It will come as no surprise to comic book readers to learn that Clark Kent isn't the only survivor of Krypton. When Smallville returns this fall, tv viewers will witness the arrival of Clark's cousin, Kara, who has been in suspended animation since the destruction of the doomed planet.

According to Smallville producer Al Gough the arrival of Kara “will help Clark get in touch with his Kryptonian roots. With his [adopted] father dead and his [adopted] mother moved to Washington [to become a U.S. Senator], and Lana blown up, suddenly there’s some family in his life.”

Like her cousin, Kara will have enhanced physical abilities generated by Earth’s yellow sun. “She has all of Clark’s powers and a couple he doesn’t have yet,” Gough teases. “She can fly. And her response when Clark asks why is ‘obviously girls mature faster than boys.’”

Kara, a teenager when Krypton exploded, was sent to Earth by her father to look after her younger cousin. But while in suspended animation she didn’t age and now it’s Clark who must be the mentor. According to Gough, “She becomes enamored with our culture: clothes and iPods and stuff. We’ll have a lot of fun as she gets acclimated.”

In comics lore Kara takes on the costumed identity of Supergirl, while Clark is generally known as Superman.