My obsession with Batman started at a very young age and it got me intrigued, but I became truly hooked on DC’s female superheroes later in life.
Being an illustrator and writer, comic books should’ve naturally attracted me, but it was only when I got sick and was stuck at home for months that I asked my fiancé if I could go through his boxes of comic books and read them.
“Of course, babe. Which one will you read first?” he asked, probably happy that I would try reading his comics. “Batman,” I answered, in awe as I pulled out one of his issues.
It is safe to say that it was love at first sight when I looked at the Batman cover I held in my hands. I remember delicately pulling the comic out of its protective plastic pocket and opening the first page: the penciling, colors, dialog bubbles, and the story. Everything about it caught my attention and triggered my love for the art.
That’s how it all started for me. I read through his sixty-something Batman comic books like they were nothing. I could never get enough! As I approached the end of the pile, I knew I had to order more Batman comic books online. Then, because two-day shipping was too long for me, I jumped into his Superman comics and so on…I was hooked.
And now here are my top 10 best female super-heroines from DC Comics! Enjoy!
Artemis joined the DC comics universe in 1994. She’s an Amazon from the Egyptian tribe of Bana-Mighdall who debuted in the Wonder Woman comic books. Her powers share a resemblance to the famous Amazon and come in handy in many of her adventures.
Why is she part of my top 10? Because as part of DC Comics’s Rebirth in Red Hood and The Outlaws, she’s now part of the Dark Trinity and although she might be an anti-hero, her strength and reputation are enough for me to put her on the list.
#9: Black Canary
Black Canary, alter ego of Dinah Drake, made her debut in the Flash comics in 1947. Besides her ultrasonic scream, Black Canary is also a very impressive martial artist. Many stories have been told about her origins and how she became the woman we know today, but one thing stays the same: she is someone who refuses to give up either in her professional or intimate life. She is a very strong female character in the DC Comics universe that only grows in popularity in comic books, animated series, and television shows.
For all those reasons and so many more…and because she kissed Batman (you go, girl!) she deserves a spot on my list!
#8: The Huntress
Helena Bertinelli, daughter of one of the biggest mafia bosses in Gotham. Let’s be clear: I’m going with a more recent adaptation of the character. There are quite a few versions of this anti-hero who was born in 1947!
The Huntress was part of many major DC Comics titles such as: Crises On Infinite Earths, Batman: HUSH, Batman: Battle For The Cowl, Birds of Prey, and most recently, Grayson. Even though the latter wasn’t a huge success, she proved to be a very intelligent spy and agent.
Helena or Huntress was even brought up in the Justice League by Batman and was under the guidance of Superman, but sadly, her taste for blood almost got the best of her and Batman had to stop Helena from killing a villain and her Justice League membership was revoked.
What made me want to put her on this list was that despite her past, her reputation, and the fact that Batman sees her as sometimes too violent, Huntress always got back on her feet and for that, she deserves a place.
Okay, originally I promised myself I wouldn’t put anyone on this list whose name ended with the word “girl.” Why? Because I wanted a list of women superheroines who were NOT the female counterpart of an already established superhero. But here we are.
Shiera Sanders Hall, usually known as Hawkgirl, came into existence in 1940 in the Flash comics. What made me choose Hawkgirl to be part of my list was her rougher side. Hawkgirl was seen as “one of the boys” and you know what? That was great!
To tell you the truth, I am not a Batgirl fan and it doesn’t matter who wears the costume. I don’t find it original and I never found the reasoning for that character good enough to exist. If you like a superhero so much that he or she inspires you to honor them, then come up with your own name. That being said, Oracle was a heck of a superhero.
Batgirl first appeared in 1961 in Batman #139. Because many people liked her character, she had a rollercoaster of a life. Being the daughter of Commissioner Gordon, who most people say is the only person Batman trusts, inspired the young Barbara to become a skilled detective herself and depending on which story you read, eventually she became Batgirl and fought crime by Batman and Robin’s side.
However, here’s the awesome Oracle story: in the very famous and acclaimed The Killing Joke storyline, the Joker paralyzed Barbara Gordon with a gunshot to the spine. Although unable to move from the waist down, that didn’t stop Barbara’s vigilante life at all.
Barbara Gordon becomes Oracle and helps Batman solve crimes in ways he wasn’t able to do on his own. She becomes an even greater hero and that is why I sincerely hope that DC Comics will bring back Oracle.
