Power Girl is making a new name for herself in the DC Universe!

The powerhouse from another Earth, whose introduction dates all the way back to 1976, is back in a big way thanks to writer Leah Williams. Power Girl recently experienced some life-altering changes that kicked off in last year’s Lazarus Planet: Assault on Krypton, Action Comics and Power Girl Special #1—all penned by Williams. Now Kara Zor-L is soaring to new heights with a solo series that recently saw the return of artist Marguerite Sauvage to its pages.

With Women’s History Month winding down, we wanted to grab a chance to chat with Williams about her own comics origin story, teaming up Power Girl and Omen, the meaning behind PG’s new alter ego name, and much more.

Origin Stories

Growing up in a Southern town without a comic book store, Williams wasn’t introduced to comic books as a kid. But that all changed in college.

“I started rooming with a girl named Sandy,” she recalls. “She had shelves and shelves of Bat-Family stuff in particular. And me, my ignorant self, I was like, ‘I thought comics were for boys?’ And Sandy gets up and walks out of the room, wordlessly walks back in and thunks down a copy of Watchmen on my desk and leaves. And that's what I consider my official introduction to comics.”

Sandy got her point across, sparking Williams’ love of comics, and the two are still close.

“She's one of my best friends to this day and always takes credit for me being in comics, as she should. And she's still a huge Bat-Family fan.”

Williams went on to work in a comic book store herself, where she first got acquainted with Power Girl. And when she became a comic book writer, Power Girl’s unique background drew Williams to her as a character she wanted to write.

“I think she has some really fascinating origins, especially in terms of being raised by an AI,” Williams says. “I don't think there is another equivalent in the superhero world. I'm really fascinated with the implications of that, and the kind of experiences she would've missed out on not being raised by not only other Kryptonians—she lost her family—but also humans or organic beings similar to her. I think it's presented her with a really interesting worldview.”

As a result, Power Girl might be the multiversal counterpart to Earth-0’s Supergirl, but she’s completely her own person, Williams asserts.

“Supergirl’s tough, but she's caring. She knows how to play by the rules. And Power Girl doesn't play by the rules, not because she's trying to rebel, but because she was literally never taught them. She's encountering a lot of these customs and social mores for the first time, so she's a rule breaker by default, but she's learning. Power Girl is a bit mischievous as well. She kind of likes goading Supergirl and riling her up, because she's easy to rile up.”

A Good Omen

In her recent adventures, Power Girl has learned a lot about humanity—and being a troublemaker—thanks to her roommate and partner-in-crimefighting, Omen. The former Teen Titan, who wields formidable telepathy and telekinesis, navigated Power Girl through using her new psychic abilities granted by the supernatural rain that fell during the events of Lazarus Planet. (Read Action Comics #1051 for the full story!) Williams approached giving the already powerful Kryptonian even more powers very carefully.

“That was something that I talked a lot about with my editors,” she explains. “I thought, here we have Power Girl, who has never experienced humanity up close and personal. Because she was raised by an AI, her memories are largely simulated and not real. What better way to bring her into the experience of being a person than having access to the thoughts of other people?”

Omen teaches her how to manage her telepathy, and the bond they form holds strong even after Power Girl sacrifices her mental powers in Power Girl Special #1. The two complement each other well in both personality and power sets, even though they might seem like an unlikely team-up.

“I have to fully credit my editor Brittany Holzherr with Omen,” Williams says. “I was on the phone with Brittany and Paul Kaminski…[and] we discussed the fact that Power Girl needed a foil, a partner. We were all silent on the phone for a moment, and then Brittany said, ‘What's Omen up to right now?’ And then Paul and I gasped at the same time because it clicked so well. Power Girl is super traumatized, and Omen is a former counselor. She knows how to navigate these things uniquely as a hero.”

“Page One”


Power Girl might have a new partner and a new power in the form of astral punching, a remnant of the Lazarus rain, but those aren’t the most significant changes for the erstwhile Kryptonian. “Karen Starr” is gone, replaced by her new alter ego and chosen name, Paige Stetler.

“Paige is uniquely hers,” Williams shares. “It started out as Omen having a series of nicknames for Power Girl. She abbreviated Power Girl as PG, and then it got shortened into Peej. Later, when they're working with Jon Kent on something, he's like, ‘Peej kind of sounds like Paige, which is a really pretty name.’ And the idea is, this is the beginning of our Power Girl story. This is page one. So that's how I came up with Paige.”

Williams also reveals for the first time that “Stetler” has its own meaning.

“I wanted her to have a cowboy name,” she explains. “I used to work at a cattle ranch in Montana, so I've known lots of cowboys. Some of them were named Stetler. I wanted her to have a kind of cowboy-sounding name because, compared to the rest of the Super-Family, she’s a bit of a lone ranger. She's a part of the family and she loves them, but she's also working on her own a lot. That's what she's used to and that's what she is comfortable with.”

Along with the new alter ego came a new job working as a tech columnist for The Daily Planet under Editor-in-Chief Lois Lane. Lois guides Paige through meeting her deadlines, but, more importantly, acts as her liaison to the big man in blue.

“Superman is on a different plane of existence,” acknowledges Williams. “He is better than all of us, at all times. And Lois is, in many ways, his tether to humanity and can communicate on behalf of what he's expecting. ‘He’s hard on you because he expects great things from you. He only keeps people nearest to him who he knows can handle it.’”

Writing iconic characters like Superman, Lois Lane, Supergirl and Power Girl is a heady experience, Williams admits, as well as an honor.

“I consider writing in-continuity comics with DC and Marvel to be a sort of torchbearer position, where I'm the current custodian of this character who is already beloved, who already has an enormous audience, and that audience has expectations with this character. It's a huge responsibility, and one that I don't take lightly, but one that I'm incredibly honored by and will always feel proud of.”

Power Girl #7 by Leah Williams and Marguerite Sauvage is now available in print and as a digital comic book. Catch up on Paige Stetler’s recent adventures right now on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.

Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics and animation for DC.com. She’s also the author of several nonfiction books about some of your favorite film franchises. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk superheroes, comics and pop culture.