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Supergirl Just Proved She Really is Tougher Than Superman

WARNING: Spoilers ahead for Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #5

As the Man of Steel, Superman is undoubtedly one of DC Comics’ toughest heroes - but his cousin Supergirl is just a bit tougher. As an inheritor of the Superman legacy and a hero in her own right, Kara Zor-El has been a fan-favorite for years. And as a fellow Kryptonian blessed with all the same abilities as her male counterparts, she’s also one of DC’s most popular powerhouses.

Throughout their long history together, fans have often wondered which Kryptonian cousin is tougher. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #5 by Tom King and Bilquis Evely finally puts that question to rest. And while some fans may take issues with the answer, there’s plenty of evidence to support it. After Supergirl and her companion Ruthye catch up to their target, the criminal called Krem, they are magically teleported to the other side of the universe by the villain’s dangerous Mordeu glob. The duo soon finds themselves on the planet Barenton, which Kara says describes as a deathtrap with a green sun, Kryptonite, and dangerous monsters built to kill her cousin Superman.

Related: Supergirl's Powers Mean She Lives Her Entire Life in Pain

In describing Clark’s stay on Barenton, she tells Ruthye that Superman only lasted for forty-five minutes before the Justice League rescued him and says that he called the misadventure, “the most painful experience” and “the closest to death he ever got” even after his brush with Doomsday. Even so, Supergirl and Ruthye only have one way off the rock - waiting until the sun sets for Superigrl to fly then off world. And while she is delirious with pain for most of their stay, Supergirl manages to do just that after lasting essentially an entire day longer than Superman, and even referring to him as, “a little @%#@” when she regains her strength and defeats a local beast.

Some fans may roll their eyes at Supergirl's impressive display of endurance in this issue, but there’s actually a pretty reasonable explanation for why she is the more powerful Kryptonian. Despite her outward appearance as a 21-year-old, Kara is actually considerably older than her cousin Kal-El - in fact, she was already a teenager when Krypton exploded. Pre-Flashpoint, her rocket was caught in the explosion’s debris field and trapped inside of a meteor for years, while in the New 52, her rocket did make it to the Earth’s solar system but orbited the sun for decades before it landed in Earth.

Whichever origin is canon to the current Infinite Frontier era, Kara’s ship kept her in stasis with a steady supply of the source of Kryptonian powers: yellow star radiation. And when also taking into account the fact that Kara’s muscles developed under Krypton’s much harsher gravity, it’s no wonder that her body is able to withstand such dangerous environments longer than her more famous cousin. Granted, everyone knows that the House of El wants nothing more than to protect those who depend on them, so there’s nothing to say that Superman wouldn’t have lasted as long on Barentor if he was the one taking care Ruthye instead of Kara.

Either way, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #5 provides definitive proof that the Maid of Might is one of DC’s strongest heroes. And whether it’s because of her stronger biology or just due to the fact that someone who needed her, it doesn't matter - she still survived what Kal-El couldn’t. Superman is still DC Comics' Man of Steel, but when it comes to his cousin Supergirl, he’s just flat-out outclassed.

Next: Lois Lane Came Closer to Killing Superman Than Most Of His Villains

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