The Arrowverse is made up of many disparate heroes with a number of different worldviews and life strategies. One thing they have in common, though, is that they often must rely on strength to defeat the bad guys and keep the world safe. Of course, in a universe full of super-powered aliens and meta-humans, physical strength becomes a bit relative. Even the strongest human can’t hope to defeat a Kryptonian or a skilled meta. That doesn’t stop any of the characters from Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, or Supergirl from being the best fighters they can be, no matter what their strengths are.
When the heroes of the Arrowverse suit up and go into battle, each of them contributes in their own way. Those who are physically strong, however, are still willing to put their bodies and lives on the line for a cause they believe in. And no matter how strong they are, each hero’s use of strategy and tactics to deploy their strength in the most effective ways is an important skill. Regardless of who they are, these heroes think in fighting terms. They prepare to use their strength with the dedication and commitment of the best athletes, even if we don’t always get to see it on-screen. Nonetheless, there is a hierarchy to the physical strength wielded by each of the Arrowverse’s heroes. Whether they're enhanced by alien adaptations, totems, meta-skills, technology, or just good old-fashioned strength training, each hero in the Arrowverse isn’t equal to all the others. They can be ranked by strength, and we're about to prove it.
20 ALEX DANVERS
When you're Supergirl’s human older sister, you have a couple options: you could become resentful of her superpowers, or you could cultivate a few abilities of your own. Alex chose the second path.
Not only is Alex an amazing fighter, she also has some serious tactical skills and is a brilliant scientist, complete with medical knowledge. On top of all that, Alex has done her level best to keep her sister safe in any way she can. Sometimes there’s only so much you can do when your sister is a super-powered Kryptonian trying to save the world, but regardless of what’s going on, Alex is always available to support her little sister in any way she needs.
19 RENE RAMIREZ
Rene was inspired to become a vigilante by the Green Arrow. And yet, when the Green Arrow got wind of what Rene was doing, he made his disapproval known. Instead of stopping as the Green Arrow demanded, Rene eventually joined Team Arrow. A former Navy SEAL, Rene has the physical strength to successfully carry out missions with the team as the hero Wild Dog.
Rene has a strong moral compass but also has a problem with authority. Because of his pigheadedness and his relative lack of experience as a vigilante, he sometimes gets himself into sticky situations that he isn't prepared to handle.
18 MICK RORY
Mick Rory didn’t start out as a hero. Initially, he was the villain known as Heat Wave, who, along with his partner Captain Cold, wreaked havoc in Central City. Things started to change when he joined the Legends of Tomorrow.
While he would hate to admit he’s evolved, that’s exactly what he’s done. Over time, he’s become loyal and even begrudgingly affectionate towards his fellow Legends. While Mick doesn’t go for the fancy martial arts of many an Arrowverse hero, he’s an expert brawler, able to take down seasoned opponents in a fight. Between that and his trusty heat gun, he’s a formidable force.
17 JAMES OLSON
It was only a matter of time before James Olson decided to become a vigilante. He was Superman’s best friend, after all! Then, upon moving to National City, he became close with Supergirl. After a while it became impossible for him to watch his Kryptonian buddies help people and fight for justice without wanting to do the same himself.
James knows he’s only human, but as Guardian, he wears a super-suit that at least offers him some protection. For someone who has been a side-kick most of his life, James is a surprisingly accomplished fighter. That, coupled with his intelligence, heart, and the assistance of his friend Win, in the field, together makes him an effective crime-fighter.
16 ROY HARPER
When we first meet Roy on Arrow, he’s a petty criminal from the wrong side of the tracks. After Oliver saves his life as The Hood, though, Roy turns things around and becomes a vigilante himself, doing his best to help the people in his neighborhood.
This leads to Roy becoming a part of Team Arrow, training with Oliver, and learning to become a more proficient fighter. Moreover, Roy is extremely loyal. He eventually leaves the team after taking the fall for Oliver by claiming to be the Arrow himself. He maintains his loyalty years later when he is found and tortured by bad guys trying to set up Oliver. Despite their best attempts to get what they want out of him, Roy never cracks.
