Who Are the Best DC Superheroines?

Was playing Mortal Kombat vs. DC with GF last night and we got to talking about Wonder Woman.

Now, I don’t hate Wonder Woman, but let’s face it–she’s kind of a garbage-tier hero that everyone pretends is A-list for ReasonsTM.

She’s not that interesting, outside of Greek Gods, her only memorable villains are the furry cat girl and the Chinese egg. A lot of her clout comes from being part of the DC Trinity: stick anyone with Batman and Superman, and they’ll feel important. But on her own? Wondy is kind of eh… That’s me, though. Other than War of the Gods, I can’t think of any meaningful Wondy events. [No, Death Metal is not a Wonder Woman event, no matter how much the writers insist otherwise.]

My girlfriend also thinks she’s kind of cringe and rolls her eyes at the “she’s so empowering!” reasoning most folks will give for liking Wondy. She’s not really into cape comics that much, and was wondering “aren’t there better ‘female role model’ characters in comics than Wonder Woman?”

I thought about it a bit, and while the answer is “Yes”, I realized a lot of them are overshadowed by Batman, because a lot of the best ones I’m familiar with are from Bat-books, and she hadn’t heard of most of them:

  • Katana [this is the only one she knows, because I actually collect Katana merch–I don’t have a lot, because there’s not much merch for her]
  • Spoiler
  • Orphan/Black Bat
  • Huntress
  • Oracle
  • Zatanna [I know, she’s not really ‘from’ Bat-books, but that’s mostly where I’ve seen her]
  • Montoya [okay, I don’t actually like her in the comics that much]
  • Bat-Woman [not exactly a ‘role model,’ but Kate Kane, at least in the books I’ve read, is a fascinating and tragic character, moreso maybe than Batman, because her problems are mostly her own creation yet she proceeds under this Calvinist shadow of doom]

So, what have you got? Who are your favorite DC ‘Best Girls’ who you like for reasons other than ‘teh sexy’?

We would especially like to hear from some of the women in the audience–who are your favorite women in DC comics?

Or can you convince us that Wonder Woman has better bona fides than just being a character with roots in the Golden Age and being the Silver Age Justice League’s Smurfette?

3 responses to “Who Are the Best DC Superheroines?

  1. I’m better equipped to list off Marvel’s heroines than DC’s, but Black Canary is a better heroine than Wonder Woman. So is Hawkgirl/Shayira, who’s story in the animated Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited series is amazing.

    Young Justice’s first two seasons also give viewers two new heroines to appreciate: Artemis Crock and Ms. Martian. Artemis is a villain in the comics, but Young Justice turns her into one of the best heroic characters I have ever seen. Ms. Martian’s character is also expanded upon and made more interesting in the series first two seasons. (Don’t bother with the third season. It’s a mess…..)

    • I want to like Black Canary, but scream-powered characters are so obnoxious.

      I kinda like Hawkgirl, but I’m not really very knowledgeable about all of the Hawkworld mythology outside of her occasional appearances in other things [like the JL cartoon].

      I wish that DC had done more with Razorsharp–I feel like the PsybaRats would’ve done well if plugged in with Oracle as sort of a sister-team to the Birds of Prey.

  2. The first six issues of Perez’s post-Crisis run are peak Wonder Woman for me. She’s a naive ingenue just arrived in ‘man’s world’ and the mixture of innocence, sense of purpose, determination and self-sacrifice are completely beguiling. While the plot is a bit hackneyed, the fact that Perez relies heavily on Greek mythology for the story works well for me, too. It’s light years away from the SJW-preachy stuff from Rucka and Simon. (Speaking of which, the latter’s recent WW/Conan crossover mini is surprisingly good.)

    In terms of DC heroines worth following, Batwoman is a big thumbs-up. Ditto Katana and Hawkgirl. DC’s current output is not really worth bothering with, though.

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