Welcome to the 2021 A to Z Challenge! My theme this year is DC Comics. And that’s mostly because of my undying affection for the comic book characters and stories that I grew up reading in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. So stay tuned all month to (maybe) learn a little something about 26 corners of the DC Multiverse.
Power Girl is a bit of an enigma. Power Girl both is and isn’t Superman’s cousin from Krypton. How is that possible? Well, it all depends on when you’re reading a story involving Power Girl.
Starting out, Power Girl was the Earth-2 version of Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-L. In that reality, Kara was never Supergirl… But she basically had all the same powers as Superman and Supergirl. She had lots of adventures with the Earth-2 version of Huntress (who was actually Batman and Catwoman’s daughter, Helena Wayne). Are you still with me?
This is why there was a Crisis on Infinite Earths to try and streamline the continuity.
But the Crisis presented a problem. Power Girl still existed in the new DC Universe that survived the destruction of the multiverse. But since all awareness of Earth-2 was erased from existence, a new origin was needed for Power Girl. That meant she couldn’t be a Kryptonian anymore. She couldn’t be the Golden Age Superman’s cousin.
Part of this is because the powers that be at DC Comics were insistent at this point that Superman return to the status of the Last Son of Krypton. Superman could be the only Kryptonian in the universe.
So for a time in the late 80s and (I’m pretty sure) throughout the 90s, Power Girl’s origin involved being a descendent of an ancient Atlantian sorcerer. And I think, during this time, she retained her powers of flight, strength, speed, and invulnerability. She also went by the alias of Karen Starr in her civilian life.
Then, as DC approached the coming Infinite Crisis in the mid-2000s, Power Girl was returned to her original origin as the cousin of Earth-2’s Superman…
But how could that be? There was no Earth-2.
Somehow, Karen’s memories of her former life were restored, as were all of her full Kryptonian powers. And at the end of Infinite Crisis, when the multiverse was brought back, so was Earth-2. But then I think it got confusing again because Power Girl was returned to Earth-2 where she had been declared missing. Though I’m pretty sure there was already an Earth-2 Power Girl who declared the Power Girl we knew from the main continuity Earth as an imposter.
I’m doing great with this profile of Power Girl, huh?
I found her character interesting during all of that confusing with her origin and as they attempted to return her to who she once was. For a while, she had her own title which skirted the line between serious and absurd, which I thought hilarious.
I don’t believe Power Girl has ever appeared in anything live action. However, she was a key player in the animated film Superman/Batman: Public Enemies, which adapted the story that saw President Lex Luthor declaring Batman and Superman enemies of the state. Power Girl was voiced by Smallville actress Alison Mack.
Have you ever heard of Power Girl? Are you aware of any of her confusing history? If so, what did I leave out? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!