kara kent

You know, I keep seeing posts talking about what a horrible liar Kara is. But the fact of the matter is Kara is probably one of the best liars I’ve ever seen on TV.

But wait. The entirety of National City knows Kara’s Supergirl, you may be thinking. How can she be a good liar? But that’s the thing—her secret isn’t that Kara Danvers is Supergirl.

Kara’s only been Supergirl for the past year or so. But still, she’s been lying for well over a decade about who she is—and successfully. The thing about Clark—and they’ve addressed this in season 1—is he may as well be human. They’ve talked about this with Astra, and then they’ve shown this Myriad. Because in Clark’s head, he’s not Kryptonian. His powers make him stand apart, but when he solar flares, his most likely thought process is I’m human now. To Kara, it would be I’m now powerless. And there is a difference. Krypton is much more technologically advanced, yes, but that is not the only difference between Earth and Krypton.

I cannot emphasize enough Kara is not human. Kara’s alienness isn’t contingent upon her abilities—superpowers or no superpowers, she’s always Kryptonian.

And sure, plenty of people probably have figured out that Kara is Supergirl—but that’s pretty much it. What people know about Kara’s past is that she’s Superman’s cousin, and that’s it. And clearly, Kara is younger than Superman—most people aren’t going to think “yup. She was probably put in suspended animation in some way.” I mean the conspiracy theorists might, but not really the overwhelming people on Earth. (listen. You gotta draw a line somewhere)

Most people are going to think ‘Occam’s Razor’—that Kara’s mom, or dad, or both, got off Krypton at the same time as Superman, and a decade later had Kara, and that there’s a very good chance that Supergirl is half human, or at the very least born on Earth and raised as a human. It’s what’s logical, isn’t it? The simplest answer is usually the correct one.

But she’s not. English isn’t her first language, and she grew up with a very different culture, undergone a host of different experiences that most humans couldn’t even imagine. Hell, she wasn’t even born the same way—Clark was the first natural Kryptonian birth in years. That means Kara was not. Kara was born via the Codex—really, if James was surprised at the depths of Kara’s anger over losing Krypton (back in season 1—you know, where Kara got to have more than 3 emotions), or how surprised he was to find out what Kara’s family crest really meant, how surprised would they be at everything she’d decide to just stop hiding?

Because Kara is so very good at hiding. Kara Danvers is real, yeah, but it’s someone she had to build. One of the very subtle, but telling moments happened in the first episode of season two, when Kara and Clark were getting off the elevator, and Clark had a clumsy moment where he ran into someone and knocked all their things to the ground. After he apologized and helped the person pick up their things, Kara asked him “wow, you really have the whole clumsy thing down, don’t you?” “Oh no, that was real.” Key word here is thing. As in, I have a routine I go through to distract people and to seem harmless. And this is just the tip of the iceberg, of routines and acts Kara must go through to make herself seem human. Kara Danvers is real, but part of that identity is a persona she constantly embodies–clumsy, absentminded, horrible at math and science, cute but not drop dead gorgeous, a bit quirky always happy, harmless, invisible, human.

And so it’s not surprising that all of these people are figuring out her identity, but that’s not really what Kara’s held close to her chest, not like Clark. Kara’s anger and loss and just general alienness–that is her secret. This is what she’d confide, this is what she’d have to truly trust someone to reveal. This is what the culmination of trust would look like, trust in Cat or Lena or Maggie (or hell even Barry, who sure knows Kara is an alien but. He doesn’t really seem to grasp the implications of that–oh i didn’t realize Kara got mad).

For 10 years, Kara kept herself hidden, keep herself secret. But Kara’s secret isn’t that she’s Supergirl, a human with powers. Kara’s secret is that she is angry and mad and hurting. But most of all, Kara’s secret is that she is not human.

honestly for all 13 years on krypton, kara did not have powers. For clark, his powers are what makes him kryptonian and as we see with myriad, clark thinks of himself as human but with abilities–and when he solar flares he thinks “i’m human for a day.” If he lost his powers permanently, he would think I am now human.

For Kara, her sense of Kryptonian identity does not hinge on the fact that she has special abilities, because for the first half of her life she did not. And would explain why she never feels normal–not only is she on a new planet, an entirely new culture and language and history and religion that she is expected to assimilate to, and thus is not normal for any human–her abilities would make her an anomaly among Kryptonians as well.

Kara is always Kryptonian–this is not about  what she can do but who she is, her language and culture and history and beliefs, the way she looks at a problem–like that idea that no one was their own man on Krypton, how she doesn’t want to be the same kind of superhero as her cousin but wants to be an el mayarah superhero–a kryptonian superhero, not the lone solitary human savior that clark likes portray himself as (and the Christian savior that a lot of writers like to portray Clark as but @ them they are frickin space jewish go do research stop doing the whole Christian savior thing bc n o p e but i digress)

When Kara loses her powers she is not “human for a day” but powerless, still Kryptonian, the only one in her life not to be taken over by Myriad’s control without outside intervention. And the fact that so many people forget thisthe writers of both season 2 AND fic–and it’s too many

Clark’s secret is that he is Superman, that he is powers–Kara’s secret is not that she has powers, but that she is not human–and considering that James and Winn almost always forget this, forget that she is a survivor of her entire world dying and forget that she has so much anger and grief inside of her, that if she forgets herself just a little she could accidentally break their bones, that she isn’t just “Sunny Danvers,” a constant smile affixed to her face?

(except alex-alex, who saw that transformation, that struggle, that act that kara constantly puts out there, for every nightmare, for years of grief–because when Alex was looking at Kara, after everyone else found out about all of the pain lingering underneath the sunny surface, looking at her after red kryptonite and sporting a broken arm and looking at kara sobbing on the table back at the DEO once it was all over–Alex looked at Kara with sadness and love and understanding but she did not look at her with surprise. She’s known for years that this has existed, the struggle Kara has gone through not to succumb to this, to keep her head above the water and become someone she can look at in the mirror. She knows that this is not who Kara chooses to be but that she could be? Yeah, everyone else (except J’onn, the only other one who can relate) was surprised. Alex wasn’t)

It means that Kara is just as successful as Clark is at hiding.

This is the secret that Kara would share, with Maggie or Cat or Lena–because sure it’s obvious to anyone who has spent a good amount of time with both Kara and Supergirl that they’re the same–same scar between the eyes, same exact gold earrings, same hair color, same height, same bright blue eyes.

Kara’s secret is her grief.