Did you know that female superheroes and villains make up approximately 26,7% of all characters in Marvel and DC?
Over the last several years, studios and publishers were scrutinized because of their male-centric works. And the pressure seems to have paid off.
In the past two decades, superheroines and villainesses have become lead protagonists in many comic books as well as in movies and series based on comics. And rightfully so!
We created this list of female superheroes and villains to show you how much power female comic book characters hold.
No matter the side they fight on – be it the good, evil, or somewhere in between, these extraordinary women exemplify inspiring strength and bravery deserving of the center stage in comics and other works of art.
Who Entered This List Of Female Superheroes And Villains?
In this roundup of female comic book characters, we featured superheroines and villainesses from Marvel, DC Comics and BioWars comic books.
We focused on strong and fearless characters whose power often surpasses that of their male counterparts!
The superheroines included in the list also have interesting backstories, making them much more than just accessories to exciting plots.
On the other hand, the female villains we discuss in this post are just as strong and bold as the women fighting for the greater good. In fact, these villainesses are among the most powerful characters in all the comics. Even though they are vile and ruthless, their strength and perseverance are astonishing.
We have organized our list into three categories:
- Top Female Superheroes
- Top Female Supervillains
- BioWars Female Comic Book Characters
Let’s meet some powerful female superheroes first!
Top Female Superheroes
Marvel and DC are two of the most popular comic book publishers in the world, hence our decision to focus on the female comic book characters from Marvel and DC universes.
Now, why don’t we meet Marvel’s most courageous superheroines first?
Marvel Female Superheroes
1. Jean Grey
- Powers: Telepathy and Telekinesis
- Nature: Mutant
- Team: X-Men
Jean Grey was born a mutant with telepathic and telekinetic powers.
Her superhuman abilities didn’t manifest until she was ten years old. One day, she was playing with her best friend who, unfortunately, got hit by a car. Jean felt an instant connection with her friend through telepathy and almost died along with her.
The event left Jean devastated so her parents sought help from a telepath, Charles Xavier. He was also a mutant who blocked Jean’s telepathic powers until she was old enough to control them.
When Jean became a teenager, Xavier allowed her to use her the power of telepathy again and recruited her for his X-Men team – a cadre of humans born with supernatural powers. She was the first female superhero to join the team!
Jean is one of the most impressive mutants and overall female comic book characters of all time. Not only does she have telepathic and telekinetic abilities, but she can also manipulate energy and create fire. She also has the means to control someone else’s thoughts and their body as well as to incite them to do whatever she wants them to.
2. Captain Marvel
- Powers: Superhuman strength and endurance, the “Seventh Sense”, healing
- Nature: Human turned Kree hybrid
- Team: Avengers
Captain Marvel is a brave warrior and one of the most extraordinary female superheroes in Marvel’s comics and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU).
She was born Carol Danvers and used to work as an Air Force Pilot.
However, her life changed during her employment at NASA. She worked as a security officer and was in charge of preventing the Kree (a humanoid military race from planet Hala) and the Skulls (the prison gang of white supremacists) from jeopardizing NASA’s work.
In one of the fights, Carol found herself exposed to the Psyche-Magnitron machine, which turned imagination and desires into reality. Since Carol admired the powers of the Kree leader, the mighty Mar-Vell, the machine turned her into a human/Kree hybrid and gave her similar powers to Mar-Vell’s.
From then on, she became one of the most remarkable female superheroes of all time. She usually fights alongside Avengers, Marvel’s group of heroes that includes Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Thor, and Hulk among others.
Captain Marvel is exceptionally strong, tough, endurable, fierce, and agile. Her strength is par with the energy of a nuclear bomb. She also has the power of flash precognition, i.e., the Seventh Sense that allows her to foresee upcoming dangers and the moves of her opponents.
Captain Marvel has healing abilities and can easily recover from bad injuries. She’s immune to poison and diseases and can survive without food, sleep and even breathing.
In 2019, she became the star of MCU’s first female-led superhero movie Captain Marvel, which went on to become one of the highest-grossing movies of that year.
3. Invisible Woman
- Powers: Invisibility, shock waves, psionic force fields
- Nature: Human turned mutant
- Team: Fantastic Four
Dr. Susan “Sue” Storm a.k.a. The Invisible Woman is Marvel’s first female superhero.
