The Top Female Super Heros Of All The Time
Geeks and Gaming
On 11th August 2017
In the very fictitious yet mirrored world of comic books, female characters are often seen as unequal. Fictional women, including the most notorious of superheroines or supervillains, are often molded to fit societal expectations of what boys and men would like to look at or read at the time. The damsel in distress and boy-crazy crime fighter trope are just a few ways that writers have missed the mark with their lady characters. However, despite this sucky way that misogyny has permeated the world of comics, there are still some extremely powerful, interesting, and inspiring female superheroes out there that are absolutely worth following.
We put together the best of the best for this list. Little girls as well as little boys have been inspired by these legendary superheroines for years, and not just because of their interesting backstories and timelines. These female superheroes are the most powerful of them all.
#1 Barbara Gordon
After recovering from a spinal injury that left her paralyzed for three years, Barbara Gordon has just graduated from college with a degree in forensic psychology and is living the typical early-twenties life in Burnside, Gotham's very own version of Brooklyn. Sorry, did I say typical? I meant that she's trying to navigate the waters of having a normal life while also attempting to bring down a psychopath with a revenge porn ring so twisted it will make you want to set up two-step verification on every account you have, immediately.
Babs rocks the most functional crime-fighting outfit ever seen in comics (Doc Martens! A leather jacket! A snap-off cape!), and she's not scared to snap a selfie post-smackdown. She's you, if you just also happened to have an eidetic memory and a black belt.
As a bonus, the book's current creative team is outspoken in their love for feminism and diversity in comics, and they responded incredibly well to some recent controversy over their representation of trans characters (which, while imperfect, shows they're trying and listening to communities traditionally under-represented in comics). Plus, Babs Tarr's art makes the Burnside crew look like they belong in the next episode of Broad City. If you're looking to pick up your first DC cape book, I recommend waiting a few months for the first Burnside trade—and then you'll be hooked for life. (Mwahaha.)
To some, She-Hulk is the ultimate expression of feminine power. She’s indestructible, super-strong, and without inhibition – all of this with the mind of a high-powered attorney wrapped inside those unparalleled green muscles.
And while she may seem like a typical spin-off character (obviously riffing on her somewhat more famous cousin Bruce Banner), She-Hulk takes the concept of a gamma-irradiated hero to a totally different level, embracing her alter ego and living life to the fullest.
In some ways, She-Hulk also broke other boundaries – her John Byrne-penned ongoing series introduced an indestructible, fourth-wall-breaking hero with a sense of humor years before Deadpool grew a similar schtick.
She-Hulk was Deadpool before there even was a Deadpool.
Janet Van Dyne was not only the first female Avenger, and a founder, but also the hero who named the team when they first formed. Though she started out as something of a sidekick to her on-again-off-again (currently off-again) paramour Hank Pym, Janet quickly became a hero in her own right, leading the Avengers several times, and often acting as the team’s moral center.
When crafting this list, it came down to putting either Wasp or Captain Marvel in this spot. And while Captain Marvel may be more prominent now, her trajectory has been spotty, taking her from being a damsel in distress to a perpetual victim, to leading the Avengers and her own intergalactic defense team, while Wasp’s arc has been far more consistent. Add to that her historical significance, and it’s easy to see why she’s one of the greatest female heroes ever to grace the printed page.
And while viewers got a glimpse of Janet Van Dyne in action in Ant-Man, she's said to be taking on a more prominent (and eponymous) role in the sequel, Ant-Man, and the Wasp with Janet’s daughter Hope Van Dyne taking on the mantle.
An All-New, All-Different Wasp - Janet Van Dyne's apparent stepdaughter - took the mantle in her own ongoing series, The Unstoppable Wasp, in which Janet Van Dyne is a supporting character.
#4 Jean Grey
The X-Men franchise’s Jean Grey is a beloved fan favorite for many reasons. In the Marvel universe, she is known as an Omega mutant, meaning she is just as powerful as Magneto and Professor X. Her telepathic abilities are similar in power to Emma Frost’s abilities (we’ll get to her soon) but her telekinetic powers put her at the top.
After combining with the Phoenix and increasing her already crazy powers, Jean Grey is able to rearrange matter at will– meaning she can literally make anything disappear and is capable of destroying anything at catastrophic levels. While combining with the Phoenix made her very unstable and a massive threat (’cause really, what person, mutant or not, can deal with that kind of power?), she quite literally emulated the mythical Phoenix and rose from the ashes to assert her place as one of the most genuine, interesting, and powerful super heroines of all time.