is a fictional character
who has been a major part of the Superman comic book
series, published by DC Comics
. During the 1950s
, the character of Supergirl was introduced as the last survivor of a city of the planet Krypton
, which had somehow survived the explosion of the planet and drifted through space for about fifteen years. When the inhabitants of the colony were slain by Kryptonite
, Supergirl (whose Kryptonian name was Kara Zor-El) was sent to Earth to be raised by Superman.
Throughout the 1950s Supergirl's existence on Earth was kept a secret, but she was revealed to the world in the 1960s. She maintained close ties with her cousin Superman while pursuing her own career as a superhero. She took on the Earth name of "Linda Lee" for her secret identity.
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Supergirl bravely sacrificed her life to save the multiverse from destruction. Her death is one of the most memorable moments of the Crisis story.
After the reboot of Superman in the late 1980s, Supergirl's origin was completely re-written. Unfortunately, it has since become very convoluted and hard to follow. To summarize:
"Supergirl" is an artificial life form created in a parallel dimension of Earth, originally sent to recruit Superman to return to her world and save it from destruction at the hands of three escaped criminals from the planet Krypton. When their mission failed and the world was destroyed, Superman brought the artificial creature to Earth. For a while the life form developed amnesia and thought it was Superman, though it later took on a female form and a new identity of "Supergirl." In this guise, she began a romance with Lex Luthor. When Luthor's evil nature was revealed to her, Supergirl left Luthor to find her own way in the world.
A movie adaptation of Supergirl was released in 1984, starring Helen Slater. The movie was a box-office dud, and it failed to impress critics or audiences.
"Supergirl" is also a 1966 hit by British singer Graham Bonney (born 1943).