Superheroes changed a lot over the last few decades. We’ve gone from perfect, beautiful, and ideal characters to beings with flaws, relatable to the average reader. DC and Marvel evolved with each decade passing and started developing characters that were more than heroes. Wonder Woman was a staple for most future female superheroes, but she wasn’t representative of every woman.
However, the 1960s started developing diverse, great female characters, inspiring us to make this next list. In this article, we will present our list of the twenty best black female superheroes of all time. If you are interested, stay with us until the end.
20. Cecilia Reyes (Marvel)
We start this list with Cecilia Reyes, a Puerto Rican woman born in the Bronx, New York City. Her story began rocky when her father was killed in the drive-by, which prompted her to pursue a career as a doctor. Cecilia worked really hard and eventually gained her mutant powers; she was noticed by Charles Xavier, who invited her to X-Men. Psioplasmic Bio-Field, which she manipulates and uses on herself to increase her durability.
Cecilia Reyes is the only member of X-Men who is a doctor of medicine. Cool, isn’t it?
19. Bumblebee (DC)
We continue this list with a DC variation of Marvel’s Wasp and present you with Bumblebee. Also known as a S.T.A.R. Lab scientist, Karen Beecher-Duncan created her own exoskeleton with which she can manipulate her size and sonic disruptors. Fans of Teen Titans and Doom Patrol know Bumblebee really well, and she is quite a popular character amongst the DC fans.
She is also a wife to Mal Duncan, known as a superhero Vox, formerly Guardian. Bumblebee first appeared in DC comics in the 1970s, and to this day, it consistently appears in many comic book events.
18. Monica Rambeau (Marvel)
One of the most notable female superheroes is definitely Monica Rambeau. She first appeared in the Amazing Spiderman comic book in 1982 as a superheroine Captain Marvel, but since then, she passed her original mantle to Carol Danvers.
Monica acted under a few superhero aliases, and besides Captain Marvel, we know her as Photon, Pulsar, and Spectrum. Monica Rambeau is one of the most iconic female superheroes in comic history. Her story is truly inspiring and reminiscent of the discrimination and other social obstacles as a woman in the military. Monica is a true inspiration.
17. Thunder (DC)
One of the coolest characters in DC comics in the 21st century is Thunder, also known as Annisa Pierce, the eldest daughter of Jefferson Pierce, Black Lightning. Her life already seems interesting, but besides being the daughter of a quite notable superhero, Annisa is also powerful. Despite her family’s insistence to avoid superhero fights, Annisa decides to take on the alias Thunder and fight crime.
She is a member of a superhero group called Outsiders and is currently in a relationship with her teammate Grace Choi, an Amazon woman with superhuman strength.
16. Riri Williams/Iron Heart (Marvel)
A fairly new character in Marvel Comics is Riri Williams, also known as Ironheart. This young lady went through a lot in her short life, starting with her father (allegedly) dying just before she was born. She continued her life with her mother, Sharon, who eventually remarried.
Riri’s mischief led her parents to discover she was a genius, which got her to M.I.T. However, a tragedy strikes young Riri – her best friend Natalie and step-father are killed. That tragedy prompts Riri to build her armor using an outdated Iron Man Model 41 and scraps available on the campus and become a superhero. After her first escapade, Tony Stark notices a young woman and offers her support for her superhero life. Now known as Ironheart, Riri has a significant role in the second Civil War as part of the Iron Man group that goes against Captain Marvel.
15. Shuri (Marvel)
Shuri is very well known in Marvel Comics, especially after the release of the recent Black Panther movie. Also known as the Princess of Wakanda, Shuri is much more than royalty. She always aspired to carry the mantle of Black Panther, but her brother T’Challa was chosen before her.
However, during the Civil War, which resulted in a lot of blood and innocent victims, Namor decides to form Cabal, a secret society of supervillains. After attempting to recruit Black Panther to his group, T’Challa refuses but almost dies and is left in a coma after the fight with Doctor Doom; Shuri takes over the mantle of Black Panther.
14. Storm (Marvel)
Ororu Monroe is truly an icon of Marvel Comics. She is a powerful mutant with weather-manipulating abilities, which gave her the name Storm. She is a Kenyan tribal princess and American photojournalist who grew up as an orphan in Egypt. After seeing her potential, Charles Xavier approached a talented girl and invited her to join X-Men, mutants who strove for peace between mutants and humans.
Storm took her opportunity with both hands and quickly became one of the most important members of the prestigious mutant group, even becoming a leader if Professor X couldn’t be in charge. As a character, Storm became one of the most popular ones in Marvel comics – she is powerful, cool, and unique in so many ways.
13. Lightning (DC)
Another Pierce sibling on this list is Jennifer Pierce, also known as Lightning. Jennifer is the younger daughter of Black Lightning and the younger sister of Thunder. Jennifer is a metahuman who eventually joined the Justice Society of America. Lightning has powers similar to her father, making her really powerful; however, she is still learning how to control them properly.
One of the newest additions to DC Universe, Jennifer Pierce, represents a new generation of superheroes getting bigger roles every major comic book run.
12. Vixen (DC)
Next, we have Mari Jiwe McCabe, also known as Vixen. She is one of the older characters on this list and was supposed to have her own comic book run all the ways back in 1978, but it was unfortunately canceled. Her character eventually appeared in the DC comics. Despite being reluctant to become a fully pledged superhero, after Aquaman reformed the Justice League of America, Mari joined the group and continued fighting evil forces worldwide.
