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This is the first female showdown we’re doing here on Fiction Horizon. So far, we’ve done mostly male comparisons or male-vs-female ones, but we’re glad to say that we’ve finally decided to compare two superheroines – Supergirl from DC Comics and Captain Marvel from Marvel Comics. Who’s stronger? Let us see!
Despite what people might think, Supergirl is far stronger than Captain Marvel and could defeat her in a fight. While Captain Marvel is strong, her powers are limited, while Supergirl has nearly unlimited powers which she’d use to defeat Captain Marvel.
Marvel Comics is a comic book publishing company founded in 1939 under the name Timely Comics. Timely Comics changed its name to Marvel Comics in 1961. Along with its chief rival, DC Comics, Marvel Comics is the biggest and most important mainstream comic book publisher in the United States. Marvel has, along with DC Comics, contributed to the development of American comics, specializing in the superhero genre. Stan Lee, Steve Ditko and Jack Kirby are just some of the pivotal writers who’ve helped shape the style and universes of Marvel Comics.
Throughout the years, Marvel has created several pivotal superhero characters and has launched successful franchises such as the Avengers, X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, all of which have been adapted into movies, TV shows and video games. Some of the most famous Marvel Comics heroes are Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Black Widow, Wolverine, Professor X, Storm, Cyclops, Jean Grey; but, the franchise also includes famous supervillains such as Thanos, Apocalypse, Galactus, Loki, Magneto, the Mandarin, Doctor Octopus, the Green Goblin, Venom and others.
DC Comics, for those of you that are not familiar with the story behind the comics, is a major American comic book publisher founded back in 1934. Along with Marcel Comics, it is the most popular comic book publisher in the United States. DC Comics is a major player in the comic book business and is the “home” of many famous comic book characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and many others.
Now that we’ve given you a short introduction, let us discuss the topic of this article in more detail.
Supergirl and her Powers
The character of Supergirl was introduced to the DC Comics continuity in the 1959 comic book Action Comics #252. The story was titled “The Supergirl from Krypton” and was written by Otto Binder, with Al Plastino providing the illustrations.
The story of history of the Supergirl character are very interesting but we are just going to give you a brief overview. Kara Zor-El, the actual Supergirl, wasn’t actually the first female version of Superman – she was the fourth! In 1943, DC Comics introduced Superwoman, but only as a alternative dream version of Lois Lane. Similarly, Superboy was turned into a girl in 1960 so he could learn to respect women, which he eventually did. Finaly, Jimmy Olsen wished for a “Super-Girl” in 1958, but that version was short-lived and died during her debut. DC Comics used the latter as a test version for a full-fledged female version of Superman.
Thus, in 1959, Kara Zor-El debuted in Action Comics #252. She was introduced as Superman’s cousin from Argo City, a fragment of Krypton that survived destruction. Later, though, Argo City was destroyed by a meteor shower, but before that happened – Kara’s parents sent her to Earth to be raised by her cousin, Kal-El. Sounds familiar? It’s because it is – the writers used the same story for Superman and Supergirl, changing only the circumstances, but just slightly.
While on Earth, Kara Zor-El took the name Linda Lee and became an orphan, before eventually being adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers, becoming “Linda Lee Danvers”. Yes, you read that correctly – Supergirl’s adoptive family has the same last name as Carol Danvers, the best-known Captain Marvel!
For years, Superman used his cousin as a secret weapon, before eventually introducing her to the world. Her character continued to develop during the 60s and the 70s, becoming more and more important as DC developed its female characters. She has had a lot of roles during the years and at one point, her story became very confusing so the editors decided to kill her off. This happened in Crisis on Infinite Earths, a major DC event from 1985.
She was reintroduced in Superman/Batman #8 (2004), in a story that payed hommage to her original 1959 debut. Since then, she has become an important character in the DC Comics fictional universe and has appeared in derivative media. A Supergirl movie starring Helen Slater aired in 1984 as part of the Christopher Reeve-led Superman film series, but was a critical and commercial failure. The character appeared in animated shows and movies, in the TV show Smallville and is the main character of the Arrowverse show Supergirl, where she is played by Melissa Benoist.
Captain Marvel and her Powers
The character of Captain Marvel has a very long and interesting history. The first Captain Marvel wasn’t actually a Marvel Comics character, but rather the superhero that we today know as Shazam, who is part of the DC Comics universe. The original Captain Marvel debuted back in 1939/1940, while Marvel’s character of the same name appeared in 1967.
It is interesting to know that the original Captain Marvel wasn’t even a DC Comics character, but a character created belonging to Fawcett Comics; in 1953, DC Comics sued Fawcett over Captain Marvel, alleging that he was a copy of Superman, after which Fawcett stopped publishing Captain Marvel stories, before selling the rights to the character to DC in 1972. But, since this text is about the Marvel Comics character, let us see how that character developed.
