The Most Powerful Women in Marvel and DC Comics

Happy International Women’s Day 2023! To celebrate, let’s meet some of the most powerful women in Marvel and DC Comics.

While this list is by no means extensive, we hope to give you a brief introduction and history to these incredibly influential female characters. Whether you’ve followed these women from their first appearances or if you’re a recent fan, your support matters. Especially with recent additions like the MCU’s She-Hulk series and the DCU’s upcoming Amanda Waller series, women are continuing to take center stage in super hero media. So remember to support them — as well as your IRL female-identifying heroes — today and every day!

Wonder Woman (Diana and Nubia)

First appearance: All-Star Comics #8 (1941) and Wonder Woman #204 (1973)

Powers and abilities: Superhuman strength, speed, endurance, and agility, etc. Nubia also has the ability to turn people to stone with her gaze as well as open inter-dimensional portals.

Main storylines: Princess Diana of Themyscira was born on Paradise Island. There she lived with an immortal race of women called Amazons, who raised Diana as a warrior to help her hone the gifts she had been given by the gods. As Wonder Woman, Diana left Paradise to help save humans from destruction by enemies such as Ares. Earning acclaim and adoration, she joined the Justice League. To this day, she operates as one of their most vital members.

Nubia was first Zahavah, princess of an ancient kingdom in Madagascar. After dying, she was reborn in the Well of Souls and is thus considered Diana’s sister — she has often alternated with Diana in using the Wonder Woman title, along with Yara Flor. For most of her life, Nubia was alone while she guarded Doom’s Doorway. She only left to pursue a monster that escaped into the Man’s World. There she found and lost love. Most recently, Nubia has become Queen of all Amazons — not just the ones on Themyscira.

Scarlet Witch

First appearance: The X-Men #4 (1964)

Powers and abilities: Witchcraft, chaos magic manipulation, astral projection, biological manipulation, necromancy, and more.

Main storyline: Wanda Maximoff and her twin brother Pietro were kidnapped and experimented on when they were young. Although she was disguised as an ordinary mutant, Wanda was actually imbued with Wundagore Mountain’s innate mystic energy. She manifested strong magical abilities during childhood. Later, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants recruited her.

Wanda eventually joined the Avengers. She fell in love with the Vision, and used chaos magic to create her twin sons Billy and Tommy. In perhaps her most famous arc, titled House of M, Wanda lost her family and cast a spell to erase all mutants from existence. After M-Day, she was called the Great Pretender among mutants. Recently, she has started to repent for her actions and is now known as The Redeemer thanks to her creation of a mutant afterlife.


First appearance: DC Comics Presents #26 (1980)

Powers and abilities: Empathy, magic, control over her “Soul-Self”, etc.

Main storyline: Raven was born the daughter of a human and a demon overlord. She was raised in a pacifistic reality/community called Azarath, in which she was taught to control and suppress her demonic powers. After leaving that community, Raven found friendship and support in the Teen Titans. They helped her battle her father Trigon and prevent him from taking control of Raven and the Earth. While she lost this battle at first, she and her team eventually defeated Trigon.

Over her lifetime, Raven continued to struggle with Trigon’s influence. This was exacerbated when the demon overlord was resurrected. However, Beast Boy, Donna Troy, Red Arrow, Starfire, Flash, and Nightwing have always been there to help her find the light. To this day, she trusts them with all her life.

Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers and Monica Rambeau)

First appearance: Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (1968) and The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982)

Powers and abilities: Carol has enhanced stamina, durability, combat capabilities, immunity to most poisons, and flight — at various times she has also been able to channel energy. Monica is able to convert and manipulate any form of energy within the electromagnetic spectrum, which enables her to change size and shape as well as fly.

Main storylines: A human/Kree hybrid warrior, Carol Danvers was an Air Force pilot. She was caught in an explosion that triggered her abilities, and after honing them as the vigilante Ms. Marvel, she joined the Avengers as Captain Marvel. Later her strength, identity, and memories were all stolen from her by a powerful super-villain: the X-Men’s Rogue! She has since regained them all. Now she struggles with her most recent discovery — that her Kree heritage is actually biological, not simply due to an accident.

Monica Rambeau, also known as Spectrum and Photon, was bombarded with extra-dimensional energy while serving as a harbor patrol officer. When the military only offered adversity, Monica turned to the Avengers and joined under the alias Captain Marvel. She became their chairwoman in addition to serving as a hero. In recent comic runs, Monica has found her place with the Thunderbolts.


First appearance: Action Comics #252 (1959)

Powers and abilities: Super speed, flight, freeze breath, super vision, etc.

Main storyline: When Krypton was doomed to destruction, Kara was sent to Earth to raise and protect cousin Kal — Superman. But Kara’s ship was caught in a meteorite, keeping her in suspended animation for years while Kal aged and grew up without her. When Kara eventually made it to Earth, she tried to keep her superhuman abilities a secret. However, she later embraced her own hero lifestyle and became a savior to the humans she held so dear.

When not saving the day, Kara works at TV stations and news offices. But when wearing that signature red cape, Supergirl traverses time and space, encountering allies and enemies such as Power Girl and Lex Luthor. Kara’s latest adventures are chronicled in Woman of Tomorrow, which explores her sense of self, moral code, and place in the universe. This Supergirl story will be adapted in Chapter 1 of the DCU reboot.


First appearance: Giant Size X-Men #1 (1975)

Powers and abilities: Atmokinesis, thermal variance, energy vision, resistance to telepathy, magical lineage, and more.

Main storyline: Ororo Munroe was born the the daughter of a Kenyan princess, descended from a long line of African priestesses skilled with magic. Her parents died when she was very young, and Ororo grew up on the streets of Cairo, Egypt, thieving to survive — occasionally alongside Gambit. Eventually her mutant powers manifested. Ororo learned she could control the weather, and was recruited by Professor Charles Xavier into the X-Men.

Once she joined her fellow mutants, Storm life really took flight. She led the X-Men, briefly married the Black Panther, and became Queen of Wakanda. Later, she helped found the mutant safe haven on Krakoa and expanded mutantkind’s reach to Mars, AKA Arrako. More recently, Storm has joined forces with Magneto and Sunspot to protect mutantkind from S.W.O.R.D. intervention.

Who do you think are the most powerful women in Marvel and DC Comics? Share your picks in our Atomic Misfit Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!