Secret Origins #11: Feb; writer: Paul Kupperberg; artist: Mary Wilshire; editor: Robert Greenberger
The Warlord #116: Apr; script: Michael Fleisher; art: Ron Randall; editing: Robert Greenberger
#118: June; story: Fleisher; art: Randall; editing: Greenberger
#119: July; scribe: Fleisher; artisan: Randall; inker: Pablo Marcos; taskmaster: Greenberger
#120: Aug; storyteller: Fleisher; illustrators: Art Thibert & Marcos; editor: Greenberger
#121: Sept; chronicler: Fleisher; artists: Thibert & Marcos; adviser: Greenberger
#122: Oct; story: Fleisher; art: Thibert & Marcos; editing: Greenberger
#124: Dec: scribe: Fleisher; artisans: Jan Duursema & Tom Mandrake; editor: Greenberger
Who's Who Update '87 #4: Nov; contributing writers: Mike W. Barr, Joey Cavalieri, Paul Kupperberg, Paul Levitz, Doug Moench, John Ostrander, Barbara Randall, Bob Rozakis, Len Wein; contributing writer/researcher: Peter Sanderson; editor: Greenberger; art for PG entry by Mary Wilshire
Secret Origins #11: Many people take the Kryptonian memories given Kara by her Symbio-ship as a post-Crisis fact, even though in this story she still remembers Superman-2. Obviously, this is part of the post-Crisis Transition Period and must be taken with more than a grain of salt in the spots that overlap the old continuity.
It is only this story that tells us in context that the PG of Universe-2's mother was named Allura.
Wondering how she now fits into the new Cosmos (another hint that this is a transitional story), now that months have lapsed since Crisis, Peege returns to her Symbio-Ship, which in this reality is quite untrashed (remember she made it junk in Showcase).
When she hits it in frustration, the ship lets out a strange, sustained energy burst, surrounds her with a forecefield and projects a symbol we readers recognize as belonging to Arion.
A figure emerges from the glow: an older man who calls her "child" and apologizes for being so abrupt. Kara feels a magic spell envelop her. The man calls her "granddaughter."
"You do not really remember your old grandfather, do you, little Kara? But there is no reason why you might, for has it not been 45,000 years since last we met... in a faraway world that exists now only in legend and myth... ancient Atlantis!"
We see Atlantis through the spell. Arion (the man) explains that Atlantis had ruled the world for a million years, but now the magic that the culture was based upon was dying.
Lord Arion had been excited by the changes. After complacent years, people could now be pioneers in discovering the world and science. In his older age Arion relegated his magicks to amusing children, like his grandson Khater, and Khater's sister -- Kara.
An explosion wracks the nursery in Arion's home and only Arion's magic can open the necromanced doors to the place.
One hundred yars before, Arion's evil brother, Garn Daanuth, was exiled to Darkworld. His spirit appears now:
"I find [Kara] makes quite the EFFECTIVE MEDIUM for my NEEDS -- a convenient vessel to contain the SOUL of Garn Daanuth whilst his body suffers the torments of DARKWORLD! You were foolish to tamper with my grand-niece's GENETIC make-up... WHATEVER the intended end to your manipulations! They merely made it EASIER for me to gain ENTRY to her soul!"
Garn tells us that Kara is Arion's daughter's daughter, and the genetic experiments made her receptive to magic -- and thus now to Garn's spell.
Unable to fight Garn for fear of harming the child he holds before him, Arion declares that if Kara were used as a wedge between Darkworld and Earth, the energies would destroy her.
Using a trick, Arion wrests Kara from Garn and then throws a crystal that once housed the soul of their father, Caculha (the most powerful of the Seven Gods) at Garn. The crystal contains magic enough to rip Garn from the Earth plane long enough for Arion to bid farewell to his friend, Queen Maia.
As long as Kara remains in Atlantis, she will be vulnerable to Garn's attack. Arion himself goes to make sure Garn stays in Darkworld, while a bit of Arion's essence travels with Kara, now inside the crystal.
"Whilst you [Kara] did rest in a dimension BEYOND time and space, aging but two decades in the passing of 4500..." Arion probed ahead for a situation that would fit into the new world Kara would arrive in and found Superman-2. He composed memories of growing up paralleling Superman's situation that would last until Kara returned to her native world -- the present-day Earth of the Universe (not Multiverse).
"Your powers..." Arion's essence says, "even I do not fully understand them. But I know that twas my tampering with your genetic heritage in my experiments... PLUS your short melding with the essence of Garn and your time in the crystal--"
So Kara was NEVER from Krypton, not even on Earth-2.
