Dear Mr. Didio,
Enclosed is how I imagine a Supergirl series could work in your new framework. I've taken a few liberties based on what I've observed, and feel they help meet the objectives you've set out. For example, the age difference between Superman and Supergirl. Superman has been around long enough to have matured, gone to journalism school, and been a hero for a while. The Justice League has been around for a while at this point, and he's a founding member. I'm pegging his age for somewhere around 32, while Kara is 16.
by Peter G
We open on a starry expanse. The view changes, showing different solar systems and other astronomical phenomena. It is very beautiful. Eventually, the view changes to that of part of our solar system, with Earth in the center of the frame. Suddenly, several displays appear highlighting Earth and describing it. A voice says, "There you are. I finally found you, Kal-El."
On Earth, Clark Kent is doing his job as a reporter when he hears a specially tuned distress call. Changing into Superman, he heads for NASA, who informs him of the problem. There is an incoming spaceship of some kind. They know it's a spaceship because it has adjusted course several times. Ground zero? Somewhere on Earth. It is giving off some sort of radiation pattern, meaning it is some sort of technology they've never experienced before. Superman agrees to intercept it, determine the level of threat, and deal with it.
Superman gets into another ship and races to intercept it. Using a tractor beam, he manages to stop its movement and suspend it in space. He moves so he can see into the cockpit. A young blonde woman is sitting at the controls, trying to get the ship moving. She's not panicked, just confused. She looks, sees Superman, and she smiles and starts waving to him. While he's processing this, she ducks down into the cockpit, looking for something. She grabs a tablet computer and starts writing something on it. She holds it up, and it's words in Kryptonian. They say, "Hi, cuz."
After taking the young woman on his ship (and stowing hers as he doesn't know what will happen if anyone on Earth gets ahold of obviously Kryptonian technology), Superman reports that all is well and takes her to his Fortress Of Solitude. As they travel, he learns her name is Kara, and she is his cousin from Krypton. "But I'm the sole survivor," he says. "No," she says, "my parents left, too." Her parents were Jor-El's brother and sister-in-law. They and a few others actually took Jor-El's warnings about the imminent destruction of their world seriously. Establishing a colony on another world, they survived and started their own society, but they miscalculated the resources they needed to survive -- they didn't consider population growth. Kara's parents sent her out on their ship to find someplace to survive. She's had some schooling and education, mostly from the archives on the ship, but little practical living experience.
The reason Kara was heading for Earth was the Fortress Of Solitude. When he built it, Superman also set it up as a beacon, transmitting his existence out into space in hopes that other Kryptonians survived and would pick up on it. It worked. Kara came to Earth when she figured out how to tune into the signal. "So you haven't just been drifting around space. Where have you been?" "Oh, just around." Superman makes a mental note to check her ship's computer once she's settled in and out of the way. He gives her a room at the Fortress Of Solitude and shows her how to works some of the things there. Between the TV and the Internet, keeping her distracted and out of his hair proves easy.
Superman is still Superman, however, and still has a world to protect. Stuck at home, Kara sees his exploits and the gushing adoration he gets and starts thinking, "That's not so bad." She googles him and learns about all the adoration and decides to get in on it. She fashions herself a costume similar to his, and reveals herself to the world as Supergirl. When an enemy attacks in the middle of her debut, she tries to put up some sort of fight, but is too inexperienced to do much good. Superman saves the day and the two return to the Fortress Of Solitude, Supes ready to spit nails.
Superman and Kara are watching some of the news reports of the battle. Most of the media emphasis is still on Superman, and Kara's a little jealous. "I was there, too, you know." In fact, most of the news displays a bias -- Superman is a man and is expected to save the day and protect the girl in the middle of this. Kara shrugs off the idea that she needs protection. After all, she's as strong and invulnerable as Superman now. Superman has no idea how to handle her.
Kara manages to get a modeling contract and even more people worshiping her. She's so focused, she doesn't notice Superman return to where he hid her ship. He accesses the ship's log, and learns that Kara spent many years among an underdeveloped people on a planet with a yellow sun. They initially worshiped her as a goddess. However, it wore thin after a while. She still couldn't stop the weather or natural disasters or disease and the people stopped regarding her as a big deal. When she accidentally locked onto the signal at the Fortress Of Solitude, she went to Earth, hoping to find family. Instead, she found another group of people to worship her. And this time, she didn't have to do as much. Superman did the heavy lifting.
Superman is at Justice League headquarters with a cup of coffee. Batman comes in, holding a water bottle. Batman knows something is bothering Superman, they've worked together for too long. Superman starts complaining about Kara's behavior, how she is hooked on being the center of attention, how her natural charm just makes it impossible to keep her priorities straight. "She's self-absorbed! She's an attention seeker! She's...she's...."
"She's a kid," Batman finishes.
Batman comes up with his water bottle, taking a sip as he says, "Problems are so much easier to deal with when you just have to overpower them, aren't they?" "Yeah. But I can't overpower her. I have to teach her. But I don't know how." Superman sighs and says, "I'm a father. I wasn't ready to be a father." Batman rolls his eyes and says, "Who is?" They "clink" their drinks.
Supergirl, meanwhile, falls into a subtle trap. It's set by Lex Luthor, who wants to take advantage of her inexperience. If he can capture her, he can examine a Kryptonian in detail and maybe gain more of an edge on Superman. Supergirl is completely overwhelmed and just barely escapes. The activity has alerted Superman, who shows up just as she gets away. Coming face to face with the fact that she isn't automatically loved, that she isn't actually the most powerful and respected being in the world, she clings to her only family and starts crying.
The series from here focuses on her learning what her limitations are and what is really important in life. Superman is prominent early on, but as she grows, he steps more and more to the side. Kara starts earning the respect she gets instead of just taking whatever is given to her and eventually starts to mature.
What do you think, sirs?