Since its premiere on CBS in 2015, Supergirl has charmed audiences with its hopeful outlook on the superhero world. As Kara Danvers, Melissa Benoist must play her newness to crime fighting while also letting the world know that she is her own hero and doesn’t live in her famous cousin’s shadow. Anyone who’s ever had a successful family member knows how hard this can be. With its move to The CW and inclusion in the Arrowverse, the show embraced its comic book roots and fully immersed itself in the Superman universe. Supergirl has featured many of the Man of Steel’s foes including Metallo, Cyborg Superman and Maxwell Lord. Kara even has her own Luthors with the evil Lillian (Lex’s mom) constantly causing trouble and Lena trying to prove that she’s not like the rest of her family.
Season two even finally introduced Kara’s long talked about cousin, with Tyler Hoechlin becoming the latest actor to portray the Last Son of Krypton. With the show continuing to come into its own, while DC builds its expanding movie universe, it’s no surprise that there would be comparisons between the two. The Internet wasted no time coming up with memes to highlight why Supergirl is better than Superman or vice versa.
15 ZACK SNYDER VS SUPERGIRL
There’s a lot of controversy about the tone of Zack Snyder’s DCEU vision, but one thing most fans can agree on is that his superheroes are very serious. Yes, Kara takes her duties as Supergirl seriously, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have fun with her friends at the same time. National City is also a very bright, colorful place, because emotional moments can also happen in the middle of the day.
The most noticeable difference between the movies and TV is that Superman seems really happy and comfortable being Superman. He’s not a sad, brooding mess. Fans of the show, really appreciated the return to a more hopeful Man of Steel. And yes, Cat Grant is one of DC’s best mentors. She doesn’t beat around the bush with subtlety and code, she tells Kara exactly what to do and how to do it.
14 DCEU CLARK MEETS SUPERGIRL
Until Clark showed up in National City in season two, Henry Cavill was the only current Superman. It seemed only a matter of time before someone had his Clark meet TV’s Kara Danvers. The two meet up in this mash up of a Jimmy Kimmel sketch with the show. This was the moment fans were thinking about in season one when Kara kept messaging Clark and producers were very reluctant to actually introduce the character.
Obviously that couldn’t last forever and Tyler Hoechlin was eventually cast as the Man of Steel, but it was fun to envision what would happen if Cavill and Melissa Benoist had real scenes together. Viewers don’t have to imagine anymore but this still seems like a cool moment that will probably never happen.
13 GLASSES MAKE THEM UNRECOGNIZABLE
One of the longest running Superman jokes is how ridiculous it is that no one can recognize him just because he puts glasses on. Everyone who wears glasses wishes that was all it took to become a superhero. Things have become even more silly now that Kara is on TV every week with the same secret identity. She literally looks exactly the same.
And of course Henry Cavill has a similar problem in the movies, where he doesn’t seem to be changing anything other than his glasses. At least Kara tries to put on the clumsy, dork act. She uses separate personalities for Kara and Supergirl, while Clark is essentially the same in and out of costume. Really how has no one put two and two together by now?
12 WINN LOVES SUPERMAN MORE
In season one, Kara’s friend Winn was desperately in love with her long before he found out she was Supergirl. She let him down easy and they continue to be the best of friends and co-workers. When Superman showed up at the DEO in season two, it appeared there was someone Winn loved more than Kara, her cousin Superman.
He had a full on giggling man crush on the Man of Steel. He couldn’t help peppering him with questions we’ve all wondered about, including how does Superman shave? We also want the answer to that one, by the way. Of course everyone is in love with Superman, but we bet Kara thought she at least had one person in the world who she could count as her biggest fan.
11 TV SUPERMAN IS FUNNIER
The reason fans still think of Christopher Reeve as the definitive Superman is not just because he was a lot of people’s first superhero. It was the way his charming demeanor and sense of humor was always present. He had a pun ready for every criminal. That’s something that’s been lost in other Superman performances over the years. Recent portrayals, especially in the DCEU, have seen a much more dour and serious Man of Steel. Movie Superman has no time for jokes.
Tyler Hoechlin obviously looks the part, but it’s this quick moment that immediately signaled to fans that he was a more lighthearted, humorous hero. Taking a moment to laugh at the criminal’s incompetence is vintage Clark. Supergirl’s version is a return to the fun Superman that we all were originally fascinated by.
10 FANS WANTED SMALLVILLE REVIVAL
When producers finally announced that Superman was coming to Supergirl, there was instant speculation on who would play Kara’s cousin. For many fans, the choice was obvious. It had to be Tom Welling from Smallville. Not only had fans spent 10 years watching his journey from awkward high schooler to full fledged hero, Smallville aired on The WB, which became The CW. It was just too perfect.
Unfortunately, Welling was done being Clark Kent and producers wanted to establish their own Superman with his own origin and connection to Kara. Fans of the show have taken to Tyler Hoechlin’s portrayal and look forward to his appearances, but there will always be “what if” in the back of their minds. Supergirl writers don’t help matters with their constant Smallville easter eggs.
9 KARA CHANGED CLARK’S DIAPERS
Kara Zor-El has various origin stories, but it usually includes some version of her coming to Earth the same time as Clark, as she was meant to be his caretaker, and then being frozen or stuck in time while he is adopted and grows into Superman. In the series, she was sent off course into the Phantom Zone and arrived several years after Clark was already established as Superman.
