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Power Girl Reading Order (Kara Zor-L)

 

Family Tree are quite complicated in the world of Comic Books, and Power Girl will not tell you the contrary! Created by Gerry Conway and Ric Estrada, our superheroine made her first appearance in All-Star Comics #58 (1976)  as Superman’s Kryptonian cousin. 

But wait, I hear you say, isn’t Supergirl Superman’s cousin? Yes, that is the case! Power Girl, real name Kara Zor-L (also known as Karen Starr), is the Earth-Two counterpart of Supergirl and the first cousin of Kal-L, Superman of the pre-Crisis Earth-Two. Her origins story have been revisited several times since her creation, from her introduction to Supergirl’s Earth-2 doppelganger to being reimagined as an Atlantean after Crisis on Infinite Earths, then becoming a Kryptonian again after Infinite Crisis.

Outside of the world of comics, Power Girl is maybe more famous for her costume (and cleavage), though don’t let that distract you too much. She is genuinely an interesting character, maybe one of the most flawed Kryptonians out there, doted with a rash personality, her own fighting skills and good leadership capabilities. She fought alongside many heroes of DC Comics, has been the first chairwoman of the Justice Society of America, part of Justice League Europe, the Sovereign Seven, and many more teams.

Unfortunately for Power Girl’s readers, DC Comics hasn’t well collected her past stories, and it can be quite difficult to track her appearances. She had a few solo adventures, but is more a guest star/team member character! So here’s our Power Girl Reading Guide!

Best Power Girl Comics to Read

Let’s start this guide with a selection of Power Girl comics to discover the best the character has to offer. First, DC collected in a trade the essential issues to read for the Post-Crisis era:

  • Power Girl (Collects JSA Classified #1-4, Showcase #97-99 and Secret Origins #11)

Then, it’s time to dive into what is considered the best stories with Power Girl, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Amanda Conner’s run – collected in two trade paperbacks:

After that, writer Judd Winick took over as the main writer, with Sami Basri as the artist, so the title continues with Power Girl: Bomb Squad.

As a team member, Power Girl was great in Justice League Europe, but was not well treated by other team members. So, we advise you to turn your attention toward Geoff Johns’ JSA, even though she was never at the center of a story arc: 

Finally, a version of the character starred with The Huntress during the New 52 era for a worthy team-up:

Power Girl Comics, the Reading Order

Credits where credits are due, this reading order wouldn’t have been possible without the works of Hulk-Revolver and LilyTheFoxMechanic on Reddit!

Power Girl introduces herself in Action Comics #58

Power Girl Comics in the Pre-Crisis Era

After being introduced in All-Star Comics, Power Girl quickly became a member of the Justice Society of America during the rest of the 1970s and 1980s and was a founding member of Infinity Inc.

Crisis on Infinite Earths LogoThis period is concluded with the DC event Crisis on Infinite Earths (crossover event), resulting in the entire DCU being rebooted. Power Girl appears throughout the event, followed by the last hurrah of the Justice Society.

Textless Cover for JSA Classified #3

Power Girl in the Modern Age

Following the Crisis, Power Girl’s origin story was revised and she is now the granddaughter of the Atlantean sorcerer Arion who had been frozen in suspended animation for millennia until the present day. This story is explained in Secret Origins (Vol. 2) #11, collected in the following trade:

  • Power Girl
    Collects JSA Classified #1-4, Showcase #97-99 and Secret Origins #11

Power Girl’s quest for her origins will lead to her appearances in The Warlord, then to her short self-title and a few guest appearances:

  • The Warlord #116, 118-122, 124, Annual 6
  • Infinity, Inc. #50
  • Power Girl (1988) #1-4
  • Doom Patrol #13-14, collected in Doom Patrol: The Bronze Age Omnibus
  • Starman (1988) #5-6
  • Firestorm, the Nuclear Man #80

Power Girl became a featured member of the Justice League Europe, the spin-off of Justice League International, and stayed in the team for the run of the series. For more information about the series, see our Justice League International Comics Guide.

  • Justice League International Omnibus Vol. 1
    Collects Justice League #1-6, Justice League International #7-25, Justice League America #26-30, Justice League Annual #1, Justice League International Annual #2-3, Justice League Europe #1-6 and Suicide Squad #13.
  • Starman (1988) 17-18, set before Justice League Europe #7
  • Justice League International Omnibus Vol. 2
    Collects Justice League America #31-50, Justice League Europe #7-25, Justice League America Annual #4, Justice League Europe Annual #1, Justice League Quarterly #1, and Justice League International Special #1.
  • Justice League International Omnibus Vol. 3
    Collects Stories From Justice League America #51-60, Secret Origins #33-35, Justice League America Annual #5, Green Lantern #18, Justice League Quarterly #2-5, Jla 80-Page Giant #1, Formerly Known As The Justice League #1-6, Jla: Classified #4-9, Justice League Europe #26-36, Dc Retroactive: Jla –The ’90s #1, Justice League Europe Annual #2, And Justice League International Special #2.