She used to be a regular college student until the day her brother took her to space in a stolen Marvel-1 rocket.
During the trip, she was exposed to a cosmic storm and its radiation rendered her invisible. Her brother and two friends who traveled with them also gained superpowers. Together, they became the Fantastic Four.
Aside from being able to turn herself partially or entirely invisible whenever she wants, Sue Storm can also render other people and objects invisible.
She can also alter colors at will while her brain has the power to project fields of psionic force. Sue can transform that force into a myriad of different shapes, such as planes, cylinders, etc. When in danger, she can use her project fields as shock waves to hurt her enemies.
- Powers: Weather control, causing blizzards, creating winds
- Nature: mutant
- Team: X-Men
Storm was among the first black female superheroines that gained a lot of popularity among readers.
She was born as Ororo Munroe, a mutant, just like Jean Grey. Not long after she joined the X-Men team, she became their leader.
Storm is a fearsome superheroine that fights the enemy using her ability to control the weather. She can tolerate both extremely hot and cold conditions.
She can also create strong winds, such as tornados, which help her fly. Storm also has the power to cause massive, scary blizzards. She will create whatever kind of weather may be necessary to defeat her opponents.
Storm’s character appeared in the first X-Men movie back in 2000. Since then, she’s been a part of almost every movie from the X-Men franchise.
- Powers: superhuman strength and speed; regenerative powers
- Nature: human turned mutant
- Team: Avengers, Fantastic Four
Jennifer Walters was just an ordinary lawyer.
One day, she suffered a severe injury which required her to receive a blood transfusion.
Her cousin, Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Hulk!
After the transfusion, Walters became a superhero.
Just like her cousin, She-Hulk becomes even stronger when driven by emotions, especially in the face of injustice. She has regenerative powers and is incredibly fast and agile.
Throughout the years, She-Hulk became more than just Hulk’s spin-off. She is a beloved character with many comic books dedicated to her stories.
A true testament to her popularity is the fact that in 2022 Disney + will air the She-Hulk TV show, which will follow the tough superheroine on her adventures.
DC Female Superheroes
1. Wonder Woman
- Powers: Immortality, superhuman stamina, teleportation, mind control, regenerative powers
- Nature: Demigoddess
- Team: Justice League (co-founder)
Wonder Woman is DC Comics’ most popular female superhero of all time.
Ever since her debut in 1941, she’s been hailed a feminist icon.
Her creator is William Moulton Marston, a psychologist and a feminist. He pictured her as an undisputed leader of the world, hence her portrayal as a woman of unparalleled power.
Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons – the misandrist warrior women in DC comics.
As a demigoddess, Wonder Woman has superhuman powers and traits. She is immortal, with unmatched strength and stamina as well as practical teleportation skills. She also has remarkable sight and vision which help her notice enemies from afar.
Wonder Woman can also control the minds of her enemies, regenerate hurt body parts and fly. Her primary weapon is the indestructible “Lasso of Hestia” a.k.a. the “Lasso of Truth”, which helps her find out the truth from whomever she wants and allows her to submit her opponents to her willpower.
Alongside Batman, Wonder Woman is the founding member of the Justice League, a team of superheroes that includes Superman, Flash and Green Lantern. Together, they fight against evil-doers attempting to harm the earth.
- Powers: Superhuman strength and speed; X-ray vision; ability to fly
- Nature: Alien
- Team: Justice League
Kara Zor-El is the girl of steel. She is the cousin of the great Kal-El a.k.a. Superman.
Just like her cousin, Supergirl is outstandingly strong and fast. She also has X-ray vision and can fly. She is also one of the members of the fearsome Justice League.
Supergirl’s perfect blend of strength and traditional femininity are particularly appealing and inspiring to modern-age audiences.
The TV series Supergirl helped further popularize this superheroine. In the series, viewers could follow her adventures with extraterrestrial and human enemies but also see her fall in love and have game nights with her friends, just like any other human. This kind of portrayal helped make Supergirl’s character more relatable and beloved among younger audiences.
Top Female Supervillains
Now that we’ve met the ladies protecting Marvel and DC universe, let’s discover which female supervillains are causing havoc in both worlds.
