Supergirl is a slightly troubled character for DC Comics. Although The CW series has rocketed her to the forefront of public consciousness in a very exciting way, she hasn't always been treated the best.
There have been multiple versions of Supergirl throughout DC's history. Yet all of them have been viewed like nothing more than gender-swapped Superman.
While disappointing it's a fair comparison. The current, and most popular, version of Supergirl copies Superman's origin to a tee. She was born on Krypton and set to Earth to escape the planet's destruction.
The only really significant differences is that Supergirl's Earth-bound pod arrived much later than Superman's and she is (technically) older.
However, there's more that separates Superman and Supergirl than most fans might realize. Though fans and creators tend to forget, Supergirl is much more than a blonde female Superman.
Superman’s list of powers is long and insane. Yet there are a whole host of hidden talents and abilities that Supergirl has (or had) that Superman has never come close to replicating.
All of the powers on this list don't belong to the history of one character. Every person focused on is Supergirl though, having held the mantle at one time or another.
With that in mind, here are 15 Powers That Supergirl Has (That Superman Doesn’t).
15 Acid Spit
During the New 52 era of DC Comics, the decision was made to approach Supergirl from a new angle. Rather than just being another Kryptonian, Supergirl joined the Red Lantern Corps.
The toll of fighting constant battles and living with the memory of her dead planet, has consequences. Kara grew dark and moody. So she took the oath of the Red Lanterns who are defined by their hate and anger.
This allowed Kara access to whole bevvy of powers that Superman has never been able to access. (Although Superman has, periodically, got the powers of other Rings.)
One of the most memorable (and disgusting) Red Lantern powers is the ability to have vomit forth a projectile red goop.
This gross oral sludge can burn through most materials and has been described as having the force of napalm and acid mixed together.
14 Telepathic Immunity
Depending on the continuity, Superman has had a certain degree of telepathic resistance. The list of Superman’s powers is legion and sometimes contradictory but telepathic immunity is one.
At this current moment in DC’s history though Superman is completely vulnerable to any kind of telepathic attack, whereas Supergirl has yet to be shown as that vulnerable to psychic attack. (At least in the comics. On the show Kara can be overcome by a strong telepath.)
The exact degree of Kara’s telepathic immunity has varied. Sometimes she’s completely immune to any and all telepaths. Other it’s more along the lines that she’s just heavily resistant. At the point where other heroes can succumb or be weakened, Supergirl willoutlast.
The bottom line though is that Supergirl is the Kryptonian who should be fighting a telepath, not Superman.
13 Force Field
Like with any long-lasting hero ,there are several different versions of Superman. Through reimaginings and alternate universes, Superman has changed but for the most part he is Kal-El of Krypton, who came to Earth and was raised as human and became a hero. With Supergirl, several different women have claimed the mantle.
One of which was Matrix. Matrix was an an artificial lifeform made flesh that was created in an alternate dimension. She came to Earth, was adopted by the Kents, and christened herself Supergirl.
Having the a very different genetic make-up from a Kryptonian, Matrix had unique powers.
One such power was the ability to create telekinetic force fields around herself and others.
It’s not a power that has ever really manifest in the Supergirl, who is Superman’s cousin. Yet there is a relatively long history of a Supergirl having the power.
This is another power in Matrix’s repertoire that technically also falls under the umbrella of Supergirl. The Kryptonian Supergirl, like Superman, can vibrate so quickly that she can appear invisible. It’s something that she has learned from The Flash. Matrix’s abilities, on the other hand, are true invisibility.
Thanks to her kind-of-human-kind-of-not-human nature, Matrix was able to make herself completely invisible. It took a great deal of concentration but it could be achieved.
It’s a lethal combination to be able to punch with the force of several school buses and be unable to be seen by the naked human eye. Although, to be fair, Matrix Supergirl was much less of a physical powerhouse than her mainline counterpart.
