Female superheroes are still hard to come by on screen even if it’s 2017. We’re still waiting for Scarlett Johansson to take over the movie screen in her own Black Widow flick, and to finally see Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in her own movie after years of rumors and false starts.
When it comes to comic books, though, both Marvel and DC have portrayed a lot of super strong, super sexy female superheroes over the decades. It’s great to see the movies and TV finally catching up, and we can only hope that the trend will continue, letting us enjoy our fave superheroines in multiple media.
Even with limited numbers, when we see female superheroes in the movies, they’re most often battling male baddies and assorted crooks. But, what if we could see our dream matches of female superhero vs. female superhero? Let’s add in a Marvel vs. DC component, and the possibilities are rich. Some of the match-ups seem almost obvious, while others are a little off beat. Whether we got the winner right or whether we got it wrong, we know these tussles would be highly entertaining.
15. Black Widow Vs. Black Canary
This natural match-up is a popular topic on many fansites, and why wouldn’t it be? Two ladies in black, both highly trained in martial arts — it would be a spectacular fight to watch. But, who would win? Natasha Romanov, the Black Widow, was a former KGB superspy, trained and even brainwashed from childhood. She’s studied ballet, giving her agility as well as skill. She’s also on a mission to redeem herself after ending her evil spying days for the bad guys (although which side is which is always hard to tell in the Marvel Universe.) Black Canary, if we take her most recent version, spent her childhood in foster homes, eventually ending up with an ex-Special Forces dude who raises her and trains her in combat skills, and she’s also trained in acrobatics. She becomes a Special Agent for a while and ends up with a tangled storyline — par for the course. Her combat skills would probably be about equal to the Widow’s although Natasha may have an edge in the strategy department. Where Canary has the real advantage, however, is in her superpower: an ultrasonic scream called the Canary Cry, the reason why we’d have to give this one to the DC side.
14. Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan Vs. Raven
This one’s a next generation fight with some interesting possibilities. There’s a turnover in Ms. Marvels, and the latest version goes by the name of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American who is also the first Muslim superhero in her own comic series. Her superpower is shapeshifting, and she’s just learning to use it as a teenage girl with all the usual problems of same. Her latent inhuman powers were awakened by exposure to the Terrigen Mists, which appeared over New Jersey one day when she was on her way home. Raven’s had a long history in the DC universe, most of it as part of the Teen Titans. Her father is the demon Trigon and her mother a Gotham citizen by the name of Angela Roth or Arella. She’s brought up between dimensions and, like so many heroes, has gone evil and then come back. She’s an empath who can not only sense others’ emotions but also manipulate them. She can teleport using her soul self and has telekinetic abilities. It’s pretty impressive, but it probably wouldn’t work so well against someone who can change her body into any shape or anything they want at will. Ms. Marvel for the win.
13. Scarlet Witch Vs. Supergirl
Wanda Maximoff, or the Scarlet Witch, is a tricky foe. She can bend reality and shape your thoughts and the way you see the world. That’s a powerful weapon. In the Marvel Universe, both MCU and comic book, she’s a member of the Avengers. She began as Magneto’s daughter and also as a villain, although she made the switch to the good guys’ side fairly quickly. As we’ve seen in the MCU, the Scarlet Witch’s powers aren’t always entirely predictable, and even when used for good, they can have some serious repercussions. She understands discrimination both as a mutant and a Romani. We’re pairing her up against Supergirl, long a neglected member of the DC Comics canon. For years, Kara Zor-El appeared in storylines largely to act as a kind of cheerleader for Kal-El, her cousin from Kryptonite. That has all changed with the CW’s Supergirl TV series, which is really bringing this DC superheroine into her own. Like her cuz, she’s pretty much indestructible, other than the kryptonite allergy, so even though we think Scarlet Witch could probably befuddle the super straight Kara Zor-El for a while, Supergirl’s superpowers would take the match in the end.
12. Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers Vs. Wonder Woman
It was radiation from another world that turned Carol Danvers first into Ms. Marvel, with superhuman powers. As an Air Force and NASA pilot, she has an alien encounter with a Kree warrior that leads to the transformation. After a long series of adventures that included abduction, alcoholism, and forced pregnancy, she emerged to become Captain Marvel. She has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability. She can absorb energy and also fire out blasts of photon energy. She has super fast reflexes and can fly many times the speed of sound. Wonder Woman, on the other hand, was molded out of clay by Queen Hippolyta and was granted beauty, strength, speed, agility, and other gifts by the gods of ancient Greece. She’s been training for battle since she could walk, and she’s a demi-goddess, for god’s sake. It would be the match of all matches in the Marvel vs. DC wars, and we’d have to call this one a draw. Who could win or lose in a fight of indestructible women?