15 THEA QUEEN
Thea was trained to be a fighter by her father, Malcolm Merlyn, a League of Assassins-trained warrior. She mastered several martial arts and combat skills, as well as the ability to use weapons in record time. Given her life around vigilantes and criminals, her skills made her feel safer.
While Thea’s fighting skills were an asset to Team Arrow, after being resurrected in the Lazarus Pits, she developed an overwhelming bloodlust that led her to become dangerously aggressive. Even after she conquered that, her actions were morally questionable. Realizing the power she wielded could lead her down the wrong path, Thea eventually retired from the vigilante life.
14 DINAH DRAKE
Dinah Drake is a meta-human whose power is all in her voice. Unlike Beyonce, however, she won’t be rocking the masses on a stadium tour anytime soon. Instead, Drake’s sonic scream has enough force to push bad guys away, disarm and incapacitate them, and even put them down... for good! Her power is why she was anointed as Laurel Lance’s successor as Black Canary.
Dinah brings other skills to the table too. As a policewoman, she received training in firearms and as a vigilante she learned to be a highly effective fighter. As a result, she augments her meta-skills with the ability to grapple with the best of them.
13 JOHN DIGGLE
When we first meet John Diggle at the beginning of Arrow, he’s serving as Oliver’s bodyguard. As a former soldier, he has a strong sense of justice, so when he learned Oliver was attempting to help their city as a vigilante, he decided to became a member of his team.
Since then, John has served as Oliver’s partner in heroism. His fighting skills make him a valuable ally in any battle, and he’s good at keeping a level head and getting the job done during combat situations. When Oliver decided to briefly retire from the role of the Green Arrow, Diggle took up the mantle to make sure the city continued to feel safe and protected.
12 NYSSA AL GHUL
Nyssa was a long-time member of the League of Assassins. In addition, as the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, the expectations placed on her by the League were even higher than the average member. Nyssa more than lived up to those expectations by becoming an exceptional fighter with the ability to successfully take down anyone who stands in her way.
In addition, Nyssa has the distinction of being an independent thinker with an open mind. Despite her upbringing with the League, becoming an ally of Team Arrow exposed her to other perspectives. As a result, when she ascended to the role of the League’s newest Ra’s al Ghul, she eventually decided to disband the League and end its archaic and lethal ways.
11 SARA LANCE
Sara survived a shipwreck and the experience changed her life. She learned to endure any situation in any way she could. That meant joining and learning to fight with the League of Assassins. She became a killer due to her affiliation with the League, and as a result, she grew into an excellent warrior. Unfortunately, though, she also didn’t value human life.
It wasn’t until she returned to Star City and became part of Team Arrow and then the leader of the Legends of Tomorrow that she used her skills and abilities to become a hero. Now as the Legends’ White Canary, she can fight all manner of beings in the service of good. Of course, the guilt she feels over her past actions can still negatively impact her.
10 OLIVER QUEEN
Before spending years on an island, Oliver Queen was a rich playboy without a care in the world. After going through all manner of physical and emotional trials after surviving a shipwreck, he develops into a disciplined, goal-oriented warrior. He becomes a masterful fighter and, of course, he’s pretty good with a bow and arrow, too.
Oliver is the peak of human physical conditioning and he keeps himself that way to make sure he can take on any and all threats to his city as the Green Arrow. And there always seems to be someone threatening his city, so it’s a good thing he stays in fighting shape.
9 WALLY WEST
During the Flashpoint timeline on The Flash, Wally West is the Flash. In that timeline, he dies at the hands of his archenemy. Yet, when Barry Allen sets the timeline straight again, Wally had to wait to regain his powers. When he finally does, he became Kid Flash, sharing hero duties with Barry.
Wally revels in his speedster powers, which give him many of the same abilities as Barry, although he doesn’t use them with quite as much finesse. After breaking up with his girlfriend and going off on his own on a journey of self-discovery, Wally finally joins the Legends as a more comfortable and confident speedster.
8 NATE HEYWOOD
Nate Heywood didn’t have powers when he first entered the Arrowverse. Initially, he was just a historian who could help the occupants of the time-traveling Waverider deduce whether time was shifting in ways it shouldn’t. Later, however, he was injected with a biology-enhancing drug, which left him with the power to turn his body to steel.
