Welcome to the Wellington Comic Lover’s Guide, where we take you through the Wellington City Libraries’ collection of a comic book character or series. This post is all about the Girl of Steel from the planet Krypton, Supergirl!

Who is Supergirl?

Kara Zor-El is the older cousin of Superman, sent from Krypton as a teenager to look after the baby Kal-El once he landed on Earth. However, due to her ship landing decades later, she arrived when Superman was already an adult. Lacking a purpose, Kara struggles to adapt to a planet that is less technologically advanced than Krypton, but this in no way deters her from following Superman’s example as a hero. Gaining superpowers under Earth’s yellow sun, she now protects Metropolis while trying to find a place in her strange new home as Supergirl. 

Note: DC Comics are divided by publishing eras, determined by a point where they set the issue number (and sometimes, continuity) of a series back to #1. ‘Pre-Crisis’ is everything DC published prior to 1986, ‘Post-Crisis’ is everything from 1986-2011, the New 52 from 2011-2016, DC Rebirth from 2016-2021, and Infinite Frontier from 2021 to present.

Supergirl : Origins

The details of Supergirl’s origin have varied over DC’s publishing history, including her civilian identity, when she was discovered on Earth, and even whether she is Kryptonian or not. Her origins have been explored in the story Being Super and the recent World’s Finest series.

Supergirl : being super / Tamaki, Mariko

Batman/Superman : world’s finest. Vol. 2, Strange visitor / Waid, Mark

As for her origins on Krypton, the House of El graphic novel trilogy provides some context for Krypton’s history prior to its destruction.

House of El. Book one, The shadow threat / Gray, Claudia

House of El. Book two, The enemy delusion / Gray, Claudia

House of El. Book three, The treacherous hope / Gray, Claudia

And for stories about Supergirl’s more famous cousin, check out our WCL Guide to Superman!


In the Pre-Crisis timeline, Kara Zor-El landed on Earth and was discovered by Superman, who learned that they were cousins and took her under his wing as Supergirl. In her headline series from this era, Kara moves to Chicago, enrolls in university, and soon gathers a rogues gallery, including her archnemesis, the nuclear-powered Reactron.

Pre-Crisis Supergirl appearances

Daring new adventures of Supergirl. Volume 1 / Kupperberg, Paul

Superman : whatever happened to the man of tomorrow / Moore, Alan


In the Post-Crisis era, a new editorial rule at DC meant that Superman had to be the only survivor from Krypton, which presented problems for introducing Supergirl. In this continuity, Supergirl is Linda Danvers, a human teenager who can transform into a superhero with powers similar to Superman.

Supergirl Linda Danvers appearances

Supergirl. Book one / David, Peter

Supergirl. Book two / David, Peter

Superman : Emperor Joker

Convergence : zero hour book 2 / Giffen, Keith

The Last Daughter of Krypton… At Last!

Eventually, Kara Zor-El was reintroduced to Post-Crisis continuity, with her spaceship being discovered at the bottom of the Gotham River. After meeting Superman, Supergirl travels to the future to join the Legion of Super-Heroes, fights a mysterious Superwoman, and sees the birth of a New Krypton and the resurrection of her parents.

Post-Crisis Supergirl appearances

Supergirl : the girl of steel / Loeb, Jeph

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes : the quest for Cosmic Boy / Bedard, Tony

Supergirl : who is Superwoman / Gates, Sterling

Supergirl. Volume 4, Daughter of new Krypton / Gates, Sterling

Supergirl : friends & fugitives / Gates, Sterling

The hunt for Reactron / Gates, Sterling

Supergirl : Bizarrogirl / Gates, Sterling

The New 52

The New 52 reset the histories of most DC characters back to square one, and Supergirl was no exception. Here, Kara is a loner who only occasionally runs into Superman. In her journey to find a home and community, she briefly befriends Superman villain Silver Banshee, joins the rage-powered Red Lantern Corps, and attends the intergalactic Crucible academy.