Top Marvel Supervillains
1. Dark Phoenix
- Powers: Telepathy, telekinesis, immense strength, indestructible force
- Nature: Human turned host
- Team: Hellfire Club
When Jean Grey first experienced her telepathic powers and used them to connect with her dying friend, the Phoenix Force, an indestructible light, power, and life of the universe felt its power resonate with Jean’s mind. Phoenix even lent its energy to break the connection between Jean and her friend and continued to monitor the young mutant in years to come.
During one mission with her team of X-Men, Jean got badly hurt. She was dying and cried for help. The Phoenix Force offered her its hand and salvation. Jean accepted it and, at that moment, the Phoenix Force possessed her.
Jean then became the target of the Mastermind, an illusionist and one of the evil mutants in Marvel comics. He tricked her into believing she was his love interest and lured her into becoming a part of the Hellfire club which gathers X-Men’s adversaries.
The Phoenix became Dark Phoenix and the force of uncontrollable destruction. She was strong enough to annihilate an entire planetary system with all of its inhabitants. Her strength was immeasurable and almost impossible to beat.
However, at one point, Jean’s true personality managed to shine through and regain control over her own mind. Once she realized how evil and corrupt she’d become, she took her own life to prevent causing further suffering to the universe.
Jean’s transformation into a Dark Phoenix and her struggle to control her powers is depicted in the exciting movie X-Men: Dark Phoenix.
- Powers: Mind switch, telepathy, assassin’s instinct
- Nature: Human
- Team: The Hand – a team of cruel ninja assassins
Elektra Natchios is among the most dangerous assassins and Marvel’s female villains.
Since her early childhood, she practiced martial arts.
When she and her father were held hostage by terrorists, a police officer accidentally killed her father during a rescue attempt. From then on, she fully immersed herself into learning martial attacks. She chose violence as a way to cope with grief.
Elektra is known for her agility, remarkable stamina, and the use of sai — Asian long blades. She excels at ninjutsu, karate, and aikido. She is a terrific swordswoman and highly skilled with katana.
Elektra can also use telepathy to communicate with those on similar mental frequencies. Sometimes, she also sneaks into other people’s minds to see through their eyes and defeat the enemies.
She used to be mostly known as Daredevil’s love interest, but she became a fearsome and highly skilled assassin in Marvel’s universe that needs no man to get in the limelight.
- Powers: Endurance, speed
- Nature: Human
- Team: Hydra
Viper was born Ophelia Sarkissian.
As a child, she became a part of Hydra, a terrorist Neo-Nazi organization. Throughout the years, she proved herself to be one of Hydra’s best students and went on to become its leader known as Madame Hydra.
Viper is a supervillain and one of Marvel’s most frightening female villains. She regularly fights against the X-Men and the Avengers. Wolverine and Captain America are among her biggest enemies. Viper is ruthless and strong, usually portrayed with a whip and guns around her waist.
Viper is also a big fan of poisons and potion-making. She regularly studies them and makes poisons on her own. She then applies them to the throwing darts or adds them to her lipsticks, preparing herself to either kill or paralyze her opponents. Viper herself is immune to most poisons.
- Powers: Shapeshifting, camouflage, immunity to toxins and telepathy
- Nature: Mutant
- Team: Brotherhood of Mutants
Raven Darkhölme is a mutant terrorist known as Mystique in Marvel’s universe. She’s also one of the first female LGBT comic book characters.
She fell in love with Irene Adler a.k.a. Destiny, a blind mutant and an enemy of the X-Men. In 1981, the writers wanted to share their love with readers, but Marvel didn’t allow it because, at the time, that idea was too controversial. Some twenty years later, they confirmed that Mystique and Destiny were indeed in love and married.
Mystique spends most of her time fighting against the X-Men. She either does it on her own or as a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants, a group of the X-Men mutant rivals.
Mystique possesses the power to imitate other people’s voices and mimic their appearance regardless of their sex. She can also camouflage herself to blend in with the surroundings as well as to increase her strength, speed, and other physical qualities.
Mystique can heal herself from any kind of injury and is immune to toxins. She also has an innate defense system that prevents anyone from using telepathy on her.
Mistique appears in several X-Men films, including the latest Dark Phoenix and the X-Men: Apocalypse.
