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Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History

Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History

The vibrant and ever-expanding world of comic books is renowned for its ability to reimagine and reinvent beloved characters, and Supergirl is no exception. Over the years, the iconic “Maid of Might” has seen numerous variations, alternate realities, and reimagined identities that have captivated readers and showcased the boundless potential of this Kryptonian heroine. In this article, we embark on an exhilarating journey through the vast multiverse of comic book history to uncover the top 10 Supergirl variants of all time. From parallel dimensions to alternate timelines, each variant brings a unique twist to the character, offering fans thrilling narratives, fresh perspectives, and extraordinary abilities that showcase the versatility of Supergirl’s legacy.

Kara Zor-El (Classic Supergirl)

Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History - Kara Zor-El (Classic Supergirl)
Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History – Kara Zor-El (Classic Supergirl)

Kara Zor-El (Classic Supergirl) made her first appearance in Action Comics #252, published in 1959. Kara is the cousin of Superman, as they both hail from the planet Krypton. The story of Kara Zor-El begins when her father, Zor-El, sends her in a rocket to Earth to escape the destruction of Krypton. However, due to a malfunction, Kara’s ship is caught in suspended animation, and she arrives on Earth years after her cousin Kal-El (Superman) has become an adult and established himself as a superhero.

Matrix (Post-Crisis Supergirl)

Matrix (Post-Crisis Supergirl)
Matrix (Post-Crisis Supergirl)

After the Post-Crisis reboot in the late 1980s, Supergirl’s origin underwent a significant transformation. In Superman (vol. 2) #16 (April 1988), a new Supergirl was introduced as a unique being called Matrix. Created by a heroic version of Lex Luthor from a “pocket continuum,” Matrix was a man-made lifeform composed of synthetic protoplasm.

Matrix possessed the ability to shapeshift and could take on the appearance of Lana Lang, thanks to implanted memories. Initially believing herself to be Lana, she wore a miniskirted version of Superman’s costume but did not possess the exact same powers as him. While she could fly and possess super-strength, she also exhibited psychokinetic, shapeshifting, and cloaking/invisibility abilities that made her undetectable, even to Superman.

Matrix’s Supergirl form bore a resemblance to the Pre-Crisis Supergirl, and she arrived on Earth as a newcomer. She embarked on a romantic relationship with Lex Luthor II, who existed in the DC Universe during that time. However, Matrix eventually discovered Luthor’s villainous nature as he sought to replicate her for an army, leading her to break away from him.

Finding her own path in the world, Matrix aligned herself with Superman and became an ally to him. She even resided in Smallville with the Kents, who treated her like their own daughter. Matrix served as a member of the Teen Titans and emerged as a central hero in her own right, participating in notable events such as “Panic in the Sky” and “Death and Return of Superman.”

Cir-El (Futuristic Supergirl)

Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History - Cir-El (Futuristic Supergirl)
Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History – Cir-El (Futuristic Supergirl)

Cir-El made her first appearance in Superman: The 10 Cent Adventure #1 in 2003. She claimed to be the daughter of Superman (Clark Kent) and Lois Lane from the future. Her unique name, Cir-El, is a combination of her mother’s name (Lois) spelled backward and her father’s name (El).

Cir-El’s costume was distinct from the traditional Supergirl outfit. She wore a red and blue bodysuit with a black belt and silver accents. Her costume also featured a short cape and goggles, giving her a futuristic and edgy appearance.

In terms of powers, Cir-El possessed a set of unique abilities. She had superhuman strength, speed, and durability like other Kryptonians, including her father Superman. However, Cir-El had the additional power of energy absorption and manipulation. She could absorb and emit various forms of energy, allowing her to project powerful energy blasts.

Power Girl (Earth-Two Supergirl)

Power Girl (Earth-Two Supergirl)
Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History – Power Girl (Earth-Two Supergirl)

Power Girl is a parallel universe counterpart of Supergirl who originates from Earth-Two, an alternate reality within the DC Comics multiverse. She made her first appearance in All Star Comics #58 in 1976.

Unlike the traditional Supergirl, Power Girl possesses a different origin story. In her original Earth-Two continuity, she was not Superman’s cousin but rather his alternate reality niece. On Earth-Two, Power Girl’s secret identity is Karen Starr, a successful businesswoman and CEO of Starrware Industries.

Power Girl shares similar powers to Superman and Supergirl, including superhuman strength, speed, durability, flight, and heat vision. However, her power levels may vary depending on the continuity or interpretation.

One of the most distinctive aspects of Power Girl is her iconic costume. She is known for wearing a revealing white leotard with a red cape and blue gloves and boots. The costume prominently features a cutout section on her chest, often known as the “cleavage-window.” This design choice has sparked various discussions and debates among fans over the years.

Kara Starikov (Earth 24)

Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History - Kara Starikov (Earth 24)
Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History – Kara Starikov (Earth 24)

DC Comics Bombshells presents an alternative take on the origin story of several female DC superheroes, reimagining them as World War II heroes. In this unique iteration, Kara Danvers does not exist; instead, we are introduced to Kara Starikov, a Kryptonian who arrives on Earth within the confines of the Soviet Union, rather than the United States.

