'Supergirl': Superman's DC TV Universe Timeline Revealed

Supergirl TV Trailer Superman Sunlight

In just a few more weeks, Warner Bros. TV will be bringing CBS’ next new fall TV hit, Supergirl, to San Diego Comic-Con, with a screening of the premiere on July 8 and 11th. When that happens, there will be plenty of spoilers and reviews to comb through; right now, let’s focus on what we've learned about DCTV’s version of Superman – most importantly: his timeline.

The Supergirl pilot, while introducing Kara and her alter-ego to the world, also gives us enough information to figure out the timeline of this version of Krypton, confirming that there’s no way this TV show exists in the DC Cinematic Universe, in any way; the timelines simply don’t match up. What this new info does give us, however, is a better look at when everything exists – especially if there’s ever a crossover with the other CW superheroes (just don’t expect that to happen anytime soon).

Planet Krypton explodes in 1982 - with Kal-El and Kara (his protector) sent to Earth. Kal-El lands on Earth in the same year, where the Kents find him in a field and adopt him. Kara’s ship, on the other hand, is caught in a shockwave, sending her into the Phantom Zone (Port Razz), where she “sleeps” in a time lock for 24 years.

Supergirl TV Trailer Superman Holding Hand

In 2006, “something” allows Kara’s ship to escape and land on Earth, where Superman – now 24 – rescues Kara from a field and places her with her (now) adoptive parents, the Danvers. However, Port Razz is also knocked free from the Phantom Zone and crashes to Earth, releasing the imprisoned Kryptonians inside.

In 2014, the Kryptonians from Port Razz, who have been in hiding since 2006, begin to make themselves known and start to attack Earth. One year later, in 2015, Superman is busy saving Metropolis, while Supergirl steps into the family business in National City.

DC TV Kryptonian Timeline


  • Planet Krypton Explodes
  • Planet Krypton’s shockwave causes Kara (13yrs old) to fly into the Phantom Zone
  • Kal-El (newborn) lands on Earth

[24 years later]


  • Kara (13yrs old) lands on Earth
  • Superman (24yrs old) – not Clark Kent – delivers Kara to her adoptive parents, scientists Fred and Sylvia Danvers
  • Phantom Zone (Port Razz) crashes into Earth, prisoners escape.

[8 years later]


  • Port Razz prisoners come out of hiding, attack Earth.


  • Superman (33yrs old) is saving Metropolis
  • Supergirl (22yrs old) is saving National City

Man of Steel Superman - Henry Cavill

In Man of Steel, Clark Kent is supposed to be 33 - and it’s at this time when he finally dons his famous suit and cape – so there’s no way that Supergirl can exist in the same universe as Man of Steel. All in all, Supergirl does a good job at making the differences known (albeit more confusing than is necessary), but the timeline doesn’t lie: Henry Cavell is not our television Superman.

Of course, the division between TV and movies isn’t exactly new thanks to the CW already teaming up its heroes in the upcoming series Legends of Tomorrow. Still, if there’s ever a chance that we’ll see Clark Kent on the small screen – not likely anytime soon – at least we now know where he fits in.

Supergirl premieres fall 2015 on CBS. You can watch the trailer below:

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