30 June 2010

Onscreen History of Supergirl and Power Girl

Supergirl first appeared in 1959. Since that time several characters have assumed the name despite various origins - sometimes not even being Kryptonian. Supergirl was one of the few heroes to make her media debut in her own self-titled feature film. The 1984 movie was a bomb then and has virtually been forgotten by now.

In the movie, Kara Zor-El becomes Earth's hero when her cousin Superman is off on an intergalactic mission.

Kara would next appear in Superman: The Animated Series in 1998, this time as Kara In-Ze from Krypton's sister world Argos (keeping Superman as the lone survivor of Krypton).

This Supergirl would befriend Batgirl in a crossover with The New Batman Adventures.

In "Girls Night Out" the two heroines took down team-up villainesses Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.

This same incarnation of Supergirl would also appear in Justice League Unlimited in 2004 where she would have to fight her clone Galatea who was based on the design of the comic book character Power Girl, herself an alternate world version of Supergirl.

In JLU's final season, Kara grew up a bit, getting a more traditional look and going 1,000 years in the future to join the Legion of Superheroes.

Two Karas have appeared on Smallville. The first in 2004 claimed to be a Kryptonian messenger and had super powers, though she did not claim to be his relative. She even wanted to repopulate their race with him. It turned out she was just a puppet of Jor-El trying to get Clark to start his hero training (which I am not sure he has done yet).

The real Supergirl appeared in 2007 as a series regular for a season. This Kara, Kara Zor-El was in fact Kal-El's actually cousin and had his same powers. She has since gone looking for other Kryptonian survivors.

Supergirl also cameoed in 2008's Justice League: The New Frontier, though 2 seconds of screen time may not even count as a cameo.

It really doesn't seem too likely that we will be seeing much of Supergirl in the future, which is a shame for such a recognizable character. She may appear again on Smallville but she probably wont be getting her own series any time soon. And it is doubtful after the 1984 debacle that she will get her own film, at this rate Superman himself's film career is uncertain. Her best shot is probably at appearing in an adaptation of the historic DC Crisis story, where the head banded Supergirl died. Good luck with that Kara...

Update: June 30 2010

In the year since the original post, the Superman Batman movie series has expanded the exposure of Supergirl. First Power Girl appeared in Public Enemies.

In September, Supergirl is slated to be the focus of Apocalypse.

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