"The Supergirl from Krypton!" debuted in Action Comics #252 (May 1959). The character was created by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino. Kara Zor-El is the paternal cousin of Kal-El from Argo City on Krypton. The city survived the destruction of the planet, but became irradiated with kryptonite. Fifteen-year-old Kara was rocketed away to Earth by her parents, Zor-El and Alura In-Ze. Superman places Kara in Midvale Orphanage to protect and mentor her. She chooses the secret identity of Linda Lee and disguises herself with a pigtailed brunette wig.

Action Comics #252 (May 1959) by Curt Swan and Al Plastino

Detective Comics produced a copyright ashcan for a Superwoman title in late 1941, and a Supergirl title in 1944. Both names have been used by various DC characters over the years, beginning with Action Comics #60 (May 1943). In the story "Lois Lane -- Superwoman!" by Jerry Siegel and George Roussos, Lois dreams that she has superpowers after receiving a blood transfusion from Superman. In Action Comics #156 (May 1951), Lois dons a blonde wig as Superwoman. In Superboy #5 (November–⁠December 1949), Superboy helps Queen Lucy of Borgonia pretend to be "Supergirl." In Superman #123 (August 1958), Jimmy Olsen uses a magic gem to wish a "Super-Girl" into existence.

Kara Zor-El first appeared in DC advertisements during the spring of 1959. According to Al Plastino, the only discussion was, "Should she be blonde?"

Superboy 52 (November-December 1949) Superman 123 (August 1958)"Introducing The Girl of Steel!" (February 1959)

Superman creator Jerry Siegel returned to DC Comics in 1959 and contributed Supergirl stories for Action Comics throughout the 1960s. The first Super-Pet companion of Supergirl, Streaky the Supercat, was created by Siegel and artist Jim Mooney. In Action Comics #261 (February, 1960), a stray cat is accidentally exposed to X-Kryptonite and given temporary superpowers. Comet the Super-Horse was created by Jerry and artist Curt Swan, first appearing in Adventure Comics #293 (October 1962). Comet was an ancient centaur transformed into an immortal horse. Comet and Supergirl first meet in Action Comics #293 (September 1962).

Supergirl meets the Legion of Super-Heroes in Action Comics #267 (August 1960). Red kryptonite temporarily ages Supergirl into a "Superwoman" and she is unable to join due to the 18-year-old age limit. Supergirl encounters the Legion again in Action Comics #276 (May 1961). After Brainiac 5 helps Supergirl pass the trials, both are chosen to become Legionnaires. They develop feelings for each other, but Supergirl leaves the 30th century to continue assisting Superman.

In Action Comics #273 (February 1961), editor Mort Weisinger asked readers to "Pick a new hair style for Linda (Supergirl) Lee!" The hairstyles were designed by Jim Mooney. The "Campus Cuddle-Bun" received 10,112 of the 20,477 votes, officially appearing in Action Comics #281 (October 1961).

Pick A New Hair Style For Linda Lee, Action Comics #273 (February 1961)

Superman would not allow Supergirl to be adopted from the orphanage, fearing that she would expose her identity. Since her arrival, Kara was forced to operate as a "secret weapon" for Superman. The plots often limited her power usage away from the public eye. In Action Comics #279 (July 1961), 16-year-old Kara is adopted from Midvale by Fred and Edna Danvers. She takes their surname, becoming Linda Lee Danvers. After proving herself to Superman, Supergirl is formally introduced to the world in Action Comics #285 (February 1962).

Action Comics 285 (February 1962)

A new costume was revealed in Adventure Comics #397 (September 1970). The outfit was assembled by Wonder Woman based on designs submitted by readers Louise Ann Kelley and Jean Bray.

Supergirl, Adventure Comics #397 (September 1970)

Different costumes were featured over the next two years including a swimsuit designed by Margret Berg in issue #409 (August 1971). The most recognizable Supergirl uniform of the era is the balloon sleeve blouse and hotpants design by John Sposato, first appearing in issue #410 (September 1971).

