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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 the Kryptonian Supergirl and first cousin to Kal-L, the Superman of Earth-Two. Possessing her cousin's superhuman strength and ability to fly, she took his 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. This was later revealed to be a deception by a projection of Arion. 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. According to Kara, the trip took 60 years to finish.
Unlike Kal-L's ship which was designed for fast travel, Kara's "Symbioship" was designed to hold Kara in stasis during her development through the prolonged voyage. In addition, the ship's artificial intelligence had the life experiences and education of a Kryptonian in the form of a virtual reality program wherein she could interact with life-like copies of her parents and fellow Kryptonians. When she landed on Earth, Kara was the age of 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 a family environment to assist her transition toward 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. She never wore a mask or other disguise between her two identities and, at some point, her identity would be revealed to the public. During this time, Kara developed a close friendship with Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Earth-Two Batman and Catwoman.
Following the events of the original Crisis, Kara's background was completely altered. The reality wave that eliminated the Krypton of the Earth-Two dimension changed Kara into the descendant of the Atlantean sorcerer Arion, having been frozen in suspended animation for millennia until the present day.
After the Justice Society disbanded, Power Girl joined the Justice League. Later, while a member of Justice League Europe, she was badly injured by the second Gray Man. Superman assisted in her medical treatment, using his heat-vision to perform surgery on her otherwise-invulnerable tissues. Although she recovered, she was significantly weaker, lost all of her vision powers, and temporarily lost her ability to fly.
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 bad 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, Power Girl was shocked to learn from Arion that her Atlantean origin was a lie. The story was crafted for her own protection, and was created by her foster mother, Lois Lane.
The Psycho-Pirate showed Kara multiple origins in an effort to drive her insane, but eventually revealed that her Kryptonian origin was her true origin. Power Girl was not only a survivor of Krypton, she was also a survivor of the entire Earth-Two universe. It is still unclear why she survived the Crisis retaining her pre-Crisis origin, when other Earth-Two figures, such as Jay Garrick and Alan Scott, did not.
The Other Survivors
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. He also reiterated her pre-Crisis history as his cousin. A touch from the ailing Lois Lane-Kent inexplicably restored Power Girl's memories of Earth-Two.
Soon after this revelation, she was confronted by Superboy-Prime, who rendered her unconscious. In her sleep, she was attached to a "tuning fork," a device controlled by Alex Luthor, who intended to use the device to bring back the multiple Earths. Alexander Luthor, Jr. and Psycho Pirate coerced Black Adam (who was also attached to the machine) into saying "SHAZAM!," and used the now-raw magical energy to power the tower. After the recreation of a duplicate Earth-Two, everyone associated with that Earth was subsequently transported to it. However, Power Girl would remain on the core Earth reality because of her proximity to the tower.
After arriving on the recreated Earth-Two, Lois Kent collapsed and died. This led to a violent confrontation between the two Supermen, at the end of which, Kal-L came to the realization that the recreated Earth-Two had not been a "perfect world" because "a perfect earth doesn't need a Superman."
Kara was freed by Wonder Girl and Kon-El and joined them in fighting Superboy-Prime and Alexander Luthor, Jr.. During the savage battle on Mogo between Superboy-Prime and the two Supermen, Kal-L was killed. Power Girl arrived on Mogo with the Green Lantern Corps just in time to bid a tearful farewell to her dying cousin.
Kara's recognized history as an Earth-Two being was re-established as her natural state. How she continued as an Earth-Two dimensional being despite everyone else from the same original Earth-Two dimension being destroyed and reformatted to current Earth natives -- including Alan Scott and Jay Garrick and every other dimensional survivor such as Captain Marvel (Earth-S) and Captain Marvel (Billy Batson) -- has NOT been specifically clarified. She has been retconned into being powered by yellow sun radiation, as was her cousin, Kal-L, in Infinite Crisis, where flying through a red sun depowered him (originally, all Earth 2 kryptonians had his powers already in Krypton, but considerably reduced by the greater gravity, and no mentions to yellow sun was made as power source).
To further complicate the matter of her basis and identity, Kara is now (as of Justice Society (Vol 3) #9) to have been raised as the cousin of the current Superman and living with the current Kent Family and inspired by her cousin to join the Justice Society as done by Kal-L in the Earth-Two dimension (as shown most recently in 52 issue 36) where her cousin Kal-L was training her and announced her superhero appearance. Currently Kara remembers living through both histories.
