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SUPERGIRL: Maid of Might

"Some days you wake up and want to change the world. Others, you just want to break that same world in two. But most of the time you just have to get on with the business of living." --Kara Zor-El
Smallville will soon be a memory (either fond or not). It is time to look back at the heroes the show helped brought to life, and know more about their comicbook roots.

SUPERGIRL had many incarnations, the most prominent is Kara Zor-El, The cousin of Superman, survivor of Krypton's Argo City. And like her cousin she chose to stand for truth, justice and the American way!

In Superboy #5 (November–December 1949) in a story titled "Superboy Meets SUPERGIRL," Superboy met Queen Lucy Regentof a fictional latin american nation. She was a stellar athlete and scholar. Tired of her duties and wanting to enjoy a normal life, Queen Lucy traveled to Smallville where she met Superboy and soon won his heart. Superboy put on a show with her where he used his powers to make her seem super-human; during this contest she was called Super-Girl. As Super-Girl, Queen Lucy wore a tan dress with a brown cape and Superboy's "S" symbol.

In Superman #123 (August 1958), Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen uses a magic totem to wish a "Super-Girl" into existence as a companion and aid to Superman; however, the two frequently get in each other's way until she is fatally injured protecting Superman from a Kryptonite meteor that a criminal has dropped towards him. At her insistence, Jimmy wishes the dying girl out of existence. DC used this story to gauge public response to the concept of a completely new super-humanly powered female counterpart to Superman. In the original issue in which this Super-Girl story was printed, she had blond hair and her costume was blue and red like Superman's.

Kara Zor-El
Kara Zor-El was the last survivor of Argo City of the planet Krypton, which had survived the explosion of the planet and had drifted through space. When the inhabitants of the colony are slain by green kryptonite which was released by metorites striking the lead barrier, Kara is sent to Earth by her father Zor-El to be raised by her cousin Kal-El, known as Superman. Fearing that she might not be recognized by Superman, Kara's parents provide a costume based on the Man of Steel's own.

Costume Selection
About 10 years later, DC editors came up with the idea of giving SUPERGIRL a more "hip" or "groovy" look. In the wake of the 60s, pop culture and fashion were the interest of every young girl coming of age and they sought to obtain a portion of this audience by lending an aspect of their stories to the development of Kara's interest in wearing something different for a change.

Last costume of this Version of SUPERGIRL
Finally, SUPERGIRL will settle for this costume, which was cast along fairly standard lines. The S-shield spilled upwards in a faux-over-the-shoulder sprawl, a V-line skirt and the gold embellishment on the boots. She would later add a red headband for her costume.

She would wear that costume until her death in the 1985 maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths. A story that was conceived as a way to reduce DC Comic continuity to a single universe in which all characters maintained a single history. Despite SUPERGIRL’s popularity, it was determined by the editors at DC Comics and the creators of the maxi-series that SUPERGIRL would die during the Crisis, to make Superman unique again as the last survivor of Krypton.

The first post-Crisis SUPERGIRL, Matrix, has an origin that is crazy as hell. A good Lex Luthor from another reality created an artificial life-form called the "protoplasmic matrix,". Her physiology was patterned to resemble that of Superman's. When her reality was left in ruins, she would move to the "mainstream" reality to become the first post-crisis in continuity SUPERGIRL. Like Superman, Matrix, was superhumanly strong and fast and could fly, but also had the powers of shapeshifting, telekinesis, and invisibility. The costume she donned was the familiar blue shirt and red skirt.

Angel of Fire
After some soul searching, Matrix, who also now goes by the name Mae, began to wonder if she was even a real person or if she even had a soul. This was solved when she held the hand of a dying girl named Linda Danvers. Matrix's shapeshifting ability merged the two into the new SUPERGIRL and Mae became the Earth Angel of Fire.

Linda Danvers
In a fight against a powerful vampire, the Matrix side of SUPERGIRL was ripped away. After the split, Linda retained half of the super-strength and invulnerability. Using some items from a costume shop, Linda created a white, blue, and red SUPERGIRL costume and acted as SUPERGIRL. She would later find where Matrix was held, Matrix would give all the powers to Linda, and officially passing the title of SUPERGIRL.