11. She-Hulk Jennifer Walters Vs. Power Girl
While Bruce Banner’s relationship to his green alter-ego is often a tortured and guilt-ridden one, his cousin Jennifer Walters seems to only get the good side of gamma ray disease. After a gunshot wound puts her life in danger, Bruce Banner gives her an infusion of his own blood, passing on his powers, but with a difference. While Bruce is subject to fits of rage, Jennifer, the Sensational She-Hulk, is totally in control. In fact, she prefers the physically stronger She-Hulk personality so much that she stays inside it permanently while still retaining her brilliant mind. Jennifer becomes independent and super confident in addition to super strong. She helps fellow superheroes with their legal troubles in addition to contributing her own efforts at fighting crime. Power Girl is essentially the Supergirl of Earth Two. A little older and a little sexier than the Supergirl of our world, she was brought up by Superman and Lois, his wife on Earth Two. Nowadays, she’s stranded on our official Earth. She’s a feisty feminist superhuman with a cleavage window in her costume. We love them both, and it’s hard to determine who would win except for one fact that may tilt the scales: Power Girl has the Kryptonian weakness, and someone as smart as She-Hulk would be sure to use that one real advantage.
10. Storm Vs. Mera
Two superheroes who can control the elements — it’s an obvious pairing. Let’s consider the details. Ororo Munroe, or Storm, is a mutant, one of the X-Men and a natural leader. She’s the daughter of a princess from Kenya and an American photographer. She was born in Harlem, New York but raised in Egypt. She can fly as well as control the weather. It’s a pretty useful superpower that we actually don’t really see her using to its full advantage when you think about it. She could shut down just about anything with a handy tornado on call. We’ve put her up against Mera, Queen of Atlantis and Aquaman’s wife. As such, she has all his powers over the sea and its creatures and a few interesting stories of her own. She turns into a twisted, enraged warrior Queen after the death of their son and has been known to go on violent rampages of her own even outside the usual Aquaman story tie-in. Let’s put it this way: it’s Marvel and Storm if the battle is on land, but we’d have to give it to Mera if the action somehow ended up in the water. Stay dry, Storm. Stay dry.
9. Sue Storm aka Invisible Woman Vs. Stormy Knight aka Phantom Lady
In a battle of invisibility vs. invisibility, who would win? Sue Storm is a founding member of the Fantastic Four. Her powers are grounded in science — she bends light waves to make herself and objects she touches invisible — and she got them via accidental exposure to cosmic radiation. Over the years, her powers increased from mere invisibility to being able to make other people and things disappear from view, along with the power to create force fields, send long range attacks, and more. Stormy Knight’s powers come from Black Light Bands, which use advanced technology that is passed down through generations of Phantom Ladies. She can become invisible and create illusions, and it makes her tricky to catch. But, it doesn’t give her much to fight the Invisible Woman’s fighting powers with. This is a clear win for the Marvel side.
8. Kate Bishop aka Hawkeye Vs. Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl
There’s Hawkeye or Clint Barton as played by Jeremy Renner in the MCU as one of the Avengers, and there’s Hawkeye of the comic book world, who can also be someone by the name of Kate Bishop. Clint Barton is Kate’s mentor, and she emerges as the new Hawkeye in the Young Avengers after Clint dies (just a temporary thing). She’s skilled in other types of combat along with archery. Then there’s Barbara Gordon as Batgirl, daughter of Gotham Police Commissioner James Gordon and also skilled in martial arts. They’re both ordinary mortals with extraordinary skills, and they’d make formidable enemies. But, we’d have to give the edge to Batgirl with her motorcycle and collection of gadgets and technology, along with a history and experience shaped by toughing it out on street crime and Gotham crazies.
7. Jean Grey Vs. Zatanna Zatara
It’s hard to match-up the X-Men’s Jean Grey against anyone, realistically speaking. After all, she’s not only an omega-level mutant with telekinetic powers, but she can also read minds. And, underneath it all, she wields almost limitless powers as Phoenix — or as occasional host of the Phoenix Force, depending on whether you’re going by the MCU or the comic-book version of the character. We’d also have to point out that no matter how many times she’s killed off in the comics, she keeps coming back to life. While she’s been underused in the DC world, though, Zatanna Zatara might just be the one to challenge Phoenix. Zatanna is a stage magician by trade, and in real life, the member of a magical race through her mother. She likes life on stage, and she can be a fun character, but like Jean, her powers are so vast that she sometimes has trouble controlling them. We know that Jean/Phoenix can be super destructive, but we don’t think we’ve really even seen how much damage Zatanna can do. Let’s call this one a tie.
