Ages in comic book media changes constantly, especially since every other comic book story has different writers and creators. Of course, this could lead to confusion, especially if some fans aren’t sure if the story is in the main continuity or the alternate universe. DC is very “guilty” of this, especially since some of their characters underwent many changes. Enter Supergirl, the Last Daughter of Krypton, whose origin story was changed many times since her first appearance in 1959. At first, she was a “secret weapon” of Superman, then his young cousin who was stuck in Phantom Zone for years, and finally, a young adult that is still trying to find herself in the superhero world. So how old is Supergirl?
In the comics, Pre-Crisis Supergirl was a 15-year-old who arrived on Earth to be raised by Superman; the Post-Crisis version was a teenager that had 16 years of age, while the current version of the character is 21 years old. Arrowverse Supergirl is 25 years old, and the movie titled ‘Supergirl’ from 1984 suggests that Kara Zor-El was 19 years old, as the actress that played her at the time, Helen Slater.
There were many versions of Supergirl in the DC Universe, both comics and cinematic projects, which we will explain in more detail. If you’re interested, stay with us until the end.
How old was Supergirl in a TV show and movie?
Before we jump into the comics, let’s discuss live-action projects that starred the Girl of Tomorrow. Let’s return back in time and go to the 1980s when Hollywood is still trying to make superhero live-action movies, especially after the success of Superman movies starring Christopher Reeves (at least the first two).
However, the plans of expanding Superman’s “universe” and Reeves’ desires to move on from the character “ruined” some of the plans for the live-action Supergirl project, which was eventually realized and released in 1984. ‘Supergirl’ movie starred Helen Slater, an unknown actress at that time, and the project wasn’t very well received by the critics and the public.
Despite not being of quality, ‘Supergirl’ movie was referenced in various projects like ‘Smallville’ and ‘Supergirl’ TV show, mostly casting Helen Slater as the matriarch of the El family – Lara-El in ‘Smallville’ and Eliza Danvers in Arrowverse.
The movie was set mostly in Argo City, where she tries to save herself from the power-hungry witch named Selena and her assistant Bianca. The age of Supergirl was never explicitly mentioned, but we can speculate Kara Zor-El’s age through Helen Slater’s age at the time. According to the actress’s bio, Helen Slater was 19 years old when she played Kara Zor-El in the ‘Supergirl’ movie, which makes sense in the movie’s context.
Since that movie, we barely saw Supergirl starring in any live-action project due to her character being dead in DC Comics, but we saw glimpses of her in ‘Smallville,’ where she was around 20 years of age, without years of her being trapped in stasis at 18 years, and knowing she was born in 1967 on Krypton.
In the Arrowverse, we learn that as a 13-year-old girl, Kara Zor-El was sent by her parents to Earth to save her and take care of her cousin, but she was stuck in the Phantom Zone for 24 years.
When she finally woke up, she arrived on Earth still as a 13-year-old girl in 2003, which leads us to 2015, when Kara Danvers has 25 years of age. Towards the end of the show, Supergirl is 31 years old.
How about comics? Let’s check it out.
Who is older – Superman or Supergirl?
In the comics and Arrowverse, Supergirl is technically older than her cousin Superman. This notion was confirmed after her revival in 2004 when in the ‘Superman/Batman’ comic book story, we see that Kara is a teenager but still thinks she needs to take care of her baby cousin. It was revealed that Kara was stuck in the Kryptonite-encrusted meteor that kept her in the suspended animation that prevented her from aging.
Kara was at least 15 years older than her cousin, but when she finally arrived on Earth, Kal-El was already an adult. New 52 and Arrowverse establish a similar origin story, where she is at least 15 years older than Superman, but arrives so many years later, making Superman seemingly older.
This wasn’t the case in the Pre-Crisis continuity of DC Comics, where we saw a young Kara Zor-El arriving on Earth for her then-older cousin Kal-El to teach her about life on Earth and essentially raise her.
In the Arrowverse, that was the initial goal for Kara when she was sent to Earth, but Phantom Zone immediately stopped that goal from happening.
So yes, Supergirl is definitely older than her cousin.
Who is older – Supergirl or Wonder Woman?
Pre-New 52, Supergirl was revived in the aforementioned ‘Superman/Batman’ comic book story where we see Superman putting Wonder Woman as his cousin’s mentor, and sometimes the person that gave her the advice. However, Wonder Woman is older than Supergirl because Princess Diana of Themyscira is essentially a demigoddess that doesn’t age beyond her prime.
Diana is probably around thousands of years old, but that number varies from writer to writer. Nevertheless, in this case, Wonder Woman is much older than Supergirl.
What are your thoughts on the topic? Let us know in the comments below!