A few months after finding Kandor, Superman witnessed a Kryptonian rocket crashing near the outskirts of Metropolis. When Superman went to check out the place, he found his cousin Kara. Evidently, a metropolitan district on Krypton named Argo City was not destroyed with the planet itself, but rather propelled into deep space with an atmosphere-retaining protective dome around it. When the soil upon which Argo City was built turned to Green Kryptonite (actually a sub-variant called Anti-Kryptonite that could affect even depowered Kryptonians) due to irradiation, Jor-El's brother Zor-El had the ground plated with lead to protect the Kryptonian survivors from succumbing. Over time, Zor-El affixed a jet drive to the base of Argo City to allow it to blast through space into a system with a yellow sun. Religious fanatic Jer-Em opposed this decision, believing that Rao created the Kryptonian race to live under the rays of a red sun and never to manifest super-powers, so he tampered with the jet drive to propel Argo City back into Krypton's solar system. For his counterproductive interference, Zor-El banished Jer-Em to the Phantom Zone. As a result of Jer-Em's actions, Argo City collided with a shower of meteoroids that punctured its lead plating, consigning its inhabitants to slowly die of Kryptonite poisoning. Like Jor-El before him, Zor-El only had sufficient time to construct a one-person space vessel and sent his daughter Kara to Earth to reunite with her cousin Kal-El. Overjoyed to find his long-lost relative but being unable to take care of her at the time, Superman sent his teen cousin to Midvale Orphanage under the human alias \"Linda Lee,\" even as he trained her to control her vast powers. During this time, Kara embarked on her own series of independent adventures separate from those of her famous cousin. The first time that Supergirl directly involved herself in one of Superman's adventures was when the Kandorian scientist Kull-Ex framed Superman for causing catastrophes on Earth. The Legion of Super-Heroes would appear to Supergirl with an offer of membership, but sadly, she flunked their entry test for new applicants on a technicality and was told to try again some other time. Next year, the Legion returned for Supergirl to try again. This time, she and Brainiac 5 were chosen for membership. Supergirl and Brainiac 5 felt an attraction to each other starting from their first meeting, though for several years Supergirl's \"official\" boyfriend was Jerro, an Atlantean merman. As Linda Lee, Supergirl also grew attracted to a boy named Dick Malverne, whom she first met in the orphanage. Supergirl's final test of fortitude began when the wicked Kandorian scientist and Kara Zor-El look-alike, Lesla-Lar, used a teleportation/size-reduction ray on Kara while she slept at night to switch places with Kara in Midvale. To perfect the involuntary swap, Lesla-Lar brainwashed the sleeping Kara upon arrival in Kandor, so that Kara would in fact believe herself to be Lesla-Lar until returned to her proper place outside the bottle city. Impersonating Supergirl, Lesla-Lar hatched a scheme to assist Lex Luthor in creating a Kryptonite-ray weapon, with the intention of killing Lex in a staged accident after Lex killed Superman. From there, Lesla-Lar would indulge in the fame and attention that she knew Kara would receive had Superman ever allowed her to go public, in addition to plotting the takeover of the Earth at her leisure. However, Lesla-Lar's plan was repeatedly disrupted by Kara's activities in Kandor while brainwashed into her false identity, the interference of Krypto, who could smell the difference between Lesla-Lar and Kara, and the need for the plan to accommodate both Lesla-Lar's and Kara's Circadian rhythms. During the periods when Lesla-Lar was restricted to Kandor, she robbed Kara of her powers artificially using an energy siphon. Fortunately, the convoluted scheme was put on ice before it could reach fruition by the Kandorian police, who discovered that Lesla-Lar was experimenting with forbidden materials and arrested her. Meanwhile, Kara learned from Superman's vain efforts to restore her powers that she could manifest them in past and future time periods, but not in the present. Then, suddenly, Kara did appear to regain her powers, plus an immunity to Kryptonite radiation, but unbeknowst to her, these were powers bestowed on her by Mr. Mxyzptlk with magic as part of an intended prank on Superman. As these events were occurring, there was a shake-up of the status quo in Kara's personal life, as she was adopted by the caring suburbanite Danvers family and began to take her relationship with Dick Malverne to the next level. Confident in her newfound immunity to Kryptonite, Supergirl tried to gather up Red Kryptonite meteoroids and destroy them for the benefit of her cousin, only to realize too late that she was only made specifically immune to Green Kryptonite. After suffering through 6 Red K-induced mutations, Supergirl regained her Kryptonian abilities in earnest and was introduced by Superman before the entire world and officially deputized as an enforcer of the law by all the United Nations, complete with an international passport. Superman also helped Linda reveal her identity as Supergirl to her new adoptive parents, after Linda was forced to use her powers to save their car from a bridge collapse. Linda and Superman made sure to swear the Danvers family into secrecy about Linda's double-life, for the sake of their own protection. Not long after, Supergirl had one of her first true independent victories, defeating the Infinite Monster by replicating Brainiac 5's shrink-ray with blueprints sent from the future. Afterwards, Superman declared Supergirl coequal with him in their shared mission and placed trust in her to substitute for him during periods of absence. Supergirl