Supergirl #37Soon after the debut of a new creative team on Supergirl, the title also got a new caped Super-character, complete with heat vision, the power of flight and the familiar S-shaped symbol on her chest.
But who is Superwoman?
Newsarama recently asked readers to take a shot at guessing the identity of Superwoman, offering to run the top five guesses by Supergirl writer Sterling Gates. Now, Gates has shared his feedback, listing not only the five most popular guesses, but reacting to a few other guesses that he thought merited response.
For those readers who haven't been keeping up, Superwoman is now hanging out on New Krypton with Supergirl and approximately 100,000 other Kryptonians, the survivors of Brainiac's bottled city of Kandor who recently jettisoned themselves from Earth's surface.
And from what we've seen of Superwoman, her intentions aren't as heroic as her caped counterparts. Avoiding spoilers for the current "Who is Superwoman?" storyline in the Supergirl title, let's just say she's not only brutally demonstrated her heat vision, but throws a mean punch. And her actions are getting the attention of everyone from the cops to journalist Lois Lane.
Supergirl #38So now we'll turn it over to Sterling Gates, who lists what he calls the "Usual Suspects" in the order voted by Newsarama readers, with responses to each one:
SUSPECT ONE: Thara Ak-Var - "Supergirl's best friend from childhood, Thara Ak-Var was captured by Brainiac when he bottled the city of Kandor and removed it from Krypton. Eventually, she became the head of Zor-El and Alura's security team within the bottle city, a title that, as she pointed out to Supergirl in the "New Krypton" arc, she wasn't just given. She earned it.
“As her oldest friend, Supergirl trusts her completely and will even turn to her for advice. However, as we saw in Supergirl #37, their relationship can be at odds when it comes to Alura's orders. Maybe she'd put on a mask so she could operate in secret, outside of Alura's reach…"
SUSPECT TWO: Karsta War-Ul/a.k.a. Kristen Wells/a.k.a. The Third Kryptonian - "Karsta War-Ul served as a sub-commander in the imperial Kryptonian Army under Admiral Dru-Zod, where she made many enemies. Eventually, Karsta hid from them on Earth under the assumed human name Kristen Wells (a name not lost on longtime Superman fans, as it was the secret identity of the Pre-Crisis Superwoman). She recently helped Superman defeat the space pirate Amalak, and when we last saw her, she was returning Amalak to the proper authorities, having also agreed to face up to her own wartime crimes.
Supergirl #39“If she learned of the Bottle City of Kandor's return, if she'd learned of the return of 100,000 Kryptonians, it would make sense for her to return to our solar system. It would also make sense, in light of her crimes, for her to wear that mask…"
SUSPECT THREE: Alura Zor-El - "Supergirl's mother and the leader of the New Kryptonians. A lot has happened to Alura Zor-El lately. She's led her people to safety and created a new planet for them to live on, helped heal her daughter from long-term Kryptonite poisoning, seen her husband murdered by the villain Reactron, and been continually questioned by her nephew Kal-El about the murder of some "worthless Earth policemen." Alura's relationship with her daughter and her nephew grows more and more strained everyday as her duties to New Krypton strain her familial ties.
“It's possible that she's put on a mask to create a second relationship with Kara. For what purpose, it remains to be seen. It is also worth noting that, as a high-profile Kryptonian figure, it's well-nigh impossible for her to move and operate freely as Alura. But if she were covering her face with a cowl…"
SUSPECT FOUR: Lucy Lane - "Lois Lane's sister. Lucy Lane, as we saw in the New Krypton Special #1, joined the US Army a few years ago to follow in her deceased father's footsteps. She and Lois don't get along, as she feels that Lois' abandonment of their father contributed to his death. Readers of New Krypton Special, however, know that General Sam Lane is alive and well, working against the Man of Steel.
“Is it possible that Lucy Lane has found a way to have Kryptonian powers and is working all the angles against the Girl of Steel? Lucy would have a very, very good reason to don that mask, then…"
SUSPECT FIVE: Linda Danvers - "The former owner of the codename 'Supergirl.' Linda Danvers operated as Supergirl for years, but eventually retired from superheroics. She popped up recently in the Reign in Hell series with her fiery angelic powers restored, but she very well could've finished up her adventures there and returned to our plane of existence, only to find 100,000 Kryptonians living on Earth, and young Kara Zor-El using the "Supergirl" moniker.
Supergirl #40“Given her long heroic history, maybe she assumed the new codename and mantle of Superwoman to teach Kara Zor-El all she knows about being a superhero…"
MISCELLANEOUS SUSPECTS (While these didn't make it into the Top Five Superwoman Suspects, Gates said he thought some of them were good guesses and "absolutely worth mentioning"):
Supergirl-Black - "A doppelganger last seen in the first few issues of the current Supergirl series, Supergirl-Black was created when Supergirl was exposed to Black Kryptonite, causing her to split into two different versions of herself. Supergirl-Black was all of the angry and "evil" aspects of Kara's personality, and if she's reemerged, she'd want to wear a mask to hide her own nefarious agenda from the Girl of Steel..."
Lara Jor-El - "Superman's mother. It would shake Kal-El to his core, to discover that his mother was still alive, and he might call into question everything he's come to believe. So maybe she would have good reason to keep that mask on…"
Lyra Kam-Par - "Alura's personal secretary. We don't know much about her yet, save for the fact that she seems to have her own set of plans. Since Lyra's only just started working for Alura, the mask could be what keeps her her job…"
Lesla Lar - "An exact twin of Kara Zor-El in the Silver Age, Lesla Lar was a super-scientist living in the Bottle City of Kandor who wanted nothing more than to be Supergirl. Maybe now all she wants to be is a Superwoman…"
”Who Is Superwoman?” runs through Supergirl this spring, and began with issue #37.