female superheroes
The 2017 film "Wonder Woman" brought the hero into the limelight for the first time in decades. (Illustration by Jessica Shaklee, University of Georgia)

Many people consider superheroes to be something of a role model figure in society, and lately, there have been more female superheroes for little girls and young women to admire. These fictional women have been around for some time, but only recently have a few been presented on the big screen.

Some are more popular than others, but across the board, female superheroes are more than just tight outfits or a sexualized version of their male counterparts. They are strong and independent; they are perfect examples of feminism, which is incredibly important for young women to see in today’s world.

Female superheroes are sometimes not taken as seriously as male superheroes, but they should be because, if anything, they are more dangerous and fearless, and not as hesitant to make difficult choices. Listed below are 10 female superheroes, from both the Marvel and DC universes, that girls and women can look up to as examples.

1. Wonder Woman/Diana Prince

This well-known hero was sculpted from clay by her mother and brought to life by Zeus. She was an Amazon princess whose inner compass guided her to always do the right thing, and meeting Steve Trevor changed her life.

Wonder Woman, created by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter, now has her own movie, and was one of the first female heroes that young women were able to see onscreen. Diana Prince does not hesitate to help people who are in need, and she sets an example by being caring but firm; she sees the good in people, but knows when to call them out.

Young women can learn from this hero, and take after her by treating other people fairly and calling out those who do not.

female superheroes
Wonder Woman will be returning to theaters with another solo movie next summer. (Image via Instagram)

2. Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers

This iconic superhero, created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, was introduced to movie-going audiences on March 8, with her own movie, “Captain Marvel.” The film shows how she struggles to find her true self, while also being a bad—s.

Besides being a great fighter with fantastic powers, she doesn’t accept disrespect from anyone. In the climax, Danvers realizes that she has nothing to prove to the man she once saw as a mentor and friend.

What girls can take away from this hero is that you don’t have to smile when you’re told to and, ultimately, you don’t have to prove your worth to anybody. This hero teaches serious lessons for girls.

3. Black Canary/Dinah Laurel Lance

This hero is yet to have her own show or movie, but she’s another example of a great female hero. Black Canary, created by ‎Robert Kanigher‎ and ‎Carmine Infantino, made her first appearance in comics in 1947, and this DC warrior means business.

With her ultrasonic scream and martial arts skills, Dinah Lance is someone who is quick to act when there is danger. She was raised in a family of heroes, and followed their example by becoming Black Canary. Simply put, she’s a fighter who doesn’t back down easily, even in the face of adversity, and is definitely someone worth looking up to.

female superheroes
Black Canary might not have her own show (yet), but she’s a featured character on the CW show “Arrow.” (Image via Netflix)

4. Gamora

For those who have seen “Guardians of The Galaxy,” Gamora is a familiar character. She first appeared in the comic world in 1975 as a creation of Jim Starlin.

Gamora is the adopted daughter of Marvel villain Thanos, and she’s the last of her people, which gives her character interesting depths. But while her parental figure might be awful, she is persistent in doing the right thing. Even with a bad upbringing, Gamora has been able to turn her life around, and women can look to her as proof that your past does not define your future.

5. Batwoman/Kate Kane

Like her counterpart, Bruce Wayne, Kate Kane uses her wealth and resources to fight crime as one of Gotham’s caped crusaders. The list of her creators is a lengthy one, including Grant Morrison, Mark Waid and Bob Kane.

After a brush with tragedy, Kate vowed to never feel defenseless again and became her own hero by donning the cape and seeking out those who make others feel helpless. Her choice to take matters into her own hands mirrors what women today do in order to help protect themselves.

female superheroes
Batwoman, who briefly appeared on “Arrow,” will be getting her own TV show later this year. (Image via Netflix)

6. Valkyrie

As seen in “Thor: Ragnarok,” Valkyrie is a character who does very well on her own. Created by Roy Thomas, Herb Trimpe, and John Buscema, her first comic appearance was in 1970.

One of Valkyrie’s main characteristics is her independence; she’s strong and more than capable of taking care of herself. As mere human beings, everyday women don’t have the extraordinary strength and abilities this Asgardian has, but girls can certainly learn from Valkyrie’s independent nature.

7. Starfire/Kori Anders

As an alien princess who came all the way from the planet of Tamaran, Starfire knows how to survive away from her home. The things on Earth are strange to her, but she’s a quick learner who eventually adapts to life on her new planet and joins the Teen Titans.

Learning to overcome new environments and situations, no matter how difficult, is a skill that can be useful for young women. This fiery hero was created by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez.

female superheroes
The Teen Titans are no strangers to on-screen adaptations, the most recent of which can be found exclusively on DC’s streaming service. (Image via DC Universe)

8. Jewel/Jessica Jones

As seen on Netflix, Jessica Jones, created by Brian Michael Bendis, is a tough and intimidating woman. Despite losing her family and being sexually abused by the horrible and villainous Kilgrave, she tries her best to overcome her trauma by helping others.

Her short temper might get her into trouble, but at the end of the day, she gets the job done. Like many other superheroes, she has suffered abuse and trauma, but women can see in her that you can overcome all the bad stuff and still make a difference.

9. Green Lantern/Jessica Cruz

This particular lantern, created by Ethan Van Sciver and Geoff Johns, got her start in an unusual way. Most lanterns are specially chosen and given the powerful ring that they are known for, but for Cruz, the ring was forced on her and brought her into a different world.

Despite being terrified of her new role, she eventually overcame her fear and went on to defend whole planets. Women today might feel as if they are being forced into different situations or positions that they are not prepared for, but as Cruz shows, fearlessness is a power of its own; it helped her to become a guardian of planets.

female superheroes
Jessica Cruz is the only hero on this list who has yet to be brought to the screen, but hopefully time will change that. (Image via Twitter)

10. Okoye

A member of the Dora Milaje, a group of warrior women, Okoye was created by Mark Texeira and Christopher Priest. She appeared in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” and as seen in the film, one of her most distinguishing traits was her ability to remain calm in the midst of conflict.

In life, it’s important to remain level-headed when things appear to be spiraling out of control. Like Okoye, young women can learn to analyze a situation and deal with it calmly.

Leave a Reply