When Nate transforms, he becomes virtually invincible. He is also as strong as the steel he’s made up of would imply. Yet, Nate hasn’t entirely harnessed his ability to become Steel. As a result, his powers remain volatile.
7 RAY PALMER
Ray Palmer isn’t a meta-human or an alien. Instead, he has the power of science on his side. Ray created an exosuit that lets him make himself smaller or bigger, protects him from weapons, and includes energy blasters to knock out his opponents. The suit makes him a hero, The Atom, but even out of the suit, Ray’s intellect and engineering skills make him a valued member of the Legends of Tomorrow team.
In addition, Ray possesses a strong spirit that has served him well in his adventures across the Arrowverse. It enabled him to figure out a way to contact Felicity after months as Damien Darhk’s prisoner and keeps him in the Legends' fights no matter what.
6 AMAYA JIWE
Amaya Jiwe, aka Vixen, from the Legends of Tomorrow, is imbued with power by the Totem she wears around her neck. The totem enables her to harness the abilities of animals of all kinds. The power she’s able to wield depends on the animal she channels. That means at any point she can use the power of a dolphin to easily make her way through water or she can use the power of an elephant to become the strongest person around.
While her animal powers are temporary, she is also a skilled martial artist and talented with weapons, making her a force to be reckoned with even without her totem powers activated.
5 BARRY ALLEN
Without super-powers, Barry Allen wouldn’t exactly be physically impressive. He wouldn’t be especially strong or fast or tough in pretty much any way. However, as the Flash, Barry uses the speed force not only to sprint around Earth One faster than anyone else, he also can use his power to pack a wallop.
He uses the force provided by his speed to punch and kick his way past any foe. Even his mental processes are fast, making him able to perceive and react to what’s happening around him incredibly quickly. This also gives him super-reading speed, a power any bookworm would be jealous of.
Much like his Kryptonian counterparts, Mon-El — who comes from Krypton’s neighboring planet Daxom — possesses super-strength, super-speed, and invulnerability on Earth. When Mon-El is originally found by Supergirl and her team, he’s brash and selfish. His morally grey perspective prevented him from being much help to Supergirl. Under Supergirl’s tutelage, however, Mon-El became a much more noble individual.
By the time he returns during Supergirl’s third season, he has matured into a true hero. In his absence from the series’ story, he had been to the future. There, he organized The Legion, a group of superheroes tasked with protecting Earth, a cause he puts all his strength into.
3 J’ONN J’ONZZ
J’onn J’onzz didn’t reveal his true identity as a Martian until several episodes into Supergirl’s first season. He spends most of his time as Hank Henshaw, often refraining from battle. Yet, when he does choose to fight, J’onzz has an arsenal of powers and abilities at his disposal.
Not only does he have super-strength and the ability fly, he also can shapeshift and read minds. Of course, Supergirl hasn’t let J’onzz use all his powers from the comics given the combination of Supergirl and Martian Manhunter at full strength would make them an almost invincible team. So, while the character is often kept out of the fight, this also enables his other strength,s like his compassion and tactical prowess, to shine through.
We all know the lore around Superman. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s faster than a speeding bullet. He’s more powerful than a locomotive. And when he shows up to help his cousin Supergirl in a battle in National City, his strength makes their team an even more awe-inspiring force.
As the only two Kryptonians on Earth, Superman and Supergirl have special powers unique to the two of them, which they wield on behalf of their adopted planet. Superman doesn’t hesitate to help Supergirl in her toughest battles because that’s just who he is. Like Supergirl, he’s idealistic. He believes he can use his special abilities to make a difference and will do nothing less when duty calls.
Kara Danvers may look like an average, unassuming young woman, but when she takes her glasses off and dons her super-suit, she becomes the fiercest fighter in the Arrowverse. Supergirl’s Kryptonian DNA make her fast, strong, and bullet-proof. She's even defeated her cousin Superman in battle.
Yet, it’s also her heart and determination to fight for what’s right that make her such a formidable warrior. One of Supergirl’s biggest strengths may be her ability to see the world as it should be. It’s a reality she fights for with passion, and it’s that passion that gives her a little something extra when she goes into battle.