Supergirl Comics Price Guide

Supergirl Comics Price Guide

Superman is, arguably, the most iconic superhero of all time.

Certainly, the success of that character is what spawned the Golden Age of comics, and it is debatable if superhero comics and films would exist in their present form if not for him.

There have been many spin-offs of established superheroes, beginning with Captain Marvel's Marvel Family, and Superman followed suit.

Over the years, there have been many, including Superboy, Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Superman's Girlfriend, and even Krypto, the Super Dog.

But no other spin-off character has had the cultural impact or the staying power of Supergirl.

Supergirl Comics Tryout Action Comics #60 (1943): Lois Lane, Superwoman

Tryout in Action Comics #60 (May 1943): Lois Lane, Superwoman. Click for values

Record sale: $16,800

Minimum value (poor but complete): $100

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Strangely enough, Supergirl's history doesn't really begin with Supergirl as we know her. Long before Kara Zor-El made her first appearance, DC tried out a number of female Superman or Superboy equivalents.

Goaded, no doubt, by the success of Captain Marvel's female equivalent, Mary Marvel, over at Fawcett, DC decided to test the waters, and ended up doing that with several one-shot stories over the years.

The first of the Supergirl comics tryouts was in May of 1943, with Action Comics #60. Lois Lane, in the hospital after being hit by a truck, dreams that she has received a blood transfusion from Superman. In the dream, she is suddenly gifted with super-powers, thanks to the Man of Steel's blood coursing through her veins.

She takes the identity of Superwoman, complete with a modified Superman-style costume with a skirt added over the leggings, and no sleeves. True to the times, she declares, "There! All set for high adventure, excitement, and romance, as Superwoman!"

In the dream, Lois, as Superwoman, has to rescue Superman from the evil Dr. Skowl, who has somehow captured him. She does so successfully, but then wakes up to find it was just a dream, and that Superman has in fact saved her life, finding the one surgeon who could save her. 

Written by Jerry Siegel and penciled by George Roussos, this issue could be said to typify the sexism that was endemic in Golden Age comics. But Lois wasn't through.

Several more times, over the course of the next 10 to 15 years (notably in Action Comics #156 in 1951), Lois would be temporarily granted superpowers and become something like a female version of the Man of Steel. None ever stuck.

Tryout in Superboy #5 (November/December 1949): Queen Lucy, Supergirl

Tryout in Superboy #5 (November/December 1949): Queen Lucy, Supergirl. Click for values

Record sale: $19,200

Minimum value (poor but complete): $200

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A different "Try-Out" happened in Superboy #5, in late 1949. In this issue, teenage Clark Kent is smitten with teenage Queen Lucy of the fictional Latin American nation of Borgonia.

She has been spirited to America by her guardian, to keep her safe from the influence of an evil duke who wants to influence her and seize power in Borgonia.

She is hidden in Smallville and masquerades as a normal American teen, but her exceptional athletic ability makes her stand out. 

Young Clark befriends her, and she appears with him at public events, performing feats of athletic skill under the name "Supergirl."

Lucy has no superpowers per se, except the power to beguile the adolescent Clark. He is thoroughly smitten, at one point saying:

"What a girl! She's strong and smart... and brave! She... she was willing to die in order to save my life! Gosh! I've never known a girl like her!"

Of course, there is trouble and intrigue, and Lucy is kidnapped and brought back to Borgonia in an iron mask. After Superboy rescues her from that trap and dispatches the evil duke, they both realize that she must remain in Borgonia to rule.

Her people need her. Superboy's life comes as close as it would ever get to the soul-searing agony of soap-opera territory here. 

Superboy #5 is not necessarily super-valuable, but it is historically important as one of the Supergirl comics tryout issues.

Written by William Woolfolk and penciled by John Sikela, there are only 11 graded copies in the CGC census, the best-known being 8.0.

Tryout in Superboy #78 (January 1960): Claire Kent, Alias Super-Sister

Tryout in Superboy #78 (January 1960): Claire Kent, Alias Super-Sister. Click for values

Record sale: $590

Minimum value (poor but complete): $10

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The most bizarre of the tryouts has to be Superboy #78, from January of 1960.

In it, Superboy saves a spacecraft piloted by a female alien named Shar-La. She is grateful for the rescue, but recoils from Superboy's undisguised male chauvinism when he insults her driving.

She retaliates by seemingly turning Clark into a girl, and he goes back to Smallville, claiming to be Claire Kent, Clark's heretofore unknown sister. 

The plot thickens (it could hardly do otherwise, really) when "Claire" goes out to fight crime, it is as Super-Sister.

Super-Sister is ridiculed by men, who think the notion of a female Superman is the height of absurdity. Claire/Clark is humiliated, and tries to prove him/her-self again and again.

