Superman is the poster boy for DC Comics, widely regarded as the epitome of what being a superhero is. His power and strength are virtually unlimited and unmatched – that is, until the arrival of Supergirl, his cousin, who came from the same planet and possesses the same powers. So, if Superman and Supergirl ever fought, who would win, and why?
Superman would win against his cousin, Supergirl, more often than not. While Supergirl has shown some abilities that match or even surpass Kal-El, Supes is simply a stronger, more experienced individual that’s been around a yellow sun for longer and is thus more powerful.
However, Supergirl was shown to have better energy absorbing abilities, so it’s basically a matter of time before she becomes more powerful than Superman himself. But that’s when experience kicks in, and that’s a category in which Supergirl could never match Superman. Let’s dissect this matchup in detail to see who would eventually win and why.
Superman and Supergirl possess virtually the same powers, but they differ slightly due to their different physiologies, natural abilities, and time absorbing the radiation of a yellow sun. I’ll get to that a bit later, though. What’s important to note now, though, is that superman is usually portrayed to be ever so slightly stronger than Supergirl.
At her best, supergirl can match Superman’s base strength level. However, the Man of Steel goes way beyond that. I mean, there are versions of Supes that can lift 200 quintillion tons – without a sweat. Now, Supergirl isn’t far behind, but that level of strength is just out of her league – for now, at least.
Point: Superman (1:0)
As Kal-El is portrayed to have a slight advantage in strength, Kara Zor-El has just a bit of an advantage in terms of speed. Now, we’ve seen Superman match the Flash in races – the very guy that taps into the Speed Force itself. How can Supergirl be faster, then? Well, I didn’t say she was faster, per se, just that she has an advantage in this category. Why?
Well, because of the flash himself. In Supergirl #55, Flash taught Supergirl how to phase-shift. It means she can, like himself, phase her body to make it non-solid when going at tremendous speeds. That way, Kara can virtually run through walls, metals, objects, anything, without ever having to break it down or even consider it an obstacle.
That is something we haven’t seen Superman do, so even if Supergirl isn’t faster than him, she can do things at high speeds that not even Clark Kent can do. Therefore, the point goes to Supergirl.
Point: Supergirl (1:1)
There is not much to say here, really. Both Superman and Supergirl have equal durability that’s borderline complete invulnerability to physical damage. Regardless of how powerful the force behind an impact is, you can’t hurt the Kryptonians – not even with nukes.
That being said, the Supes’ have the same vulnerabilities and weaknesses, too. For instance, they are both weak to Kryptonite and can get hurt with magic, as shown numerous times in the comics. They rarely allow that to happen before they can react, but it’s a fact that magic is one of Superman’s major vulnerabilities.
Finally, remove them from a yellow sun, and after their supercharged cells go back to normal, it’s bye-bye superpowers for both of them.
Both characters get points in the durability department.
Point(s): Superman (2:2) Supergirl
This is a category where Supergirl simply can’t match Superman for several reasons. First, he arrived on Earth alone while he was still just a toddler. Once here, Supes instantly started developing his powers and skills. With time, he had fought countless enemies, including insanely powerful cosmic threats such as Darkseid.
At the same time, Supergirl was floating about in space before Kal-El found her and took her to Earth. Of course, she gained some experience already back on Krypton, as she was a bit older than Kal-El, but neither of them had superpowers there, so we can’t take that experience into account.
Sure, she collected some experience over the years on Earth, but she could simply never match Superman in that regard.
Point: Superman (3:2) Supergirl
This category is a bit trickier because, although Superman and Supergirl share the same powers, their fighting skills and strategies are much different from one another.
As I’ve mentioned, Kara Zor-El was older than Kal-El, so she remembers her life on Krypton. Ever since she was a little girl, Kara extensively trained in martial arts, becoming a very prolific fighter over the years.
After Kal-El was sent to Earth as a toddler, Kara was sent there, too, to look after him. However, her pod was pushed off course, and she never made it to Earth safely. By the time she arrived, Superman was already grown up, fighting criminals and larger threats on the streets of Metropolis for quite some time.
Now, Superman might not have that many fighting skills in terms of martial arts – he just goes out there and does his thing – but he definitely became a much better fighter over the years, using his experience to become a masterful strategist, tactician, and hand-to-hand combatant.
On the other hand, supergirl is certainly much more trained as a fighter, but that was way before she ever gained superpowers. It’s quite different; fighting with and without powers, and again, one can’t neglect Supes’ experience. Hence, both characters get points here.
Point(s): Superman (4:3) Supergirl
If you are asking me who has a kinder personality, it’s Superman, hands down. He’s just genuinely good, and despite the unfathomable power he possesses, Supes always remains kind, striving to do the right thing. However, when push comes to shove, that doesn’t really give him an edge in combat, does it?
On the other hand, you have Supergirl, who never shies away from actually going all-out. She can get quite ruthless and use the maximum of her capabilities to beat and hurt her opponents. Supergirl doesn’t hold back or second-guess her decision to strike.
Generally, as a person, that’s kind of reckless and ruthless, especially when you possess such power. However, we’re not talking about who’s the better person here. We’re talking about who would win in a fight, and being ruthless against somebody who is likely to hold back certainly gives you an advantage from the get-go.
Point: Supergirl (4:4) Superman
When I say power growth, I refer to their mutual ability to absorb solar energy and become more and more powerful. In some comics, like the Supergirl: Power storyline, it had been stated that Kara’s natural energy-absorption abilities are slightly better than Kal-El’s. That means her cells charge faster, and she is becoming more powerful faster.
Still, Superman has been around the yellow sun for much longer, so he has a nice head start before Supergirl catches up. Also, we’ve seen versions of Supes that went skinny dipping at the heart of the sun for millennia, returning as virtually an indestructible creature with unlimited powers.
Therefore, Superman’s power growth is certainly bigger and larger than Supergirl’s. However, one has to take her superior potential into account, so I’ll give both characters points in this category.
Point(s): Superman (5:5) Supergirl
Finally, it all comes down to who they have single-handedly fought and defeated throughout their comic book histories. And that’s another category where Superman is simply on another level from Supergirl.
Sure, she did have some incredibly tough opponents. However, the toughest opponents Kara had to face came at her while she was a part of a group of superheroes, so she never really got a go at them one-on-one.
On the other hand, there’s not a being that Superman didn’t take down, or at least match in a fight, including incredibly powerful beings such as Darkseid, Doomsday, Brainiac, and others. Again, perhaps Supergirl could’ve taken them, too, but the fact remains that we haven’t seen her go against such competition one-on-one. For that, Supes gets the point here.
Point: Superman (6:5) Supergirl
Superman Vs. Supergirl: Who Wins?
It’s a very tight battle, but in the end, Superman wins against Supergirl in the clash of the Kryptonians. While their powers are essentially the same, the fact that Kal-El has been around for longer plays into virtually all the advantages he has.
He absorbed more solar energy, so he’s slightly stronger, has a bit more stamina, and a whole lot of experience that Supergirl can’t get with training – it just happens and accumulates over the years, and it has made Superman such a marvelous fighter and strategist that Kara’s martial arts skill simply wouldn’t do it against Supes.
Again, it would be very tight, but Supes wins the majority of their fights, provided that they don’t end in a draw.