Comic Books #23: Supergirl Part II: The Timeline

supergirl timeline

The very first supergirl (i.e. a female version of Superman) was technically Lois Lane when she had a blood transfusion from Superman in 1943.  The next appearance of a "supergirl" came in 1958 when Jimmy Olsen gets three wishes from a Native American’s magic totem

Strangely, his very first wish is not for world peace or a cure for cancer, but for a female companion for Superman.  Anyway, this superchick manages to save Supe’s life by removing a Kryptonite meteor.  Unfortunately, it proves lethal to her and Jimmy must use his second wish to wish her out of existence (why he just doesn’t wish her cured is beyond me…. Jimmy’s not too bright).

BTW – What was Jimmy’s third wish? Why, to send Superman to meet his dead parents on Krypton of course.  Dumbass.

But this STILL isn’t the Supergirl we all know and love.  Kara Zor-El first appeared in 1959.  It seems Superman’s uncle was able to devise a protective bubble around himself and wife, Allura, saving themselves from the destruction of Krypton.  They had wild sex whilst in said bubble and produced baby Kara.

Unfortunately, some meteors punctured holes in their dumb bubble exposing them to the deadly Kryptonite.  With a ridiculously powerful telescope, mom and dad were able to track down her cousin, Superman.  They sewed an outfit to look like his and shot her to Earth in a rocket.

Things only get shittier from there for poor Kara.  Superman won’t take her in because he’s got to preserve his precious secret identity.  I think that was a flimsy excuse – he just didn’t want to be slowed down; a kid would cramp his style.  Asshole.


So, Kara has to live out her childhood in an orphanage.  When she comes of age, she’s subjected to more humiliation.  Perhaps the lowest point is when Superman exiles her to space for an entire year for playing with Krypo (WTF?).  What an ass.

supergirl is banished

To add insult to injury, Supergirl is declined a spot in the Legion of Superheroes.  It’s not until 1962 that she starts to come into her own.  That's when the guy in blue tights decided she could openly be Supergirl.  Thanks, for finally coming around and helping your cousin....... dick.
11-12-2010 7-19-33 PM

Throughout the rest of the sixties and on through the seventies, Supergirl remained a pretty popular character.  Readers got to watch her grow up – her high school exploits, her attempts at careers, romances, and many costume changes.  I don’t know that there’s another comic book superhero out there that we can say this about. And through the decades, Supergirl took on the culture and vibe of the times…. Truly a unique situation, and the reason I’m picker this comic book hero to focus on.

Then in the mid-eighties DC effed everything up.  The created a storyline that was impossible to follow, made it so Supergirl NEVER EXISTED, and just created a giant confusing cluster fuck called “Crisis of the Infinite Earths”.  Gimme a break.  Supergirl didn’t just die, she never even lived.  Great idea DC…. assholes.

 Since then, there’s been various attempts to revive Supergirl, and some of them I hear are actually good.  But I haven’t read a comic book published after 1985, so this is where Supergirl and Retrospace part ways.  We’ll leave the rest of her story to other more contemporary minded blogs to describe.


  1. I have read comics since 1985 and believe me, Supergirl's story has been turned inside out, and not for the better. At one point she was protoplasm that took human form and at another point she was an angel with fiery wings. I'm not joking.
    As far as I know the Supergirl of today IS AGAIN simply Superman's cousin, but I may be wrong since I haven't read any recent comics.

  2. When I finally read the original Supergirl stories, I was appalled at how crappy Superman treated poor Kara! YOU try growing up in an orphanage, Kal-El!

    Even after that, I found it troublesome that she had to wear a brunette wig around *all the time* in her alter ego, while Superman just had to wear fake glasses.

  3. GASP! A week devoted to Supergirl! FYI, I've belonged to an online comic club for several years, and Jimmy Olsen's "magic totem pole" (cough) story has been reprinted countless times; enough to cause groans whenever someone makes reference to it.

    I began reading comics in the early 70s, right around the time DC invited readers to submit their favorite Supergirl costume creations; they often printed some of the wackier submissions, and I can still remember my shock over the one chosen, with the Audrey Hepburn style long dinner gloves (up past the elbows) and those funky boots that went up, up & away! :) My favorite costume was the one that became standard, the hot pants and gypsy blouse... ah Supergirl!

    I hope this week finds a small dedication to Helen Slater, who did a fine job looking the part in an otherwise pretty awful film. I loved the scene where Helen is flyin' over a stampede of wild horses, because everyone knows girls and horses...well, that's why Supergirl had Superhorse!