In the end, Shar-La reveals that it was all just an illusion and that Clark was just hypnotized. But from that day forth, the Boy of Steel vows to prejudge women or ridicule them. 

Written by Otto Binder and penciled by John Sikela, this Silver Age tangle of Freudian anxiety is not particularly sought-after by collectors, but it is as strange for its time as you could ask for.

A little slice of history, and a fitting comeuppance for young, chauvinistic Clark, Superboy #78 is an accessibly-priced piece of the Supergirl comics history.

Tryout in Superman #123 (August 1958): The Girl of Steel

Tryout in Superman #123 (August 1958): The Girl of Steel. Click for values

Record sale: $2,900

Minimum value (poor but complete): $100

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The final Supergirl comics tryout took place just a year before the real deal would finally appear.

It seems that this tryout finally elicited the desired reaction, sales-wise, and letters-to-the-editor-wise.

In Superman #123, Jimmy Olsen receives a gift of an ancient Native American totem from an archaeologist, who explains the legend that it will grant wishes. Later, Jimmy wishes on it, and the spirit inside it appears and tells Jimmy that he has three wishes. 

Of course, Jimmy's first wish is for Superman to have a super-companion. A Super-girl-companion, named "Supergirl." Of course. What red-blooded, young cub reporter wouldn't wish for that, if granted three wishes? 

Anyhow, this girl isn't really so Super after all. She tries to help the Man of Steel in his adventures, but always seems to get in the way, hindering rather than helping him.

But one day, encountering Superman at the mercy of some thugs who are holding Superman at bay with some deadly kryptonite, she decides to rescue him, even though she knows the kryptonite will kill her.

She rescues Superman, he defeats the thugs, and then Jimmy, nice guy that he is, wishes Supergirl out of existence before she can die from the kryptonite poisoning, thereby using up his second wish. 

This final Supergirl comics tryout, written by Otto Binder and penciled by Dick Sprang, must have convinced everyone that it was finally time.

Luckily, what they kept from this incarnation of "Super Girl" was the costume and the look, which they transferred whole-cloth to Kara Zor-El a year later, and not the ridiculous and convoluted plot devices that characterize this comic. 

Superman #123 is quite valuable to collectors, given its early Silver Age publication, and given that collectors finally see this tryout as something like a prototype for the real deal.

Action Comics #252 (May 1959): Introducing Supergirl

Action Comics #252 (May 1959): Introducing Supergirl. Click for values

Record sale: $45,410

Minimum value (poor but complete): $400

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Action Comics #252 contains three stories, most importantly, the origin story of Kara Zor-El, aka Supergirl, cousin of Kal-El (better known as Superman).

After Clark Kent spots a crash-landing rocket and flies off as Superman to investigate, he finds, to his surprise, another refugee Kryptonian inside.  

Teenaged Kara Zor-El tells Superman about her hometown, Argo City, which somehow survived the explosion that destroyed the planet Krypton when her father, Zor-El, created a force field around the free-floating city.

The city survived for a time, but eventually, meteor impacts made enough holes in the lead shielding the Kryptonians had installed to protect them from the now-deadly Kryptonite in the bedrock beneath them, and all of the refugees except Kara died of Kryptonite poisoning. 

Knowing the end was near, Zor-El designed a spaceship to send Kara to earth, as his wife had learned of Kal-El's similar successful flight there. Superman realized at this point that Zor-El was his uncle, and vows to help her, although adopting her would compromise his own secret identity.

So he installs her in an orphanage under the name Linda Lee, vowing to train her to be a new "secret weapon" in the war against crime. 

Written by Otto Binder, with art by Al Plastino, Action Comics #252 is quite desirable to collectors as the first true Supergirl comic. It is quite a nice find at estate sales, or in your grandparents' attic.

Adventure Comics #381 (June 1969): First Full-Length Supergirl Story

Adventure Comics #381 (June 1969): The First Full-Length Supergirl Story. Click for values

Record sale: $1,450

Minimum value (poor but complete): $20

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In 1969, DC decided to give Supergirl her own comic, although it would not reflect her name in the title.

Adventure Comics had been the home of the Legion of Superheroes, of which Supergirl, like Superboy, was an occasional member. When the Legion was relegated to a backup feature, Kara Zor-El got her first shot at the big time. 

Adventure Comics #381, titled The Supergirl Gang, Supergirl finds out that a college friend of hers has been involved with a group of costumed female cat-burglars.

She investigates, and with the help of Batgirl, brings down Jonathan Maxom, founder of a "Sleuth School" for women who has been hypnotizing the young ladies in his school to compel them to do his criminal bidding. 

Written by Cary Bates and illustrated by Win Mortimer, this issue brought Supergirl comics into their own, finally, ten years after she was introduced properly.

Supergirl #1 (1972): Finally, Her Own Title!