    • Justice League Europe Annual #2 is part of Armageddon 2001 (Power Girl appears in issue #2)
    • Justice League Europe #31 is part of Wonder Woman: War of the Gods.
Quit whining! This is an order from Power Girl in Justice League Spectacular # 1

Power Girl discovered she is pregnant in Justice League International #52, with the baby born during Zero Hour and the fallout of this terrible storyline dealt in the following issues of Justice League America, concluding in issue #108.

Zero Hour DC Event Comic Reading OrderAnd then came the Zero Hour: A Crisis in Time event (see reading order here). All of reality comes under attack when a mysterious force of entropy begins slowly erasing time itself—making its way from both the past and future toward the present!

Following the end of her time in the Justice League, Power Girl makes a few guest starring appearances written by Peter David in Aquaman and Supergirl, then joins the Sovereign Seven for their last issues, and appears in several issues of Birds of Prey.

Supergirl and Power Girl meet in Supergirl Vol. 5 #1

When Black Canary quits the JSA, she recommends Kara to take her place, who joined the team in issue #31.

Infinite Crisis Logo Reading OrderBig event with Infinite Crisis (see reading order) in which Power Girl plays a significant role and her origin story is revisited. OMAC robots are rampaging, magic is dying, villains are uniting, and a war is raging in space. During this event, some of the surviving Golden Age characters are transported to the new “Earth-Two” created by Alexander Luthor Jr.

Kara Zor-L, the last daughter of the Multiverse

Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, and Ted Grant decide to revive the Justice Society. 

Following are eventful years for the superhero community, including Power Gril. It starts with the Final Crisis (see reading order), a event in which Power Girl briefly appears. Not long after, Power Girl is finally the star of her own series under the creative team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. While she work to rebuild her life and continuing solo superheroics, things are naturally interrupted by massive events. In that particular case, we’re talking about the Blackest Night/Brightest Day Saga which will lead to Power Girl returning working with the Justice League.

Power Girl and The Huntress are World’s Finest in the New 52 era

New 52, a different Power Girl

Following the actions of Barry Allen in Flashpoint, the DC Universe was rebooted and a new era called New 52 started. Here, Power Girl appears as a refugee from Earth 2 along with Huntress (aka Helena Wayne). She is a different version of the character, a friend of Mister Terrific, still the head of Starr Entreprises and co-starring in the ongoing series, Worlds’ Finest.

Power Girl with Harley Quinn!

An Harley Quinn Interlude! During New 52, a temporarily amnesiac Power Girl from a seemingly alternative reality (not Earth-2) crashes in Harley Quinn’s reality. The series has no attachment to anything happening in the DC Universe at the time. You can read those stories independently from the rest:

  • Harley Quinn Vol. 2: Power Outage
    Collects Harley Quinn vol. 2 #9–13, Harley Quinn Futures End #1, Harley Quinn Invades Comic-Con International San Diego and material from Secret Origin #4.
  • Harley Quinn and Power Girl
    Collects Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1-6. series takes place in between the pages of Harley Quinn #12 
  • Harley Quinn Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab
    Collects Harley Quinn vol. 2 #14–16, Annual #1, Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1 and Harley Quinn Valentine’s Special #1. Power Girl is present in issues #15-17

Worlds Collide in Convergence, an Earth 2 event! The evil alien intelligence known as Brainiac has stolen 50 doomed cities from throughout time and space and brought them to a place beyond the Multiverse—a sentient planet of his own design, a world with the power of a god. As heroes and villains from dozens of worlds battle each other for their very existence, it’s up to a ragtag band of warriors from a slain Earth to put an end to this threat that bends the Multiverse to its will. Reality itself hangs in the balance…

 

Power Girl’s Return in the DC Universe

DC Comics relaunched its entire line with a soft reboot called Rebirth in 2016, though Power Girl didn’t reappear immediately. When we reconnect with the character, she seems to be trapped in some sort of interdimensional void between earths. The situation changes for Power Girl with Doomsday Clock, Watchmen’s sequel which reintroduces the Pre-New 52 Power Girl following the actions of Dr Manhattan.

Power Girl made her return with the Lazarus Planet event! The Lazarus rains gave her new powers, specifically new psychic abilities and she found herself bound to fellow psychic Omen. This situation is explored in Action Comics and Power Girl Special. Then she is naturally with the Justice Society of America who just made a comeback and is right now headlining her own series!

More Reading Orders featuring Kryptonians 

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