No disability can stop someone from being a superhero. Barbara Gordon is proof and that’s why she’s on my list as Oracle.
Zatanna Zatara’s first appearance was weirdly enough in Hawkman in the year 1964. We have seen her numerous times in the incredible Young Justice cartoon, Justice League, and most recently, Justice League Dark. We’ve also seen Zatanna in comic books by Batman’s side either as a partner, possible lover, or close friend and it’s always awesome either way!
Zatanna is both a stage magician and a real, powerful one. The reason for her being on my list is not only because she is a very powerful superhero, but also because her humanity and kindness prove to be a strong asset and it sets her apart from other female superheroes that have to be strong first and lovable second.
Ah, Catwoman! Isn’t she awesome? Catwoman saw the light of day in 1940 in the first issue of Batman, which was not his first appearance. She was obviously created as a potential love interest for the caped crusader, but she’s always been a thief first and foremost. Their relationship alone inspired authors everywhere. We all know they belong together and every time they are it is steaming hot.
However, the main reason for her being on my top 10 is because of the tragic and emotional past that Selina Kyle had to go through before she found the strength to become the anti-hero (and yes, a thief) that we know today as Catwoman. Her story might have changed over the years, but her most recent take is probably the one that touched the most people and that’s why she deserves to be high on my list.
The half-human, half-demon girl made her first appearance in DC Comics Presents in 1980 and one of her creators happened to be the awesome George Perez.
Daughter of the very powerful demon Trigon, one of DC Comics’s most dangerous villains, Raven is a powerful being who is an empath, can teleport, and can control her soul-self.
As I read The New Teen Titans comics, I really saw myself in Raven and I can understand why many introverts do. She is a very quiet being who wishes not to take up much space despite being one of the most powerful mystical characters in the DC Comics universe.
The demon inside her is roaring and in order to keep it in, Raven has to constantly reach a state of peace. To do so, she refuses to let her emotions take control. Whether you saw her in the Teen Titans (Go!) animated series or in the Justice League vs. Teen Titans movie, her incarnations are generally the same and are respectful to her original character.
For her intelligence, strength at keeping herself in control, and powerful magical abilities, I thought she deserved to be in the top three of my list.
“Azarath! Metrion! Zinthos!”
This beautiful space princess from the planet Tamaran, partially created by George Perez, saw the light of day in DC Comics Presents in 1980. Yes, Starfire’s costume is very revealing, but no one should judge a book by its cover.
I first read about her in The New Teen Titans comics, I saw her in cartoon movies, and my favorite incarnation was in Red Hood and The Outlaws from DC Comics’s The New 52 storyline.
Starfire is an alien princess who was taken as a slave by her planet’s enemies to keep the peace. She was tested on by her tormentors until it created a mutation in her DNA and caused her to be able to shoot blasts of energy from her hands and eyes and permitted her to become stronger than she already was.
She had been abused physically and mentally and sold as a slave. She had been beaten up, caged, and broken. Despite her brutal past, Starfire came to Earth and saw the good in people and wanted to help. She fell in love with Dick Grayson, the first Robin and currently Nightwing, because she saw in him compassion and pure love.
She could be one of the greatest weapons in the world, but all she desires is to help others and show them love and kindness. If that’s not one of the greatest superpowers in the world and the greatest strength, I don’t know what is.
Starfire, princess Koriand’r, you are my favorite female superhero.
#1: Wonder Woman
I know – it was super predictable, but Diana Prince is so iconic that there was no way I could see anyone else being number one, despite the fact that Starfire is my favorite.
There are so many different incarnations of such a great superhero, a symbol of female strength and a great emblem of feminism. She inspires respect. She is a universal symbol of strength even though I have to admit that I still dream of the day they will have her wear pants when she fights.
Diana Prince made her first appearance in All Star Comics in 1941 and ever since, she has inspired women everywhere. To this day, we associate her with great power. She inspires me, I’m sure she inspired you (she certainly inspired Gal Gadot!), and she will forever inspire generations of women to be stronger and smarter, to always be true to ourselves, and to take care of our sisters.
For these reasons, Wonder Woman will always be number one in my heart as an emblem of strength.
Interested in checking out one of these ladies’ adventures for yourself but not sure where to start? Your neighborhood comic book store can help point you in the right direction. And for more great content, be sure to sign up for Geekmail!