Jumping in the void created by the DC-Fawcett lawsuit, Marvel Comics created their version of Captain Marvel in 1967, with the character debuting in Marvel Super-Heroes #12 (1967). The first among several iterations of the character was a member of the Kree race known as Mar-Vell, who donned the costume until 1982, when he was replaced with Monica Rambeau, after dying from cancer.
Monica Rambeau as Captain Marvel until 1993, when she gave the title to Genis-Vell, Mar-Vell’s son. After more than a decade, Genis-Vell gave the mantle to his sister, Phyla-Vell, who would be known as Captain Marvel from 2004 to 2007.
A Skrull sleeper agent known as Khn’nr became the fifth Captain Marvel in 2007, donning the name for just a couple of years, until 2009, when he was by Noh-Varr.
The most recent and current Captain Marvel is Carol Danvers, who inherited the title in 2012 and has been further popularized by MCU, where this iteration appeared in the movie Captain Marvel and in other Avengers movies. Because of this fact, we are going to use Carol Danvers as the protagonist of our article.
Carol Susan Jane Danvers is a fictional superhero appearing in comic books published by Marvel. Carol Danvers is best known as the current Captain Marvel, although she has a much longer history within the Marvel universe. She was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan.
The character of Carol Danvers debuted in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (1968) as an officer of the United States Air Force. She was a colleague of Dr. Walter Lawson, the human alias of Mar-Vell, the first Captain Marvel. The first major event of her history happened when she was hurt in an explosion of a Kree device; Mar-Vell saved her life, but she was seriously injured. During the explosion, her DNA got mixed with Mar-Vell’s, which gave her superhuman abilities.
Carol Danvers returned during the 1970s with her superhuman abilities as the superhero Ms. Marvel, debuting in the comic Ms. Marvel #1 (1977). She was a very progressive character at the time and has since become one of the foremost female superheroes in the Marvel universe.
Carol Danvers worked with the Avengers and has appeared in titles involving other characters. She herself has changed superhero identities again in 1982 (when she became Binary) and in 1998 (when she became Warbird), before finally becoming Captain Marvel in 2012’s Avenging Spider-Man #9 (2012).
The role of Captain Marvel has increased Danvers’ popularity so much that she has now become an essential Marvel superhero.
Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel has appeared in several animated movies and TV shows, video games and the MCU, where she appeared in both her own stand-alone movie and the Avengers saga. In the MCU, she is played by Brie Larson.
Is Supergirl Stronger than Captain Marvel?
Now that you know everything you need about the characters themselves, let us compare their powers and determine who is stronger – Kara or Carol!
Carol Danvers, as Captain Marvel, is considered to be a very strong Marvel superhero, but as we are going to see, her powers are very limited.
Captain Marvel has several superhuman traits (strength, stamina, durability, speed) and can even fly. She has regenerative abilities and can harness and use different types of energy for both offense and defense.
Her real powers are unlocked when she manages to activate her Binary Powers, but this form lasts only for a short while, after which she reverts to her basic form. On the other hand, Supergirl was introduced as having “all of [Superman’s] powers”, which makes her exceptionally strong.
We all know Superman is one of the strongest DC Comics characters so Kara having his power makes her very, very powerful. She has practically unlimited superhuman powers (strength, stamina, durability, speed), she can likewise fly and although she cannot harness energy or shift into a different form, she can shoot lasers from her eyes, blow the ice out of her mouth and has regenerative abilities.
This comparison seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Although Captain Marvel is undoubtedly powerful, her powers are very limited. Her superhuman abilities have their limits, as do her other powers.
As for her energy harnessing ability, it also has its limits – Carol can absorb only so much energy before being overwhelmed and knocked out by it. As for her Binary Form, she might be stronger than Kara in it, but since that form only lasts for a limited (and short) time, Kara would certainly endure facing Binary Carol and then use her powers to defeat her once he’s back to normal.
On the other hand, Kara Zor-El doesn’t have any such limitations. Her general power levels are probably higher than Captain Marvel’s and she would easily beat her in her basic form. She could also easily endure her energy blasts and counter them with her own laser eyes, meaning that Carol doesn’t really have the upper hand in any of the considered elements.
So, now that we’ve made it obvious that Super girl could easily defeat Captain Marvel, let us see why people would even think otherwise! Namely, the confusion about their powers probably has two chief sources.
The first one is the MCU. Namely, the MCU version of Captain Marvel is ridiculously overpowered and far stronger than her comic book counterpart. This was an intentional move on the side of the writers and the producers but it’s actually a lie, as Captain Marvel was never that strong. Even when compared to some characters from her own universe, like Thor or Thanos, Captain marvel is significantly weaker.
As far as the other source of confusion goes – it is quite probably DC’s own fault. Namely, due to her age and the setting of a lot of her stories, Kara Zor-El has usually been portrayed like a teen movie star, which resulted in people not taking her seriously. The “high school teenage girl” setting of her stories and the resulting interpretation of her character from such a point of view led to people never fully considering her full potential, subsequently belittling her powers and abilities.
But, luckily for you, we have cleared everything up for you and you now know just how powerful Supergirl really is!
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!
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