- Powers: Superhuman strength, teleportation, levitation, protective shields
- Nature: Goddess
- Team: Masters of Evil – a team of supervillains fighting against the Avengers
Amora the Enchantress is one of Thor’s most dangerous adversaries.
She is a goddess from Asgards, the home of several other powerful gods, including Thor. From an early age, she practiced sorcery and learned how to cast spells.
She enjoys seducing men, hence her title of Enchantress, but she mostly uses her targets as means to an end.
Amora was in love with Thor and used her magic to make him fall for her. They even ended up getting married and having a child together, but Thor then went back in time and cancelled his history with Enchantress.
Amora is outstandingly fast and strong. This female villain also has a superhuman metabolism that allows her to heal fast. As for her spells, she can use them to achieve whatever she pleases, including raining blood on earth and resuscitating the dead.
Enchantress can teleport herself as well as levitate. With a single kiss, she has the power to turn men into statues and trees. Moreover, she has the ability to create strong shields to keep her safe, absorbing life from others to make her own attacks and powers stronger and more effective.
Top DC Female Supervillains
1. Harley Quinn
- Powers: Immunity to toxins
- Nature: Human
- Team: Gotham City Sirens
Harley Quinn was formerly known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel. She used to be a successful psychologist in Gotham City. But when Joker, a supervillain and Batman’s archnemesis, became her patient, her life changed forever.
She fell in love with Joker and found herself becoming his accomplice. Harleen then adopted a new identity of Harley Quinn, the Clown Princess of Crime.
Once the writers ended her toxic and abusive relationship with Joker, she became more than just his sidekick and lover. DC re-introduced her as an entrepreneur and a member of several squads, including the all-girls team of Gotham City Sirens.
Harley is currently portrayed as an antihero and a part of the Suicide Squad – DC’s team of antiheroes.
She is a terrific gymnast and extremely durable. Given her vast knowledge of human psychology, she can easily manipulate her opponents. She’s also immune to toxins.
Her pet hyenas, Bud and Lou, sometimes help her in fights.
- Powers: Superhuman agility and athleticism
- Nature: Human
- Team: Injustice League – a team of adversaries of the Justice League
Catwoman is one of the most popular villains in the world of comic books.
From the 1990s onward, the writers began to depict her as an antiheroine, but we couldn’t possibly forget about her years as one of the greatest female supervillains, so we decided to feature her in our roundup.
Catwoman was born as Selina Kyle. Her character debuted in 1940. For decades, she was portrayed as Gotham’s villain and Batman’s rival.
Catwoman is a burglar. She mostly steals jewels from the rich both to survive on the streets as well as to enjoy the thrill of it. She especially enjoys being chased by Batman.
Her relationship with Batman is complicated, considering their strong attraction to each other. She often uses his feelings to get her way and defeat him.
Catwoman is very acrobatic, agile, and a terrific martial arts fighter. While she doesn’t have any superpowers per se, her athleticism certainly isn’t common in humans. She also uses her whip to fight opponents, but she’s no stranger to resorting to guns if she can’t manipulate her whip.
Catwoman appears in numerous movies about Batman but she’s also the lead protagonist of the Catwoman movie released in 2004.
3. Poison Ivy
- Powers: The ability to control plants; poisonous kiss
- Nature: Human
- Team: Injustice League
Poison Ivy is one of the greatest female supervillains in comic books. She is Batman’s enemy but also his lover.
Her real name is Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley and she’s Gotham’s botanist and biochemist. When she was a promising student, she was seduced by her professor who used her as part of an experiment and injected her with toxins.
Pamela nearly died from the poison and, instead of helping, her professor boyfriend abandoned her. This is when she began to teeter between the good and the bad, until she eventually turned to the dark side, becoming Poison Ivy.
Poison Ivy has the power to control plants and use them to defeat her enemies. She can manipulate trees and incite plants to release their natural toxins on her rivals. Her kiss is deadly because of the poison in her lips.
Poison Ivy is a misanthrope and wants to live in a world where plants won’t be destroyed by humans. Her devotion to flora is one of her great weaknesses – as soon as plants are endangered, she becomes extremely unstable and prone to outbursts of rage and violence towards anyone who stumbles onto her path.