As Linda bowed out of the SUPERGIRL gig, another young lady popped up with a handful of Kryptonian-esque superpowers. Her name is Cir-El who appeared in 2003's Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure #1, claiming to be the future daughter of Superman and Lois Lane. Her alter ego is a street person named Mia. She is later found to be a human girl who was altered by Brainiac on a genetic level to appear Kryptonian; she dies thwarting a plot involving Brainiac 13.

New Kara Zor-El
Currently, Kara, Superman's cousin, has resurfaced to become well-hallowed once again. The modern version of Kara Zor-El made her debut in Superman/Batman #8 (2004). Kara takes the mantle of SUPERGIRL at the conclusion of the storyline. She wears mid-rift a blue skirt held up by a belt, blue tops, red boots, red cape and all line with gold trimmings.

Kara Weapon of Darkseid
Darkseid kidnaps the new SUPERGIRL while she was with Wonder Woman on Paradise Island and brainwashes her to become the leader of his deadly Female Furies. Eventually, Superman will reverse her cousins brainswashing.

Evil Kara
When Lex Luthor attacked SUPERGIRL using his newly developed armor he used a black kryptonite to split her into a good Kara and an evil Kara. The evil Kara states that she was sent to Earth by Zor-El for the sole purpose of killing Superman. The "two" Karas will later merge back together, with SUPERGIRL having to deal and control her darkside.

SUPERGIRL briefly assumes the identity of Flamebird to fight crime in the bottle city of Kandor with Power Girl as Nightwing. While in Kandor, Kara is telepathically manipulated by an evil version of Saturn Girl named Saturn Queen into falling in love with Ultraman who has claimed to be Kal-El. After Ultraman is defeated, Saturn Queen tells Kara of Argo city's survival in exchange for her sparing the life of Ultraman.

Kara Zor-El has grown in to her role as SUPERGIRL, and she will have many more adventures. She also adopted the secret identy of Linda Lang.

Helen Slater
A live action SUPERGIRL first appeared in the 1984 film starring Helen Slater as the Maid of Might. The film is a spin-off from the Superman film series starring Christopher Reeve. The movie's plot concerns SUPERGIRL leaving Argo City for Earth in an effort to retrieve the unique "Omegahedron." The item has fallen into the hands of an evil witch.

Laura Vandervoort
The CW's hit show Smallville, introduces Kara who is portrayed by Laura Vandervoort. Smallville closely depicts her as Clark Kent's cousin whose spacecraft became trapped in stasis which was just recently released. Much of Kara's stories involves her attempts to adjust to life on Earth.

Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, the character's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.

Kryptonian Physiology: SUPERGIRL's cellular structure is more dense, resilient and biologically more effective than human tissue. She does possess several organs whose functions are not yet disclosed or understood but are believed to be part of and perhaps even the source of his biomatrix force field and reclamation aura. SUPERGIRL has manifested a wide range of metahuman abilities and is considered to be one of the most powerful metahumans alive. SUPERGIRL's body also stores energy actively within her bio-cellular matrix as an energy pattern that is linked to her body's electromagnetic field. This energy powers most of SUPERGIRL's electromagnetic capabilities such as flight and heat vision. It also supplements her physical strength.

Solar Energy Absorption: The cellular structure of a Kryptonian is similar to that of all humans. However, a certain chemical makeup in the ribosomes is capable of absorbing solar energy and storing it. Once the ribosomes achieve saturation levels of this radiation, they begin to re-radiate the energy in the form of a bioelectric forcefield. Each individual cell within the field's radius becomes reinforced in such a way that the cells are not only protected from external harm, but internal forces as well. Since the individual cells are wholly invulnerable, they are capable of operating at levels of efficiency that would destroy normal humanoid cells. These "super-cells" lend an enhancing effect to all bodily systems...muscular, metabolic, nervous, and so forth. The continual absorption of solar energy provides a constant power source for these enhanced systems. Thus, a Kryptonian is capable of incredible feats.

Superhuman Strength: The exact magnitude of SUPERGIRL's strength is unknown. This is because her strength has fluctuated several times over her career but should remain in the multi-megaton level at the very least. She is arguably one of the strongest beings on the planet and one of the strongest beings in the Universe. Her physical strength is greatly magnified by the combination of her more-efficient muscular system and the enhancement of her skeletal system's structural integrity, but is primarily augmented by the sheer force of her solar forcefield.

Invulnerability: SUPERGIRL is nigh-invulnerable. She has taken a 40 megaton nuclear explosion and still remained conscious and has been able to tolerate the molten conditions in the Earth's core with only discomfort.