A solo Supergirl title was published for ten issues from November 1972 to October 1974. After quitting her job at KSF-TV in San Francisco, Linda Danvers enrolls in the School of Drama at Vandyre University.

Supergirl, Adventure Comics #410 (September 1971) Supergirl 1 (November 1972) by Bob Oksner

Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen, Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane, and Supergirl were combined into The Superman Family beginning with Jimmy Olsen issue #164 (April–⁠May 1974). The Superman Family was published for 59 issues until September 1982.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl debuted in November 1982. The original series logo was designed by Todd Klein. Linda Danvers moved to Chicago and studied psychology at Lake Shore University. A new uniform was introduced in issue #13, retitled Supergirl for the remainder of the series. In issue #17 (March 1984), Supergirl added a headband as a "symbol of citizenship on Krypton!" The updated look was used in screen tests for the 1984 film Supergirl starring Helen Slater.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl 1 (November 1982) Supergirl vol 2, 13 (November 1983)

Power Girl debuted in All-Star Comics #58 (February 1976). Power Girl was originally Kara Zor-L, the cousin of Superman on Earth-Two. In the multiverse, Earth-Two includes characters from the Golden Age of DC Comics. Power Girl was rocketed from Krypton, remaining in stasis before arriving as a woman in her twenties. Power Girl survived the destruction of Earth-Two during the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event and her origin would be retconned over the years.

Supergirl of Earth-One was killed battling the Anti-Monitor in Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 (October 1985). Her body is brought to the Fortress of Solitude before being placed in orbit on the opposite side of the Moon. Superman later delivers Kara to her Kryptonian parents in Superman #414 (December 1985). After the defeat of the Anti-Monitor, the multiverse worlds were merged into New Earth.

Crisis on Infinite Earths 7 (October 1985)

The "Crisis on Infinite Earths" led to continuity problems for Legion of Super-Heroes stories in the 30th and 31st centuries. On New Earth, Superman never became Superboy and Supergirl never existed. Kal-El remembers Superboy-Prime and elements of the Crisis, but Kara is seemingly forgotten. The Time Trapper created a Pocket Universe containing a copy of Krypton and Earth-One. The Superboy of the Pocket Universe died saving the Legion, leaving Earth unprotected from the Phantom Zone criminals.

The Pocket Universe Lex Luthor created a superpowered being named Matrix. Matrix has super-strength and the power of flight plus telekinesis, invisibility, and shapeshifting abilities. The character was created by writer Roger Stern, first appearing in Superman vol. 2, #16 (April 1988). Matrix is first referred to as "Supergirl" in The Adventures of Superman #441 (June 1988).

Matrix assumes the role of Supergirl on New Earth and she is nicknamed "Mae" by the Kents. Matrix becomes romantically involved with Alexander Luthor II, the clone disguise of Lex Luthor on New Earth. A one-shot Supergirl and Team Luthor (April 1993) was released during the "Funeral for a Friend" storyline following the death of Superman. Matrix appeared as Supergirl in a four-issue Supergirl miniseries dated February–May 1994.

Supergirl and Team Luthor 1 (April 1993) Supergirl vol 3, 1 (February 1994)

Writer Peter David rebooted the character, introducing Linda Danvers of New Earth in Supergirl vol. 4, #1 (September 1996). Linda lives in Leesburg, a reference to Linda Lee Danvers. Linda and Matrix merge to create a new Supergirl. In issue #51 (December 2000), Linda assembles a new costume based on the 1998 design of Kara In-Ze in Superman: The Animated Series.

The Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El returned in the six-part series finale "Supergirl: Many Happy Returns" in issues #75–⁠80 (December 2002–May ⁠2003). In order to prevent the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Linda travels backwards in time to replace Kara on Earth-One. Linda marries the Superman of Earth-One and they have a daughter named Ariella Kent.