And as for her "resting" within the world of the crystal for 20 years -- I have some verrry interesting ideas about the possibilities of that. Ask me sometime unless the folks fiddling with Kara's origin in 2002 or 2003 in JSA beat me to it.
Kara starts to ask Arion many questions. Arion tells her, "The ship, like your Kryptonian past, is mere ILLUSION, a simple spell returns it to purest magical crystal...! As for the OUTCOME of my battle with my brother, I know NOT. I am a piece of Arion which left him 'ere the battle ended -- thus do our shared memories end at that moment. Your parents... my DAUGHTER... CHIAN'S child and mine.. I... I can not... it pains me... too much... and my mission has been FULFILLED. I MUST GO..."
PG: Arion... GRANDFATHER! NO. Wait. PLEASE! ...At LEAST long enough to gimme a H-HUG. I KNOW you're not the real thing, but you'll DO, old man... Yo-you'll do...
Arion: Kara! My little one... Would that I might stay with you and watch you grow older still... But I must go, for there is no room in this era for the MEMORY of a faded old mage. REMEMBER me, precious child!
PG: I will, Grandfather. Wherever you're going, a part of you's always going to be WITH me... from now on...
Arion (casting a spell to put his symbol on PG's belt buckle): And you with ME, Kara, for we are FOREVER LINKED... by my sign... in our HEARTS, and through our love... and THAT is all the magic you shall ever need..."
How interesting that after we've met Kara's brother Khater (who got a lot of panel time in Kara's story), the second half of the book concerns that oft-reincarnated character, Hawkman, aka Khufu, Carter Hall... and Khater? The lettercol in issue 16 (but lettercols are NEVER the last word in continuity) confirmed the "little throwaway link."
PERHAPS Arion was trying to strengthen the weakening magic-sensitivity of his line and saw Kara as the likeliest person. Genetic experiments could have increased her sensitivity, making her Garn's logical target. Garn's power plus being the focus of a magic crystal for 45,000 years -- yep, that would endow anyone with super powers, expecially Arion's granddaughter.
Warlord #116: On page 22, Kara arrives in Skartaris, the scantily-clothed barbaric world of the Warlord. She gallops in on horse in Bandakhar, City of Thieves, having lost her way. When a big lout puts the moves on her, she tosses him across the square.
118: Kara gets passage on a ship to take her to New Atlantis. She has to save the ship against a modern technology attack by the Scavenger, and winds up flying the ship to an island where they can make repairs.
She finds a deserted but surprisingly intact city, an Atlantean colony, and determines to search it for records that would tell her about the fate of her immediate family.
119: PG moves a door weighing hundreds of tons to enter a monument to Grandpa Arion. "This device is definitely some sort of advanced data retrieval system. Good thing I'm a whiz with computers, otherwise it'd be days before this would talk. The level of technology surpasses my wildest dreams."
But she becomes ensorcelled and uses super-vision to crack a crystal holding a demon she now calls "master."
120: The sorceress Jennifer Morgan senses bad mojo afoot and mystically finds Peege. Even as she magically deflects PG's blows and heat vision, she senses a good soul beneath a spell of enslavement and manages to snap Kara out of it.
121: The demon has gone. Kara and Jennifer use the monument's memory chairs to review Arion's defeat of the demon 45,000 years before.
Turns out the demon's from another dimension. He's called Azmyrkon and after imprisoning the demon, Arion took his tripartate sceptre, split it in 3 and scattered it so it could not be reunited.
Kara and Jen find Azzy with one piece he's retrieved from the Mountain of Dragons. Its force beats Kara back, cracking half her ribs, but she sumons the strength and gumption to save Jen from the demon.
122: Azzy gets the second segment from the Sea of Chaos and attacks the two women at a half-sunken city. PG reasons that if the two tired women can exhaust Azzy, they can defeat him, but tossing gigantic statues at him hardly slows him down.
Azzy generates a tsunami that threatens an inhabited island, and PG creates a counterwave to cancel it out.
A sandstorm over the Desert of Hopelessness (someone get Skartarian mapmakers some anti-depressants!) alerts them to Azzy's presence. PG uses her X-ray vision to find the final piece of sceptre far below the surface.
"I like Jen," she thinks. "She's got guts." Despite the pain, PG retrieves the final piece (thinking "Praise Arion!") and while Jen distracts Azzy, PG whips up a sandstorm of her own, burying the demon with a hundred tons of sand, then sealing it into rock with her heat vision.
Still Azzy escapes.
