Supergirl is the name of a fictional character owned by the US entertainment company Time Warner and the title of various comic publications for this character, which Warner's subsidiary DC Comics has been publishing since 1962.
The various publications under the Supergirl title are almost without exception in the genre of science fiction and fantasy comics . In addition, a uniform genre allocation of the various Supergirl comics is not possible, as the various publications, which in the past operated under the Supergirl label, sometimes differ drastically in terms of content: some have elements of romance and love comics , others are humorously colored, some relocate the Supergirl concept to the area of the mystery genre and still others use the figure as a foil for the development of existential philosophical and even esoteric reflections. As mentioned, the only constant has been the retention of its roots in the science fiction genre in almost every interpretation of the character - although this is often pushed into the background.
Publications under the Supergirl title
The fictional character of the Supergirl was first used as a supporting character in the stories of the popular American science fiction comic series Superman . Since the character met with an extremely positive response from the readership of the Superman comics and the readers are always asking for new stories with the Supergirl character, those in charge of the DC publishing house, where the Superman series is still published to this day, decided not to Supergirl To be used longer only as a supporting character in Superman stories, but to also dedicate her own stories to the character, in which Supergirl should play the role of the main character who carries the plot .
At the instigation of the editor-in-chief of the Superman department at DC, Mort Weisinger , stories about Supergirl's solo adventures were first reprinted in the back of the Superman comics, before finally moving on to the character for the first time in the mid-1960s , shortly titled "Supergirl", is a dedicated comic series.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the Supergirl series was merged with the series Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane to form the series Superman Family . Within this series, which brought about two to five stories about the characters mentioned in each issue, one or two stories with Supergirl as the main character usually appeared.
In the 1990s, Supergirl was initially dedicated to a four-part miniseries released between February and May 1994. The author of this series was the American Roger Stern , the visual design of the notebooks was done by the illustrator June Brigman and the ink pen Jackson Guice .
In 1996, a continuous, monthly comic series followed, which brought it to a total of 80 issues, plus three as Supergirl Annual and one as Supergirl # 1,000,000 (1998) titled special issues . This series, the first edition of which appeared in September 1996 and the last edition in May 2003, was written from the first to the last edition by the author Peter David , while the graphic design was done by various artists: the first nine editions were taken care of by the draftsman Gary Frank , who after his departure as a regular draftsman was followed by artists such as Greg Land and Leonard Kirk .
A new Supergirl series has been appearing since 2005 and is currently in its 20th edition and is written by the full-time screenwriter Jeph Loeb . The drawings were taken over by the Briton Ian Churchill, whose work is being revised by the inker Norm Rapmund.
After the official DC restart in autumn 2011, Supergirl was also restarted and initially written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson and drawn by Mahmud Asrar. The series will be published in German as a second story in the Superman booklet series by Panini .
The oldest version of the Supergirl figure and thus the basis of all later variants and interpretations of the character - quasi the original Supergirl - is a figure named Kara Zor- created by the author Otto Binder and his company, the illustrator Al Plastino for Action Comics # 252. El ( Supergirl I ).
Regardless of the significant differences that the various Supergirl comics of the past decades have in terms of basic scenario, plot, character characterization and atmosphere, the Supergirl figure also has some elements that can be found in practically every interpretation: On the one hand, Supergirl is still today was almost always portrayed as a white-skinned, light-blonde, attractive young woman between fifteen and early twenties. In addition, she wears a costume in practically every interpretation that differs considerably in color, dress combination, fabric cut, etc., but which has always been the famous Superman emblem, a stylized S, as a fixed constant on the figure's chest covering garment had a resplendent identification mark.
Intradiegetically, the close connection between Supergirl and Superman has been a feature of virtually all Supergirl versions so far. Significant differences arise from the way, the internal design, this connection. Within the fictional scenario of the Superman / Supergirl comics, a total of four different main versions of the Supergirl character, as well as various side versions, can be determined.
Major versions of the Supergirl character
Power Girl is the last survivor of Earth-2 , represented by the crisis of the parallel earth (Engl. Crisis on Infinite Earths was destroyed). Power Girl first appeared in All Star Comics # 58 in 1976 . The character was created by Gerry Conway . In the course of the Crisis on Infinite Earths the story of how it came about was rewritten and Powergirl was no longer a Kryptonian , but the granddaughter of the Atlantic magician Arion . It was not until the Infinite Crisis of 2006 that her old status as Kryptonian from Earth-2 was restored. It is also much more independent and self-reliant than its Earth-1 counterpart . In contrast to her, she is not wearing a costume based on her cousin, but one in white.
Power Girls real name is Kara Zor-L, she is the cousin of Earth-2 Superman (Kal-L). Since she is also from Krypton , she has the same skills as Superman. Power Girl took the place on Earth-2 that Supergirl occupied on Earth-1. After the crisis , she even took the place of the late Supergirl, but could no longer remember Earth-2 or her past and the origin of her powers.