Supergirl #1 (1972): Finally, Her Own Title! Click for values

Record sale: $430

Minimum value (poor but complete): $20

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In 1972, DC Comics had finally decided to launch a Supergirl comics title. It wouldn't last long, running for only 10 issues before being cancelled, but it was a milestone nonetheless.

In Supergirl Comics #1, in her secret identity as Linda Danvers, Supergirl travels to San Francisco and enrolls in a small private university.

She finds out about a student who has been murdered, and investigates. After encountering a clairvoyant student who helps her, Supergirl learns that a drama teacher at the college has been killing student actors, stops his next planned killing, and apprehends him. 

This issue also contains a back-up feature starring Zatanna, which adds something to its collectability. 

This comic is valuable, with speculation about an upcoming Justice League movie appearance in the near future driving the record price below for a CGC 9.8 copy.

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (November 1982): Supergirl Returns!

The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1 (November 1982): Supergirl Returns! Click for values

Record sale: $180

Minimum value (poor but complete): $10

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After the ten-issue run of the first Supergirl comic, it would be almost another ten years before another comic bore Kara Zor-El's name on the cover.

In November of 1982, The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl appeared, giving its title hero a new look and, sadly, marking the last time a regularly-published Supergirl comic would appear. 

In this issue, Linda Danvers again relocates, this time to Chicago. There, as before in San Francisco, she enrolls in a new college, and as before, fights crime locally. 

This comic is not as valuable in general as the earlier series, but is notable for being the second and last series featuring Kara Zor-El, the original Supergirl, to bear the name "Supergirl" on the cover.

It would only last 23 issues, and would be renamed simply "Supergirl" with issue 13.

Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (October 1985): Death of Kara Zor-El

Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 (October 1985): Death of Kara Zor-El. Click for values

Record sale: $250

Minimum value (poor but complete): $10

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The original Supergirl's last appearance comes in issue #7 of this DC universe-redefining mini-series.

Over the course of the series, many heroes die or are forever altered. Many remember that Barry Allen dies in this series, but not all remember the loss of Supergirl. 

In this issue, Supergirl rushes to Superman's aid, as he is in combat with the Anti-Monitor, villain of the entire series. She attacks the Anti-Monitor, damaging his armor and his machinery.

Dr. Light, who is also present, sees that Kara has been hurt, and tries to get her to leave, but Supergirl tells her no, and to take Superman to safety instead. The Anti-Monitor takes the opportunity of that momentary distraction to send a lethal energy blast at Kara, and escapes in the confusion.

Kara Zor-El died moments later, in her cousin Kal-El's arms. He vows revenge. Later, at her funeral, Batgirl, Supergirl's oldest and best friend, says "Kara is a hero. She will not be forgotten." However, as fate would have it, she was forgotten by all in the DC Universe soon after. 

The character of Supergirl would be rebooted in 1999, but the universe-shuffling of the Crisis events made it so that none in the DC Universe could even remember Kara Zor-El or her sacrifice.

Except for a few other comics in which a pre-crisis Supergirl appeared in the next few months, this October, 1985 comic would be her last appearance for 14 years. 

Most of the issues of Crisis on Infinite Earths are not terribly valuable, so, even though this issue marks the death of Supergirl comics and the effective end of the Silver Age, since it sold in such large quantities, it's not valuable.

History of Supergirl Comics

Supergirl wasn't the first female superhero by a long shot. Many had come before, starting with Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

But none remained relevant for long aside from Wonder Woman, introduced in 1942. 

By the late 1950s, several recognizable modern female superheroes began to appear.

Hawkgirl, Batwoman (later Batgirl) and Supergirl were the first, and while they may have started simply as female versions of male heroes, their very existence showed that things were changing in the male-dominated comics field.

Supergirl's first appearance, in Action Comics #252, in 1959, garnered such a positive response that it didn't matter if social change was a concern for DC Comics.

Other versions of Supergirl have come and gone, but Superman's cousin Kara Zor-El was here to stay, and in one form or another has been a powerful presence in the DC Universe ever since.

While there has been, as yet, no rumblings about a Supergirl film (and the 1984 movie starring Helen Slater is probably best left undiscussed), comics that feature her continue to sell briskly, and the earliest comics that feature her have risen in value, partially because of their cultural significance. 

While no Supergirl comic is going to fetch the same price as say, Action Comics #1, or Detective Comics #27, Silver Age Supergirl comics can still bring quite a nice return at auction. If you've got any, you should probably dig them out and find out if you're sitting on a gold mine. 

Have Your Supergirl Comics Valued!

If you've got some old comics featuring Supergirl (including Action Comics #252 and other late 1950s and early 1960s issues of that title, Adventure Comics #381, Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1, or Crisis on Infinite Earths #7), then click here to have them valued FREE by Sell My Comic Books!

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