Dig this groovy piece by the celebrated Mr. K. And when you’re done, check out Rob Kelly’s REEL RETRO CINEMA column on the 1984 flick Supergirl. (Click here.) You can also have a listen to Rob’s excellent new Supergirl film-commentary track episode of the Superman Movie Minute at The Fire and Water Podcast Network. (Co-starring our pal Chris Franklin!) Wicked. — Dan


The January 31, 2023, headline from The Hollywood Reporter exclaimed “DC Slate Unveiled: New Batman, Supergirl Movies, a Green Lantern TV Show, and More From James Gunn, Peter Safran”!

Hey the whozawhat?! A new Supergirl movie did you say? The six-year run of the Melissa Benoist-starring Supergirl TV series notwithstanding, I’d always believed the 1984 film starring Helen Slater (and Peter O’Toole and Faye Dunaway and Mia Farrow and…) was sufficiently awful (8% on Rotten Tomatoes) to prevent any future filmmaker from ever going back to work that contaminated soil again.

But looking back now from the perspective of 40 years, I find I might have been a bit biased in my opinion. Not that it wasn’t a terrible movie but having been the writer of Supergirl for DC Comics while it was in production, I had a bit of a personal interest in the film. Even though the movie didn’t hit theaters until July (in the UK) and November (in the US), months after the last issue of the Supergirl comic had been published in May of 1984 and I knew the Maid of Might was fated to bite the big one in the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths, Linda (Kara Zor-El/Supergirl) Danvers was still “my” character. I wrote her last half-dozen appearances in Superman Family and then “rebooted” when she graduated to her own series, The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, which ran for 23 issues.

And the movie… look, Helen Slater was earnest and swell. Faye Dunaway was so scenery eatingly bad she was great, Peter O’Toole was so dry he practically blew off the screen, but Slater’s Supergirl couldn’t seem to find that sweet spot that made Christopher Reeve work as Superman.

And then, of course, there was my Supergirl movie pet peeve: the headband! You see, Supergirl’s movie costume was supposed to include a red, Olivia Newton-John “Let’s Get Physical” headband and the producers requested that we add one to the four-color Supergirl’s recently redesigned costume. Editor Julie Schwartz and I both hated the headband, but we bowed to their request, and it first appeared on #17’s “Soon to be a major motion picture!” cover. P.S.: The cinematic Supergirl did not, in the end, wear a headband after all. Ever!


The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (November 1982). A lovely Rich Buckler/Dick Giordano cover of Supergirl sweeping over an almost abstract Chicago cityscape graced the title’s first issue. The US Post Office selected this cover to represent Supergirl in its 2006 “DC Comics Super Heroes” stamp series, which I figure is the closest I’ll ever come to being put on a postage stamp.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #3 (January 1983). Keith Giffen and Klaus Janson get down and dirty.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #6 (April 1983). The first of many Gil Kane covers, of which one can never have too many.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #7 (May 1983). A different point of view, courtesy of Paris Cullins and Giordano.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #8 (June 1983). Kane does the Doom Patrol!

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #11 (September 1983). Kane does lots of Supergirls!

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #13 (November 1983). The cover said “Supergirl,” but the indicia still read “The Daring Adventures of… .” But whatever the legal title, the costume was all new and dynamic, and not a headband in sight, dammit! By Ed Hannigan and Giordano.

Supergirl #14 (December 1983). Kane, having a blast.

Supergirl #16 (February 1984). Ambush Bug, having gender identity problems, by Giffen and Bob Oksner.

Supergirl #17 (March 1984). Carmine Infantino and Giordano. And the headband!

Supergirl #18 (April 1984). Yeah, I unleashed the Kraken, and Howard Bender and Giordano helped!

Supergirl #20 (June 1984). It’s a monumental day for Supergirl and an excuse to cover blurb as “guest stars” what were really only a bunch of cameos, by Infantino and Giordano.

Supergirl #21 (July 1984). An Eduardo Barreto cover, inked by Oksner, on one of Eduardo’s earliest stories for DC.


— 1984’s SUPERGIRL Is Deeply Flawed — But Here’s Why It’s Not All Bad. Click here.

— 13 COVERS: Supergirl’s Fashion Through the Years. Click here.

Sure, you know PAUL KUPPERBERG as the prolific writer of over a thousand comic books for such characters and series as Superman, Aquaman, Doom Patrol, Vigilante, Life with Archie, Bart Simpson, Scooby-Doo, and dozens more for DC Comics, Archie Comics, Bongo Comics, and others, and that he is also the creator of the series Arion, Lord of Atlantis, Checkmate and Takion, and is a former editor for DC, Weekly World News, and WWE Kids Magazine. 

But Paul is also the author of numerous books, including the superhero novel JSA: Ragnarok and the comics industry-based murder mystery, The Same Old Story, not to mention (but we will anyway) Paul Kupperberg’s Illustrated Guide to Writing Comics, I Never Write for the Money, But I Always Turn in the Manuscript for a CheckDirect Comments: Comic Book Creators in their Own WordsDirect Conversations: Talks with Fellow DC Comics Bronze Age Creators, The Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg and Son of the Unpublished Comic Book Scripts of Paul Kupperberg. You can follow Paul at and at

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Paul, the “Daring” years represent my favorite era of Supergirl by far. Really resent her loss in COIE. Thanks for what you brought to the character.

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  2. I actually read “The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl” online a few years back, and I found myself enjoying it. I wish it’d continued until at least mid-1985.

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  3. Love this series, unreservedly. Bought them all off the ‘stands (or rather, since I was in the UK, hunted them down at various newsagents) and still have them in my collection.

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  4. Agree with the above comments; the DNAOS run was Supergirl at her best. A lovely blend between Kara’s escapades in costume, and her everyday life as Linda. Such a shame the Slater movie didn’t use Paul’s template.

    Anecdotally the handful of young comicbook fans that have dipped into the DNAOS run seem to have a healthy respect for it — as indeed they should! Sadly the only thing many young fans know of the original Kara Zor-El is her (unfortunately far too iconic) cover in COIE that announced her death.

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  5. Hi Dan and Paul! I, too loved TDNAoSG. Back when I was doing costumes, I did the “V” neck bloused sleeve Hot pants version of SG’s outfir. The woman I made it for wore it to a few cons and then gave it back. It was in storage for a few years until I moved to a new city and made a friend of a beautiful, naturally blonde lady who didn’t need the wig or the chest padding. I changed the outfit to match the new top with the built in cape and changed the belt. The boots were chunky heels as per the time with a gold side buckle and a blue strap at the top. She still has the outfit and the natural blonde hair, but like so many of us, the outfit doesn’t fit anymore. She wanted and got the headband, as well! Of course, that was 30 years ago. She looked, imho, like my favorite SG artist Jim Mooney’s rendition come to life. She wore the outfit to a number of “Windy-Cons”, ,”Capri-Cons, and “Arch-ons”. the first 2 were in Chi-town appropriately enough, Chicago) and the last was in St. Louis. If anyone has any pictures of Her, I’d appreciate copies, please? Thanks!

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