Why Supergirl’s dark past is more twisted and shattered than Superman’s
While Superman’s survival story may be better known, Supergirl’s experience with Krypton’s death was much more traumatic.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow # 6, on sale now from Dvs.
The destruction of Superman’s homeworld, Krypton, is one of the DC Universe’s greatest tragedies. Although Superman’s father Jor-El may have saved his baby by sending him to Earth before Krypton was destroyed by genocidal Rogol Zaar, the annihilation of his entire civilization has always haunted the Man of Steel. , with its tragedy of its native world. be immortalized by his less than triumphant title as “The Last Son of Krypton”
That being said, Superman isn’t the only survivor of the destruction of Krypton. Her cousin Kara, aka Supergirl, also managed to survive the death of her planet alongside her parents and most of the citizens of Argo City. Sadly, Supergirl was alone when she arrived on Earth, and an extended flashback in Supergirl: the woman of tomorrow # 6 (of Tom King, Bilquis Evely, Matheus Lopes and Clayton Cowles of VC) reveals how she became the last survivor of Argo City.
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Argo City first appeared in Action comics “The Krypton Supergirl!” (by Robert Bernstein and Al Plastino), and its history is closely tied to that of Supergirl’s family. After discovering evidence that Krypton’s uranium nucleus was destabilizing, Jor-El attempted to warn the population of the impending cataclysm, but most did not believe him or chose to ignore his warnings. One of the few to believe him was his brother and fellow scientist Zor-El, who transformed Argo City into a self-contained environment before locking it into a dome strong enough to withstand Krypton’s force of destruction. When Jor-El’s warnings came true, Argo City was hurled from the surface of Krypton and adrift into the void of space. Thanks to Zor-El’s upgrades, the city was able to maintain its population until it arrived on a habitable planet.
Unfortunately, exposure to the light of a yellow sun turned the earth upon which Argo City rested into Kryptonite, literally poisoning the very foundations of the city. Although the residents of Argo City attempted to slow the spread of deadly radiation by placing a layer of lead sheeting over any exposed ground, their fate was sealed when the city drifted in a meteor storm that pierced the dome. protector of the city and re-exposed the Kryptonite they had worked so hard to bury. Desperate to save his daughter, Zor-El spent his remaining time building a rocket that would transport Kara to the nearest habitable world, which happened to Earth.
The story of Supergirl’s childhood in Argo City and her ultimate demise had been told in other comics, but Supergirl: the woman of tomorrow # 6 took the time to show how traumatic witnessing both the destruction of Krypton and the deterioration of Argo City was for her. Unlike Superman, Supergirl was old enough to endure the destruction of Krypton, and she noted that the widespread idea that Krypton was destroyed quickly is an outright lie. Instead, Kara described Krypton’s true death as a slow, painful death that even the supposedly safe Argo City barely survived. Supergirl was fortunate enough to stay alive and unscathed, but many other Kryptonians were not, and the faces of the people crushed under the rubble as the planet’s surface slowly tore haunted her to this day.
In a stroke of strategic irony, things only got worse for Supergirl after Argo City was sent into space. The transformation of the soil into Kryptonite resulted in thousands of civilians being poisoned by radiation, and like their homeworld, their deaths did not come quickly. Many also lost their lives through exhaustion laying down the lead sheets, something Supergirl witnessed firsthand during her time on the city-wide project. By the age of fourteen, more than half of Argo City’s population had died, and they had all but given up hope of surviving to adulthood.
While the story of Superman’s survival may be better known, Supergirl’s experience with the destruction of Krypton was much more traumatic. It’s one thing to know that your home world has been destroyed, but it’s quite another to have experienced that destruction firsthand and to be forced to remember it for the rest of your life.
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