11 Wormhole Creation
A Red Power Ring comes with plenty of its own abilities. Yet it also shares some things with every other Power Ring, no matter the color. All Power Rings allow its users to fly at super-fast distances and breathe in space.
Both of which are virtually useless for Supergirl. Just like her cousin, Kara can hold her breath for a tremendous amount of time and fly with the greatest of ease.
There’s one more inherent benefit to a Power Ring. When Kara was a Red Lantern she could create traversalable wormholes that allowed her to pass through the almost unfathomable distances of space in a blink of an eye.
The wormhole creation isn’t used for much more than convenience and to explain why Lanterns (of all shades) can travel so far in so little time.
Yet when Kara was in possession of her Ring she had a definite leg up on Superman. Instantaneous wormholes beats the quickness of a speeding bullet.
10 Red Sunburst
This is a power that certainly belongs to Supergirl. It's just not the one most people will recognize. Her name is Cir-El. Cir-El is a human and alien hybrid created by Brainiac 12 who comes from the future and was based upon Superman's DNA.
Superman first ran into Cir-El when she mysteriously arrived in Metropolis claiming to be on a mission from the future. Cir-El also told Superman she went by the name Supergirl.
While Cir-El does have a few powers of the regular Kryptonian, she also has something all her own. Cir-El can channel the solar energy that courses through her body and make it into projectiles from her hands.
These blasts of energy, called a red sunburst, can be devastating. They come with a lot of concussive force and an intense amount of heat.
9 The Fastest Kryptonian Alive
In the DC Universe, several heroes have the gift of super speed. The Flash is obviously the most famous and accomplished but he’s not the only one who can go fast and furious.
Superman and The Flash have had many races, for charity, throughout the long history of DC. The question of whose faster Superman or The Flash is so iconic that it made it into Justice League. (Even though The Flash is clearly faster.)
However, Superman isn’t even the fastest "Super."
Supergirl has her cousin beat and she might even be on pace to stand completely toe-to-toe with The Flash.
When Superman was introduced in Supergirl season 2, the point was made that she was much faster than Clark. In the comics too, Supergirl has been consistently shown to get places faster and easier than Superman.
As mentioned before the Matrix Supergirl can create a force field with her own mind. Yet that is far from the extent of her mental powers. This version of Supergirl is fully telekinetic. She could not only hit enemies with her fists but also with her braib.
Matrix had full tactile control of certain objects using nothing by the power of thought. In addition, Supergirl was able to use her telekinesis to enhance her own considerable strength, meaning that that she could lift double the amount of weight using her powers of body and mind.
However, probably the most impressive feat that telekinesis added was that Matrix could channel it into a force blast. If Matrix concentrated hard enough, her telekinetic powers could shoot and incapacitate nearby foes.
7 Sonic Scream
The sonic scream isn’t one of the most impressive sounding superpowers. This probably has a lot do with the fact that a scream, even a powerful one, doesn’t look or sound all too interesting on the page or on the screen. Any still of the various Black Canaries on Arrow just looks rather ridiculous.
However, the sonic scream is a surprisingly ruinous power with enough force and skill behind it. It’s also one of the powers that Supergirl for her own, over Superman.
It’s rare but on occasion Supergirl has been able to transition her super breath into a rather debilitating scream.
Like DC Comics’ resident screamer, Black Canary, Supergirl can use her scream to incapacitate enemies, destroy dangerous obstacles and overall just the level playing field.
Matrix had a good run as Supergirl. Eventually though Matrix, like most reimaginings of a superhero, was assumed into a much more traditional version. Linda Danvers was a rather ordinary girl but after a near death experience, Matrix bonded with her. This saved Linda’s life and made the two into one all-new Supergirl.
Since she gained her powers from Matrix, Linda Danvers had most of the previous Supergirl’s powers. However, she eventually gained one of her own, pyrokinesis. Linda learned that she was the Earth born Angel of Fire and this came with a couple gifts.
