Comics On TV

7 Greatest Female Superheroes On TV Right Now

Whether it's because of their abilities, experiences, or strength of character, these superpowered women make television worth watching.

by | March 15, 2019 | Comments

Female superheroes have been around almost as long as the genre itself, with Wonder Woman paving the way for a diverse group of characters as far back as the 1940s. On television, she also established a foothold alongside characters like The Mighty Isis and Electra Woman in the 1970s. Unfortunately, as superheroes disappeared from television in the 1980s, so too did these initial, beloved characters. With the big expansion of superhero television in the 21st Century, female superheroes returned, and it is nearly impossible to think of a series without a key superpowered woman in the cast. Granted, very few headline a series — currently, there is only one female-led superhero show — but their contributions often keep their shows running.

But who are the best on television right now? And is it their abilities, life experience, or strength of will that makes them great? Here are seven of the greatest female superheroes on television right now who prove it is a combination of all three factors that sets them apart from the rest.


Supergirl – Supergirl 90%

Supergirl -- Image Number: SPG3_ReturnArt.jpg -- Pictured: Melissa Benoist as Kara/Supergirl -- Photo: Jordon Nuttall/The CW -- © 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(Photo by Jordon Nuttall/The CW)

Debut in Comics: Action Comics #252

Abilities: flight, super strength, super speed, invulnerability, heat vision, x-ray vision, super hearing

Certainly the most powerful of the female superheroes on television, Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist) also boasts the most diverse set of abilities. On a physical level, she can dish it out easily, but Kara’s most important power is often her sense of hope and empathy. She never wants to get into a brawl – in fact, she prefers to avoid it – and would rather make a foe her ally. This sometimes works out, as when Livewire (Brit Morgan) helped out on Kara’s mission to Fort Roz last year. And other times, as with season 3 nemesis Reign (Odette Annable), Kara’s appeals may fail to warm an evil heart, which forces a fight. Nonetheless, Kara’s opponents often mistake her hope as a weakness instead of the bedrock of her strengths.


Syd Barrett – Legion 91%

(Photo by Prashant Gupta/FX)

Debut in Comics: n/a

Abilities: body switching

Let’s face it, Syd (Rachel Keller) has not had an easy go of it on FX’s Legion. When we meet her, she lives in extreme isolation, thanks to her cruel mutant ability – any skin-to-skin contact will see her consciousness transferred to the body of the person touching her. Nonetheless, she manages to find some semblance of a life with the people at Summerland and David Haller (Dan Stevens). Then he disappears for a year. During that time, she learns to control her ability as the Summerland group ally with Division 3, the government agency previously engaged in hunting them. And once David resurfaces and she learns his role in the coming apocalypse, she resolves to either heal him or kill him. David escalates things by trying to restore their previous love affair and assaulting her, but despite the complete betrayal, Syd bounces back and rededicates herself to the one action guaranteed to save the world. That resiliency, especially in the world of Legion, is a superpower in its own right.


Black Canary – Arrow 86%

Dean Buscher/The CW Network

(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW Network)

Debut in Comics: Flash Comics #86 (as Dinah Drake)

Abilities: sonic cry, advanced combat training

Dinah Drake’s (Juliana Harkavy) sonic cry certainly came in handy when Team Arrow needed a new member to replace the deceased Black Canary, Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). She also proved a worthy opponent to Laurel’s villainous Earth-2 counterpart, Black Siren (also Cassidy). But even if she was not a meta, Dinah would certainly be worthy to stand alongside the team as an accomplished fighter. With her staff, she’s almost unstoppable. She also has superb strength of character, as exemplified by her willingness to work with Black Siren – now pretending to be the Earth-1 Laurel and operating as the Star City District Attorney – and even moving past her culpability in the death of Dinah’s ex-boyfriend Vincent (Johann Urb). That strength takes on many forms, even as recently as this week’s episode, in which she finally admitted to the team that she can no longer use her cry. Though reluctant, her willingness to share illustrates her continued growth and is yet another reason why she will continue to be the Canary long after Team Arrow disintegrates — as noted in the 2040 flash-forwards.


Polaris – The Gifted 79%

Ryan Green/Fox

(Photo by Ryan Green/Fox)

Debut in Comics:The X-Men #49

Abilities: magnetic manipulation

Sure, Lorna Dane (Emma Dumont) may have spent most of the second season of The Gifted allied with the very questionable Inner Circle, but her willingness to admit her mistake in this regard puts her back on the right side, even if she stayed away from the remaining Mutant Underground characters. From the series’ first moments, Lorna was portrayed as one of the most powerful mutants around, thanks to an ability that can stop bullets, open fences, and even bring down an entire airplane, killing all of its passengers. That last point certainly set up a heel-turn, but as the show’s second year progressed, Lorna saw the downside of her actions and the horrifying real intent of Inner Circle’s plan to create a mutant homeland. Nonetheless, she acknowledged her errors and resolved to make amends. That resiliency is part of what makes Lorna one of the most interesting characters on the show, and doubly so as she remains strong while combating a chronic mental illness. Should the show continue in the Disney era of X-Men properties, it will be interesting to see how she juggles the roles of hero and mother. She would probably say they are the same thing.