Power Girl was shown to have been working under the guise of Nightwing in the separated Kryptonian city of New Kandor. Kara Zor-L was working alongside her dimensional counterpart, Supergirl, who had adopted the alias of Flamebird while on New Kandor. When they left New Kandor, Kara Zor-L and Supergirl had revealed that the supporter of the cult of the Saturn Queen was not the Primary Earth Superman but Ultraman operating under the guise of Superman's identity. After exposing Ultraman, Supergirl decided to leave New Kandor. Power Girl wanted to stay and overthrow them completely. Supergirl dragged Power Girl out of New Kandor, which led to a strain between the two. Power Girl went on to help re-form the current roster of the Justice Society of America, where she was elected Chairperson of the team. She is helped the Earth-22 Superman adjust to life on New Earth and worked to come to grips with the death of her cousin Kal-L.
When confronting the super-being known as Gog, Power Girl was sent to the parallel Earth known as Earth-2 as part of Gog's understanding of "sending her home." Thinking she had somehow returned to her home reality of Earth-Two, she sought to adapt to life there with the counterparts to her long dead (and historically erased) friends. But she noticed several major differences to her own reality in the form of Helena Wayne, who was going to murder the Earth-2 Joker. Kara took the brunt of the Joker's electrical attack, preventing Helena from actually doing the deed and saving Helena from making a terrible mistake. However, Helena immediately sided with the long missing Earth-2 Power Girl who brutalized Kara Zor-L. Escaping, Power Girl defeated her crazed doppelganger from Earth-2 before being felled by a mental attack from Brainwave Jr., who revealed to the JSI that the two Power Girls were in fact the same person up to a point. The coming of the JSA with Starman, eased the situation, and the JSA took their leave of Earth-2 with their Power Girl in tow. Starman revealed to Stargirl that the JSI would play a significant role in Power Girl's future.
Power Girl was trying to avoid fighting her unbalanced Earth-2 counterpart and her associates of the Justice Society Infinity as she sought to return to her adopted reality and friends.
Once back in the New Earth reality, Power Girl resumed her position as leader of the JSA. She also began devoting more time to her old R&D firm, Starrware Labs. She has since resigned as leader of the full JSA team and has formed a subset team known as the JSA All Stars which she leads composed of the younger members of the full JSA team including Magog, until a clash of attitudes lead her to kick him off the team.
Around the same time she struck up a friendship with the young superheroine Atlee aka Terra III, who served as her sidekick in confrontations with several villains including Ultra-Humanite during his attempts to take over Power Girl's body to gain her immense power, even temporary gaining control of Terra's as part of one of his plans until Power Girl defeated him and restored her young friend to her rightful body with the help of Atlee's people.
Kara was recently fighting against her resurrected "aunt" Black Lantern Lois Lane-Kent of Pre-Crisis Earth-Two, who is seeking to kill the New Earth Martha Kent and Lois Lane-Kent and uncle Kal-L. She was instrumental in completely destroying Kal-L's corpse so it could not ever again be used as a weapon in the future as it was by Nekron. Though that destruction also meant Kal-L's body was forever destroyed and not returned to its grave on New Earth.
- Kryptonian Physiology: Under the effects of a "yellow" sun, Kara possesses the same potential powers as an average Kryptonian. These include:
- Solar Energy Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Kara'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: Kara 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: Kara' 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 Kara'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: Kara 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. Kara's 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: Kara's can see with better acuity in darkness, and to a degree in total darkness.
- Flight: Kara 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, Kara is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, her extends this protection against toxins and diseases.
- Superhuman Stamina: Kara 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: Kara'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: Kara 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: Kara 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, Kara 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 can be harmed if hit by unprocessed, natural materials, such as branches and rocks.
- 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.
- Power and Background problems
- 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 supposed to be 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 most recently 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.
- Also most of what Kara remembers of the Silver Age Power Girl/Huntress stories involving Power Girl was revealed to be dream instead of memory.
- 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 reminicent of the Pre-Crisis Mon-El and Halk Kar's origins of suffering from amnesia and being mistaken for a relative of Superman.
- Power Girl (Volume 1)
- Power Girl (Volume 2)
- All-Star Comics
- JSA All-Stars
- JSA Classified
- Justice Society of America (Volume 3)
- 653 Appearances of Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- 242 Images featuring Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- 33 Quotations by or about Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- Character Gallery: Kara Zor-L (Earth-Two)
- Power Girl at dccomics.com
- Power Girl at Wikipedia.org
- Power Girl Online
- Monitor Duty: Power Girl
- Bob Rozakis Power Girl article at Silver Bullet Comics
- The Origin of Power Girl at DC Comics' Heroes and Villains Page
- Galatea at the DC Animated Universe Wikia
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- ↑ Justice Society of America (Volume 3) #23
- ↑ 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 #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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