Kara Killgrave grew up in Etobicoke in Toronto, a normal girl raised by a single mother, Melanie. One night, and despite having school the next day, 13-year old Kara went to a party with some friends, but snuck home at 3:00 am because she suddenly turned purple. Kara tried to wash the purple off but without success. When her mother found her in the bath, Kara assured her she wasn't taking drugs or anything she wasn't supposed to and was worried that she was sick and was going to die. However, Melanie knew the real reason Kara turned purple, something she always feared would happen. She revealed to her daughter that a man named Zebediah Killgrave, better known as the Purple Man, was her father. Melanie explained that Killgrave used his mind control powers on her, forcing her to marry him. He eventually released her from his control, hoping he would love her, but she hated him and fled to Toronto, pregnant with Kara. Kara attempted to make the best out of her situation by giving her hair a punk style and hoping she could pass herself of as being fashionable.
When Kara learned that Olympic skier Jean-Paul Beaubier, on whom she had a crush for years, was going to be competing at the Banff Springs ski lodge, she made her way there to meet him. Aong the way, she wondered why she bothered and what he could see in her. Upset, she hid in a bathroom and scolded herself for fleeing into a fantasy to escape her purple problem. When a woman knocked on the door, wanting to use the bathroom, Kara snapped at her and told her to go jump off a cliff. Kara remained unaware that, upon her command, the woman's skin turned purple and she left the lodge, walking towards the nearest cliff. Returning to the ski competition, Kara was shocked to see Jean-Paul using his powers as Northstar to rescue the woman who leapt from the cliff and overheard her tell Northstar that she remembered someone telling her to do so. It was at this moment that Kara suddenly knew that not only did she inherit her father's skin color but also his powers. When Northstar broke away from the ski competition, Kara followed him and confessed to being responsible for the woman hurling herself from the cliff. Northstar was not overly interested in Kara, so she used her power on him, forcing him to follow her back to her room at the lodge. Kara began to explore the limits of her powers – she couldn't force Northstar to “be her boyfriend,” as she had to give specific commands like “bring her flowers.”
Not happy with the flowers from a vase that Northstar gave her, Kara commanded him to take her somewhere more exotic, so he flew her to a tropical atoll several hours away. Kara began to swim but, when Northstar entered the water as well, it washed away the control Kara had over him. As the confused Northstar puzzled about where he was, Kara found herself attacked by a crocodile. Fortunately, the speedster saved her, after which Kara remaining under a waterfall so that her power wouldn't influence him anymore. Kara listened as Northstar scolded her for using her powers on him. Introducing herself to him as “the Purple Girl,” Kara explained that she did what she did because she loved him. In reply, Northstar accused Kara of loving him the way her father loved her mother. When he then threatened to leave Kara on the atoll, she commanded him to take her to Alpha Flight.
After arriving at Mansion Alpha on Tamarind Island, the team’s current base of operations, Kara pleaded her case to Canada's premiere superheroes. The team was unsure what they should do with her, knowing that she was quite powerful, possibly too dangerous to be left alone in the world. When she became worried that they were going to kill her, Kara put most of Alpha Flight into a frozen stance, before commanding Madison Jeffries to fly her to Toronto. There, she embarked in fun with the mind-controlled Jeffries, taking what she wanted for free and deciding that all of Toronto was hers for the taking. However, when Kara returned home to see her mother, Melanie was horrified to see that Kara had used her powers to control others, just as her father did to her. Kara left her mother, who cursed Killgrave for passing his power onto their daughter.
However, Kara's rampage of fun through Toronto did not go unnoticed, as the criminal known as the Auctioneer followed her and Jeffries. He soon discovered that Kara's powers were pheromone transmitted and was likewise impressed by Jeffries' ability to manipulate metals. He introduced himself to Kara and she agreed to accompany him, as he promised her an exciting opportunity. However, the Auctioneer drugged Kara, allowing him to control her, forcing her to order Jeffries to create weapons which the Auctioneer would sell to the highest bidder.