4. Granny Goodness
- Powers: Immortality, superhuman strength
- Nature: Human
- Team: Female Furies, Darkseid’s Elite
Granny Goodness is one of the most unusual villains you’ll come across.
She works with Darkseid, one of DC’s most frightening supervillains, and trains his soldiers. She’s no stranger to brainwashing and torturing Darkseid’s elite forces to turn them into his fanatics willing to do anything for their leader.
Granny Goodness is also in charge of the Female Furies, a group of female supervillains who serve Darkseid.
Despite her age, Granny Goodness is very strong and agile. She’s vile, cruel and likes to use the Mega-Rod in fights – a high-tech weapon that projects damaging blasts of energy.
BioWars Female Comic Book Characters
The BioWars comic book tells the riveting story of a war raging within the body of Alex Hawking, its main human protagonist. The cells of his immune system are personified as BioWarriors that courageously fight against germs and other pathogens attempting to jeopardize Alex’s health.
In this comic book, female superheroes perform some of the most important roles of the human immune system. The lionhearted female BioWarriors include:
- Powers: Genetic scanners, cytotoxic blasts
- Nature: Cell
- Team: Natural killer cells
Syrinx personifies Natural Killer Cell (NKS) in the BioWars comic books.
NKC’s are the most fearsome and elite forces in charge of protecting the BioCosmos, i.e., the living world within our bodies comprised of a plethora of cells.
Syrinx has the power to annihilate infected cells using cytotoxic blasts.
She’s intimidating and she knows it! She enjoys the fact that even the mightiest BioWarriors fear her.
Imagine the power this brave girl holds when barely any germ can survive her attack! She’s practically invincible!
- Powers: Healing webs, agility, can entangle microbes in her web
- Nature: Cell
- Team: Fibroblasts
Sutura is another brave female superhero from BioWars comics.
She plays the role of the gentle but fearless fibroblast warrior. Her special power is to heal damaged tissues with her fibrous webs.
Moreover, she can use her web to trap germs and other vile intruders attempting to harm the BioCosmos.
Sutura can also feel the body’s distress in ways other BioWarriors cannot and point to the source of the disease.
Without her and her cadre, the BioCosmos wouldn’t be able to restore its health and mend its wounds.
- Powers: Transmit messages at the speed of thought, can defend herself with blasts of electricity
- Nature: Cell
- Team: Messenger cells
Without Sensurian, the BioCosmos would not be the same.
This courageous female superhero is a messenger cell that travels at the speed of thought. Her role is to transmit orders from The Council of the Mind, i.e., the supreme neuron cells to BioWarriors.
If it hadn’t been for Sensurian, the army of BioWarriors would not know how to act nor would they be able to prepare for battles on time.
In the BioWars comic book, she is pictured as a witty, mercurial, and energetic character that can kill off her enemies with electricity.
And while these bold female BioWarriors do whatever they can to keep Alex healthy, some female meanies making their job more difficult.
Like Tenzor, the member of the microbes and mutants cadre.
- Powers: Poisonous barbed scales, pili spikes, razor sharp talons
- Nature: Bacterium
- Team: Z-Kron Microbe
Tenzor is a dangerous bacterium that threatens to jeopardize the health of the main human protagonist of the BioWars comic book, Alex Hawking.
She was originally an Escherichia coli bacterium named Bacter that found a home in Alex’s body. However, the brave BioWarriors have zero tolerance for trespassers, so they declared war to Bacter and her team. The fearless macrophages wiped Bacter’s buddies away, but she managed to escape.
To survive, Bacter connected with a genetically engineered and deadly microbe called Z-Kron Microbe, which passed on his DNA to her. Bacter then evolved into Tenzor, a dangerous bacterium. She then started to fight alongside Raze (one-half of the Z-Kron Microbe) against the cadre of B-Cells and their fearless commander Blastor.
Tenzor and her vile friends aim to destroy their host, Alex, but the tireless BioWarriors won’t let them have their way.
Who’s Your Favorite Female Comic Book Character?
Our list of female superheroes and villains includes some of the most remarkable female comic book characters that can accomplish everything their male counterparts can, if not more.
These ladies have come a long way and turned from sidekicks and love interests to lead protagonists deserving of all of our attention.