It’s no secret that comic book stories have taken over entertainment. The box office and TV schedule are overflowing with superheroes and villains. The CW has basically built their network around them. Marvel has expanded its blockbuster cinematic universe into TV with series on ABC, Netflix, Freeform and Hulu. For nerds, it’s pretty much the golden age of television. All these shows have given viewers a chance to rediscover new versions of some of their favorite characters. Perhaps the most fun part about all this comic book action is the number of female characters taking the lead. Across every network and streaming service, strong women have become the rule not the exception.
Comics history is filled with amazing female heroes and villains, though they haven’t always gotten their due respect. Their storylines tend to reflect the time they are written in, so early characters just waited for the men to come rescue them. Flash forward to 2018 and you would never see the women of the Arrowverse or MCU sitting around waiting for a man’s approval. In fact, many of the ladies on this list would beat you up just for suggesting they’re not as good as their male counterparts. With so many amazing women taking over the small screen, it wasn’t easy to figure out who the strongest is. We had to take into account who has powers and who doesn’t, as well as, whose abilities are the most powerful. With that in mind, it’s time to check out the strongest women on superhero TV.
25 COLLEEN WING
Season one of Iron Fist definitely had its issues, however, the one thing everyone agreed on was how awesome Colleen Wing was. Colleen was introduced as a local dojo owner, who became a love interest for Danny. Once she began fighting by his side, she turned out to actually be better than him in certain situations.
It was her knowledge of The Hand that helped him and the others defeat them. As spectacular as her martial arts skills are, she is only human in a world full of superpowers.
24 AVA SHARP
When we first met Ava Sharp, she was a no nonsense agent of the Time Bureau. She was constantly exasperated by cleaning up the messes the Legends left behind, but eventually came to appreciate their unorthodox methods.
An extremely skilled fighter and weapons expert, her origin revealed that she was actually a clone from the year 2213. As the new director of the Time Bureau she is responsible for keeping history safe. She’s a fascinating new part of the Arrowverse and we don’t have a complete idea of what abilities she really has as a clone.
23 MISTY KNIGHT
It seems to be the pattern on Marvel’s Netflix shows that the female characters actually end up being more interesting than the male leads. This was never more apparent than in the second season of Luke Cage. Misty Knight’s journey from defeated amputee to bionic arm sporting precinct commander was captivating.
We got to see not only Misty’s outward strength as the one good cop in Harlem, we really got to explore her inner strength as she fought her way back from the depression that set in following her injury.
22 NYSSA AL GHUL
As the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, Nyssa was never going to have a normal upbringing. She was raised in the League of Assassins as a warrior. As the Heir to the Demon she was pushed even harder than everyone else. Her aggressive training coupled with her father not accepting her sexuality, caused a permanent rift in their relationship.
Nyssa was able to overcome her father’s expectations and legacy to find her own path and use her League skills to help others. The contradiction between what everyone wants her to be and what she chooses, makes her endlessly fascinating.
21 JAYNA ZOD
For years we’ve known General Zod as Superman’s mortal enemy. He hates the Man of Steel and everything associated with the House of El. So, coming into Krypton we already had a mistrust of the House of Zod. However, once we met Jayna, we were instantly rooting for the matriarch of this once noble house. Jayna is a leader in Kandor’s elite military unit.
She shows no weakness or mercy to anyone, including her own daughter. Her only concern is the protection of Krypton. Though she has no superpowers, she is without a doubt the strongest character on the planet.
20 LEE THOMPKINS
Above and beyond any powers she’s had or ordeals she’s been through, the strongest thing about Gotham’s Lee Thompkins is her ability to put up with Jim Gordon’s constant nonsense. During her time in Gotham City, Lee has been the medical examiner for the police department, working on cases involving some of the worst criminals.
Once she was infected with the Alice Tetch virus, she developed her own powers and crossed to the other side of the law. Among all the out there characters in Gotham City, Lee has an inner strength that helps her survive.
19 TANDY BOWEN
Tandy Bowen has had to rely on herself ever since her father passed and her mother drowned her grief in a bottle. She survived by becoming a thief. Once she develops the power to produce light daggers and see people’s hope, she decides to use them to find out the truth about her father’s passing.