Although still under the Auctioneer’s control, Kara had full control over her mind. As these deadly weapons were demonstrated to the warmongers at the auction, she wondered if she should have let Alpha Flight kill her. When Kara eventually fought off the Auctioneer's drugs, he trapped her in a plexi-wrap and revealed that he had kidnapped her mother, which gave him another means of controlling Kara. Fortunately, as Kara's powers could no longer influence Jeffries (with her behind the plexiwrap), Jeffires was free to destroy the weapons and take control of the situation, with members of Alpha Flight arriving soon after to rescue Melanie and take out the warmongers. Unfortunately, Kara was still in the plexiwrap and the Auctioneer took her to another part of the warehouse as a hostage. Unaware that the plexiwrap had torn on a nail, Kara told the Auctioneer that, if she were free, she would tell him to drop dead. Hearing this, the criminal's skin suddenly turned purple and he collapsed. Jeffries, Northstar and other members of Alpha Flight found Kara, and deduced that her power must not be able to affect the body's involuntary systems, as the Auctioneer still had a pulse and heartbeat. Kara accompanied Alpha Flight back to Mansion Alpha to use her powers on another member, Roger Bochs, whom Kara placed in danger when she first fled the Mansion. Afterwards, Madison Jeffries proposed that Alpha Flight revive the training team, Beta Flight, with the Purple Girl as its first member. Melanie worried for her daughter's safety, but Heather Hudson assured her that Alpha Flight were the best people to look after and train her daughter. Kara was clearly happy about this situation, even if Northstar wasn't. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #41-42]
Fortunately for Northstar, he didn't have to worry too much about Kara, as Jeffries took her under his wing. Kara also quickly began to admire the courage and confidence of Heather Hudson, Alpha Flight's leader. As the Purple Girl, Kara accompanied Alpha Flight on a mission to take out some Sentinels which had made their way to Canada in pursuit of the mutant criminal known as Memsero. Although she was told by Jeffries not to get involved in the battle, Kara had no choice, as she was the only one with the power that could take Mesmero down. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #43] Kara probably didn't appreciate Jeffries constantly watching out for her, like when he told her that she would not be accompanying Alpha Flight on a dangerous mission to find Snowbird's possessed baby. This was perhaps fortunate, as the mission resulted in death and, when Alpha Flight returned home to bury their dead, Kara realized that even heroes could die. During this sad time, she started to feel especially close with Jeffries and Heather, as if they were a family. When Roger Bochs returned to Mansion Alpha a short time later, Kara first laid eyes on the intern William Knapp who accompanied Bochs and Dr. Lionel Jeffries from the New Life Clinic. Kara waved at Whitman to try and get his attention, although they didn't speak with each other. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #44-45]
Purple Girl accompanied Alpha Flight to the New Life Clinic after Roger Bochs started to go insane. Bochs merged with Jeffries' brother, the unstable Dr. Lionel Jeffries, and they transformed into a new being known as Omega. Kara watched as Omega defeated several members of Alpha Flight and used their strange power to mutate Madison Jeffries. Kara soon became entangled in Omega, trapped within the monster's form, until Whitman Knapp, now the mutant called Manikin, rescued her. He revived her with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and Kara was very grateful to the other young mutant. With Alpha Flight in trouble, Kara stepped up and used her power to put Omega under her control. Teary-eyed, Kara forced Omega to restore Jeffries back to normal, admitting that Jeffries had been like a father to her. The battle against Omega concluded when Jeffries climbed into the Box armor he took from Roger Bochs and used it to destroy Omega – his brother and his best friend. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #49]
Following the death of Lionel Jeffries, the Purple Girl found herself no longer the only member of the new Beta Flight, as Manikin relocated to Mansion Alpha as the newest member of the training team. Kara found herself alone with Manikin when the rest of Alpha Flight were on another mission and, when they explored the Mansion, Kara confessed to thinking their home was spooky. Manikin told Kara that they could cuddle to keep the ghosts at bay, to which Kara told Whit that it would take more than cuddling. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #50] Kara participated in a large training exercise with Alpha Flight at Tamarind Island. During the exercise, Kara pushed her power further than before, putting several soldiers under her control at the same time. During the training, Kara and Manikin stayed at each other's side the entire time, working well alongside each other and looking out for one another. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #51] Just as Alpha Flight was becoming a stable team and family, Kara continued to get closer with Manikin. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #52]
Unfortunately, Alpha Flight's stability took a hit when the deadly Bedlam the Brain-Blast attacked Tamarind Island, capturing Kara, Manikin and Alpha Flight. Bedlam then took the team to a complex he created in the Arctic Circle, where he pitched Alpha Flight against his own team, the Derangers. During that battle, Kara found herself trying to look after a young girl named Laura Dean, one of the mysterious Derangers. However, when she got close to Laura, Laura would vanish, replaced by the savage beast known as Goblyn. Unfortunately, Kara discovered that her powers had no effect on Goblyn, who gave her chase through the complex, until one of Mankin's other selves was able to knock Goblyn out. Alpha Flight eventually defeated the Derangers and, with Mansion Alpha destroyed and them no longer working with the Canadian government, they decided to remain at the complex in the Arctic Circle.
Kara became upset when it was established that most of the Derangers died when Bedlam was killed. Fortunately, though, Laura Dean and Goblyn were both found alive. When Goblyn was brought out from the cold and into the complex, Kara watched as Manikin approached Goblyn, seemingly unaware she was there. Seeing this, Kara told him to stop, not realizing that would place Manikin in more danger, as he was frozen thanks to her powers, and Goblyn scratched him. Despite her powers not working on Goblyn earlier, a desperate Kara called out that she wanted Laura back, which enabled her to link minds with Goblyn. It was in this way that she learned that Laura and Goblyn were twins, that their parents tried to kill Goblyn in the womb when they discovered she was a mutant, and that Laura teleports Goblyn away when she is in danger. While the rest of Alpha Flight were taken out by the savage young mutant, Kara defended her, despite the danger that put herself in. Kara even threw herself between one of Heather Hudson's plasma blasts and Goblyn to protect the young mutant. Goblyn understood this as Kara trying to protect her and stopped trying to kill Alpha Flight. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #53-54]
With Alpha Flight remaining in the Arctic Circle, Kara used her time to continue to bond with Laura Dean and Goblyn, using her mind-link she had established with them to discover that Laura was being transported to another reality known as Liveworld. When the Great Beasts attacked Alpha Flight, Kara was no use in the battle, and could only watch as Manikin was injured by one of the powerful beings. Although Manikin recovered quickly, Kara soon found herself transported to the strange realm known as Liveworld, where Laura Dean showed her around. Unfortunately, Kara's presence was discovered by the ruler of Liveworld, the villainess known as the Dreamqueen, who was looking for a way to escape this dimension in which she had been imprisoned for years and years. Kara and Laura soon left Liveworld, returning to the rest of Alpha Flight, who were now traveling through space in the transformed Box armor which now acted as a spaceship. [Alpha Flight (1st series) #55-57]