Supergirl vol 4, 1 (September 1996) Supergirl vol 4, 75 (December 2002)

Kara Zor-El of New Earth first appeared in Superman/Batman #8 (May 2004). Kara is the paternal cousin of Superman, sent from Argo City to escape an attack from Brainiac. Kara takes the secret identity of Linda Lang, the foster niece of Lana Lang. The character was featured in Supergirl vol. 5 from October 2005 to October 2011.

Following the events of "Infinite Crisis," Kara becomes a Legionnaire in the 31st century. Legion of Super-Heroes vol. 5 was renamed Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes for issues #16–⁠36 (May 2006–⁠January 2008).

Kara Zor-El of Prime Earth first appeared in Flashpoint vol. 2, #5 (October 2011). The "New 52" Supergirl is the sole survivor of Argo City. Supergirl vol. 6 debuted in November 2011. Kara lives as a high school student adopted by the Danvers, taking the name Linda Danvers. Kara becomes a Red Lantern during the "Red Daughter of Krypton" storyline in issue #28 (April 2014).

Supergirl vol 6, 1 (November 2011) Supergirl vol 6, 28 (April 2014)

The series was relaunched after the one-shot Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (October 2016). In Supergirl vol. 7, #1 (November 2016), Kara Zor-El is adopted by employees of the Department of Extranormal Operations (D.E.O.). She assumes the identity of Kara Danvers. The Rebirth-era series incorporated various elements of the Supergirl television show that aired from 2015 to 2021.

Supergirl: Rebirth 1 (October 2016) Supergirl vol 7, 1 (November 2016)

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is a limited eight-part series dated August 2021–⁠April 2022. The plot features classic elements from the Silver Age including Krypto, Comet, and red kryptonite. The story was written by Tom King, penciled and inked by Bilquis Evely, and colored by Matheus Lopes. On January 30, 2023, DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn announced a solo Supergirl film based on concepts from the series. Actress Milly Alcock will star as Kara Zor-El.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow 1 (August 2021)

In the ongoing Dawn of DC initiative, Kara wears wears a jacket similar to Kon-El in the new Superman Family. The updated designs debuted in Superman vol. 6, #1 (April 2023).

Steve Beach, Action Comics #1052 (April 2023)


The Supergirl movie was released in the United Kingdom on July 19, 1984, and in North America on November 21, 1984. The film was directed by Jeannot Szwarc and stars Helen Slater as Kara Zor-El. Kara is transported from Argo City to Earth in search of an Omegahedron. Kara enrolls in Midvale School and adopts the secret identity of Linda Lee, cousin of Clark Kent.

The movie was funded by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, producers of the Christopher Reeve Superman films. A Superman cameo was originally planned, but Reeve backed out before filming began. The feature earned $14.3 million in North America, far short of the $35 million budget. A one-shot Supergirl Movie Special comic adaptation was published, dated February 1985.

In 2007 and 2010, Helen Slater guest starred on Smallville as Lara-El, the biological mother of Clark Kent. From 2015–2021, Slater portrayed Eliza Danvers, the adopted mother of Kara Danvers on the Supergirl television series. Slater provided the voice of Martha Kent in the animated series DC Super Hero Girls in 2015 and 2016. A computer generated model based on Slater as Supergirl appeared in the 2023 DCEU film The Flash.

Helen Slater as Supergirl (1984)

Smallville premiered on October 16, 2001, on The WB. The show starred Tom Welling as a young Kal-El in his adopted Kansas hometown. Adrianne Palicki guest starred as "Kara from Krypton" in the season 3 episode "Covenant." The character was revealed to be a human possessed by Jor-El.

Laura Vandervoort debuted as Kara Zor-El in the season 7 premiere "Bizarro" on September 27, 2007. Kara was trapped in suspended animation for 18 years before arriving in Kansas. She is adopted as Kara Kent and fights crime as "The Maiden of Might." The character is only referred to as "Supergirl" in the title of season 10, episode 3. In 2016, Laura Vandervoort guest starred as Indigo/Brainiac 8 for three episodes on the Supergirl television series.

