Supergirl's Powers Mean She Lives Her Entire Life in Pain

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Supergirl's Powers Mean She Lives Her Entire Life in Pain

Supergirl is one of DC Comics’ strongest heroes, but that level of power comes at an enormous price that Kara Zor-El is constantly paying.

WARNING: Spoilers for Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4

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The Last Daughter of Krypton is one of DC Comics’ most powerful heroes, but Supergirl’s insane power levels may mean that she lives in more pain than anyone ever realized. Supergirl is a hero through and through, and Kara Zor-El saved the world on her own and with Superman more times than fans can count. However, a recent observation in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow paints her power in a horrifying new light that changes what fans think they know about Supergirl, and, by extension, her Kryptonian cousins.

Supergirl and Superman have always been portrayed as immensely powerful beings, but the weight of that power is usually taken for granted. Supergirl’s fellow heroes, and even the fans themselves, don’t always consider just how much effort it really takes to live with such strength. But if this latest revelation in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4 by Tom King and Bilquis Evely is true, then Kara’s new friend Ruthye just may be the only one who really understands her.

As Supergirl and Ruthye travel the galaxy on the trail of the criminal Krem and his Barbond’s Brigands, the duo encounter each and every atrocity the villains leave in their wake. Supergirl does whatever she can to help the survivors and victims of Krem’s attack, but when they find the remains of a massacre on a world of pacifist monks, something in Kara snaps. As she flies away to keep her screams from destroying the last remains of a peaceful civilization, Ruthye explains her observation of Supergirl’s true power. In her eyes, it’s not that Kara chooses to switch on abilities like her heat vision or her superstrength – it’s that Supergirl is constantly struggling to hold them in. While describing Kara, she even says, “All the energy of a dead world that strained against her many barriers, eternally demanding to be released. I believe this effort hurt her. I believe she lived her life in pain.”

Fans have always known how careful Supergirl, Superman, and other Kryptonians have to be when maintaining their secret identities, but Ruthye’s observations shed a new light on the struggles they face regularly just to get through their day-to-day lives. Kara is undoubtedly one of the strongest heroes on Earth, and it’s no surprise that she feels that weight. What is actually surprising is just how much pain that burden physically causes her. The strain necessary to constantly limit herself to mortal parameters is mind-boggling, and it demonstrates an incredible amount of willpower on her part.

This is something Supergirl and her Kryptonian family live with on a daily basis, and it also speaks volumes about her own personal sense of heroism. If she really wanted to, there are plenty of actions she could take and plenty of places she could go to depower herself – she even visited one such place at the start of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1. Instead, she channels this immense pain and uses it to help any and everybody who needs it.

DC Comics is no stranger to heavy-hitting heroes, and when it comes to power, Kara, Superman, and their fellow Kryptonians are in a league of their own. While everyone may focus on how physically strong these Kryptonians are, their real strength comes from their hearts. And heroes like Supergirl prove that every single day.

Tristan Benns is a freelance writer, grad student, and lifelong geek. He’s worked as a tutor, an editor, and even a salesman in a comic book store. If he isn’t asking you about your feelings on the Oxford comma, he’s probably asking you to name your favorite Green Lantern.

The Last Daughter of Krypton is one of DC Comics’ most powerful heroes, but Supergirl’s insane power levels may mean that she lives in more pain than anyone ever realized. Supergirl is a hero through and through, and Kara Zor-El saved the world on her own and with Superman more times than fans can count. However, a recent observation in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow paints her power in a horrifying new light that changes what fans think they know about Supergirl, and, by extension, her Kryptonian cousins.

Supergirl and Superman have always been portrayed as immensely powerful beings, but the weight of that power is usually taken for granted. Supergirl’s fellow heroes, and even the fans themselves, don’t always consider just how much effort it really takes to live with such strength. But if this latest revelation in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4 by Tom King and Bilquis Evely is true, then Kara’s new friend Ruthye just may be the only one who really understands her.

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