Comic books are at an all-time high in terms of popularity. They have transcended the current generation like nothing before them and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Their mark can be seen just about everywhere. As I travel the world giving the gift of comics to children in hospitals and orphanages, I get to see firsthand how important they are.
Of all the areas of comic books, none may have had as much growth as female superheroes. Just look at the last 5 years in cinema…
- Black Widow
- Wonder Woman
- Captain Marvel
- Scarlet Witch
And so many more.
For the last 70 years, male superheroes have gotten all the praise. Batman. Superman. Wolverine. Captain America. Thankfully, it looks like female superheroes are taking their rightful spot atop the comic book mountain. Yes, finally they have begun to show the world that they are just as good, if not better than their male counterparts.
Their meteoric rise begs the question, who are the greatest female superheroes in the history of comic books? I mean, of all of them, who stand head and shoulders above the rest?
Well, let me tell you.
List of best female superheroes in the history of comic books:
Kate Kane, Batwoman, is one of the most strong-willed characters in comics. When it comes to standing for what she believes in, her convictions, and the protection of others, there may be none better. And it’s precisely this combination that makes her a lock for this list.
Batwoman has become a symbol for anybody who has ever been told that they can’t, shouldn’t, or otherwise. Each and every day she shows the world that it’s ok to be who you were born to be. She is a trailblazer and because of her efforts, doors that were previously locked tight have opened up.
Debuting in 1964, Zatanna has rocketed into becoming one of the most recognizable and loved characters in comics. She is one of the most powerful sorceresses in DC and as such, she’s capable of standing up to just about anyone. Her character is so popular that it’s a wonder why DC hasn’t capitalized on her success. Not only could she carry a movie but is there a better way, outside of Justice League Dark, to introduce the supernatural side of DC?
I can’t see one.
DC should take a page from Marvel. If they made Dr. Strange work in film, there’s no reason that DC can’t make Zatanna work.
8. Black Widow
Black Widow got a huge surge in popularity with her many appearances in the MCU. That’s not to say her popularity wasn’t t warranted. It’s quite the opposite.
Black Widow helped pave the way for a new generation of female superheroes. She’s as deadly as she is beautiful and through extensive training, is one of the foremost assassins in all of comics.
Black Widow is one of the best female superheroes because she needs to be. No, scratch that. Black Widow is one of the best female superheroes because she has inspired girls all over the world to want and do more.
Spoiler alert…as you’ll see, Jean Grey is the most important female member of the X-Men. But don’t discount Storm. She’s a very close second. What separates Storm from many on this list is that her morals and convictions cannot be swayed. She, like Charles Xavier, believes that humans and mutants can live in harmony. As such, she spends her life fighting for her beliefs.
Storm is a mutant whose powers allow her absolute control over the weather. She can make it snow one minute and during the next minute have a tsunami crush a city. The only thing holding her back from placing higher on this list is Marvel’s apprehension in showing just how powerful she is in their movies.
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
- Super strength
- Energy absorption
- Superhuman stamina
- Super breath
- Heightened durability
- Super speed
- Super hearing
- Heat vision
- X-Ray Vision
If you think I’m talking about Superman, you probably missed the focus of this list. I’m talking about Supergirl.
Supergirl is the cousin of Superman who also hails from Krypton. As a descendant of Krypton, she possesses all of the same powers and abilities as her famous cousin.
Supergirl is one of the best female superheroes not because she’s incredibly powerful. Instead, remembering Crisis on Infinite Earth’s, Supergirl is one of the best female superheroes because she’s willing to and has sacrificed herself for the greater good.
5. Jean Grey
Jean Grey is the First Lady of the X-Men. Although her history is long and convoluted, she is one of, if not the best woman to ever join the X-Men. She’s so important that when the Phoenix Force was looking to bond with a host, it picked Jean Grey.
Jean Grey is one of the foremost telepaths in not just Marvel comics, but all of comics. She’s capable of making you change your mind whether you want to or not, lifting and moving objects without so much as blinking, and so much more.
Jean Grey is so important that for the better part of a decade, most X-Men stories surrounded her.
4. Barbara Gordon
Barbara Gordon has one of the most violent pasts in all of comics. The once (and now again) Batgirl, Barbara Gordon was brutally assaulted and left for dead by the Joker. As a result of the attack, she was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
Something like this would crush most people…not Barbara though.
Instead of allowing her defeat to dictate how her life would play out, she used it as motivation to do more. As Oracle, Barbara Gordon became the watchful eyes and guide to superheroes all over. And with her by their side, the streets were never safer.
If you’re wondering why Catwoman is on this list, allow me a moment to explain.
For everything that she’s done and for everything she’s stolen, at her heart, Catwoman isn’t a villain…she’s a hero. Sure, she’s flirted on the line of heroism and villainy more than once, but remember this…if that line has anything to do with the less fortunate, Catwoman will always default to heroism. She’s basically become DC’s Robin Hood.
If this doesn’t convince you, think about this. Bruce Wayne proposed to her. Bruce Wayne! If Batman sees how much of a hero she is, shouldn’t we all?
2. Invisible Woman
Of all the female superheroes in Marvel, none are more important than Invisible Woman.
She is the glue that holds the Fantastic Four together. She is the sister to the Human Torch, the wife to Mr. Fantastic, and a friend to The Thing. She’s so important to the team that when she left during the Civil War conflict, the Fantastic Four practically fell apart.
But that’s not all.
Her early depiction saw her as nothing more than a crutch to the team. Her powers were written as basically useless. Over the years, however, this has changed and she’s now, at least in my mind, the most powerful member to have ever been part of the Fantastic Four.
1. Wonder Woman
If you’re surprised by her inclusion, you probably don’t know a whole lot about comics.
Wonder Woman is the most important female superhero to have ever been created. To say that she laid the groundwork for all female superheroes wouldn’t be giving her enough credit. Wonder Woman is to female superheroes what Superman is to male superheroes…the actual definition. She’s powerful beyond measure, a genuine leader, and more than both of those combined, extremely intelligent.
There’s no better candidate to appear as number one on this list.
And that’s it. The greatest female superheroes in the history of comic books. What do you think? Who would make your list?