-24)

When Karen resumed her daily routine at Starrware, she decided to become the public face of her own company. She took advice from Superman and created a different identity for herself, one that included wearing a long red wig. She and Superman were then attacked by a villain called Siphon (Manuel Carlito), who used Zatanna's magic to create dinosaurs. (#22-23)

Power Girl appeared at a convention in her honor and seized the opportunity to speak to her young fans about "girl power." Her fans leapt to her aid when an alien named Rana transported the whole convention into space. Rana used a machine to copy Karen's powers, and some girls were accidentally empowered as well. They helped distract Rana so that Power Girl could land a final punch. Later the girls' powers were removed by S.T.A.R. Labs, but one girl secretly retained hers. (#26)

Power Girl proved her mettle as an alpha level super-contender by defeating the Calculator's impossible challenge: within 60 seconds, she saved the Tower of Pisa from D'Bomb, rescued Cyclone from Anubis and Devil Dog, and saved a girl in the Philippines from Typhoon. (#27)

JSA All-Stars

Power Girl's new team, the All-Stars. From JSA All-Stars #1 (2010); art by Freddie Williams III.
Clashing with Magog over how to deal with super-villains. From JSA All-Stars #1 (2010); art by Freddie Williams III.

When the Justice Society began its new mission to train the next generation of super-heroes, their numbers swelled. Eventually this led to some philosophical divisions, and Power Girl was chosen to lead the new splinter team of younger members. Hourman helped them set up in upstate New York, at the Star-K Ranch. They held a press conference to introduce themselves, and called the team the All-Stars. (JSA All-Stars #1)

From the start, Power Girl clashed with Magog over the leadership style of the team. She had to stop him from from killing the Icicle, after which he stormed off. (#2-3) The All-Stars had to respond when Magog began running amok at Haven prison. Again Karen stopped him from killing and their differences become irreconcilable; Magog resigned from the JSA. (Justice Society of America Annual #2)

When Green Lantern's (Alan Scott) power source, the Starheart, was corrupted, it possessed Power Girl and the Justice League was called to help stop her rampage. Congo Bill and Supergirl managed to shake her free of its influence and The All-Stars worked alongside the JLA and JSA to close this case. Batman invited her to stay with the JLA (she declined). (Justice League of America v.2 #45, Justice Society of America v.3 #42)

New 52

The Power Girl and JSA All-Stars titles were published all the way up to DC's line-wide reboot, called the "New 52." Power Girl's timelines and continuity up until this point were eliminated and an entirely new multiverse of 52 universes was created after the events of Flashpoint.

The Earths-0 and -2 of the New 52 were recreated from scratch. The Power Girl of the New 52 hailed from Earth-2, began her career as that world's Supergirl, and came to be trapped on Earth-0 with her friend, the Huntress for many years before returning home.

Other Versions

Power Woman, from Kingdom Come #2 (1996); art by Alex Ross.
Supergirl meets Galatea, her clone. From Justice League Unlimited, Season 1, Episode 6 (2004).

Kingdom Come (1996)

In an alternate future of Kingdom Come (1996), one which was later assigned to Earth-22, Kara grew older and changed her name to Power Woman. She remained aligned with Superman when he reformed the Justice League.

Tangent

Tangent: Superman's Reign #2 (2008) The Lanterns and Flashes meet, but the lantern will not return them to New Earth. GL draws forth the spirit of Mary Marvel, one of the Jokers. She recalls time with the Secret Six, when they came up against Superman. He took Mary away and killed her, destroyed Plastic Man. Lori Lemaris attends community education. In Saudi Arabia, Superman puts the screws to oil producers, forcing them to give up their wealth. Spectre and Manhunters run up against Jade and Obsidian. Guy is nicknamed Detective Chimp. He tells of the Metal Men: Commandewr Marcus Moore, Sam Schwartz, John Holliday (Hawkman), Francis Powell (Black Lightning), Carl Walters (Gravedigger), Rey Quinones (Lobo). They took a red tornado bomb from Prague and met Martina Zelenka (Raven). Moore wanted to launch it at Moscow, but Schwartz and Raven killed him. They married and Schwartz later became U.S. president. Moore survived and joined Nightwing with Powll and Walters. Power Girl was a Chinese engineered hero still out there. Tangent Superman and Power Girl and Orion go to New Earth. #7) Superman-9, Power Girl, Orion and the Ultra-Humanite are locked back in Ultra's prison. Batman-9 sacrifices his shell to weaken Ultra. Lola is key to taking Harvey down. (#12)

"Fearful Symmetry." Justice League Unlimited, Season 1, Episode 6 (4 Sept. 2004)

Power Girl has not appeared much in the DC animated universe. And although Justice League Unlimited (2001–06) featured many major characters from the DC Universe, she was not among them. But an analog character appeared in one episode.