was tested once again when Lex Luthor launched another crime-spree, believing her very existence to be a hoax conjured by Superman to discourage criminals while off-world (and apparently having dismissed or forgotten about Lesla-Lar's impersonation). Luthor made his move by trying a duplicate of Brainiac's shrink-ray on a bank franchise and stealing it away. When Supergirl intervened, Luthor fled and accidentally killed himself. Resolute that Luthor should serve out his sentence in full, Supergirl found a way to revive Luthor from clinical death and returned him to prison. Supergirl would continue to operate on an independent basis, amassing her own cast of friends, such as Lex Luthor's sister Lena, the housecat Streaky, who was artificially empowered by X-Kryptonite, and the centaur Biron, who was transformed by a mystical enchantment into Comet the Super-Horse. Then came the day that Supergirl discovered that her biological parents did not truly die with the rest of Argo City but in fact beamed themselves into an other-dimensional \"Survival Zone\" parallel to the Phantom Zone. Because of the proximity of the Survival Zone to Earth, Zor-El and Allura made telepathic contact with Kara and instructed her to release them. Upon their escape, Zor-El and Allura realized that their daughter had formed a legitimate connection with her human foster-parents and that they did not fit into Earth society, so they entered the bottle-city of Kandor to resume the relationships they had once formed on Krypton, while allowing Kara to have two sets of parents for the two different \"worlds\" she inhabited: Krypton and Earth. Soon after, Linda graduated from high school and began taking classes at Stanhope College. Supergirl's ability would again be validated when she triumphed in a solo encounter against Brainiac during one of her cousin's excursions with the Justice League.
Superman countered the agents of SKULL during an attempted break-in at S.T.A.R. Labs, but one of the criminals, Roger Corben, was grievously injured in the process. Using the man-made elements stolen from S.T.A.R., SKULL created synthetic Green Kryptonite and rebuilt Corben into a cyborg that could be powered by it, taking their inspiration from the brief outing of Roger's brother John as the K-powered cyborg Metallo. Moreover, SKULL deliberately planned for Roger to be mortally wounded in their S.T.A.R. robbery but sought to use Superman's presence to obfuscate their responsibility and concentrate Corben's wrath on the Man of Steel, whom he already blamed for the death of his brother. SKULL captured Steve Lombard and held him hostage to force Superman to fight the new Metallo at an empty sports arena. Superman won by overtaxing Metallo's robotic body, but the cybernetic villain chose to commit suicide rather than be captured. Meanwhile, Lois Lane broke off her relationship with Clark Kent, feeling that putting up with his constantly vacillating personality was becoming too emotionally exhausting. Lois also announced her intention to leave Metropolis to go work at a Galaxy-owned newspaper out in the Midwest. Superman had to contend with a mass break-out from the Phantom Zone orchestrated by the misandristic murderer Faora through emotional manipulation of Clark's senile new neighbor Jackson Porter. Superman then had to stop Doctor Light from discovering his true identity and divined the hidden meaning in a string of \"technical\" crimes, breaking only a number of obsolete laws, perpetrated by the Prankster. While Clark, Lois, and Steve were attending an international news conference in Central City, which incidentally was where Lois was planning to relocate for her future career, a space-borne plague quickly dubbed Journalists' Disease struck the area, eventually afflicting almost everyone present. Superman and the Flash initially held the Kryptonian immortal Nam-Ek responsible for vectoring the plague when he was seen in Central City around the same time, but were proven mistaken when the plague continued to spread even after Superman seemingly and inadvertently killed Nam-Ek. Superman rendezvoused with Supergirl, realized that Nam-Ek was merely extracted by a teleport-beam at the moment of his apparent \"demise,\" and traced the trail of the teleport-beam to discover that Amalak was the true cause for the space-plague. Nam-Ek had been a prisoner of Amalak but escaped when Amalak's ship passed through a yellow-sun system and came to warn Superman. However, Nam-Ek's treatment by Superman convinced him to mend fences with Amalak to work towards Superman's destruction. This alliance did not get very far, as Superman defeated Nam-Ek out in space and used his Rondor horn's curative properties to cause remission in the infected. Before long, Superman deduced that the actual vector of the plague was Amalak's shapeshifting pet Jevik and was nearly driven by the space-pirate into killing it and in so doing breaking his ethical code. However, Superman found a way to dispose of Jevik without killing it and defeated Amalak in the Justice League Satellite. In a desperate bid to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat, Amalak mortally wounded himself with an energy-weapon in the JLA trophy room while Superman was attending to other concerns and tried to tell Superman with his last moments that injuries from their battle were responsible. However, it was all for naught, as Superman knew what Amalak had done and threw his enemy's spite back at him to stew in as he died. Returning to Lois in the quarantine zone in Central City, Clark confessed his earnest love for Lois and spontaneously proposed, but Lois agreed on only one condition: That Clark admit to being Superman. Fighting every instinct that could lead him to select personal happiness over the demands of his secret identity, Clark somberly refused. 59ce067264