Superhuman Stamina: SUPERGIRL's body stores and processes solar energy at a rapid rate and for a variety of effects, which are explained in her other powers. Her storage capacity is sufficient to let her function at full capacity for up to 14 days depending on her physical condition and state of rest.

Flight: SUPERGIRL's favorite power, Kara is able through an act of conscious will attain independent flight. The precise mechanism of her ability is unknown. It is suggested to be biological in nature as Kara-El can not achieve flight when poisoned with Kryptonite or maintain the effect while being so effected. What is known is that when Kara is super-charged with solar-energy, she can generate a powerful personal energy field that interrupts locale gravity, allowing her to fly. When in flight, she's fully suspended by this energy, almost completely repelling earth's gravimetric influence over her. She becomes her own center of gravity, and no longer has to physically leverage against the gravity of whatever planetary body she's on, or any object.

Superhuman Speed: Similarly, SUPERGIRL's enhanced metabolic rate, muscular speed, and nervous system grant her incredible speed. Her Kryptonian structure and the solar energy paths that course along her neurophysical structure allow her to react at many times normal human speed. While not as fast as the Flash, SUPERGIRL is fast enough to run/move at speeds of in excess of Mach 10 (2 miles a second) and light-speeds in space.

Heat Vision: The ability to fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it with the conscious act of activating this power. Visually, the power is typically depicted as two beams of red light firing from her eyes.

Super Hearing: The ability to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. Her range of hearing extends from the subsonic through to the point where signal modulation in broadcast communications can be sensed and demodulated into "sounds".

Super Breath: can breathe in large amounts of air, an ability used when dealing with and disposing things like clouds of poison gas. Also able to create hurricane force winds by blowing. She is able to hold her breath for undefined amount of time.

Freeze Breath: The ability to chill her breath in order to freeze a target.

Super Vision: The enhanced structure of SUPERGIRL's sensory organs combined with the increased capacity of her nervous system provides for the greatly enhanced senses. Her visual reception range covers the entirety of the electromagnetic spectrum. SUPERGIRL can change the spectrum she perceives at any given time, by changing the chemical receptors in the rods and cones of her retinas. She can adjust her photovoltaic detection as an act of will to sense longer wavelengths down to the infrared, and higher energy light, up to X-ray and gamma radiation.

Super Smell: On various occasions SUPERGIRL has shown the ability to smell odors across the planet without any problem.

Self-Sufficiency: Doesn't need to eat or sleep.

Healing Factor: In the extreme event that SUPERGIRL is harmed, either by an alien matching her own strength or other occurence, she has been shown to have the ability to heal almost instantaneously from any wound, assuming that the process is not impeded from some outside factor.

AbilitiesMaster Combatant: She has been trained by Batman in advanced martial arts and trained with the Amazons ,on Themyscira, in combat and sword fighting. She has trained with Wonder Woman and Artemis extensively and knows Klukor(Kryptonian Martial Arts), one of the few people on Earth who do. While under Darkseid's mind control she was made a Female Fury and presumably trained with them.

Multi-lingual: SUPERGIRL speaks a multitude of languages fluently. She learned all of Earth's languages in less then a month. She also speaks interlac. She is also fluent in Kryptonese.Plus, through precise muscle control, she can mimic other peoples voices.

Genius-Level Intellect: SUPERGIRL has shown incredible intelligence and computational abilities; her mind works sharply and with extreme speed relative to earth-humans. Her analytical powers are impressive.

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This is the 60th article in my Know Your CBM Character series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section BELOW.

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Message to the CBM community:To those who are making requests, check first [here] because I might have done an article on the character already. If I have not please be patient, I will get on it as soon as possible (but consider the fact that I spend hours writing one of these articles). Try to limit your request to characters that already have been adapted to live media, so that the feature will at least be relevant to the site – Comic Book Movie(though I include TV characters). Characters in Manga or Anime’, I am not particularly familiar of, I am not discounting these characters but it will probably take some time before I write a feature on them because I have to read up on these characters. Thank you for reading these articles! If there are errors on the feature article above, blame it on my age, humanity and ignorance. Just be sure to check the comment section for the corrections, any error I made will surely be pointed out and corrected by much bigger geeks (because there will always be a bigger geek out there). -This has been PollMaster inviting you to the geekside. MABUHAY CBM and Godspeed!

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