Since she’s still just a teenager, Tandy is ruled by her emotions, which at times can be very self involved. Once she figures out how to control herself, and think of others first, she’ll be able to really call herself a hero.
18 MOLLY HERNANDEZ
As the youngest member of the Runaways, it’s easy for her friends to underestimate Molly, but she’s actually the strongest of the group. And by that, we mean she’s literally the strongest, because her power is super strength, which also makes her somewhat indestructible.
In the series, Molly starts to figure out she’s different before the others and is the one who immediately thinks they should team up. Her parents’ death and her age have made the others feel like they need to take care of her, but she’s perfectly capable of protecting herself.
17 KAROLINA DEAN
Runaways’ Karolina is the definition of not judging a book by its cover. On the outside she looks like the perfect popular teenage girl with the perfect life. However, once she starts looking deeper into her life, she discovers she’s actually an alien.
She can fly, as well as use her light abilities to shoot beams at others. Finding out the truth about her life has given her an inner strength that has fueled her powers and made her one of the team’s most important weapons.
16 DINAH DRAKE
Before her passing, Laurel tells Oliver she wants the Black Canary mantle to continue. Though it took him awhile to be ok with the idea of a new Canary, eventually the team found ex-cop Dinah Drake. Unlike Laurel, Dinah had a naturally sonic scream that she had been using to beat up bad guys.
We’ve seen her use her scream to break down walls and stop trains. Joining Team Arrow allowed her to discover the full scope of her abilities and really come into her own as a hero and police officer.
15 ZARI TOMAZ
Zari joined the Legends in season three as a hacker from 2042 who wants them to go back in time and save her brother. Once they explain this isn’t possible, she becomes a member of the Waverider crew and helps them stop Mallus. Zari is the Arrowverse version of the comic character Isis.
Though her problems with authority make things bumpy for her at times, her incredible intellect and faith keep her grounded. We’ve seen her use her hacking more than her actual powers, but it’s implied, that like other totem bearers, she could be more powerful than she’s discovered.
14 SARA LANCE
As Arrow’s Canary, Sara Lance was a fearless former assassin who used her League training to become a vigilante in Star City. Her death and resurrection left her in emotional limbo and she decided to join the Legends. Since taking over as the ship’s captain she has become even more of a hero, regularly saving the world.
Her weapons and fight skills are unmatched in the Arrowverse, and her crazy life experience has given her the ability to all sides of a problem before solving it. If she had actual superpowers, she would be unstoppable.
13 AMAYA JIWE
As the bearer of the spirit totem, Amaya is the most mature, serious member of the Legends. Her totem lets her connect with the spirit of any animal she needs and use its powers as her own. She doesn’t take this power for granted, understanding the importance of her responsibility.
While Sara is definitely the crew’s leader, Amaya is the heart and soul of the team, always in tune with everyone’s emotional needs. On a ship with so many big personalities, it takes great strength to keep them all balanced.
12 AMUNET BLACK
Amunet is the leader of Central City’s underground smuggling network. The supervillain world is comics’ last major glass ceiling left to break, so it’s always cool to see a woman taking over. She is seen moving weapons and metahumans through the city to interested buyers.
With the power to manipulate metal, she becomes a difficult rogue for the team to defeat. Despite her criminal activities, she has a soft spot for former employee Caitlin. It’s not just her powers that make her hard to catch. She’s always prepared for escape, with her back up plans having back up plans.
11 KILLER FROST
As a doctor and genius in the area of metahuman biology, Caitlin is one of the most important members of Team Flash. Following Flashpoint, she struggled with the reappearance of her sometimes evil alter ego Killer Frost. She can conjure ice, snow and frost, as well as, the ability to freeze things.
At first Caitlin thought Killer Frost was making her weak, but now she’s realized that both her personalities combine to make her strong. Unlike Caitlin, Killer Frost’s moral compass is a little more flexible, but she would do anything to protect Caitlin.
10 BLACK SIREN
Laurel Lance’s death was felt throughout the entire Arrowverse. Sara still struggles with not saving her sister and Oliver will always carry around guilt for something that wasn’t his fault. The situation has not been made easier by the arrival of Earth-2 Laurel, an evil doppelganger with sonic scream abilities.
