Everyone knows that Wonder Woman is one of the most powerful women in the DC Universe, and would even give any woman in the Marvel Universe a (very fast) run for her money. But she’s not the only super hero flashing her gams that has super strength, super speed, and an array of amazing weaponry. She may be from a secret Amazonian island, but there are DC women from distant worlds, outer space, and deep under the ocean whose origins give them equally unique abilities and gifts, such as telepathy, the ability to learn languages almost instantaneously, and the ability to manipulate the matter around them.
Some of these women have even gone up against Wonder Woman herself and fought her just to prove the point of their own dominance. Several are royalty themselves, princesses and queens who have a legacy of being fierce warriors and protectors. CBR has rounded up 15 characters just as powerful as Wonder Woman if not more so that DC refuses to put to good use. Some have been defined by the exploits of their male superhero love interests, some are less popular, and some are just waiting for their own shot at the silver screen.
15 BLACK CANARY
Since she first appeared in Flash Comics #86 way back in the ‘40s, Black Canary has developed beyond being known for her outfit of fishnets and a leather jacket. Although she doesn’t have the sort of impressive super powers that Wonder Woman and many of her peers possess, she takes a page out of Batman’s book and doesn’t let being a human impede her. She’s gone up against Lady Shiva, Amazonian warriors, and is known for training excessively to be in the best fighting shape possible.
Her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance has since taken on the mantle of Black Canary, known for being an amazing martial artist and fighter. Since the rise in Green Arrow’s popularity, she’s most often associated with his exploits, rather than her own (like having her own gang, Birds of Prey, alongside Huntress and Oracle), which get glossed over in any media that's not the comics.
Like a mutant Criss Angel, Zatanna has the power to control all of the Earth elements like wind, fire, wind, etc, as well as shadows and light. To enact them, she speaks backwards and recites her incantations like the demonically possessed. Since Marvel’s Dr. Strange gets all of the love these days, why is this magician’s daughter not better utilized? She too has the ability to astral project, alter time and reality, and move large objects in a way that would make any Jedi Knight jealous.
Don’t let the sequin tailcoat, top hat, and magic wand fool you; this lady is anything but gimmicky, unless that’s what you consider turning bullets into paper. And creating vortexes of pure energy. And shooting lightning bolts from her fingertips like the Emperor.
13 POISON IVY
Regarded as one of the most lethal members of Batman’s rogues gallery, Poison Ivy is what happens when a coworker tries to get you to help with a project at work then bumps you off. When a male colleague had her steal an ancient artifact that contained a rare herb, he poisoned her with it and split. The joke was on him, since the herb made her toxic to the touch and done with men for good.
Ivy’s villainous side has been explored ever since Batman #181, but her character is far more complex and other sides of her are explored less, other than her “eco terrorist” agenda. Imagine the story arc of a more complex character propelled by less two dimensional motivations, who can tap into a variety of superpowers when revenge isn’t their single objective.
Most recently, Raven has gotten a lot of attention for her role on Teen Titans, but shows like that don’t showcase the extent of her powers. Her father is a demon, and she commands some of the darkest forces in the DC Universe. This makes even more sense when you realize she’s the child of her father Emperor Trigon forcing himself on her human mother.
The complexity of her background gives her a rich tapestry of emotional angst to be channeled in various impulsive ways, such as killing priests in a fit of petty rage when her friends are trying to get married. When you have a demonic presence inside of you constantly trying to force its way out, it manifests in various ways but so far, the extent of her insanely impressive powers have yet to be tapped.
While it can be said that most women love jewelry, who wouldn’t love a piece like the Tantu Totem that grants you all the powers of the animal kingdom. Vixen is the lucky gal who possesses it, and it gives her the speed of a cheetah, the hearing of a bat, and if she wants it, the ground shuddering might of a T-Rex.
That’s right, this animal rights activist has mother nature’s back and it has hers, giving her gills when she needs them for underwater combat, and even the abilities of mythical beasts like dragons. She didn’t have an easy life in Zambesi, a nation in Africa, where her mother was murdered by poachers. Now, she kicks it with the Birds of Prey and the Justice League, but really needs her own time in the spotlight.
Kathy Kane was originally conceived as Batman’s female counterpart; a wealthy socialite and philanthropist that admired the Caped Crusader so much she put on a cowl herself to fight crime. She had the same access to crazy gadgets and fast cars, though her impetus for fighting crime was far less tragic than his.
The new incarnation of Batwoman, Kate Kane, is an army brat who, after being expelled from West Point, took a shine to Gotham as soon as she moved there. Rather than being a fangirl for Batman and trying to get in his pants, she’s an out and proud lesbian. It’s only been in the last year that she’s gotten her own monthly series, beginning with Batwoman #1, which is a vital way for the bat family to have a diverse pillar as part of its legacy.
It’s taken a long time for Aquaman to be considered cool, but Mera was always awesome. She too has the ability to manipulate water, communicate telepathically with aquatic creatures, and rules the seven seas as a queen. The ocean has her back, replenishing her powers when she’s drained, and taking the shape of anything she may need.
Originally written as a princess of the kingdom of Xebel who was sent to assassinate Aquaman in Aquaman #1, she fell in love with him instead and told her kingdom to suck it, because she was going to be Queen of Atlantis now. Her volatile emotions even allowed her to wear one of the Power Rings; Red, the most powerful of them all and which happened to compliment her hair nicely while feeding off her rage.
