A great many of the most well-known and enduring superheroes in pop culture history come from DC Comics; they’ve been making their mark on comics since the 1930s. So it stands to reason that throughout their lengthy, icon-making history they’d be responsible for more than a few incredible female superheroes – including perhaps the most famous superheroine of them all.
DC has given us one of the greatest superhero-adjacent female characters in comics, superstar reporter Lois Lane, and also supplied a seemingly endless stream of badass female villains (Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy, among others). Even when a lady hero is branded under a familiar title (such as Batwoman), she is often more than her unoriginal alter-ego might suggest. Each woman on this list has an identity unique to her, a rich history, and an ever-expanding story.
Starfire, also known as Koriand’r (not to be confused with the herb), is an alien princess from fictional planet Tamaran. Though she was not the firstborn, she was still next in line for the throne because her older sister Komand’r lacked the skill of flight that rulers of Tamaran needed to have. This seeded discord between the sisters and resulted in Komand’r fraternizing with enemy forces so she could usurp the throne and enslave her sister, tormenting Starfire for years. She was eventually able to escape, finding her way to earth and joining up with the Teen Titans (which led to a romance with Dick Grayson’s Robin).
Mera is Aquaman’s wife, a cool and regal queen with a deep-seated anger problem. Mera was royalty in a watery otherworld called Xebel, which has been both kingdom and forgotten penal colony depending on where you land in DC history. She left to go find Aquaman – either to seek help in regaining her stolen kingdom, or to take vengeance on him as the king of Atlantis for forgetting about the people of Xebel. Whatever the journey was, the destination was the same: Mera and Aquaman fell in love, forging a deep but tempestuous bond that has lasted decades.
Power Girl essentially is Supergirl – both are Kryptonian survivors named Kara Zor-El – with the only difference being that Power Girl comes from the same alternate universe as Huntress, Earth Two. She was sent to Earth at the same time as her cousin Kal-El, but she arrived many years after him and had barely aged at all. Considering her lengthy journey had resulted in Superman being so much older than her, he and wife Lois took Kara in and raised her as though she were their own. As his cousin, she shares all of the same powers.
Zatanna is a magician who also happens to possess actual magical powers thanks to her mother, who was one of a race of magical people. Her mother left early on, so Zatanna was raised by her father Giovanni. His legacy left a big impact on her, as he was also a magician, and she even went on to adopt an altered version of his costume as her own (hers shows a lot more leg, unsurprisingly). After his disappearance, she investigated with the help of Batman (sometimes a childhood friend, sometimes not depending on the canon). She found her father, but the reconciliation didn’t last long before he was killed.
These are some of the best superhero female characters from DC comics.