Jen makes it appear that she's slipped so that Azzy can grab the last piece, and just as the sceptre charges up with full power, Jen releases enough of a magical bolt that Kara can grab the sceptre. With Jen using the last of her strength to power PG up, PG uses the sceptre to blast the demon to smithereens.
Jen and Kara promise themselves medical aid, R&R and to answer each other's many questions.
124:Ribs taped up, Kara saves Travis Morgan, Tara, and another victim from a fire.
Travis: I caught you biting your lip back there, Kara! You sure you're okay?
PG: Of COURSE I'm okay, Travis. And if--
Travis: No need to bite my head off, youngster. It's just that I know Azmyrkon gave you and Jen quite a pounding.
PG: Ancient history, Morgan.
Kara then flies off to make a firebreak large enough to contain an erupting volcano.
That night Jen comes to PG:
Jen: I'm afraid I've got some disturbing news. My elementals have been in mystic communion with your Earth. They tell me the fates have called you back. You are NEEDED.
PG: Ha! And I suppose here it's perpetual Christmastime, right? I'm sorry, Jennifer, I can't just fly off and desert Skartaris in her hour of need. After all, in an important way, the people of Skartaris are my people, too.
Jen: You won't be deserting us, Kara. I swear, we can maange this on our own. But the needs on Earth--
PG: It's almost a miracle, how close we've grown, isn't it, Jen?
Jen: Yes, like SISTERS.
So Kara leaves Skartaris.
Who's Who update '87 vol. 4: The updates finally start coming in after Crisis. Here's PG's new entry:
Real Name: Kara
Occupation: Computer software designer
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: Lord Arion (grandfather, deceased), Lady Chian (grandmother, deceased), Khater (brother, deceased)
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Brooklyn, New York
First Appearance: ALL-STAR COMICS #58
Eyes: Blue Hair: Blonde
The young woman the world today knows as Power Girl was actually born over 45,000 years ago, in an age before the fabled kingdom of Atlantis was swallowed by the seas.
The baby girl, Kara, was the daughter of Calculha II, the son of Arion, Lord of Atlantis and Lady Chian, and his wife. [NOTE: This is where non-story entries not being canonical comes in. The Secret Origin story clearly states that Kara is the daughter of Arion's daughter, and not of his son... unless something very icky was going on.] The young couple died in an accident shortly after Kara's birth and she and her older brother, Khater, were place in the care of their aged grandfather, whose once mighty magical powers had faded. He chose at that time to place Kara in a series of genetic manipulations experiments, which later led her to have unique abilities.
Shortly before Kara's first birthday, Arion's ancient foe, his half-brother Garn Daanuth returned, seeking vengeance against his eternal enemy by using the baby Kara's body as a conduit for his evil magic. Garn's magic was certain to tear the child apart even as it succeeded in opening a path through her to free him from his magical confinement on Darkworld, so Arion was faced with a chilling decision. In order to save both Atlantis and Kara, he had to send her away, into a magical time/space dimension, forever unable to return lest Garn use her again.
Encased in a shard of magical crystal, Kara spun through 45,000 years of time while aging only 22 years. Accompanying the crystal ship was a portion of Arion's consciousness which was to watch over and guide the young woman's fate. When the Arion-consciousness sensed that it was safe, it found a time and place for Kara: Earth in the late 20th Century, where there lived a hero known as Superman. Knowing that the young girl needed to fit in with her new world, the Arion-consciousness crafted and implanted in her mind a complete set of memories, making her believe she was a survivor of the plaent Krypton and first cousin to Kal-El, Superman.
However, after the events of the so-called crisis on infinite earths, everything she was raised to believe proved false. Power Girl was a known super-heroine yet Superman was the sole survivor from Krypton. Where, then, did she come from? This confusion awakened the Arion-consciousness still residing in the crystal ship to reveal to Kara her true origins.
These days, as Karen Starr, she lives in a brownstone co-op in Brooklyn's Park Slope, and owns and operates StarrWARE, Inc., a developer of scientific and specialized computer software.
Powers & Weapons:
Power Girl is an immensely strong woman, although the exact limits of her stength have yet to be measured. Still it is a reasonalbe assumpution that while she ranks below Supreamn in power, she would nonetheless give him a respectable workout. She is invulnerable to most hazards, such as bullets and conventional explosives, but she is by no means totally impervious to injury.
She possesses the power of flight, though she is restricted to staying within Earth's atmosphere. Likewise, she can operate underwater for short periods of time, but it is unlikely she would be able to resurface from too great a depth.