Supergirl woke from a dream in which she had resorted to lethal measures. Her distress led her to investigate possible external causes. Green Arrow and the Question helped her investigate and they spoke to former General Hardcastle. When they left, Hardcastle was killed by Galatea, a blond super-powered woman in white. This super-woman soon crossed paths with Supergirl and revealed that she was Supergirl's clone. Both have been seeing each others dreams. During their battle Galatea gave a momentary sign that she might repent, but she was consumed by an explosion. Afterwards, her unconscious form was reclaimed by her creator: Professor Hamilton of S.T.A.R. Labs (who had treated Supergirl and taken her DNA).

Galatea first appears in the first season's sixth episode, "Fearful Symmetry." She subsequently appears at the end of season 2's "Flashpoint", and she is last seen in season 2's "Panic in the Sky". In her last appearance, "Panic in the Sky", she fights Supergirl for control of the Watchtower. She is defeated by Supergirl, who traps her in a contact, causing all of the Watchtower's power to flow through her, causing an overload. Following the massive surge of electricity, she is left twitching and catatonic; it is unclear whether she ultimately survives.

Notes

Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, her JSA membership was in question. Both Power Girl #1 (June 1988) and Who's Who Update '87 #4 (Nov. 1987) originally declared that the post-Crisis Power Girl was not a member of the Justice Society or Infinity Inc. But many key appearances after that reversed the retcon. She was subsequently shown in flashback in several old JLA/JSA team-ups and it was verified in JSA #31 (Feb. 2002).

For some reason, Chuck Dixon changed her civilian identity to Karen "Steele" in Birds of Prey #42 (June 2002). It was never used anywhere else and it was back to "Starr" in the JSA series.

Power Girl's membership in the Sovereign Seven (1995) was a fictional story inside the DC Universe.

Geoff Johns on Power Girl: "She represents the success story of the Justice Society. She was one of the first 'new kids' to be taken in under their wing and since then she’s grown so popular she can stand next to Supergirl and win. Her taking the role of chairwoman of the Justice Society is just another step in her growth. And she’ll do this with all the guts and energy she’s always had. Her relationship with one of her teammates will become romantic."

Jimmy Palmiotti on Power Girl (2009): "I like the attitude and body language and the overall look of the character. I love the white suit. I like that she has a cat. And most importantly, I like the idea that she hasn't had her own title and fleshed out life before this and we get a shot at creating a wonderful cast of characters around her."

+ Powers

Power Girl possesses the powers of a normal Kryptonian under a yellow sun. These include flight, super-strength, speed, and invulnerability. She also possesses x-ray and heat visions. Kryptonians on Earth-Two were generally considered less powerful than those from Earth-One. One of her friends once commented, "If Power Girl were the Supergirl of Earth-One, she’d be fine right now ... But Power Girl comes from a different planet Krypton and unlike [Supergirl], she isn't indestructible."

Her weaknesses include kryptonite, magic, and (outside her home planet) certain kinds of extra-dimensional radiation.

At one time she lost her vision powers and a measure of her strength when near-fatally injured by the Gray Man.

When she was pregnant, Power Girl also manifested certain magical abilities which protected her mystical unborn child, and enhanced her own strength.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:

  • 52 #3, 36
  • 52/World War III: The Valiant #2
  • Birds of Prey #100
  • Booster Gold v.2 #1
  • Brave & the Bold v.3 #7, 12
  • DC Comics Presents #56
  • DC Retroactive: JLA—The '90s #1
  • DC Universe Presents #0
  • Firestorm, The Nuclear Man #80
  • Flash: Rebirth #1
  • Infinite Crisis #2-4, 7, Secret Files #1
  • Infinity, Inc. #1-7, 10-12, 30, 50
  • JSA: Classified #1–4
  • Justice League America/International v.1 #24, 93-94, 97, 107
  • Justice League Europe/International v.2 #8, 9, 15, 37, 42, 46, 52, 61, 67, Annual #3
  • Justice League: Generation Lost #6, 10, 14, 16-18
  • Justice League of America v.1 #147-148, 171-172, 183-185, 195, 207-209, 219-220
  • Justice League of America v.2 #45-46
  • Justice League Quarterly #6, 9, 13
  • Last Days of Animal Man #2
  • Secret Origins v.2 #11
  • Showcase #97–99
  • Suicide Squad v.2 #12

  • Supergirl v.5 #1, 6–9, 19
  • Superman v.1 #662-663
  • Superman/Batman #3-4, 24, 27, 78
  • Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime #1
  • Terra #2, 4
  • Warlord #116–124
  • Wonder Woman v.3 #40-41, 600
  • Zero Hour #0

» SERIES:

  • Power Girl, 4-issue limited series (1988)
  • JSA #31-87 (2002–06)
  • Justice Society of America v.3, 54 issues (2007–11)
  • Power Girl, 27 issues (2009–11)
  • JSA All-Stars, 18 issues (2010–11)