Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

For this question Why is Supergirl so weak? I answered that it wasn't definitive that Supergirl was possibly stronger than Superman. However in Supergirl #6 a Worldkiller says this about her:

panel about Supergirl

And it isn't as if the Worldkiller doesn't know about Superman, because just before on the same panel she says this:

panel about Superman

Superman is more physically imposing. So is Supergirl somehow more inherently powerful (or potentially) than Superman?

share|improve this question
I don't know what you want us to say here other than "if you believe Reign, then yes". I suspect you're actually inviting speculation as to why that might be, but don't want to say it because you know that's outside the scope of a StackExchange site. – chaos Feb 24 '12 at 17:41
@chaos Speculation in answers is definitely not outside of the scope of this site (it's often standard fare here). – Ian Pugsley Feb 28 '12 at 21:07
up vote 16 down vote accepted

Supergirl isn't stronger or more powerful than Superman. It only appears that way. See: Is Superman really Super compared to other Kryptonians, section 2.

This mistaken impression leads to the confrontation between Supergirl and Reign/Worldkillers in Supergirl #6 & #7. Reign, the leader of the Worldkillers is a genetically-engineered metapowered lifeform created by Kryptonian super-science.

  • Reign's interest in Supergirl was due to her watching Supergirl from afar and gaining the mistaken impression that Supergirl was stronger than Superman because she fought him and appeared to be winning the conflicts.

enter image description here

  • In actuality, Superman was exercising restraint to avoid harming her or causing collateral damage which might harm or kill someone. When two Kryptonians battle, it is the surrounding people and property which suffers most.

  • Reign was secretly wanting to recruit Supergirl and thought if her collection of Worldkillers could subdue/recruit her, they would be able to discover more about the processes that created them and potentially discover their homes of origin.

  • The Worldkillers proved far more formidable than Supergirl could handle. Only by turning the powers of one of the Worldkillers on another was Supergirl able to force the leader Reign to retreat. Reign leaves the battle with a parting threat of the fifth as yet unseen and believed to be most powerful Worldkiller still out there, possibly looking for revenge against Kryptonians.

share|improve this answer

Seeing as how this is the "New 52" DC Universe, there are many questions like this that we just don't know the answers to yet, because they have not been fully revealed. However, it is important to note that Kara Zor-el (Supergirl) was raised on Krypton, while Kal El was raised in Kansas on a farm. We see in the "New 52" Supergirl run that she underwent extensive hand-to-hand combat training while being raised on Krypton. This may or may not have something to do with Reign's assessment of her threat level vs. Superman's. After all, we frequently see in the comics universe that highly-trained individuals routinely take down untrained, more "powerful" foes.

share|improve this answer

Under Matt Idleson, DCnU Supergirl probably was stronger than DCnU Superman. He said as much in an interview. Reign said as much in her speech. The Supergirl creative staff had her father augment her through lab experimentation, the comics even showed her able to create her own yellow sunlight, so theoretically able to amp herself at will. She'd be naturally stronger for a short time awakening from perfect suspended animation coming from a heavy gravity planet to a lighter gravity one. Her muscles would be used to bearing heavier loads. She might even have benefitted from having a better diet. Explanations abound for anyone who decides Supergirl should be stronger than her cousin, and very good and sensible ones at that. However, Eddie Berganza is once again editor. So DC has probably recanted that position. For tradition and fear of sales losses, no doubt. A too-powerful Supergirl is a genuinely frightening idea to the company, let alone Superman fans.

share|improve this answer

Everyone forgets that she also was older than Superman when she was left Krypton, so if Superman is super because the gravity (or whatever) on Krypton was denser than on Earth, then by that same logic Kara SHOULD be MUCH stronger since she was (physically) a full grown pubescent, capable of all basic physical abilities.

She learned to walk and skip and jump on a planet with denser gravity. Clark was an infant who couldn't even hold up his head with his neck yet.

share|improve this answer
Ha! +1. An interesting point. Doesn't matter for those stories where Kryptonian powers come solely from the yellow light, but for those where Krypton's nature is important, this actually explains a lot. – Nerrolken May 14 '15 at 16:35

well, in the comics there are scenes where (superman/batman 19) they (i think batman) says her abilities rival or even surpass that of supermans. superman can't keep up with her and when she chooses to leave him behind, she's gone. even his superhearing and vision couldn't help

share|improve this answer
This answer would be improved if you could add some images from the issue – Jason Baker Sep 29 '15 at 19:34

Well it basically comes down to which version of the mythos you're discussing. If it's the light of the sun that gives them their power in addition to the earth's physics, superman will always be significantly more powerful. In that storyline, their power comes from the energy stored in their cells like a battery. To that end, superman has grown up on earth and his cells have adapted to soak in maximum sunlight and use it efficiently. Also when you are born, your body is comprised in a way that adapts to the laws of physics on the planet you are living. So the argument can be made, that their physiology is still very similar. To that end, superman has lived on earth under its physics and under the yellow sun for decades before supergirl, making him significantly stronger than any kryptonian under a yellow sun.

share|improve this answer

In new52, Superman states she is weaker than him.

share|improve this answer
This answer would be improved if you could add some quotes or (ideally) images from the issue – Jason Baker Jun 7 '15 at 1:00

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.