Kara Starikov’s journey in Bombshells diverges from the traditional Supergirl narrative. Embracing her role as a Soviet warrior, Kara shows immense promise and becomes a rising star within her country. However, her allegiance takes an unexpected turn when she decides to defect from her homeland, driven by her desire for justice and freedom.

Within this revised storyline, Kara’s path intertwines with that of Kortni Duginovna, also known as Stargirl, who becomes her foster sister. Together, they navigate the tumultuous era of World War II, utilizing their unique abilities to fight against the Axis powers and protect the innocent. Bombshells introduces a compelling aspect to Kara’s character by establishing a wholesome romance with none other than Lois Lane

Supergirl Who Laughs (Prime Earth)

Supergirl Who Laughs (Prime Earth)
Supergirl Who Laughs (Prime Earth)

In a grim twist of fate, Supergirl fell victim to the malevolent influence of the Batman Who Laughs and his twisted Joker toxin on Earth-Prime. This catastrophic event transformed Kara into a nightmarish version of herself, known as the Supergirl Who Laughs. Unlike the majority of Supergirls across the multiverse, this incarnation veered down a dark path, embracing her role as a formidable villain.

Driven by the dark impulses inflicted upon her, the Supergirl Who Laughs joined forces with the enigmatic Secret Six, a notorious group of antiheroes and misfits. This unholy alliance took their nefarious intentions a step further by assisting Earth-22’s Bruce Wayne, who had succumbed to his own inner darkness, in opening a portal to the treacherous Dark Multiverse.

What distinguishes the Supergirl Who Laughs from her heroic counterparts is her unrelenting malevolence and merciless nature. Infused with the Batman Who Laughs’ sinister influence, she embodies a chilling and lethal force, ready to enact her malicious agenda.

Kara Zor-El (Red Lantern Supergirl)

Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History - Kara Zor-El (Red Lantern Supergirl)
Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History – Kara Zor-El (Red Lantern Supergirl)

In the Red Lanterns storyline, Kara Zor-El, also known as Supergirl, became a member of the Red Lantern Corps. This version of Supergirl was fueled by rage and wore a red lantern symbol on her chest, representing her affiliation with the corps.

As a Red Lantern, Supergirl’s powers and abilities were augmented and altered by the power of the red energy spectrum. She gained the ability to emit powerful rage-fueled energy blasts and project corrosive blood vomit. Supergirl’s red lantern symbol replaced her traditional “S” shield, signifying her new allegiance and state of mind.

Kara Danvers (Earth-38)

Kara Danvers (Earth-38)
Kara Danvers (Earth-38)

Melissa Benoist’s portrayal of Kara Danvers in the television series Supergirl catapulted the character into the hearts of audiences within the Arrowverse. Spanning from 2015 to 2021, the show showcased Kara’s journey as she wholeheartedly embraced her powers and tirelessly protected Earth from countless threats.

Throughout the series, Supergirl faced numerous challenges and fought alongside other beloved Arrowverse heroes. She found herself embroiled in epic storylines such as Crisis on Infinite Earths and Elseworlds, where she played pivotal roles in shaping the fate of the multiverse. These grand-scale crossovers further solidified Supergirl’s importance and showcased her contributions to the larger Arrowverse narrative.

Zala Jor-El (Earth 118)

Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History - Zala Jor-El (Earth 118)
Top 10 Supergirl Variants in Comic Book History – Zala Jor-El (Earth 118)

In the alternate reality of Earth 188, Zala Jor-El takes on the mantle of Supergirl, existing within a medieval-inspired setting. In this unique iteration, Zala is depicted as the daughter of Jor-El and Lara Lor-Van, making her not only a powerful Kryptonian but also the formidable sister of Kal-El (Superman). This distinction sets her apart from the traditional Supergirl, as she shares an equal standing with her brother in terms of power and significance.

What further sets Zala apart is her romantic relationship with Princess Diana, also known as Wonder Woman. Their love story adds an important LGBTQ+ representation to her character, endearing her to readers and making her an icon within the community.

Initially, there was a twist in Zala’s storyline that led readers to believe she was evil. However, Dark Knights of Steel #10 revealed that the perceived evil version of Zala was, in fact, a White Martian in disguise. This revelation brought clarity to her character, further captivating readers and solidifying her popularity.

Supergirl (Earth-1098)

Supergirl (Earth-1098)
Supergirl (Earth-1098)

In the alternate reality of Earth-1098 depicted in Elseworld’s Finest, Kara Zor-El emerges as the sole surviving Kryptonian, as her cousin Kal-El was tragically murdered in infancy. As the only Kryptonian on Earth, Kara takes on the mantle of Supergirl and embraces her destiny as a hero.

In this unique iteration, Kara’s origin story takes on a heightened sense of drama due to the horrifying fate of baby Kal-El. With the absence of the iconic Superman, Supergirl has the opportunity to shine in her own right, free from the shadow of the Man of Steel. This allows her character to develop independently, showcasing her own unique strengths and abilities.

Also Read: 10 Strongest Female Characters From Marvel Comics

shashi shekhar

Completed my PGDM from IMS Ghaziabad, specialized in (Marketing and H.R) "I truly believe that continuous learning is key to success because of which I keep on adding to my skills and knowledge."

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