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I have been debating with my girlfriend over this. She says, Supergirl is younger than Superman. I say, nope.

According to her, Supergirl wasn't born when Krypton was destroyed. She was born on Agro City which survived Krypton's destruction.

Wikipedia says,

Kara Zor-El is the last survivor of Argo City, which had survived the explosion of the planet Krypton and drifted through space. When the inhabitants of the colony are slain by Green Kryptonite, which was released by meteorites striking the lead barrier, Kara is sent to Earth by her father Zor-El to be raised by her cousin Kal-El (Superman).

Zor-El was seeking Superman to raise Supergirl, so my girlfriend says that she won. I say the concern might be because she was a girl (but I am not confident.)

I have seen Supergirl try taking responsibility of her baby cousin. She has even said it exclusively that She doesn't like a Kryptonian half her age flying into danger. I have seen it many times, so I am confused. Does she say such things humorously or she is older than Superman?

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    Her name certainly makes here seem younger: Supergirl, not Superwoman. Apr 29, 2015 at 13:44
  • I wonder if you need to take their journey from Krypton into consideration, specifically if they were travelling at different velocities and the relativistic effects. It may be that one left Krypton earlier but travelled faster and is therefore physically younger. Mar 1, 2018 at 19:09

4 Answers 4

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You BOTH are correct.

There are many canon versions of the Superman character. Publishers often change the storyline, which creates the conflicts. This Wikipedia article covers the publication history of original Action Comics, the series which introduced both characters. Your girlfriend is referencing the Silver Age storyline, while you're remember the Modern Age storyline.

Silver Age

Supergirl first appeared in Action Comics issue #252 which was published in 1959 (Silver Age).

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Modern Age

The Brainiac Story Arc (Action Comics issue #869, published in 2008) has a different origin story. Brainiac stole the City of Kandor from Krypton before its destruction. It was later found by Superman on Brainiac's ship. Superman talked to Supergirl's parents.
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Summary

As a whole, the DC universe is very big. I'm not certain I've covered everything. There may be other storylines where the ages of Superman and Supergirl are closer. Without specifying the particular storyline, the debate is meaningless.

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    In Smallville, Kara was older when they left Krypton, but she was stuck in stasis for longer, and was younger as a result towards the end of the series. Sep 3, 2012 at 1:40
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    @Pearsonartphoto In the continuity of Action Comics #869 storyline, Supergirl was suspended in an animation for long from where Superman rescued her (Either displayed in Supergirl or Action Comics; not in my mind) like that in Smallville comic series. In that, it wasn't exclusively said about her zero aging process. But, even if it is, literal age is always-increasing quantity. Otherwise, it can be said that Supergirl's parents were younger than her due to bottle-city ju-ju which isn't acceptable.
    – user931
    Sep 3, 2012 at 2:25
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    Maybe, older Supergirl isn't liked by girls, but.. due to statis/animation ju-ju, she looks younger (and, she is biologically younger). This info should be great for girls.. :)
    – user931
    Sep 3, 2012 at 2:35
  • How far was the Krypton chunk from Earth? How long between Krypton destruction and Kara's travel? If it were 20 light years away and Superman was active since 20 years old, the chunk would have supported life for 40 years. Feb 3, 2015 at 7:05
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    Good thing that bubble of air went along with them! And that food machine! Jun 9, 2017 at 3:20
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It's really just a "pick your preferred version of the truth, for this story has been done in just about any way imaginable"-situation. The only things that seem to be for sure is that they are cousins, that they are among the very last survivors of the Kryptonian civilization and that they have Kryptonians's powers under the yellow sun. Personally, I find the Smallville version to be the best one, even if it differs from a lot of traditional approaches- Kara was in her teens while the baby Kal-El was sent to earth, and was sent after him to watch over him. She was however, due to a series of unfortunate circumstances, suspended in stasis for quite some time, and as such appears younger than her cousin whom she was to take care of.

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    I as well think the Smallville version is more correct. Although Kara was Clark's older cousin she is younger when they meet on Earth. So she's younger although she is supposed to be the oldest.
    – user11786
    Jan 7, 2013 at 16:47
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Like everyone else is saying, it depends on which version of Supergirl you're discussing. Sometimes she's his younger niece, sometimes she's his older cousin, sometimes they're not even related, sometimes she's Power Girl

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  • But yes, she is Supergirl replacement in Earth-2.. :)
    – user931
    Nov 12, 2013 at 18:35
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How things happened in the universe of Earth-1:

The baby Kal-El's spacecraft was launched from Krypton towards Earth mere minutes before the planet was destroyed. At the time of Krypton's destruction, Argo City was hurled into space intact. When the ground beneath Argo City began turning into Kryptonite, the inhabitants of the city sealed the ground under sheets of lead to prevent it affecting them. For many years, life continued almost as normal for the citizens of Argo City, since they were sealed under a dome which contained atmosphere for them to breathe. During their slow drifting through space, scientist Zor-El and his wife Alura had a baby girl, who grew up into a young teenager. After the city survived a swarm of meteorites which punctured the protective lead sealing away the deadly Kryptonite radiation beneath the city, Zor-El launched his daughter Kara (who would become Supergirl) in a small spacecraft toward Earth, where they had discovered (via telescope) that Superman/Kal-El had survived Krypton's original destruction and was now a hero.

So yes, SuperMAN was born ON the planet Krypton before it exploded. SuperGIRL was born in Argo City (in space) many years AFTER Krypton had exploded.

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