This knowledge allowed Linda to transform her appearance, giving her wings of literal fire. The change not only looked cool, it allowed Linda to gain the power of pyrokinesis. As the Angel of Fire, Linda could tap into some overwhelming fire-based attacks.
5 Genius Level Intellect
Superman might not be the sharpest mind at the Daily Planet. That honor goes to his wife, Lois Lane. Yet Clark Kent is no dummy. He's very good at what he does both professionally and in his off hours as Superman. Superman, though, isn't a genius. At least not at the level of his cousin, Supergirl.
Supergirl is a certifiable genius.
Supergirl can learn things far quickly than should be possible, going from speaking solely Kryptoninan to English in record time.
In fact, she can speak almost all the languages of Earth, without a hint of an accent. Supergirlalso has an advanced level of understanding and knowledge of science and technology. This is facilitated, in part, due to her time on Krypton.
Supergirl is so smart, that she’s intimidated Batman, of all people, with her knowledge.
Matrix really might be the most overpowered version of Superigrl. In addition to every other unique power of Matrix, she's a protoplasmic lifeform. So this Supergirl could change her appearance at will.
There’s a reason that Matrix looked exactly like the Supergirl who had died in Crisis on Infinite Earths. She shape-shifted her appearance to look exactly like that character. In reality, Matrix was more of a purple/pinki-ish sludge. It took some low level power, maintained at all times, to appear as the pretty blonde girl.
While Matrix mainly used her powers to appear “normal,” the power had other benefits. Although she wasn’t as accomplished a shapeshifter as Martian Manhunter, Matrix use her skills to appear as several humans or man-shaped beings. The most Superman can do to change his appearance is put on a pair of glasses and slouch.
3 Heart Replacement
Technically this more just a fact of life as Red Lantern than an actual power. Still, Supergirl could live for a very long time without a heart. This is in a literal sense, not a metaphorical one.
When someone becomes a Red Lantern all the blood in their body is expelled. It’s replaced with the red-hot fires of rage. The Red Power Ring then becomes the wearer’s heart.
The Ring keeps the body moving and living. It's not only the source of their powers but their life force.
It’s gruesome, if morbidly poetic. Hate is literally keeping them alive. However, it’s also pretty useful as it gives Red Lantern’s a whole extra level of protection as it’s nearly impossible to remove a Lantern’s ring (or heart) without out their permission.
2 Advanced Combat Prowess
Superman’s strength relies solely on his power. He’s not much of a skilled combatant. He just slugs and jabs until the problem goes away or is defeated. Without his powers, Superman is rather useless. The same can not be said of Supergirl.
Supergirl has some intense melee and hand-to-hand training. Kara was trained as warrior on Krypton. She was, after all, meant to be sent to Earth as Kal-El’s protector. Yet once she got to Earth, Kara also trained with Wonder Woman and the Amazons.
In current continuity, Supergirl’s combat skills a little fuzzy. Most of her confirmed training was in the pre-New 52 era. After Matrix, Linda and the rest were gone, Supergirl was rebooted once again and given her current origins and backstory. Yet if Supergirl and Superman both lose their powers, Kara is probably going to win in a fight.
1 She's Stronger Than Superman... Probably
It’s a bit confusing as no matter the mainline continuity Superman has been active for longer than Supergirl. If the yellow sun gives Kryptonians their powers, Superman has soaked up way more than Kara. Yet in various stories it’s been teased, if not outright confirmed, that Supergirl is physically stronger than Superman.
In the Supergirl series, it’s true. During the season 2 finale of the show, Kara defeated a brainwashed Clark (who wasn’t holding back) in single combat. She is stronger. This feat makes perfect sense and is expected, Supergirl is the hero of her own series, the comics are a little different.
In the comics, it’s also been explained that Supergirl has the ability to “fully access” her strength.
This sounds like nonsense (because it is) but it also means that Supergirl (potentially) packs more in her punch than Superman.
What Supergirl powers do you find the most impressive? Did we miss any big ones that Supergirl has that Superman lacks? Sound off in the comments below!