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- Well, unfortunately for you, you're not dealing with Superman... You're dealing with me!
- -- Power Girl src
Power Girl is the Earth-Two counterpart of Supergirl and first cousin to Kal-L, the Superman of Earth-Two. Power Girl took her cousin's place in the Justice Society of America after he entered into semi-retirement to focus on his personal life. Kara Zor-L has since been recognized as an important member of the JSA.
After the events of the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the merging of Earth-Two into New Earth, Power Girl was led to believe that she was a descendant of the Atlantean sorcerer Arion, though Arion himself later revealed this to have been a lie. Kara's true Earth-Two heritage was revealed to her during the "Infinite Crisis".
Journey from Krypton
After discovering Krypton was about to explode, Kara's father Zor-L launched her as an infant to Earth in a ship at the same time that Kal-L's ship was launched. However, Kara's ship took a much longer journey, resulting in her arriving on Earth decades after her cousin.
Unlike Kal-L's ship which was designed for fast travel, Kara's "Symbioship" was designed to hold her in stasis during her development through the prolonged voyage. In addition, the ship's artificial intelligence ran a virtual reality program, allowing her to interact with life-like copies of her parents and fellow Kryptonians. By the time she landed on Earth, Kara was an adult woman in her early twenties.
Debut of Power Girl
Power Girl's existence was not revealed to the general public until years after her arrival on Earth-Two. Her cousin Clark and his wife Lois provided her with a family environment that aided her transition from the virtual reality she had experienced during her voyage to real life relationships. She came to regard her cousin and his wife as her "uncle" and "aunt" for raising her on Earth-Two despite being cousins by blood and marriage. Lois Lane-Kent stated that they regarded her as their daughter.
In her first recorded case, Kara assisted Justice Society members Flash and Wildcat in containing an artificially induced volcano that had erupted in Peking, China. She then joined them and other young heroes Robin and Star-Spangled Kid to form a Super Squad, along with active members of the Justice Society, to defeat Brain Wave and Per Degaton's scheme for world domination. Later, she was granted full membership when she took over Superman's vacated spot on the team roster.
Having been raised by the Symbioship with artificial Kryptonian life experiences, Power Girl had trouble fitting into life on Earth, but with the help of reporter Andrew Vinson, she eventually adopted the secret identity of computer programmer Karen Starr. She developed her knowledge in this field from treatment under Wonder Woman's purple ray on Paradise Island. Outside of the Justice Society, she developed a close friendship with Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Earth-Two Batman and Catwoman and was later a founding member of Infinity, Inc.
Following the events of the original Crisis, Kara's background was completely altered. With Earth-Two no longer existing, Kara's origin was altered and she was now the granddaughter of the Atlantean sorcerer Arion and had been frozen in suspended animation for millennia until the present day.
After the Invasion, Kara joined Justice League Europe and was later badly injured by the second Gray Man suffering a significant loss of power. Despite this, she remained a key member of the team throughout its history, including the first encounter with the Extremists and the Overmaster.
In the last days of the JLE, Kara discovered she was mystically pregnant, her unborn child able to magically protect her from harm. During Zero Hour, she was delivered of a boy who soon after aged rapidly and became Equinox. After battling and defeating Scarabus, Equinox disappeared.
Power Girl was recruited to be one of Oracle's first field agents. Their short-lived partnership ended in failure after a disastrous mission that resulted in a large loss of life. Power Girl believed that poor orders from Oracle were to blame for the tragedy and disliked Oracle intensely as a result (although she has worked with her again on a few occasions when needed.)
During the events of Infinite Crisis, the Psycho-Pirate showed Kara multiple versions of her origin in an effort to drive her insane, but eventually revealed that she was not only Kryptonian but also a survivor of the entire Earth-Two universe.