She was temporarily part of another notable group, Suicide Squad, but soon left after she realized that her friends were constantly dying. One of DC Universe’s better-known supporting characters, but not less important.
11. Misty Knight (Marvel)
Another character from the Bronze Age of Comics is Misty Knight. She is an iconic supporting character who is featured in some great events of Marvel Comics. Misty was a talented and passionate NYPD officer who lost her arm when trying to subdue a terrorist. Tony Stark saw her bravery and gave her a bionic arm.
Misty Knight continued to feature in superhero groups like Daughters of the Dragon she formed with Colleen Wing and became a member of Heroes for Hire, where she met Luke Cage and Danny Rand, also known as Iron Fist. A true icon of 1970s Marvel Comics.
10. Nubia (DC)
We are back with DC Universe, and in this entry, we have Nubia, an honorable Amazon warrior. Nubia is significant for DC comics since she was the first black female superhero introduced in the DC Universe. Her biography changed significantly over the years, but the modern era depicts her as a new queen of Themyscira, taking over from Hippolyta, Diana’s mother.
Since the Infinite Frontier event, Nubia’s bio has stayed the same to today, and now she is mostly seen as a ruler of Themyscira.
9. Rocket (DC)
Next, we have DCs character Raquel Ervin, also known as Rocket. Raquel is mostly known for being a sidekick to another DC superhero, Icon. However, despite being a supporting character, Rocket’s story is inspiring – she was born in the poorest and crime-ridden neighborhood on Paris Island.
Originally, Icon and Rocket weren’t part of the DC Universe until Milestone and DC comics merged in the late 2000s. Rocket was revived among countless Milestone characters and is consistently part of the DC Universe today.
8. Crimson Avenger (DC)
Another DC character of black female superheroes is The Crimson Avenger, also known as Jill Carlyle. The name Crimson Avenger has been part of the DC universe since the Golden Age of Comics, but Jill’s version of the character is a modern take on this evergreen superhero.
Jill Carlyle first appeared in DC comics in April of 2000 and has been acting under the alias of Crimson Avenger. After failing to prosecute a criminal, Jill takes manner into her hands and kills a crook with former Crimson Avenger’s Colt guns. Since then, she has been cursed and hunts people who cost innocent lives.
7. Silhouette (Marvel)
Silhouette Chord, or simply Silhouette, is a superheroine who first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1990. She is a powerful mutant who has magical powers gained from her mother’s bloodline.
Silhouette manipulates Darkforce, which allows her to teleport, cloak her presence, and more. She was part of big events in the comics, including Civil War, as a member of Captain America’s Secret Avengers. Silhouette was also part of the New Warriors. Moreover, Silhouette is significant for comics in another way as well – she is paraplegic, having been paralyzed from the waist down, but that still didn’t stop her from being a superhero.
6. Skyrocket (DC)
Lt. Celia Forrestal was part of the U.S. Navy for a very long time. She was a qualified Navy Aviator, but her career was stale and slow because of her race and gender. That changed when her parents developed Agro Harness, a powerful suit that could reach a high potential of destruction.
The armor lured terrorists her way, which caused her parents to die. After capturing the terrorists, Celia met with Hal Jordan, who supported her decision to fight crime – she eventually became a superhero named Skyrocket.
5. Amanda Waller (DC)
Amanda Waller is one of the most iconic female characters in comic book history. Most fans know her as a director of the government agency A.R.G.U.S., and a leader of Task Force X, better known as Suicide Squad.
Amanda Waller was one of the first antiheroes of DC comics, and despite not having any powers, she is a powerful and influential individual. Amanda Waller might not be a typical superhero, but she is a powerful woman who steers the world into “safer waters” with her influence.
4. Ladyhawk (Marvel)
This next character has an interesting concept as well. Lady Hawk is a superheroine that is actually two people. Specifically, twin sisters Rossetta and Regina Morgan act under one superhero alias, Ladyhawk. They are from the alternate universe of Earth-982, where Spider-Girl and Fantastic Five are prominent superheroes of New York.
Ladyhawk was part of the New Warriors team that included Spider-Girl, Buzz, Darkdevil, and Raptor and was an important piece in stopping Loki.
3. Martha Washington (Dark Horse Comics)
We move away from DC and Marvel and present you with Martha Washington, a fictional character from the comic book series called Give Me Liberty, published by Dark Horse Comics. She is far from your usual superheroine but no less important. Martha is a computer genius and hacker who uses her abilities to save the world from evil forces.
She is a unique and inspirational character whose story can be read in four-issue comic book series, which Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons created. Martha Washington is an inspiration and deserves to be part of these lists all the time.
2. Natasha Irons (DC)
Natasha Irons is a superheroine from DC comics and the daughter of another superhero, Steel. She is a young technological genius from Metropolis who followed her father’s footsteps and became a new Steel.
Natasha Irons was part of multiple superhero groups, including the second incarnation of Titans, The Authority, and was even given the responsibility of protecting Metropolis during Superman’s absence. Her role in freeing the people of Warworld from the new Mongul.
1. Debrii (Marvel)
Deborah Fields, or simply Debrii, is a superheroine from Marvel comics. Her character first appeared in the New Warriors comic book issue in 2005 and has been part of major comic book events like the Civil War since then.
Debrii was one of the superheroes who avoided getting killed at the beginning of the comic book issue. Debrii eventually joined Captain America and his Secret Avengers, and her telekinesis powers helped Steve Rogers and his allies to fight the opposing superheroes, once allies.