Prepare yourselves for a DC-fest here, that’s all I’ve got in this week’s top 5. It may well stem from the fact that I don’t read much Marvel (pretty much just Spider-Man) but I’ve flipped through plenty of books in the past and I personally, genuinely believe DC has the strongest line up of awesome and iconic female superheroes going. There’s been a real push in getting some of the focus onto these ccostumed female crime fighters recently, but looking back there’s always been a decent amount of stuff to get through if you’re looking in the right places. So let us begin our next countdown, you may be a little surprised by one or two.
5. Soranik Natu (Green Lantern 1417)
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Soranik Natu, I mean she’s the daughter of one of the greatest adversaries of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro. That’s a hell of a shadow to come out from under. And yes, I know, this doesn’t come out for a while after she joins the Corps, giving her enough time to show her ability to run a space sector, but when she does find out, she continues on with her duties and if anything I’d say this makes her stronger. What she does have to deal with from the beginning, though, is taking on the ring that used to belong to Thaal Sinestro and trying to convince those on Korugar that being a Green Lantern does not make you a huge tool. Sinestro ruled his sector with an iron fist, using the green light of will as a tool to instill fear, seeing this as the most efficient way of running a sector. Thanks largely to her previous career as a surgeon, Soranik uses her Green Lantern powers to try and instill hope in her people more than anything.
And it slowly but surely starts working. Her people are untrusting and unforgiving to begin with, they regect her and her power. Throwing abuse, and objects, they attempt to drive her away, seeing her as the next fascist overlord (overlady?) and she almost let’s them. Eventually, she stands up to her adversity, using her ring to create surgical equipment around herself and save multiple lives.
Outside of her life on Korugar, Soranik has earned the respect of many of the Corps’ veterans, and started earning a little more than respect from a certain Kyle Raynor. She is a driven, powerful and strong willed individual, willing to put her life on the line for both her fellow Corps members and those without rings or power that need help. The sign of a true hero.
4. Batgirl (Stephanie Brown)
I had a really, really hard time deciding which Batgri to use here. I was initially going to go with Barabara because of the amazing ongoing series we have right now, written by the one and only Gail Simone. It’s really endeared Barb to me as a character, but even though I’m loving both the series and Barb (and to be fair, have from back when she was Oracle) it comes back the Steph all the time. I’ll be honest, Cass didn’t come into consideration for favourite, not to say I don’t like her character, but I just simply prefer Barb and Steph over Cass. And Betty Kane wasn’t going to come into it because I’ve never read anything with her in before, so that’s straight out the window.
But why Stephanie over Barbara? Well, it comes down to how much crap she has to wade through before becoming Batgirl, and how much I liked her from adventures before she was Batgirl. During the Robin solo series from several years ago, the one where we had Tim Drake as Robin, Steph was running around as a character called Spoiler. An unnoficial member of the Bat team, she’d show up more as an aide to Tim than Bruce, also acting as a love interest for Tim. But even then, she was ballsy, fun, and incredibly skillful. Kicking ass and taking names was something she had nailed, and it was always with clear enjoyment.
Then there was the period of time she actually became Robin, clearly much to the chagrin of Dan DiDio. She’s not to the level Batman requires, so after some mistakes and disobedience he fires her. She steal his plans to remove all of Gotham’s criminal underworld in one move and tries to execute it in one go, fails and ends up brutally tortured and supposedly killed by Black Mask.
She faked her death, and it was awesome when she returned. Not long after, she took on the mantle of Batgirl after Cass. So she went through all of that crap before becoming Batgirl, then continued on anyway, even when she had a way out she still came back to Gotham.
If you ask me, when the New 52 reboot kicked in, I’d have preferred to see Barabara still in the wheelchair and setting herself up as Batgirl, with Stephanie continuing on as Batgirl. But, since we have the return of Spoiler coming soon I don’t mind too much.
3. Wonder Woman
Let’s face it, she was always going to be on the list somewhere. When I initially started planning this out in my head, I had her up one place, but things changed, an addition was made and she slipped down. Still, the original (I think, don’t quote me on this) female superhero, Diana of Themyscira is an absolute badass. No questions asked, she comes in, and kicks ass. Her older stories are definitely more accessable for younger kids, which by no means makes them bad in any way, but she seems to have evolved into a superhero for more mature audiences.
Her most recent series has her as a demi god, child of Hippolyta and Zeus, and therefore insanely high powered. She later becomes the god of freaking war!
She’s raised on an island populated exclusively by women, taught that they are the stronger of the two genders and taught to distrust all men. What she ends up doing is becoming an ambassador not only between her native island and the rest of the world, but as one between men and women too, promoting equality to her peers and those around her. A founding member of the Justice League, she has earned a tremendous amound of respect from the other members, and later during the Justice League of America recruitment drive of 2006, discovers a great many heroine she has inspired.
Did I mention how much ass she kicks?
2. Black Canary
This is the addition that reduced our previous entry to number 3. I spent ages trying to figure out who to drop into this final spot, then I suddenly remember Dinah Lance and felt like a complete dope for not putting her straight on. Martial arts, check. Awesome costume, check. Unique super power, check. Kick ass stories, check. Marries another awesome superhero, check.
She’s got the lot, this one. Dinah is such an awesome character, she has a lot of depth and before the New 52, had the genuinely awesome thing going on with Ollie which resulted in them marrying. Her canary cry is one of THE best super powers in comics, ranging from strong enough to knock someone on their ass all the way up to bringing down buildings and turning brains to mush.
She has an incredible amount of self control, which she needs really with a power that can have insides of head leaking out of ears in a few short seconds. She becomes a member of the Justice League of America before Flashpoint, leads the Birds of Prey both pre and post reboot and is vital to both operations. I think part of the reason I’m enjoying the New 52 run of Birds of Prey so much at the moment is because Christy Marx gets Dinah absolutely bang on.
The last daughter of Krypton, the girl of steel. Whatever you want to call her, she is, for me, the ultimate female superhero. Shown to have the same powers as her younger, but older (it’s complicated) cousin Clark, Kara Zor-El has a damn cool set of powers. Only thing is, she’s frequently shown to be more powerful than the iconic Superman. Yes, she has a little less control for a while having grown up for the most part on Krypton and therefore being rather unused to having these crazy powers.
Her planet being destroyed, and then finding this out after crashing on an unfamiliar world surrounded by complete strangers, is obviously devastating to her. She has clear, vivid memories of Krypton, her friends and her family so she takes it very hard. And yet she stands up for truth, justice and takes villains down just like her cousin. She becomes a beacon for youth, innocence and above all, hope. She strives to show her cousin she is good enough to wear the famous S shield, good enough to stand by his side and fight evil. She tries so hard to fit in with regular folk on Earth, trying to figure out our cultures and understand us more.
At least, that’s how she is before the Flashpoint induced reboot. So far, post reboot, we’ve had an angry, understandably, young woman that has little to no self control, and who continually spirals further and further into her dark hole of self pity, resentment and rage. It’s not really been Supergirl so far, and before this turns into a Red Lantern focussed rant, I’m going to stop.
Ignoring the New 52, if I’d just done a top 5 superheroes without splitting it the way I have, Supergirl would have still topped the list, no question. No doubt.