In the movies and on TV, female superheroes come few a far between. Of course, there’s Wonder Woman, Super Girl, Black Widow, and the upcoming Captain Marvel, but their numbers are nothing compared to the amount of male superheroes we see.
The good news is, there are lots of awesome superheroines in comic books that have yet to make it to the big screen. Here is a list of a few powerful female heroes that you may want to check out.
Did you know that Wonder Woman had a sister? After Nubia and Wonder Woman were formed from clay, the god of war, Mars, abducted Nubia and as used her as his weapon. After defeating him, Nubia leads her warriors into a way of peace. Nu’Bia is the newer version. She was also an Amazon, but was charged with guarding the entrance to the river Styx. Both versions have superhuman strength and speed, can fly, and have magical weaponry. Nubia is considered to be DC’s first black female superhero.
Faith is a member of the DC Comics universe. She was first introduced in 2002 to help out the Justice League when they were transported back in time. She is telekinetic, telepathic, and also able to fly. She was raised by the U.S. military and worked with their Black-Ops group, but now the military is trying to capture her to use her as a weapon.
Big Barda is another DC superheroine. She comes from a race called the New Gods and was born in the world Apokolips, a hell-scape containing massive fire pits. She has god-like abilities like immortality and superhuman strength. She was raised to lead a pack of warrior women known as the Female Fury Battalion, but eventually, she escapes Apokolips and goes to Earth. There, she helps out the Justice League and forms the New Female Furies, a defense-training program for women.
You may have heard some talk about the latest incarnation of Miss America, America Chavez, when she debuted in 2011. She is Marvel’s first Latin-American LGBTQ character to star in an ongoing series. She teams up with the Young Avengers, West Coast Avengers, and the A-Force, an all-female team of Avengers. She has superhuman strength and speed, as well as the ability to fly.
Kate Bishop is Marvel’s first female Hawkeye. Like the original, she is a highly skilled archer. She is also adept in combat and swordsmanship. She gained her skills after being brutally attacked in a park. Left traumatized, she decides to begin training in combat. She joins both the Young Avengers and West Coast Avengers and even partners up with the first Hawkeye, Clint Barton.
This is DC’s superheroine that we’re talking about, not Marvel’s racoon. Rocket’s real name is Raquel Ervin. She grew up in the poorest, crime-ridden neighborhood in Dakota before convincing an Earth-stranded alien to become a superhero and taker her on as his sidekick – don’t worry, she is still the main protagonist of the series. She becomes a single mother during her time as a superheroine and continues to fight crime. Her power is energy manipulation via her inertia belt.
The first published Lady Blackhawk is Zinda Blake. As an ace pilot, she was determined to become the first female member of the famous World War II unit, the Blackhawks. After saving the entire team, they let her become an honorary member. She goes on to join Black Canary’s all-female team Birds of Prey.
In an attempt at a light-hearted superhero story, Squirrel Girl was born. Her real name is Doreen Green, a student of computer science and nanny to Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s daughter. Green has a mutation that lets her communicate with squirrels and gives her squirrel-like abilities. These include a prehensile tail, superhuman agility and senses, and razor-sharp claws. She saves Iron Man from Doctor Doom when she was just 15 and later defeats Thanos – though there is some debate on how she was able to accomplish this feat.
I’m sure you’ve heard of Batgirl, but Cassandra Cain’s version is unlike any other. She was raised by assassins and deprived of speech and human contact as a child in a form of conditioning to make her the world’s greatest assassin. However, after saving Commissioner Gordon, Batman gives her the Batgirl costume and she begins to fight crime. After her father dies, she adopts his identity of Orphan and later joins Batman and Batwoman’s boot camp for young vigilantes, where she is known for being the best fighter.
It can be frustrating trying to find strong female characters in the media, but thanks to these 9 superheroines, we have even more inspiration! Hopefully soon they will fly off the page and onto the big screen to fight alongside the male superheroes and prove how strong and fearless women are.
Ashleen Knutsen is a science writer and editor in Los Angeles. After a decade of experience in engineering and research, she decided to pursue a career in science communications to not only spark women and girls’ interest in STEM, but to let them know that they too can change the world.