Since the appearance of Kara Zor-El ( Supergirl V ), there have been repeated arguments between the two that go so far that they can never be in the same place at the same time without attacking each other.
She is a member of the Justice Society of America and the first chairperson of the team. In the "One Year Later" storyline, Power Girl dons the Nightwing costume and fights Ultraman in Kandor (a Kryptonian city shrunk by Brainiac and put in a bottle) .
The first, and undoubtedly best known, variant of Supergirl is a girl named Kara Zor-El, who in Superman comics like Superman comes from the planet Krypton , which was lost in a natural or nuclear disaster . This Supergirl, the daughter of Zor-El , an uncle of Superman and thus his cousin, appeared in the Superman comics from the late 1950s to the mid 1980s. When this great supergirl first appeared in Action Comics # 252 from 1959, it was declared that she had survived the destruction of Krypton because her family was in an area of Krypton called "Argo" at the time of the destruction of the planet, which - According to the physical laws of the real world, of course, extremely implausible - when Krypton exploded from the planet like a shard and was then thrown into space as a separate, smaller new planet, where the inhabitants of Argos would have been able to continue as they did to Krypton Life. When Argo-City was threatened by an asteroid, her father sent her to Earth as a teenager in a rocket to join her cousin Superman. Since the rays of the yellow sun of the solar system gave her the same superpowers as her cousin, she began to help her cousin under the cover name Supergirl as a junior partner in his heroic deeds. Her cousin also gave her a secret identity as Linda Lee and put her - with a dark wig to hide her blond hair - in an orphanage in the sleepy town of Midway , where she lives between her assignments. Linda Lee was later adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers and was called Linda Lee-Danvers .
This original story was used from then on for almost 30 years as the basis of all Supergirl stories. Unusually for comics of the time, Supergirl developed step by step instead of returning to the old status quo at the end of each story like other comic heroes. So she finally left the orphanage and finally moved on to the stories of the 1970s - a fundamental change in the basic situation of the series - with her friend, the teenage scientist Brainiac 5, and his friends from the legion of superheroes in the future, in the 30th Century to live.
After the old Superman series, which had been running since 1938, was discontinued in 1986 in the course of the actions of the Crisis on Infinite Earths and - in a completely overhauled form - was restarted, the character Kara Zor-Els was initially not integrated into the new Superman series. One of the basic plot premises of the new Superman series was that Superman should be the only survivor of his home planet and that there should therefore be no Superman cousin within the Superman series who would also have survived the destruction of Krypton. Supergirl dies in number 7 of Crisis On Infinite Earths .
In order to be able to incorporate a Superman cousin as a Supergirl into the Superman series, at least any Supergirl, despite the temporary editorial ban , several attempts were made to reintroduce the popular character with a non-Kryptonian background story. To the Super Girl stories that hovered tell them, they initially simply invented a new Supergirl, that was indeed visually identical to the Supergirl of the old Superman comics from before 1986 - and thus a high for the nostalgic and the general recognition had - but fundamentally different from this one. This new Supergirl, which the author and illustrator John Byrne presented for the first time in Superman # 18, was no longer related in a biological sense to Superman, but a being from another dimension (the so-called "pocket universe"). When the earth of her dimension was threatened by three Kryptonian criminals, she needed Superman's help. On this earth, Superman had started his superhero career as a superboy, but 10 years before the threat to Earth, he disappeared, leaving his world without a superhero. Lex Luthor and his wife, Lana Lang , fought valiantly against them, but Lana was killed and the world seemed lost without a superhero. In honor of his wife and in memory of Superboy, Lex created an artificial, shape-shifting life form based on his wife's shape (her molecular matrix, to be precise) and gave her the memories of Lana. These beings - initially called the matrix - had shape-changing abilities that enabled them to take on any external shape.
Matrix traveled to our earth to find Superman so that the two of them could together defeat the super villains. But in the fight that followed, her world was destroyed, and Supergirl was now the only survivor. Exceptionally injured from the fight, Superman brought her to our Earth (the regular DC Universe) and left her with the Kents to recover. After meeting Superman in her debut story, the authors let Matrix - who had been deeply impressed by the superhero - finally make the decision to imitate him in the future and to watch over humanity as a superhero. In addition, she decided to stick to a solid physical form as a young woman and, in recognition of her role model, adopted the name "Supergirl" based on this . Matrix also dressed in a costume extremely similar to the Superman's.
The biggest turning point in Supergirl's life was the merger with the earthly woman Linda Danvers .
The Supergirl Linda Danvers was not only based on the name of Linda Lee-Danvers (aka Kara Zor-El → Supergirl I ). The whole series was based on the adventures of the pre-crisis supergirl. Numerous people reappeared in a different form. The Supergirl magazine series of the 90s was, so to speak, a tribute to the Supergirl of the 70s, but was not accepted as this by the fans.