Killer Frost – The Flash 89%

Dean Buscher/The CW

(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)

Debut in Comics: Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Man #19 (as Caitlin Snow)

Abilities: ice generation and manipulation

This is a strange one, as Killer Frost is traditionally a villain. But The Flash took her on a curious journey as viewers discovered she is a distinct personality from her host, Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) – one dedicated to protecting Caitlin above all other concerns. Nonetheless, the pull toward selfish acts and quick answers was strong (see her alliance with Savitar in season 3), but as she and Caitlin learned to share one body, Frost also learned empathy. And then, she was seemingly gone for a time, and the absence affected Caitlin and the fans more acutely than anyone could predict. She eventually resurfaced with a resolve to be more of a team player — she’s a far cry from the woman who walked away from Team Flash at the end of season 3. Meanwhile, in the current season, her powers prove uniquely effective against Cicada (Chris Klein) as she is immune to his power-dampening dagger. It’s a good thing she decided to work with the group, otherwise their few successes against the meta serial killer would not have been possible.


Elasti-Woman – Doom Patrol 97%

DC Universe

(Photo by DC Universe)

Debut in Comics: My Greatest Adventure #80 (as Elasti-Girl)

Abilities: limited shape changing and mass exchange

Rita Farr (April Bowlby) is a ways from admitting this to herself, but she has the strength to lead a superhero team — even one as dysfunctional as a the Doom Patrol. On a purely physical level, she must have Supergirl levels of strength to maintain her human form. When out of control, she is a giant rolling mass capable of occupying an entire city block. Keeping that form in check requires tons of strength, to say nothing of mental fortitude. Sure, she still slips from time to time — with so much of her power devoted to retaining her idealized shape, the slightest emotional upset can weaken her resolve — but that’s the real challenge she faces in the first season of the show: accepting those mistakes as part of her path to becoming a strong and capable woman. Along the way, she might even figure out how to use her gelatinous form to stretch like her comic book counterpart. At that point, she will be more formidable than even Jane (Diane Guerrero) or Robotman (Brendan Fraser).


Zari Tomaz – DC's Legends of Tomorrow 89%

Dean Buscher/The CW

(Photo by Dean Buscher/The CW)

Debut in Comics: Shazam! #25 (as The Mighty Isis)

Abilities: air manipulation

When Zari (Tala Ashe) first joined the Waverider crew, she was sarcastic, reluctant to engage, and more of a hindrance to the mission than an asset. In short, she was a Legend in the making. She abused the ship’s food replication system to snack endlessly and played video games constantly in lieu of getting to know anybody. Nonetheless, she would also call out the other Legends for being slackers, and after getting caught in a time loop, she learned to care about them. She also began to involve herself in the mission, particularly once the group discovered the Air Totem that generates her abilities was tied to their opponent, the time demon Mallus. By the point the Legends found the other totems and unified them into a giant Cuddle Me Beebo doll to fight Mallus, she was definitely a member of the team. In the most recent season, Zari has continued to grow, taking on more responsibilities and even mentoring new recruit Charlie (Maisie Richardson-Sellers). Well, mentoring after a fashion. And while she continues to grow as a hero — or as much of a hero as a Legend can be — she still finds time to snack.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