New 52 Supergirl reading order

Supergirl. Volume 1, Last daughter of Krypton / Green, Michael (also on Libby)

Supergirl. Volume 2, Girl in the world / Green, Michael

Supergirl. Volume 3, Sanctuary / Johnson, Mike

Superman : H’el on Earth / Lobdell, Scott

Supergirl. Volume 4, Out of the past / Nelson, Michael Alan

Supergirl. Volume 5, Red daughter of Krypton / Bedard, Tony

Supergirl. Volume 6, Crucible / Perkins, K.

DC Rebirth

Taking inspiration from the Supergirl TV show, the DC Rebirth era has Supergirl move to Metropolis’ sister city National City, teaming up with the Department of Extranormal Operations to help stem the city’s various alien threats.

Supergirl Rebirth era reading order

Supergirl. Vol. 1, Reign of the cyborg supermen / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl. Vol. 2, Escape from the Phantom Zone / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl. Vol. 3, Girl of no tomorrow / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl. Vol. 4, Plain sight / Orlando, Steve

Supergirl meets the Killer of Krypton

During the reinvigoration of the Superman books by Brian Michael Bendis, Supergirl got a new series that saw Kara setting off on an intergalactic manhunt for the dreaded Rogol Zaar, a Kryptonian-hating alien mercenary with a mysterious connection to Kara’s uncle (and Superman’s father) Jor-El.

‘Bendis era’ Supergirl reading order

The Man of Steel / Bendis, Brian Michael

Supergirl. Vol. 1, The killers of Krypton / Andreyko, Marc

Supergirl. Vol. 2, Sins of the circle / Andreyko, Marc

Supergirl. Vol. 3, Infectious / Houser, Jody

Batman/Superman. Volume 1, Who are the Secret Six / Williamson, Joshua

Superman action comics. Vol. 5, The House of Kent / Bendis, Brian Michael

Infinite Frontier – The Woman of Tomorrow

Supergirl has had one miniseries in the Infinite Frontier era, the acclaimed Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, which is set to be adapted into a feature film starring Milly Alcock as Kara. Meanwhile, Kara has helped her cousin protect Earth during the Warworld Saga and the Lazarus Planet event.

Infinite Frontier Supergirl appearances

Supergirl : woman of tomorrow / King, Tom

Superman action comics. Volume one, Warworld rising / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Superman Action Comics. Volume three, Warworld revolution / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Superman : Kal-El returns / Johnson, Phillip Kennedy

Lazarus Planet

Based on the TV show

The long-running CW Supergirl show starring Melissa Benoist has also been adapted into its own comics, much like The Flash show before it.

Adventures of Supergirl [1] / Gates, Sterling

Crisis on infinite Earths : Paragons rising : the deluxe edition / Wolfman, Marv


Supergirl’s Teams

Supergirl has rarely been a team player outside of her immediate Super-Family, having only brief tenures on the Teen Titans, the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Justice League. In a moment of pique, she was briefly inducted into the Red Lantern Corps, a crimson-themed version of the Green Lanterns who are powered by rage.

Supergirl in the Legion

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes : the quest for Cosmic Boy / Bedard, Tony

Supergirl as a Teen Titan

Teen Titans : Titans of tomorrow

In the Justice League

Justice League United. Volume 1, Justice League Canada / Lemire, Jeff

Justice League United. Volume 2, The infinitus saga / Lemire, Jeff

As a Red Lantern

Red Lanterns. Volume 5, Atrocities / Soule, Charles

Supergirl. Volume 5, Red daughter of Krypton / Bedard, Tony

Team Supergirl

In order to save Superman from cosmic imprisonment in Superman/Batman : vengeance, Bizarro assembles a whole team of Supergirls from across time and space, including the modern Kara Zor-El, Pre-Crisis Kara Zor-El, Linda Danvers, Power Girl (see below), and Cir-El, Superman and Lois’ daughter from a potential future.

Power Girl

Kara Zor-L is Power Girl, the Supergirl from Earth-2 who wound up on the mainstream DC Universe (Earth-0) after the destruction of her Earth. Where Supergirl is eager to adapt to her adopted home, Power Girl bears a chip on her shoulder for having lost both Krypton and her original adopted Earth, manifesting in her brash, ‘punch first and ask questions later’ attitude.

Post-Crisis, Power Girl took on the secret identity of ‘Karen Starr’, and split her time between running a tech start-up and serving on the Justice Society of America.

