In Superman #38 we see Superman release all his solar energy into a 'super-flare', a solar flare which incinerates a quarter mile of land, defeating Ulysses in one blow.
Maybe for him.
Supergirl has been doing this for a while.
During the initial period of the New 52, writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson talked about Supergirl's unique power. They noted that male and female Kryptonians might process yellow sun energy differently. We were all waiting to see what they meant ...
Well in Supergirl #7, the wait was over. In her fight with the World-Killers, Kara unleashes her energy as an attack. I called it the 'corona wave'. But it was basically a flare.
Later, in Supergirl #9, while battling the Black Banshee, she unleashes her energy to try to defeat him.
It is clear that Kara seems to be able to vary her flare power. She never incinerates a quarter mile of land. But here, Silver Banshee is able to survive despite being close by. And the city block is not razed.
That said, she seems to dial it up in Supergirl #17 when battling Wonder Woman. And are those atomic rings around her? Downright Firestorm-ish.
She also seems to be in more control of this power. In Superman #38, it seems to explode from Kal. Here, Kara is standing, in a position of power, and speaking.
Nice panel here by Mahmud Asrar. Beautiful.
In my favorite use of the power, in Supergirl #20, Supergirl unleashes her flare to destroy Sanctuary, her fortress which was self-aware and trying to kill her.
This is as close to Kal's version that we have seen. This is a huge explosion which does wipe out Supergirl, leaving her depleted and unconscious. So she can apparently dial it up. And if she expends enough energy, she can become vulnerable like Kal.
Again, beautiful page. There is something akin to the end of All-Star Superman to that top panel. Incredible.
I am fairly certain that the last time we have seen Kara use this power was in Supergirl #21 when she uses it to free herself from an I'Noxian defense system. This looks pretty dramatic too.
We have gone a year and a half since the last Supergirl flare. I wonder if Johns' was aware of it?
And will we see Supergirl use it again? Or is this power now solely Superman's?