sequel dogs Shudder DC Universe binge Amazon Prime Video Pet Sematary what to watch romance composers target blockbuster theme song child's play news war Extras superman cults Interview TV renewals documentary kids 20th Century Fox SundanceTV Disney Infographic Disney streaming service YouTube Premium BET Binge Guide posters VOD reboot Western worst movies Sundance TV hispanic heritage month sag awards Character Guide Trailer halloween tv Super Bowl sequels Toys crime venice Marvel Studios saw robots Avengers rom-coms Quiz Columbia Pictures Spike Arrowverse CBS All Access TV movies reviews blaxploitation USA Network PBS elevated horror spider-man Anna Paquin 007 American Society of Cinematographers docuseries Logo cats TV Land Comedy twilight TCM canceled TV shows cops films HBO Max breaking bad prank debate scene in color YouTube The CW 72 Emmy Awards El Rey adventure basketball transformers hidden camera Lifetime BBC America marvel comics Paramount Plus Endgame DirecTV LGBTQ comedies comic book movie Sundance Pirates festival Hear Us Out wonder woman hollywood mcc based on movie SXSW universal monsters Crackle a nightmare on elm street chucky ABC mutant 2020 Red Carpet kong nbcuniversal latino Fox Searchlight rt labs critics edition slasher Nominations Premiere Dates young adult hispanic renewed TV shows rt archives Showtime Tumblr Rom-Com police drama IFC Films true crime X-Men japan asian-american Comics on TV cancelled television The Walt Disney Company diversity E! politics award winner olympics book TCA Awards cancelled TV shows Apple TV+ WarnerMedia Disney Plus talk show green book streaming emmy awards Dark Horse Comics Rocketman BET Awards Discovery Channel screenings finale Reality halloween WGN dark tv talk satire 1990s south america 90s Marathons OneApp critics TCA Winter 2020 ViacomCBS television The Academy toronto zero dark thirty free movies justice league science fiction know your critic Oscars Turner series heist movie all-time Black Mirror PaleyFest Polls and Games black psychological thriller scary movies cooking ID Fox News FX on Hulu DC streaming service franchise Mary poppins spy thriller Musical Crunchyroll Peacock comiccon cancelled USA BAFTA rotten movies we love Song of Ice and Fire Hallmark Christmas movies CBS worst Rocky kaiju mission: impossible zombies fresh comics french medical drama Marvel Television Emmy Nominations superhero Food Network Star Trek adenture Lionsgate Nat Geo harry potter live action Bravo christmas movies Valentine's Day Paramount zombie golden globes Family social media Heroines lord of the rings The Purge biopic Women's History Month BBC One ratings Alien animated 2015 MSNBC Awards Tour Tokyo Olympics Disney Channel doctor who golden globe awards Comic-Con@Home 2021 james bond Pride Month spain discovery Acorn TV jurassic park Legendary NYCC japanese Paramount Network jamie lee curtis IFC Holidays OWN Pop TV CW Seed Mindy Kaling See It Skip It disaster Freeform space National Geographic Amazon Prime children's TV dramedy football aliens Tubi die hard Election Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Star Wars 21st Century Fox book adaptation revenge casting Britbox A&E E3 Elton John comic books SDCC video on demand RT21 Superheroes name the review Ovation Fantasy FOX richard e. Grant ITV YouTube Red Tarantino cinemax serial killer dexter TBS Certified Fresh king arthur historical drama festivals adaptation popular canceled ABC Family women Marvel TV Drama Cosplay TCA 2017 Wes Anderson foreign Travel Channel high school PlayStation Warner Bros. APB NBC Country Starz TruTV Disney+ Disney Plus Adult Swim travel new zealand anthology Exclusive Video GLAAD DGA godzilla The Witch 4/20 king kong sitcom Holiday feel good Music royal family quibi AMC Cannes Stephen King 73rd Emmy Awards hist Netflix Shondaland psycho mockumentary marvel cinematic universe Year in Review Television Critics Association boxoffice documentaries Reality Competition Film Spectrum Originals deadpool TNT Apple Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt movies crossover Hulu CNN 45 stop motion Classic Film Academy Awards Spring TV Winners period drama Lucasfilm Nickelodeon obituary A24 Fall TV HBO Go TCA Action vampires indie YA New York Comic Con new york Set visit GIFs Box Office Pixar 2016 GoT werewolf Cartoon Network Epix dceu Pop Baby Yoda BBC teaser Ghostbusters australia witnail Teen comic VH1 MTV Universal Comic Book thriller rotten Hallmark RT History best suspense Vudu CMT Ellie Kemper Rock legend dragons gangster Watching Series miniseries Creative Arts Emmys Apple TV Plus nature ABC Signature DC Comics concert spinoff Opinion First Look Martial Arts Emmys natural history Captain marvel History 2018 San Diego Comic-Con slashers game of thrones Black History Month cancelled TV series comic book movies Superheroe 2017 Syfy Mystery political drama facebook Horror TV One Mary Tyler Moore indiana jones VICE Video Games telelvision batman anime laika Amazon Studios spanish Mary Poppins Returns 2021 game show remakes boxing Pacific Islander TIFF aapi video biography romantic comedy toy story trailers stand-up comedy Calendar ESPN crime thriller Television Academy directors Musicals Awards Sneak Peek technology action-comedy razzies italian Brie Larson Animation fast and furious Biopics Masterpiece Writers Guild of America Sci-Fi sports stoner Best and Worst dc streaming movies cars Funimation new star wars movies classics 93rd Oscars Amazon nfl joker FXX Schedule scorecard screen actors guild Comedy Central critic resources MCU Kids & Family Tomatazos Lifetime Christmas movies Walt Disney Pictures archives Trivia criterion First Reviews 24 frames Countdown Thanksgiving Winter TV Esquire 71st Emmy Awards Summer docudrama FX Sony Pictures pirates of the caribbean movie The Arrangement Turner Classic Movies supernatural 2019 Sundance Now HBO 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards rt labs Photos unscripted cartoon versus Film Festival 99% ghosts crime drama Grammys blockbusters singing competition strong female leads monster movies international TLC Mudbound Netflix Christmas movies The Walking Dead Podcast parents President Trophy Talk Chernobyl Broadway spanish language Christmas LGBT NBA independent Image Comics