Kal-L himself returned to the mainstream universe after breaking down the walls of the paradise dimension in which he, Lois Lane-Kent, Alexander Luthor, Jr., and Superboy-Prime had been living since the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Appalled by the rapidly-deteriorating state of affairs on the contemporary Earth, their goal was to replace the post-Crisis planet with a recreated Earth-Two. Kal-L's first order of business was to track down Power Girl and explain the events of the original Crisis to her, as well as confirming Psycho Pirate's claims of her Earth-Two origin. Kara's memories of her Earth-Two life were restored to her when she was re-introduced to an ailing Lois Lane-Kent.
Soon after, Kara stumbled upon a machine in which the Martian Manhunter was held captive. Before she could free him, she was attacked by Superboy-Prime and attached to the machine alongside J'onn J'onzz. Alex Luthor then revealed his true ambition of restoring the multiverse using representatives of various Earths, with Kara selected because of her link to Earth-Two.
Kara was later freed by Wonder Girl and Kon-El and joined them in fighting Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor, Jr.. Superboy-Prime fled Earth for Mogo, pursued by the two Supermen whom he fought. During the fight, Kal-L was mortally wounded and Power Girl arrived on Mogo with the Green Lantern Corps just in time to bid a tearful farewell to her dying cousin.
One Year Later and beyond
Power Girl went on to help reform the Justice Society of America, where she was elected Chairperson of the team. She led the team through its dealings with the Superman of Earth-22 and the confrontation between the JSA and the super-being known as Gog. During that battle, Power Girl was sent by Gog to the parallel Earth known as Earth-2. Thinking she had somehow returned to her home reality of Earth-Two, she sought to adapt to life there with the counterparts of her long dead (and historically erased) friends. However, she noticed several major differences from her reality, particularly in the actions of Helena Wayne, who was going to murder the Earth-2 Joker. When Earth-2's actual Power Girl returned, it became clear that this was not her home and she returned to the Justice Society.
Following a disagreement in operational methods, Power Girl and the younger members of the JSA split into the Justice Society of America All-Stars. At the same time, she began devoting more time to her old R&D firm, Starrware Labs in New York City. and became friends with the young superheroine Atlee aka Terra III, becoming something of a mentor to her. While in New York, she defended the city from Ultra-Humanite, who tried to transfer his brain into her body. After his defeat, Kara was spared any major conflicts until Ultra-Humanite's ex-girlfriend Satanna tried to avenge his defeat. She nearly succeeded in killing Power Girl, but Atlee's intervention saved her life.
Ultra-Humanite eventually returned to fight Power Girl, this time having Satanna put his brain in Atlee's body. She was able to knock out Ultra-Humanite without seriously hurting her friend's body, then tracked down Satanna to force her to undo the damage. When that failed, she then took Atlee and Ultra-Humanite to Strata. Atlee's brain as returned to her body, and Ultra-Humanite' brain was put into a clone, also curing him of his genetic disease at the same time. Later, Kara offered him a job, but he refused. Before having his memories erased, he revealed that he was still evil, and swore vengeance on Power Girl before having his memory wiped.
Following Blackest Night, Power Girl returned to duty with the Justice League in order to hunt down the resurrected Maxwell Lord. While in Moscow, Booster Gold ends destroying the Justice League International embassy, greatly upsetting Power Girl. She flew off to investigate the next lead provided by Batman alone, only to encounter OMACs. She fought them, but they shut down after Maxwell Lord activated a device that erased his identity from minds of everyone on Earth. When she returned home, she found out that her financial officer and trusted friend Donna Anderson stole all of her company's money, leaving Starrware in bankruptcy. The bank and Kara's rival companies systematically took everything all of Starrware's creations.
She then encountered a mysterious cyborg called C.R.A.S.H that was programmed to level New York City. She managed to stop the cyborg, but before she was able to turn him in, Maxwell appeared and rescued C.R.A.S.H. It was also during this time that Nicholas Cho, an employer of Starrware, figured out Power Girl and Karen Starr were one in the same and threatened to expose her. She manages to convince him otherwise and convinces him to serve as her partner. Power Girl then went to Batman to investigate both Maxwell Lord and Donna who stole from her company. Due to Maxwell's powers, though, they forgot about him once again. Focusing on finding Donna, they learned that she died of an apparent drug overdose. Not buying the facts, Kara traced a potential lead to Antarctica. Upon arrival, she fought Divine, a clone of her created by Maxwell Lord and Dr. Sivana. When Power Girl came close to winning, Maxwell appeared, stunning her and taking Divine away. After the encounter, Kara remembered who Maxwell Lord was.