8 BIG BARDA
When it comes to powerful women in DC, it doesn’t get any more extra than Big Barda, though she’s technically not a human woman. Genetically perfect she’s one of the New Gods from Apokolips, where she was an original member of an all-female warrior guard called the Female Furies. The group was under the protection of Darkseid, but when she met his adopted son Scott Free (aka Mr. Miracle), she fell in love with him and the two escaped Apokolips to get married. Scott wasn’t intimidated by the fact that Big Barda was infinitely stronger than him, has, teleportation powers, immortality, and can sustain the blast of a nuclear bomb.
A former member of the Justice League, Big Barda doesn’t get as much recognition as the other members, despite being able to lift over 100 tons her own weight, putting her in Wonder Woman’s strength class.
7 POWER GIRL
Living up to her name, Power Girl is one of the most powerful women in the DC Universe. Who else can beat up Black Adam, Superman, and send Wonder Woman flying across a continent with a single punch? While technically the alternate version of Supergirl from Earth-2, and bff’s with Batman’s Earth-2 daughter, Huntress, she has carved her own path. Her origins are similar to that of Superman and Supergirl, however, being placed in an escape pod by Zor-L just before Krypton exploded.
Cruising with the other Birds of Prey including Black Canary and Huntress, she left them when a mission went wrong and too many bystanders were killed. The group she’s most associated with is the Justice Society in its many incarnations. She has X-Ray vision, super strength, heat vision, and can move at MACH 500 speeds.
Supergirl often gets overshadowed by the legacy of her family, but Kara Zor-El is one of its pillars for a reason. Having escaped Krypton before it exploded along with her cousin, Superman, she’s had several incarnations over the decades. Some people believe she isn’t as powerful as Superman because he subconsciously restrains his true power, essentially pulling his punches. However, Supergirl metabolizes yellow sunlight at a higher rate than he does.
Whether Kara has to go all in to subdue her enemies and Superman has to avoid killing everyone around him, it still makes her as powerful as Power Girl and Wonder Woman. Her story arc was brought to an end shortly before the Supergirl series came out, but has enjoyed a great amount of success since she’s been a part of the Rebirth event.
Proving that wearing less clothes doesn’t make you any less of an accomplished superhero, Starfire (real name Koriand’r), known for being all things sexy, is a powerful alien princess from the distant planet of Tamaran, and as such is able to absorb radiation (especially from those around her). She can then take that radiation and weaponize it into Starbolts.
Now a part of the Teen Titans, she’s been a member of the Justice League, Outsiders, R.E.B.E.L.S. and the Outlaws, giving her quite a superhero resume. Created as the “Red Sonja of Outer Space” in 1980, you can see the similarities in the metal bikini and big red hair. If she touches a person, she can learn their language, is immune in a berserker state, and can fly even in space.
Maxima is an extraterrestrial from the planet Almerac, where she ruled a vast empire of people who interbred with beings of various races to enhance their abilities. Representing the very apex of her people, Maxima can manipulate matter, hypnotize, cast illusions, and engage in combat in space. When she heard about the impressive feats of Superman, she decided that at long last she had found the one mate that was worthy of helping her create an heir to her empire.
On various occasions Maxima has entered Superman’s life to try to seduce him, but she is more than just a foil for the Man of Steel, and her exploits should be known of beyond his storylines. New 52 Maxima fled her homeworld because she’s a lesbian and didn’t want to be part of the baby making brigade. Hopefully, this storyline won’t be as gimmicky as her previous ones.
Who can forget the Queen of the Amazons and the mother of Diana Prince? Created by the Greek goddesses to bring peace, tolerance, and compassion to the world of men, the Amazon warriors were brave fighters and fiercely loyal. She bested Zeus’s son Hercules, though he would imprison her later to steal the Girdle of Hippolyta, a powerful artifact, an act which resulted in retribution and bloodshed on behalf of the Amazons. For their punishment in failing to maintain peace, all were given golden bracelets around their wrists.
An immortal, Hippolyta possesses all the powers of the Amazons such as superhuman strength, speed, and agility. At 3,000 years old, and being a warrior most of her life, her combat training is impeccable, which explains why she beat Ares long before Wonder Woman did.
When she was 13 years old, Amy Winston discovered that she was the prin6cess of a magical world. She ruled the kingdom of Gemworld, which Dark Opal was set out to destroy. She decides to travel to Gemworld and fulfill her destiny, and by the time she arrives she’s in her early twenties. She takes up arms against Dark Opal and defeats the dark forces trying to destroy the land and her citizens. She learns that her parents, Lord and Lady Amethyst, two powerful magic users, were slain by Dark Opal and that’s how she came to live on Earth for her own protection.
Amethyst has battled Spectre on Gemworld and defeated him, no small feat considered the near infinite cosmic power he has. She has the power of flight, energy projection, and the use of numerous magical spells.
Even if you don’t have the greatest super powers, the ability to cheat death with the ability to reincarnate sort of makes that a mute point. Along with Hawkman, Hawkgirl (real name Shayera Hol) draws her powers from a rare metal from her home planet of Thanagar. She wields a mace and other weapons fashioned from it, which she utilizes with deadly precision. She kicks it with the Birds of Prey, and is known to be one of the most violent of its members.
Because the metal that provides her superpowers defies gravity, it grants her the power of flight, and the ability to heal almost instantaneously. Her origin story from Flash Comics #1 depicts her as a reincarnated Egyptian princess who, along with her lover, die and get reborn together through the centuries.
Which of these characters would you like to see more of? Let us know in the comments!