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 88%

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

police drama Interview Best and Worst space TV Land Britbox Calendar comics blockbusters king arthur Ghostbusters Spectrum Originals cults Pirates FX on Hulu 2015 twilight Sci-Fi mutant The Arrangement Classic Film BBC Reality Competition Black Mirror revenge Sundance TV telelvision 72 Emmy Awards 99% Geeked Week Endgame disaster Heroines superhero spider-man Comic-Con@Home 2021 TCA Awards Lucasfilm biopic LGBT TV One new zealand pirates of the caribbean Star Wars Sneak Peek Star Wars Celebration Pride Month comic book movie canceled TV shows Discovery Channel witnail elevated horror discovery medical drama transformers Polls and Games jurassic park Pacific Islander miniseries criterion new york American Society of Cinematographers halloween leaderboard Film Rom-Com HBO Avengers 2019 young adult Amazon Prime documentary travel TV TCA latino Film Festival nfl unscripted Music Travel Channel Awards Television Critics Association Shondaland Fargo Quiz TCA 2017 dramedy Baby Yoda Rock Amazon Chernobyl PlayStation Musicals cartoon 93rd Oscars Marathons Spike TV movies comic books broadcast A&E Masterpiece know your critic target scene in color interviews Academy Awards 90s franchise Food Network series Vudu Instagram Live Opinion Action news ViacomCBS talk show nature BBC America new star wars movies godzilla boxing Red Carpet name the review docuseries remakes President children's TV biography Winter TV Legendary YA Rocketman Focus Features cancelled historical drama football Mudbound Sony kong FX women 2017 scene in color film series TNT legend Women's History Month facebook Netflix YouTube natural history crossover Paramount Plus Paramount Network PaleyFest classics TCM Watching Series 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Bravo thriller Crunchyroll El Rey Comedy Central Photos DC Universe Podcast genre trophy BET ABC Best Actor sitcom game of thrones Trailer television archives universal monsters fast and furious DGA political drama war streaming movies hidden camera rotten movies we love Comedy Oscar Logo debate comic book movies RT21 Mary Poppins Returns versus emmy awards worst History Oscars Hallmark Christmas movies SXSW 2022 scene in color series comic toy story BBC One ABC Signature Walt Disney Pictures NBC japanese Winners TV renewals Animation joker Tomatazos films streamig canceled Sundance Now olympics quibi Kids & Family batman Drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt popular CBS cinemax festival ESPN video international Apple TV+ Grammys comiccon Epix Superheroes 2021 psycho Cartoon Network Tumblr Disney streaming service hispanic Wes Anderson robots Character Guide ratings Pixar Sony Pictures IMDb TV Holidays Creative Arts Emmys 24 frames Shudder The Walking Dead vs. theme song cops Tubi The Witch Country BAFTA live action Extras anime Writers Guild of America politics SDCC 4/20 FXX VOD WarnerMedia Emmys kaiju San Diego Comic-Con Tags: Comedy rt labs Holiday king kong Biopics Turner Classic Movies directors Peacock trailers crime drama Mary Tyler Moore Exclusive Video spinoff HBO Go Tokyo Olympics BET Awards TIFF book 20th Century Fox adaptation Pop TV stop motion dark royal family french Best Director blockbuster NYCC crime thriller Family dexter hispanic heritage month Image Comics composers GIFs Musical X-Men MGM rt archives The Purge CMT summer TV golden globe awards RT History YouTube Red CBS All Access singing competition all-time Brie Larson GoT Arrowverse Ovation MSNBC dragons boxoffice tv talk Rocky E3 marvel comics 007 rotten Certified Fresh Dark Horse Comics dceu 2018 1990s The CW Superheroe TCA Winter 2020 supernatural CW Seed zombies reboot VH1 Fantasy wonder woman 2016 monster movies rt labs critics edition South by Southwest Film Festival 21st Century Fox Trophy Talk SXSW TBS cancelled television ID technology Mystery finale Crackle black comedy scary movies prank sequel Indigenous anthology Best Picture razzies spanish language festivals critics werewolf Amazon Prime Video high school Pet Sematary Cannes Stephen King AMC Plus spain vampires Universal sequels diversity 73rd Emmy Awards CNN based on movie Premiere Dates sports cats NBA Mindy Kaling Year in Review E! Trivia Television Academy See It Skip It scorecard Lionsgate First Look chucky Anna Paquin Native First Reviews mockumentary Warner Bros. TLC venice Showtime Prime Video critic resources deadpool obituary Thanksgiving Countdown screenings Horror breaking bad Reality Lifetime OneApp mission: impossible streaming japan Schedule Paramount Pictures award winner romantic comedy GLAAD target USA Nickelodeon science fiction VICE teaser posters Funimation The Walt Disney Company Fox News Martial Arts summer preview Tarantino Hear Us Out Set visit golden globes parents USA Network asian-american true crime halloween tv ITV Starz child's play Freeform Super Bowl WGN rom-coms DC Comics Song of Ice and Fire Binge Guide Esquire sag awards marvel cinematic universe movies Box Office zombie hollywood period drama OWN Apple TV Plus MTV Netflix Christmas movies stoner indiana jones Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 2020 Awards Tour australia adventure Valentine's Day hist superman Mary poppins satire dc Acorn TV ghosts Video Games Adult Swim Nominations TruTV Comics on TV Neflix spy thriller IFC Films LGBTQ Alien scene in color A24 psychological thriller Amazon Studios The Academy Best Actress spanish Black History Month independent Teen MCU Syfy Hulu Disney Channel stand-up comedy justice league Election worst movies casting book adaptation YouTube Premium slashers best lord of the rings cooking Fall TV 45 basketball Emmy Nominations cars New York Comic Con saw zero dark thirty harry potter animated docudrama fresh movie serial killer toronto adenture spider-verse IFC foreign live event art house jamie lee curtis scary crime 94th Oscars Western south america laika FOX Ellie Kemper slasher dreamworks HBO Max Disney+ Disney Plus Summer SundanceTV Spring TV a nightmare on elm street Disney Plus action-comedy indie what to watch Hallmark APB Broadway aapi green book documentaries reviews Nat Geo social media strong female leads Comic Book DirecTV ABC Family doctor who Elton John summer TV preview Columbia Pictures renewed TV shows gangster Apple Lifetime Christmas movies Captain marvel Infographic National Geographic cancelled TV series Pop Marvel Television Disney Star Trek concert screen actors guild Christmas Universal Pictures feel good mob kids sopranos blaxploitation romance mcc die hard nbcuniversal Sundance comedies DC streaming service christmas movies Fox Searchlight Cosplay AMC Marvel Studios Paramount 79th Golden Globes Awards binge dogs james bond video on demand suspense Turner Hollywood Foreign Press Association PBS game show italian HFPA 71st Emmy Awards aliens black heist movie obi wan cancelled TV shows Marvel free movies richard e. Grant Toys