DC Comics has more than a handful of powerful female characters in the pages of its comics. Today, we cover the top 10 Super Heroines of DC Comics, including honorable mentions for those who fell just shy of making it onto the list.
Also, this is a super heroines list. This means that the characters on this list would have to start as being “good,” then continuing on that path. Sorry, Catwoman lovers, you won’t find her on this list.
Number 10: Vixen
Vixen was introduced to the DC Universe in Action Comics #521 of 1981. She was intended to be the first African female. DC wanted to star in her own series – but it was canceled in the DC implosion of 1978.
Vixen is more recently known in the Unlimited Justice League animated series, most commonly identified as Green Lantern’s girlfriend.
Her powers include being able to make direct contact with the earth’s morphogenetic field which she has dubbed “Red.” This ability made her able to draw an animal’s ability by simply focusing on it. Her connected to “Red” is so deep that she is able to use the abilities of multiple animals at one time.
Number 9: Power Girl
Power Girl was introduced to the DC Universe in All Star Comics # 58 in 1976. She is the cousin of Earth-Two’s Superman. As an infant, her powers helped her escape the destruction of that universe’s Krypton.
She is a member of the Justice Society of America. Her story soon changed after the Crisis of Infinite Earth series when DC eliminated Earth Two, altering her back story to make her the granddaughter of the Atlantean sorcerer Arion.
With the story changing once more in Infinite Crisis, she was restored as a refugee from Krypton from the destroyed Pre-Crisis Earth Two Universe.
Number 8: Batwoman
Katherine Kane, otherwise known as Batwoman, is a wealthy heiress who gets inspired by none other than the Dark Knight himself. She wishes to be like him, so pooling her money together, she funds a war on crime in her own home of Gotham City.
She was introduced to the DC Universe in Detective Comics #233 of 1956 as Kathy Kane.
Originally, Batwoman was brought in to be a love interest to Bruce/Batman to dissuade skeptics. In 1964 Julius Schwartz, who was the editor of the comic, removed her from the comics, but her alter ego Kathy Kane was refereed to from time to time.
In 2006 with the New 52 comics being published, a now-named Kate Kane was reintroduced. This time, she’s a Jewish lesbian, which at the time was described as one of the highest profile gay superheroes to appear published by DC. This drew many of attention towards her reintroduction, causing criticism and praise from the public.
Number 7 : The Huntress
Since there are about three different versions of this character, we’ll focus on Helena Rosa Bertinelli. In 1989, DC introduced Helena, born into one of Gotham City’s most ruthless mafia families.
At the age of 6, she was kidnapped and raped by a rival mafia don to psychologically torture her father, and Helena herself. Afterwards, her family sent her to a boarding school and assigned bodyguards to protect her, but she also learned all forms of combat from them.
Being the witness to a mob hit on her entire family, she decided then to put an end to the mafia. This quest occurred twice, in her comic Cry for Blood and in Huntress Year One.
In her travels, she has crossed paths with Barbara Gordon, Catwoman, and her partial mentor, Batman. In Justice League Unlimited, she was shown as The Question’s love interest after he talks her out of killing Stefano Mandragora.
Number 6: Zatanna Zatara
I will be the first of many men to admit my ever lasting love for this woman.
Zatanna was introduced to DC Comics in Hawkman Volume 1 #4 in 1964.
She does work double duty, being a stage magician and a real magician like her father. She has interacted with everybody from Batman and Robin to Green Lantern!
Most noticeably, she was finally inducted into the Justice League of America in volume number #161 in 1978. She is also one of the most powerful sorceresses in the DC Universe.
Number 5: Supergirl
Since there are so many Supergirls in the world of DC, again, I will be covering one out of the many, and that is Kara Zor-El, otherwise known as Superman’s Cousin, Supergirl. Kara is the last survivor of Argo City, which was apart of Krypton. She has most of the same abilities her cousin Superman has. DC introduced Kara back in 1959 in Action Comics #252.
In Superman the Animated Series, she is not depicted as Superman’s cousin, but he still treats her as one. Their relationship grows in Justice League unlimited, where they treat each other almost like siblings until she departs from the group. She felt that she had never really fit in on Earth at its present time.