Power Girl tried to convince the JSA and Batman about Lord and the threat he posed. However, during the meeting, another mind wipe causes them to forget about him once again. Power Girl then goes to Professor Ivo's new lab in Vietnam where he's revived, Project Cadmus. Before she could shut it down, Maxwell stopped her and used his powers, to force her to kill the Justice League International. The JLI managed to snap her out of Maxwell's control and decides to join them in stopping him. She then goes to dig up the corpse of Ted Kord to prove that he was murdered. When she takes the body to Batman to examine it, he initially refused, but after some convincing with Batman (the recently returned Bruce Wayne), the two examined the body to learn that Ted Kord was indeed killed by Lord. Power Girl then joins Batman and the JLI in stopping Maxwell Lord. After Lord was defeated, Kara was able to restore her company and refocus it on using her creations to help the general public. Knowing that this would mean Karen Starr would have to enter the public spotlight, she puts some advice she received from Superman into action and begins putting more effort into managing her secret identity.
This section of the history takes place during Convergence, a massive crossover event revisiting characters from past eras and realities. The villains Brainiac and Telos plucked them from their own timeline and stored them together, causing them to cross over into each others' reality. Its precise chronological placement and canonicity may be unclear.
After the Pre-crisis Earth-Two Metropolis is taken by Brainiac and Telos, Power Girl is trapped in a dome and she loses her powers. She is forced to live as a human and has trouble adjusting. After the dome goes down and she regaining her powers, she fights Red Son Wonder Woman before being stopped by her Superman. The forces agree to a cease-fire.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Power Girl possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Power Girl's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. Her biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and her bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.
- Heat Vision: Power Girl can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. She can vary the heat and area affected.
- Super-Hearing: Power Girl's hearing is sensitive enough to hear any sound at any volume or pitch. With skill and concentration, she can block out ambient sounds to focus on a specific source or frequency.
- Enhanced Vision Power Girl's vision processes the entire electromagnetic spectrum as well as allowing vast control over selective perception and focus.
This umbrella ability includes the following:
- Electromagnetic Spectrum Vision: Power Girl can see well into most of the electromagnetic spectrum. She can see and identify radio and television signals as well as all other broadcast or transmitted frequencies. Using this ability, she can avoid detection by radar or satellite monitoring methods. This also allows her to see the aura generated by living thing.
- Telescopic Vision: This is the ability to see something at a great distance, without violating the laws of physics. Though limited, the exact extent of the ability is undetermined. In function, it is similar to the zoom lens on a camera.
- X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Power Girls can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. She can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived - such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans - is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.
- Microscopic Vision: This is the ability to see extremely small objects and images down to the atomic level.
- Infrared Vision: Power Girl can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Power Girl is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.
- Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of her dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Power Girl is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, her extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Power Girl is able to maintain continuous strenuous physical action for an indefinite period of time. This based on her body converting yellow solar radiation directly to energy, but is limited by physiological and psychological needs to eat, drink, and sleep.
- Superhuman Strength: Power Girl's strength is augmented by yellow solar radiation interacting with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of her musculature. Her strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. It is this act of conscious will that enables her to perform physical feats that are beyond the mere application force, such as moving a mountain top without said rock crumbling under its own mass.
- Superhuman Speed: Power Girl is able to move at incredible speed by sheer force of will. This extends to her perceptions and allows for feats such as catching bullets in mid flight as well as covering vast distances in little or no time.