Laura Vandervoort as Kara Zor-El in Smallville (2010)

Superman: The Animated Series aired on Kids' WB from September 6, 1996, to February 12, 2000. Supergirl debuted in the two-part season finale "Little Girl Lost" on May 2, 1998. Kara In-Ze takes the adopted name of Kara Kent. The character was voiced by Nicholle Tom. Supergirl later appeared in The New Batman Adventures episode "Girl's Night Out," followed by two brief cameos in the animated Justice League series. Nicholle Tom reprised the role in Justice League Unlimited episodes from July 31, 2004, to May 13, 2006.

Kara Zor-El appears in the animated film Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, based on the Superman/Batman comic series. The film was released to home video on September 28, 2010. Kara was voiced by actress Summer Glau.

Melissa Benoist starred as Kara Zor-El in the critically-acclaimed Supergirl television series. Supergirl premiered on CBS on October 26, 2015. Seasons 2–5 aired on The CW from October 10, 2016, to November 9, 2021. Kara assumes the civilian identity of 24-year-old Kara Danvers, adopted sister of Alex Danvers. Season 2 introduced Tyler Hoechlin as Kal-El/Superman.

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl (2018)

Supergirl is voiced by Meg Donnelly in the Legion of Super-Heroes animated film, released direct-to-video on February 7, 2023. Kara Zor-El attends Legion Academy in the 31st century and becomes romantically involved with Brainiac 5. Donnelly later screen tested for the live-action role of Kara Zor-El in the upcoming DC Studios film Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow.

Legion of Super-Heroes (2023)

Sasha Calle stars as Supergirl in The Flash, released on June 16, 2023. Kara Zor-El is the cousin of Kal-El from an alternative universe. Kara is captured and held prisoner, similar to "Subject 1" from Project Superman in the "Flashpoint" comic storyline of 2011. The Supergirl character design resembles Lara Lane-Kent, an imaginary daughter of Clark and Lois that appeared in Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Three #7 (January 2015).

Sasha Calle as Supergirl in The Flash (2023)

Milly Alcock will star as Kara Zor-El in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow. The film will be part of "Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters" in the DC Universe (DCU). The plot will adapt elements from the 2021–2022 comic book series written by Tom King. The script has been assigned to playwright and screenwriter Ana Nogueira. Production for Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is scheduled to begin in March 2024.


On July 20, 2006, the United States Postal Service issued a series of DC Comics Super Heroes postage stamps and postcards. The collection contains the first appearances of Supergirl on an official postage stamp. The Silver Age image was penciled by Curt Swan and inked by Stan Kaye. The cover of The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (November 1982) was penciled by Rich Buckler and inked by Dick Giordano. The stamps are collected in the Smithsonian Institution National Postal Museum.

2006 USPS : DC Comics Super Heroes - Supergirl 2006 USPS : DC Comics Super Heroes - Supergirl (November 1982)

On September 17, 2021, Royal Mail issued the DC Collection of postage stamps in the UK. The Justice League sheet was illustrated by Jim Cheung and colored by Laura Martin. The "Supergirl and Shazam!" stamp contains ink highlights that fluoresce under UV light.

2021 Royal Mail : DC Collection Justice League  - Supergirl and Shazam


The first two Supergirl trading cards appear in the 1966 Comic Book Foldees set from Topps. The "Adventurous Supergirl" and "High Flying Supergirl" cards were also distributed in Canada by O-Pee-Chee, and in the UK by A&BC Gum.

