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A lovely blond super-heroine who functions periodically, from May 1959
onward, as Superman's companion in super-heroic adventures. She is in
reality Kara, Superman's first cousin, the daughter of the Kryptonian
scientist Zor-El and his wife Alura. Born and raised on Argo City, a city of the planet
survived the death of its native planet when it was hurled into outer
space, people and buildings alive and intact, by the force of the
cataclysm that destroyed Krypton, she was - at the age of
fifteen - launched toward Earth in a small rocket ship by her
father Zor-El when the city faced extinction due to kryptonite poisoning.
Action Comics #252, 1959
On Earth, where, like any Kryptonian survivor, she acquired super-powers identical to Superman's, she assumed the secret alternate identity of Linda Lee, an orphan at the Midvale Orphanage, concealing her blond hair beneath a brunette wig and functioning as Supergirl only in secret, at Superman's insistence, until such time as she could learn to use her super-powers properly. Adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers, she attended Midvale High School as Linda Lee Danvers, graduated in 1964, and then went on to attend Stanhope College on a scholarship, graduating in 1971. Superman presented her to the world in 1962. Lori Lemaris and other Atlanteans celebrated the occasion by unveiling a gigantic undersea statue of a mermaid Supergirl. Since that time, Supergirl has performed super-heroic feats openly, while retaining the secrecy of her dual identity.
Supergirl's alternate identity is a closely held secret, but it is known to Superman, to her foster parents the Danverses, and to the Legion of Super-Heroes, of which she served as a member until resigning her membership at the age of twenty-one. Supergirl is fully aware that her cousin Superman is secretly Clark Kent. Like all Kryptonian survivors, Supergirl is vulnerable to kryptonite. Comet the Super-Horse is Supergirl's pet and equine companion. Streaky, the orange cat that acquires temporary super-powers as the result of its exposure to "X-kryptonite," is Linda Lee Danvers' pet cat.
In the texts, Supergirl is alternatively referred to as the Girl of Steel. Action Comics No. 285 describes Superman and Supergirl as "the two mightiest crusaders in the entire universe." Superman, who has dedicated a room to Supergirl in his Fortress of Solitude, has described his cousin this way:
Physically, she's the mightiest female of all time! But at heart,
she's as gentle and sweet and is as quick to tears as any ordinary
girl! I guess that's why everyone who meets her loves her!
- Action Comics No. 285, February 1962
Supergirl's red, yellow, and blue costume - which was originally fashioned by her mother Alura prior to her flight from the doomed Argo City - is a female counterpart of Superman's own.
Text on this page taken from
The Great Superman Book
by Michael L. Fleisher.
Superman & Supergirl are TM & © DC Comics - Kara isn't.