This supergirl also joined the Teen Titans at times .
Eventually, DC relaxed the requirement that Superman be the only surviving Kryptonian, which allowed the writers to introduce a new post-crisis Supergirl who is again Superman's cousin and thus a Kryptonian. In contrast to the pre-crisis Kara-Zor-El, however, she is actually older than Superman. She was already a teenager when Superman was born. However, due to some special circumstances on her trip to Earth, she - still physically a teenager of around 16 years - did not arrive on Earth until Superman was long grown up.
Adaptations of the Supergirl material in film and television
The Supergirl concept of comics has been reclaimed for other media time and again since the early 1980s. The Supergirl interpretations in other media are just as different from one another as the various Supergirl versions of the comic books.
The Supergirl figure was first picked up in a different medium in 1984, when the production company Warner Brothers brought a Supergirl film to the cinemas, which was visually closely and in terms of action partially based on the comic book. The title heroine was played by actress Helen Slater , while well-known actors such as Peter O'Toole and Faye Dunaway appeared in supporting roles . As the Supergirl film turned out to be a commercial flop, failed to recoup its production costs and was also panned by critics and audiences - O'Toole received a golden raspberry for his portrayal as Supergirl's teacher - plans for two sequels were shelved.
In the television series Smallville , which was set in Superman's teenage years, a girl named Kara has appeared as a recurring supporting character since season 7, who is clearly based on the "Kara Zor-El" version of Supergirl - so she not only bears her kryptonic name, but also claims to be from Krypton and to be Clark Kent's cousin - but is never referred to as a Supergirl. This "Supergirl in spe" is embodied by the actress Laura Vandervoort , after a simulation had already appeared in the finale of the third season (3.22 ... from the end ) of the series - embodied by Adrianne Palicki - which is based on a type of machine-induced hypnosis by Jor- El believed he was Clark's cousin and was from Krypton, but that wasn't actually the case.
A Supergirl named Kara In-Zee, who was very closely related to the traditional Supergirl version, also appeared - in the English-language original dubbed by Nicholle Tom - in the animated series Superman: The Animated Series and The Justice League . This version has some differences from the comics; For example, Supergirl's home Argo City is not a split off part of Krypton that flew through space as an asteroid, but an independent twin planet of Krypton. Her last name is also an allusion to the original Supergirl, as her mother Allura In-Zee had him as her maiden name. This supergirl also grows up with Superman's foster parents and not in an orphanage. In the course of these series, this supergirl befriends Batman's assistant Batgirl , is cared for by Superman's friends Green Arrow and Black Canary as foster parents, has to take on an evil clone version of herself ("Galatea") and finally settles - after she gets to know Brainiac 5 - to the legion of superheroes in the 30th century.
The US broadcaster CBS developed a new television series about Supergirl, which was launched under the name Supergirl . Melissa Benoist takes on the leading role . The series is written by Ali Adler ( My Superhero Family ) and Greg Berlanti ( Arrow ). Series production started on October 26, 2015 on CBS.
Supergirl as a reference brand in pop culture
Supergirl has entered international pop culture in a variety of ways:
There are various songs that are named after the character or deal with her, including songs by Anna Naklab , John Gennet , John Cougar Mellencamp , Hilary Duff , Krystal Harris , Reamonn and Urszula Dudziak ( Papaya ), each entitled "Supergirl" , a " Super Girl ”song by Gin Blossoms ,“ That's Really Super, Supergirl ”by the band XTC ,“ Superlungs (My Supergirl) ”by Donovan and the song“ With You ”by Jessica Simpson , which contains the line:“ I wish I could save the world, like I was Supergirl! ".
- Phil Jimenez: The DC Comics Encyclopedia , New York 2004, ISBN 075660592X
- DC Comics: Supergirl Archives , New York 2001, ISBN 1563897377
- “Supergirl: Head first” - essay / presentation on tagesspiegel.de by Stefan Mesch
- Superman Homepage , Report about Supergirl (English)
- Supermanica: Supergirl , Supermanica entry about the pre-crisis version of the Supergirl character
- Supergirl: Maid of Might , Supergirl fansite (English)
- Kara Lives , fansite about Kara Zor-El (English)
- www.razzies.com: Winner of the Golden Raspberry in 1984 ( Memento of the original from January 4, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed August 17, 2007.
- Juliane Wimmer: New Supergirl lands in Smallville. Space View, archived from the original on January 7, 2008 ; Retrieved December 29, 2013 .
- Arthur A .: CBS gives the “Supergirl” series the green light! . In: Filmfutter.com . September 25, 2014. Retrieved January 22, 2015.
- Arthur A .: The “Glee” star Melissa Benoist is CBS '“Supergirl”! . In: Filmfutter.com . January 22, 2015. Accessed January 22, 2015.
- Arthur A .: "Supergirl" flies over the screen from October . In: Filmfutter.com . June 9, 2015. Accessed June 12, 2015.