This also confers:
- Super-Breath: Power Girl is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from her lungs. She can chill the air as it leaves her lungs to freeze targets. She can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into her lungs.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Kara has trained with several notable teachers including her teammate Wildcat, who is a world-renowned boxer and hand to hand combatant. She was also trained in Karate by martial arts instructor Mongo Krebs.
- Genius Level Intellect: Power Girl has shown enhanced memorization, intelligence, and computational abilities.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Power Girl possesses the same potential weaknesses as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Vulnerability to Psionics: Kara Zor-L is as vulnerable to psionic attacks as a normal human being. She is subject to mental domination attacks against her. Those whose mental powers are superior to her own have been able to render her unconscious or disrupt her natural thought processes in battle.
- Vulnerability to Raw Materials: Power Girl was vulnerable to unprocessed, natural materials, such as branches and rocks for a short while.
- Power Limitation: Kara's x-ray vision cannot penetrate lead or lead-lined walls, or objects of dense enough structure. Certain energies also can be used to block her from visually analyzing them.
- Power Instability: Originally Power Girl, as an Earth-Two Kryptonian, did not function on solar power, but her own body generated its own energies. However, based on recent events, Kara operates in a similar way to the New Earth universe Kryptonians, whereby she requires solar energy to function at peak capacity, or her powers fade to greatly reduced levels, some disappearing entirely if her solar reserves are empty. How Power Girl's powers function under suns not colored red or yellow is unknown.
- Kara's known superpowers appear to be based on yellow solar radiation rather than her own internally generated bio-energy. As revealed by Psycho-Pirate (Roger Hayden) and repeated in 52 Vol 1 36, Kara is the extra-dimensional counterpart of Supergirl native to the Earth-Two dimension, which was destroyed during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and erased from existence. Previously she was thought to be an Atlantean being.
- Kara's powers are also NOT affected by New Earth dimension Kryptonite, as shown in Superman #670. In pre-Crisis times, Kryptonite from one dimension did work on a Kryptonian from another dimension as shown when Ultraman from Earth-Three fought Kal-L and the Earth-One Superman. However, this is no longer the case. Kryptonite from different dimensions does not affect Kryptonians from a different universe. As of Infinite Crisis Vol 1 7, it has been positively shown that the Kryptonite available in the mainstream DCU does not affect Kryptonians from other universes, such as the now dead Kal-L or Superboy-Prime.
- Power Girl's powers and weaknesses had fluctuated so much that by 2002 it became a plot point in the comics.
- Currently it is not explained in any published story, how Kara survived the universal reset of all beings in the reformatted universe at the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths which affected all other beings and its parallel higher dimensions, such as the Olympian Gods and Mister Mxyztplk, who despite their near infinite power levels, were affected by the reset.
- Power Girl has gone by many human names, some of which include: Karen Starr, Karen Steele, Kara Scott, Kara Batson, and Karen Danvers.
- Power Girl's original Post-Crisis origin, was reminiscent of the Pre-Crisis Mon-El and Halk Kar's origins of suffering from amnesia and being mistaken for a relative of Superman.
- Supergirl Recommended Reading
- 687 Appearances of Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- 274 Images featuring Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- 36 Quotations by or about Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- Character Gallery: Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- ↑ JSA #50
- ↑ The Earth-Two Lois Lane kept a scrapbook of Kara's early years and presented it to her shortly before Lane's death, thus confirming Kara's existence as an Earth-Two being. as shown in Infinite Crisis #4
- ↑ Infinite Crisis #2
- ↑ All-Star Comics #58
- ↑ Power Girl's Phantom Pregnancy
- ↑ Birds of Prey #42
- ↑ Power Girl (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ Power Girl (Volume 2) #10
- ↑ Power Girl (Volume 2) #23
- ↑ Convergence: Action Comics #2
- ↑ Power Girl #3
- ↑ Supergirl (Volume 4) #16
- ↑ JSA #32
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This character is or was a member of the Justice League of America, or the Justice League in any of its various incarnations, sworn by a duty to act as guardians of America and the world by using their skills and/or superpowers to protect Earth from both interstellar and domestic threats.
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