1966 Topps : Comic Book Foldees
1968 Total Club Giovani : S.O.S. Terra Cerca Petrolio
1969 Libro Festival del Mundo de la Historieta
1970 Topps : Comic Cover Stickers
1977 DC Super Heroes Pizza Stickers
1977 Russel's : Super Hero Color-A-Deck
1977 Figuritas Cine Acción : King Kong
1978 Whitman : Superman Card Game
1978 Weetabix : Superman Action Picture-Cards
1978 Arnold Harris : DC Super Heroes Bread Stickers
1981 Festival del Dibujo Animado
1982 Colin Penn Promotions : The Superheroes Swop Sensation
1983 Superman French Fries : Super Powers Collection
1983 Barratt : DC Super Heroes Picture Cards
1984 Editora Abril : Super-Heróis Em Açào!
1984 Topps : Supergirl Stickers & Story Cards
1985-1987 Cromy : Super Amigos Match 4
1986 Agencia Reyauca / Salo : Super Amigos
1989 Cropan : Superman Superpastel
1990 Ertl Company : DC Comics Super Heroes
1990-1992 Nature Made : DC Comics Super Heroes Collectible Cards
1992 SkyBox : Doomsday: The Death of Superman
1993 Previews : The Previews File
1993 SkyBox : DC SkyCaps
1993 SkyBox : The Return of Superman
1994 SkyBox Master Series: DC Comics Edition
1995 DC Comics : Pepsi Cards
1995 SkyBox : DC Legends '95 Power Chrome
1995 Fleer/SkyBox : DC versus Marvel Comics
1996 Fleer/SkyBox : DC Outburst: Firepower
1996–1997 Fleer/SkyBox : DC OverPower CCG
1997 Vieníssima : DC Super Heroes
1999 Barcel : DC Super Heroes Cromo Cards
2004–2007 Upper Deck Vs. System : DC Comics
2005 Winning Moves : DC Comics Top Trumps
2005 Mego Museum : World's Greatest Super-Heroes
2006 USPS : DC Comics Super Heroes
2007 Rindedos : DC Super Heroes Cartas De Poder
2007 Rittenhouse Archives : DC Legacy
2012 Sonic Tots featuring Justice League
2012 Cryptozoic : DC Comics: The New 52
2012–2023 Cryptozoic : DC Deck-Building Game
2013 Cryptozoic : Superman: The Legend
2013 Cryptozoic : DC Comics: The Women of Legend
2014 Cryptozoic : DC Comics Epic Battles
2014 Fun Collection : Justice League Alfajor
2015 DC Collectibles : Justice League Tarot
2015 CBS : Supergirl Season One Promo
2015 Cryptozoic : DC Comics Super Villains
2016 The CW : Supergirl Season Two Promo
2016 WizKids : DC Comics Dice Masters
2016 Supermarchés Match : Le Collector des Super Héros
2016–2022 WizKids : DC Comics Dice Masters
2017 Cryptozoic : DC Comics Bombshells
2017–2019 Panini MetaX : DC Comics
2017–2023 HeroClix : DC Comics
2018 Cryptozoic : DC Comics Bombshells II
2018 Cryptozoic : Supergirl Season 1
2018 McDonald's Happy Meal : Justice League Action
2018 Topps 80th Anniversary Wrapper Art
2019 Blue Ocean : LEGO Batman Trading Card Game
2019 Cryptozoic : DC Comics Bombshells III
2020 The CW : Crisis on Infinite Earths Promo
2020–2023 McFarlane Toys : DC Multiverse Data File Cards
2020 Australia Post : Justice League 60th Anniversary
2021 Royal Mail : DC Collection
2022 Cryptozoic : CZX Crisis on Infinite Earths
2022 Sanshu China : DCEU Trading Cards
2022 Auchan : DC Comics Cartes de Jeu
2022 Campus : Justice League Power Cards
2022–2023 Headstart : DC Comics Ooshies Collector Cards
2022–2024 DC Hybrid Trading Cards by Hro
2023 Coles : Super Hero Builders
2023–2024 Colecciones DKV : Justice League: Comic Arts Vol. 2
2023 Wendy's : DC Universe Mini Figures & Cards
2023 Kayou Anime : DC Glory of the Universe Collection