Though the superhero universe seems to be overpopulated with male characters, some of the greatest heroes are actually heroines. These female characters are well-known not only for their strength, but for their resourcefulness, intelligence, and conviction.
Image via Flickr by andertoons
As possibly the most well-known and iconic female superhero, Wonder Woman has been in the DC Comics universe since 1941. Wonder Woman has become a major feminist icon in many circles. Her comic affiliations stretch far and wide, as does her prominence in pop-culture. She’s a member of the Justice League of America, the Female Furies, and several other groups of DC supers.
As an Amazonian princess, Wonder Woman possesses super-strength, masterful combat skills, and fantastic speed and agility. Her props include the lasso of truth, her indestructible bracelets, her tiara, and an invisible jet. More recent versions of the character show her wielding a sword.
Wonder Woman’s costume has undergone many changes throughout the years since she began wearing her iconic star-spangled bodysuit, headband, and red boots. The 2016 character reboot for Batman Vs. Superman with Gal Gadot shows her in more subdued browns and blacks, though her above-the-knee boots and bustier are still costume staples. Check out Mr. Costumes’ IG about Wonder Woman Through the Years for a complete visual of Wonder Woman’s evolution.
Image via Flickr by Cliff1066
Dinah Drake Lance, a.k.a. Black Canary, is a DC Comics character who originally appeared in 1947. She’s a member of the Justice League, the Justice Society, and often appears with Oliver Queen, a.k.a. the Green Arrow. Black Canary was one of DC Comics’ first female superheroes, and after Dinah Drake Lance played the role, her daughter Dinah Laurel Lance took up the superhero mantle.
Black Canary is extremely gifted in martial arts and is one of the top fighters in the DC universe. She has unparalleled reflexes and is a talented motorcycle rider. The original Black Canary didn’t have any superhuman powers, but her daughter has a “Canary Cry,” a sonic burst she uses to shatter objects and defeat opponents. Black Canary is sometimes the chairperson of the Justice League of America, and is an important member of the Birds of Prey.
Her costume consists of a blonde wig (which she later gets rid of in favor of bleaching her hair,) boots, fish net tights, a bustier, and a black jacket. Early versions depict her wearing a mask, but subsequent comics show Black Canary to have eliminated this costume feature. Her costume changes with different live-action depictions. For example, Black Canary wears a leather jacket and black pants in the CW’s show Arrow.
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While the name Captain Marvel has belonged to multiple characters in Marvel’s universe, one of the most notable is Carol Danvers. She began as Ms. Marvel (another name which has belonged to multiple characters) and evolved into several other superheroes, notably Warbird and Binary. Carol Danvers for a long time was best known as Ms. Marvel, but her title of Captain Marvel is now taking precedence, especially given the planned release of a 2018 Captain Marvel movie featuring her. Though her characterization has been criticized in the past for being male-based (the original Captain Marvel was male) she’s come into her own as a strong superhero in her own right lately.
Ms. Marvel first appeared in 1977 (though Carol Danvers debuted in 1968). She began her life as a human, but ended up fused with the genes of the alien Kree species which gave her superhuman strength, speed, agility, and flight. She’s also able to absorb energy and to project it.
Her styling has changed notably throughout her existence. She’s almost always depicted with long blonde hair, but her outfit has changed from a black sleeveless bodysuit with yellow detailing and thigh-high black boots to a black and red bodysuit with red gloves and boots. She almost always has a red scarf tied around her waist. Recent images depict her with short blonde hair.
These famous ladies are pop culture icons and staples in the comic universes from which they originate. Though they change over time, they remain ever recognizable and always awesome.