She is taken in by the Danvers and has a difficult time fitting in. Her backstory makes it easy to forget Kara is actually 12 years older than Kal-El, a fact she likes to remind him of occasionally. Though they’re cousins, this is classic sibling rivalry behavior, where she picks the worst possible moment to bring up the one thing he doesn’t want to talk about.
8 KARA’S MOTTO
As long as there’s been Superman, it’s been clear his motto is “truth, justice and the American way.” Admirable values to be sure, but maybe a little outdated for modern times. While Kara’s motto of “hope, help and compassion for all” comes from the comics, it 100% applies to the TV heroine as well. At the end of season one, it was Kara’s belief in hope that helped her break Non’s spell on National City.
During season two’s alien storyline, it was her compassion that led her to defend aliens from mistreatment, discrimination and Lillian’s evil plans. She even helped her nemesis Livewire when she was taken captive by a mad scientist. Kara isn’t just fighting for the right kind of person, she’s ready to fight for anyone who needs her.
7 TV SUPERMAN IS BETTER THAN DCEU SUPERMAN
One of the reasons fans fell in love with Superman was that he enjoyed being a superhero and role model. Batman is a brooding, tortured guy who seemingly hates his life, but couldn’t be anything else. Superman is all about justice and saving the day, but he also knows how to be a regular guy and have fun.
In Man of Steel, Clark traveled the country trying to hide his powers and figure out his life. He wanted to be anything but Superman. He was brooding and tortured, sound familiar. Until Justice League, it was his default setting. In Supergirl, Clark is a seasoned hero with experience and a life outside of crime fighting, which means he’s more confident and able to loosen up and enjoy being Superman.
6 WHAT DOES THE "S" STAND FOR
Back in the day, people used to joke that the S on Superman’s chest actually stood for Superman. Of course, that’s not true, but it makes for a fun joke. Over the years, we’ve learned that it’s the symbol of the House of El. Considering that this has been in various Superman stories, it seemed weird when he said it meant hope in Man of Steel. It’s a nice moment but, seems out of place with what we already know.
Since Kara is older she has no problem telling Winn what the S stands for and why it’s important to her and Clark. In season one, Kara was still very haunted by the loss of her family and planet, so the line instantly highlighted how she wants to stay connected to Krypton.
5 CW JUSTICE LEAGUE
Look, before the comments start, Justice League was a really good, fun film, but the movie universe will always be compared to its TV counterpart. Since we’ve spent six seasons with this Arrowverse of shows, fans can’t help but wonder what that movie would look like on the big screen. Viewers get a tease with the annual crossover event, but that clearly wasn’t enough for the fans that took the Justice League poster and made a few changes.
Although, White Canary not The Atom should probably represent Legends of Tomorrow, but we digress. Also, we know that Black Lightning is not an Arrowverse show, but they said that about Supergirl when it first started and the show made it about halfway through season one before Barry showed up.
4 KARA DOESN’T NEED CLARK TO SAVE HER
From the moment she saved that plane in National City and revealed that she was Superman’s cousin, Supergirl has had to prove herself. Everyone is constantly waiting for her to mess up and have Superman come help her out. During one of her first missions, she was out of her depth and James called Clark to come help.
Kara let him know that not only does she not need him to come to her rescue, she doesn’t want that. Clark even messaged her after the fact and told her he would back off and let her figure things out on her own. No matter how bad things are, she wants to stand on her own. It’s one of the things that makes her such a compelling hero.
3 SUPERGIRL IS MORE FUN
We’ve talked about it a lot, but Supergirl is just more fun than its big screen counterpart. She laughs, she has friends, she enjoys her life. Even though he has superpowers, movie Superman is quite miserable. It’s also in the tone of the two projects. The TV show is sunny and light, where as in the movies it’s very cloudy all the time. Does the sun never shine in Metropolis?
We guess we’d all be a little depressed if the sun never came out. If only he could fly himself and his girlfriend to some tropical island for the weekend...oh wait he can, but he’s too sad to. This is not meant to knock the movies, it just highlights the differences and why some fans prefer the lighter touch of Supergirl.
2 THE STORY OF KARA’S LIFE
If your sibling is super successful (no pun intended) then you completely understand Kara’s life. No matter how many fires she puts out or missiles she stops, people will always be asking her questions about her more famous cousin. Even as Cat Grant is interviewing her for the first time about becoming National City’s newest hero, she can’t help asking for Superman’s phone number.
Though Kara Danvers and Clark Kent aren’t known publicly as cousins, you know she’s still used to living in the shadow of a more successful family member. The recent episode "Midvale" showcased how lonely Kara’s teen years were and all she wanted to do was “live with Clark and be super.” Now that everyone knows her cousin is Superman, she probably gets this kind of thing all the time.
1 KARA LOOKS LIKE RAY’S COUSIN
Before he was Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow’s Ray Palmer/The Atom, Brandon Routh was the highlight of Superman Returns as Superman. During the Arrowverse Invasion crossover, the rest of the teams finally met Supergirl and Ray hilariously noticed that she looked like his cousin. Even with all the time travelling, this is the only time they’ve ever joked about him being Superman. And yes, she also looks just like Felicity.
When Superman appeared in the first two episodes of season two, the show included dialogue about him putting Lex in jail and later in the season showed him fighting Zod, which means his backstory probably comes from the movies. So, while Ray’s line is just a fun shoutout and nice reference to the character’s on-screen history, maybe it also means that there is more than one Superman in the multiverse.
Which of these memes is the funniest? Let us know in the comments!