Black Adam/JSA : black reign / Johns, Geoff

Infinite crisis / Johns, Geoff

Power Girl : power trip / Gray, Justin

Justice Society of America : thy kingdom come. Part two / Johns, Geoff

Justice Society of America : thy kingdom come. Part three / Johns, Geoff

Justice Society of America : Black Adam and Isis / Johns, Geoff

Justice Society of America : the bad seed / Willingham, Bill

Just a Girl in the Worlds’ Finest

In the New 52, a new Earth-2 is created with a new Kara Zor-L, who gets sent to Earth-0 along with Earth-2’s Robin (Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman). The pair take on the new aliases of Power Girl and Huntress and try to find a way home to Earth-2 in the series Worlds’ Finest.

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 1, The lost daughters of Earth 2 / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 2, Hunt and be hunted / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 3, Control issues / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ Finest. Volume 4, First contact / Levitz, Paul

Worlds’ finest. Volume 5, Homeward bound / Levitz, Paul

Upon returning to Earth-2, Kara must help her fellow heroes save the world from an invasion from Darkseid, and after the planet is regenerated (a literal ‘Earth 2’) she strikes up a romance with its new Superman, Val-Zod.

Earth 2 : world’s end. Volume 1 / Wilson, Daniel H.

Earth 2 : world’s end. Volume 2 / Wilson, Daniel H.

Earth 2 society. Volume 1, Planetfall / Wilson, Daniel H.

Earth 2 : society. Volume 2, Indivisible / Abnett, Dan

Earth 2 : society. Volume 3, A whole new world / Abnett, Dan

Power Girl Returns

The Post-Crisis Power Girl eventually returns in Infinite Frontier. After burning out of the corporate grindset as a member of an ‘Uber but for superheroes’ service in One-Star Squadron, she gains new telepathic powers in the Lazarus Planet event and befriends a fellow psychic, former Teen Titan Omen.

Infinite frontier / Williamson, Joshua

One-star squadron / Russell, Mark

Lazarus Planet

Power Girl returns / Williams, Leah

Supergirl Across The Multiverse

Power Girl isn’t the only alternate Supergirl out there in the infinite Multiverse of DC Comics.

Crime Syndicate / Schmidt, Andy – On Earth-3 where the roles of heroes and villains are reversed, a treacherous Ultragirl tries to take out her cousin, Ultraman. This world also has a Superwoman, although technically she is the evil equivalent of Wonder Woman.

Multiversity : teen justice / Cohen, Ivan – On the matriarchal world of Earth-11, Supergirl is the daughter of Superwoman and fights alongside the young super-team Teen Justice.

Kingdom come / Waid, Mark – In a possible future, an older Karen Starr (now Power Woman) joins a new Justice League, led by an older Superman trying to bring order to a world full of unruly metahumans.

Supergirl adventures : girl of steel – In the world of the DC Animated Universe, Supergirl is Kara In-Ze from Argo, a ‘sister planet’ to Krypton that was also devastated. Discovered in cryogenic stasis by Superman, Kara is brought to Earth, where she becomes gains powers similar to her ‘cousin’ and becomes Supergirl.

Injustice 2. Vol. 1 / Taylor, Tom – The Injustice universe’s version of Supergirl first appears in its sequel comic, where she arrives on Earth not knowing her cousin has taken over the world.

Ame-Comi Girls. Volume 3, Earth in crisis / Palmiotti, Jimmy – Both Supergirl and Power Girl appear on this manga-inspired world where only women gain superpowers.

DC Comics Bombshells : the deluxe edition, Book one / Bennett, Marguerite – Here, Kara’s ship lands in Soviet Russia instead of the USA. When she comes of age in the midst of World War II, she defects and joins a team of heroines determined to end the conflict.

Dark Knights of Steel. Vol. 1 / Taylor, Tom – Transporting the heroes of the DC Universe into a medieval world of knights and nobility, the Supergirl here is Zala Jor-El, the princess of the ruling family, the House of El.

Supergirl : cosmic adventures in the 8th grade / Walker, Landry Q. – In this cartoon-influenced series, a young Kryptonian named Linda Lee struggles to balance schoolwork with being Supergirl.