Number 4: Hawkgirl
Many women have called themselves Hawkgirl. But we will be speaking about Shayera Hol, who was most noticeably known for playing Hawkgirl in the Justice League Unlimited series.
She is an advance scout for the Thanagarian invasion force, and is known to wield a an electrode mace made of Nth metal. DC introduced Shayera in The Brave and the Bold issue # 34 in 1961. Her husband Katar Hol is Hawkman, but in the Justice League animated series, you can see that there was a change, and she was involved with John Stewart also known as Green Lantern for a short amount of time.
Number 3: Batgirl/Oracle
Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Gotham City’s commissioner James Gordon and was introduced to the DC Universe back in Detective Comics #359 in 1967. She debuts by driving to a costume ball dressed as the female version of Batman, and intervenes a kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne.
Bruce decides to train her, even though he insists on her giving up crime-fighting because of her gender. As the years went on, she became an important aspect to the Bat-Family, even getting to have a relationship with Dick Grayson, also known as Robin/Nightwing. DC retired the character back in 1988 in the Batgirl Special #1. Sometime later, she appears in the graphic novel “The Killing Joke” where The Joker shoots and paralyzes Barbara in the attempt of driving her father insane.
As Oracle, she finds a new light in information sciences. She finds herself possessing a genius level intellect, photographic memory, and expert skills as a hacker. With her knew skills, she is a part of the Suicide Squad and formed a new group as a founding member, along with Black Canary as The Birds of Prey. In recent years, DC announced that Barbara Gordon was placing on the mantel once again as Batgirl with the relaunch of all their titles.
Number 2: Black Canary
Black Canary, also known as Dinah Laurel Lance, was introduced to the DC universe back in 1942 in Flash Comics #89. Because one of the earliest super heroines in the company, she was featured in many of the team up titles such as Justice Society and Justice League. She is known to be the love interest of Oliver Queen, also known as Green Arrow. She is an expert in hand to hand combat, and possesses an ultrasonic scream that she uses to her advantage.
She has been a part of the Justice League, even helping to train the sidekicks of some of the heroes in the cartoon show Young Justice. Briefly she worked with the Suicide Squad, and is one of the founding members of The Birds of Prey with Barbara Gordon.
Number 1: Wonder Woman
The princess of Themyscira, Diana Prince was introduced to the DC universe in All Star Comics #8 back in 1942. She is one of the most influential super heroines in the DC Universe. A founding member of the Justice League, Wonder Woman’s depiction as a heroine fighting for justice, love, peace and sexual equality has also led her to be widely considered a feminist icon.
Diana is an Amazon warrior of Themyscira. Originally, she was created of out clay and was brought to life by the magic of the gods but, as of recent with the relaunch of all the titles, New 52 she is now the demigoddess daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus.
Wonder Woman has a huge cultural impact, more so than any female comic book hero. She encourages women to stand up for themselves, to learn how to fight, to be strong so they don’t have to be scared or depend on men.
Gloria Steinhem wrote ” Wonder Woman’s family of Amazons on Paradise Island, her band of college girls in America, and her efforts to save individual women are all welcome examples of women working together and caring about each other’s welfare. The idea of such cooperation may not seem particularly revolutionary to the male reader. Men are routinely depicted as working well together, but women know how rare and therefore exhilarating the idea of sisterhood is. Wonder Woman’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, offers yet another welcome example to young girls in search of a strong identity. Queen Hippolyta founds nations, wages war to protect Paradise Island, and sends her daughter off to fight the forces of evil in the world … Wonder Woman symbolizes many of the values of the women’s culture that feminists are now trying to introduce into the mainstream: strength and self-reliance for women, sisterhood and mutual support among women, peacefulness and esteem for human life: a diminishing both of “masculine” aggression and of the belief that violence is the only way of solving conflicts.”
Check back soon – we’ll publish a list of top 10 Marvel female superheroes next!
- The Question – Renee Montoya
- Hawk and Dove
- Wonder Girl
Who are your favorite female DC superheroes? Please leave your comments below.