In Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, it's shown that Supergirl's cellular structure is much more dense than Superman and that Supergirl is supposed to be much more powerful.

Why is it then that she gets hurt much easier than Superman and she's not as quick or strong?


Although Batman says her celluar structure is a "shade" denser and that "she metabolizes sunlight more efficiently," Superman has been on Earth for many years, whereas she has only just arrived. She hasn't had as much time to absorb radition from Earth's yellow sun as Superman has.

Batman also says "bottom line, she might be more powerful than you"+

There is no guarantee that she is or will be.

+Emphasis added

  • But its explained that she absorbs faster which is why she got her powers so quickly. – OghmaOsiris Oct 6 '11 at 6:12
  • "Efficiently" might mean quicker, it could also mean that Superman absorbs 23% of sunlight and she absorbs 23.8%. I suspect the movie used this intentionally vague language as a plot device to continue Batman's suspicion of Super Girl and introduce the Amazon women. – Jack B Nimble Oct 6 '11 at 6:30

Two likely possibilities haven't been mentioned yet:

It's probably proportional

Kryptonian strength is usually described in relation to human equivalents (that is, Superman isn't terribly "super" among his own people). Even if Kara's physiology metabolizes sunlight more efficiently than Clark's, she's still substantially smaller and less muscular than he is, so she might still end up being weaker.

If I'm getting a 200% boost to a natural strength of 10, and you're getting a 300% boost to a natural strength of 3, I'm still ultimately going to be stronger than you.

Toughness isn't purely biological

I know plenty of 90-pound girls who can take a punch to the gut without flinching, and I know plenty of body-builders who cry when they get poked with a syringe.

Kara is Kryptonian, so she's "tough" in the sense that it takes a lot of force to damage her biological tissues, but mentally and behaviorally she's still a normal, teenaged girl. By contrast, Clark grew up working on a farm, and has spent years (decades?) fighting and pummeling incredibly tough opponents in one-on-one combat.

It could be that Kara is stronger and tougher than Superman statistically, but her inexperience and lack of combat training prevent her from being as effective in a fight.

  • You know a lot of light women and heavy men – Premier Bromanov Jan 28 '15 at 20:38
  • @TomSterkenburg I live in LA. Many of my female friends are aspiring actresses/models who keep their weight down and take stunt training, and many of my male friends are actors/models trying to be the next Captain America. – Nerrolken Jan 28 '15 at 20:39
  • 1
    @Nerrolken Do these men know that Chris Evans didn't look like that before he got the part? – KSmarts Jan 28 '15 at 20:48
  • @KSmarts The more you look the part, the better your chances in an audition. Plus, go watch Fantastic 4 again: Chris Evans wasn't exactly Steve Rogers before he became Steve Rogers, if you know what I mean. – Nerrolken Jan 28 '15 at 20:55

I think that she is younger than Superman. She will be as strong as him when she reaches the same age.

  • So she is not weak – Hanna May 11 '13 at 10:45
  • 3
    you should edit your answer instead of adding the correction as a comment. – nibra May 11 '13 at 11:32
  • She also came to earth later in life. Superman has been on earth absorbing yellow sunlight since he was a baby. Supergirl showed up as a teenager. Regardless of efficiency, she has to do a lot of absorbing to make up for several decades. – geewhiz Jan 28 '15 at 21:54

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