DC Comics has been enjoying tremendous success over the last few years, thanks in part to recent box office hits and critically acclaimed TV shows that have put some of its most iconic female superheroes at the forefront of mainstream entertainment. With the imminent DVD and Blu-Ray releases of Supergirl: The Complete Third Season, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and the mammoth four-part crossover Crisis on Earth X, we take a look at the top Empowering Female Superheroes of the DC Universe!
Supergirl leads the pack of DC TV female superheroes, with the upcoming release of her own show’s third season and the recent confirmation of a fourth series set to premiere in October. One of the last surviving Kryptonians, Supergirl (or Kara Zor-El) is in fact Superman’s cousin, sent to Earth by her parents in the midst of Krypton’s imminent destruction, though arriving many years after Kal-El after having her spacecraft knocked off course. She eventually embraces her superpowers to become National City’s protector. She is portrayed in the hit TV series by actress Melissa Benoist.
Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic superheroes of all time and quite possibly the most iconic female superhero ever. Having paved the way for many female superheroes that followed, the Amazonian otherwise known as Diana Prince encompassed the ultimate superhero qualities, with superhuman strength and intelligence that continues to inspire generations of young girls around the world. First portrayed by Cathy Lee Crosby in a 1974 TV film, the character became a pop culture icon thanks to Lynda Carter’s incarnation in the ABC/CBS show in the late 70s. More recently, the character has found new life in motion pictures through Gal Gadot’s portrayal in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Justice League and the solo box office hit Wonder Woman (2017).
Having lived through many different incarnations, the ultimate Batgirl by definition is of course Barbara Gordon, daughter if Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon. A force to be reckoned with in the DC Comics Universe, Batgirl has also encountered new found fame thanks to her appearance in The Lego Batman Movie, where her character is voiced by actress Rosario Dawson. She also appeared in the 1960s Batman TV series, with her character played by Yvonne Craig who is widely considered to be a pioneer of female superheroes for TV.
With a recent turn in the TV world as a regular character in Arrow, Black Canary (played by LA native Katie Cassidy) has also made appearances in The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as being featured in the Arrowverse crossover Crisis On Earth X. With martial arts and a trademark sonic scream known as the ‘Canary Cry’, Black Canary also goes through various incarnations across DC’s Eath-1 and Earth-2 universes, at some point becoming a villain known as Black Siren.
Another regular in the TV Arrowverse, White Canary is a character inspired by the comic book version of Black Canary, and was specifically created for TV. She is one of the main characters of Legends of Tomorrow, as well as making guest appearances in Supergirl, Arrow and The Flash, including the Crisis on Earth X crossover event. Portrayed in the DC TV Universe by Caity Lotz and otherwise known as Sara Lance, she is Black Canary’s younger sister. In the first season of Arrow, she becomes a deadly fighter with the League of Assassins, later being killed and then resurrected when her sister uses the League’s mystical Lazarus Pit. She has also been positively received by critics as DC’s first character to be explicitly shown as bisexual in either movies or TV shows.
A superheroine with the ability to conjure the powers of any animal past or present, Vixen was first introduced as a comic book character in 1981. While two different versions of the character have appeared in DC’s Arrowverse, World War II-era Amaya Jiwe is the most widely recognised one, portrayed by English actress and Oxford University graduate Maisie Richardson-Sellers in Legends of Tomorrow. Using her Tantu Totem, Vixen is able to make direct contact with the Earth’s morphogenetic field, otherwise known as the “Red”. This allows her to draw upon the abilities of any animal that has ever lived on the planet.
An alien princess from the fictional planet Tamaran, Starfire found her way to the hearts of youngsters the world over thanks to her appearances in the Teen Titans animated series (2003-2006) and, more recently, the mega-successful Teen Titans Go!, which has been airing on Cartoon Network since 2013 and was recently also turned into an animated film (Teen Titans Go! To The Movies). Originally a love interest of Robin, Starfire has the ability to absorb UV radiation, which is then converted to pure energy that gives her the power to fly at supersonic speeds. Starfire will also be appearing in DC’s upcoming web series Titans, played by actress Anna Diop.