With no morals or compassion, she has used her powers to collapse buildings and harm people. She’s started to soften recently, but make no mistake, if pushed, she will absolutely do whatever it takes to survive.
9 JESSICA JONES
Jessica Jones is probably the physically strongest woman on comic book TV. Considering everything she’s been through, she’s quite emotionally strong as well. Her strength coupled with her street smarts makes her a difficult opponent for her adversaries.
She’s not trying to save the world, she just wants to help her clients and friends. Her unconventional methods make her very unpredictable. Unfortunately, her closed off nature and anger management issues can lead her to make mistakes. Her occasional emotional instability is her one true weakness.
8 YO-YO RODRIGUEZ
The birth of Inhumans on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. led to the introduction of a whole new batch of heroes and villains. One of those was vigilante Yo-Yo Rodriguez. Once S.H.I.E.L.D. took notice, she joined the team and became one of the inner circle.
Meeting her future self shook her faith a little, but she remained a loyal agent who would make any sacrifice to protect her friends. Losing her arms couldn’t slow her down and it’s doubtful whatever comes in the Infinity War aftermath will either.
7 ANISSA PIERCE
From the minute she discovered she had superpowers Anissa Pierce was thinking of ways to use them to help others. As Thunder she uses her strength and thunder clap to keep Freeland safe from the 100 gang and shady government organizations.
She has never questioned her purpose, a rare quality among heroes. As a black woman, she knows how unfair the world is, so she instantly vows to be someone to tip the scales for the forgotten part of the population.
To prepare for the inevitable attacks from humans, mutants have formed several groups to protect themselves. Magneto’s daughter Lorna/Polaris leads the mutant underground on The Gifted. She can control and manipulate magnetic fields, which makes her very powerful and a huge threat to the government.
Her struggle with bipolar disorder can affect her ability to control her powers. However, her recent step into a larger leadership role with The Hellfire Club, plus impending motherhood has seemingly given her some focus.
5 THE FROST SISTERS
When we first met the mutant Esme, she just seemed like a shady new arrival in the underground. We knew we couldn’t trust her, but no one thought she was straight up evil. As it turned out, she was not only evil, but wasn’t one person.
The Frost Sisters use their telepathy to manipulate others into doing what they want. Their power was chillingly displayed when they attacked a team of government agents and forced them to shoot one another. With them, it’s always a question of who’s really making the decisions?
4 TINA MINORU
As an extremely skilled witch with the power of the Staff of One, Tina Minoru is the most interesting member of Pride. She’s a demanding mom, who expects perfection from her daughter and an intimidating CEO, whose employees are all scared of her.
It is her job to transfer the life force from the teenager they kidnap into Jonah’s body. She loves her family, but is also devoted to her cause. She’s not afraid to use her power to advance or protect either.
3 DAISY JOHNSON
Daisy “Quake” Johnson has devoted herself to protecting her fellow Inhumans from all manner of threats. At first she was understandably scared of her powers, but once she learned how to control them, she saw them as a gift. She can create tremors large and small around her.
Though she wasn’t the Destroyer of Worlds, we believed she had the power. S.H.I.E.L.D. has become her family and she would do literally anything for them. Coulson wanted her to lead, but in the end, she decided she was better suited to just be an agent.
2 THE DOCTOR
The Doctor is over 2,000 years old and is finally becoming a woman. While we haven’t met Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor yet, we imagine she’ll be a cool Time Lord who uses her TARDIS to travel through time and space saving people.
It’s true every Doctor is different, but there are a few fun personality quirks that never change. Other than regeneration, we really don’t see The Doctor using superpowers. However, she is still considered the most powerful being in the universe.
Like her cousin, Kara Zor El is an alien from Krypton whose body is enhanced by Earth’s yellow sun. She’s faster than a speeding bullet, stronger than a locomotive and of course, can fly. No matter how tough the bad guy, Kara and her friends have always found a way to protect National City.
She believes in never giving up on others and doing things the right way. As powerful as she is, it’s actually her humanity that makes her stronger than the criminals she consistently takes down.