6. Elektra Vs. Starfire
Calling Elektra a superhero is a bit of a stretch, we’ll admit. She’s a super assassin who switches sides depending on her mood and has been known to slip over to the bad side of the law out of pure spite. She’s complicated, in other words, along with being super sexy and sometimes the lover of our hero Daredevil both on screen and on comic book pages. She’s an expert martial artist who’s trained with mystical ninjas. Starfire’s real name is Koriand’r, and she’s an alien member of the Teen Titans. She’s portrayed as free-spirited and sexually liberated, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Starfire can fly and project energy, and those powers may seem to tilt the scales unreasonably in her favor. We’d point out, though, that Elektra would have superior strategizing and subterfuge to her advantage. In the end, Starfire would probably take it with an energy blast, but we’re sure Elektra would put up a valiant defense.
5. Valkyrie Vs. Hawkgirl
The Valkynor and shield maiden of the realm, Brunnhilde is a goddess of Asgard. As Valkynor, she is leader of the Valkyrior, the Valkyrie chosen by Odin to fly over battlefields and carry the souls of worthy warriors to Valhalla. Her story is long and complex and involves becoming one of the Defenders along with the Secret Avengers, and her superhuman powers extend to speed, strength, reflexes, longevity, teleportation, and more. She’s up against Hawkgirl, who appears as Kendra Saunders in modern times. She began her superhero career in 1940 as an Egyptian princess whose spirit was reincarnated into different bodies and different lives over several centuries. The latest version of Hawkgirl depends on whether you go by the comics or TV. On the DC website, she’s described as Shayera Hol, an alien born on the planet Thanagar and who’s decided to live on earth and use her powers of flight, strength, healing, and combat skills against crime. On TV, she’s appeared in The CW’s The Flash as Kendra Saunders, a reincarnation of Shayera, the Egyptian warrior princess. Hawkgirl is more active in battle and we’d have to give her the edge by having more current combat experience.
4. Wasp Vs. Angela Spica aka Engineer
Genetic alteration is what these two potential combatants share. The Wasp began her life as Janet Van Dyne and gets her powers after genetic tinkering by her hubby, Dr. Henry Pym, aka Ant-Man. She can shrink in size and fly. Angela Spica grew up on the mean streets of Queens, New York City idolizing superheroes. She was a science nerd who was building circuit boards in grade school. The original Engineer used nanotechnology to transform his body. He leaves his data on Angela’s computer, so after he dies, our genius Angie replaces her own blood with liquid nanotechnology and becomes the second Engineer. She’s virtually indestructible and can change into any machine at will. The Wasp might be able to give her the slip now and then, and she might even be able to get away from her, but she can’t get inside the machine since Angie is the machine. It’s hard to see how The Wasp could win this fight.
3. Gamora Vs. Big Barda
Gamora becomes a hero on the side of good almost in spite of herself. She’s a green-skinned alien, the last of the Zen Whoberi. After her family was killed, she was adopted by Thanos, a villain, and grew up to be trained as a skilled assassin with great strength. She’s a key part of the Guardians of the Galaxy, but can she face up against Big Barda? Tall and muscular, Barda is a warrior who started her life on the planet Apokolips. She fought for Darkseid, its ruler, until she met Scott Free, or Mister Miracle, and fell in love. She was a badass for evil, and now she’s a badass for good. Barda is super strong, and she’s very skilled in the art of combat. She’s nearly indestructible, and she’s immortal. She can summon Aero-discs to fly and uses the Mega-Rod, which fires blasts of energy at her enemies. Gamora may have strength and smarts, but she can’t win this battle.
2. Jessica Jones Vs. Kate Kane aka Batwoman
Jessica Jones is a troubled superhero, conflicted and sometimes downright unlikable. She’s been mind-controlled and manipulated into committing crimes for the dastardly Zebediah Killgrave, something that tends to bring out the dark side of a person, we think. Her superpowers come from exposure to radiation in an accident that killed her parents and include strength and the ability to fly. Kate Kane is a mere mortal, and even as Batwoman, we admit she’d kick some butt but eventually be outmatched.
Still… Kate is also a lesbian, and we already know that Jessica is pretty lesbian-friendly at least, even if we’ve only seen her hooking up with superheroes of the male variety. So maybe they wouldn’t be fighting after all. We can dream, can’t we?
1. Squirrel Girl Vs. Renee Montoya aka The Question
We love the idea of Squirrel Girl, whose only real superpower seems to be the ability to control and communicate with squirrels, along with gaining some of the physical details of the furry rodents. Still, she was able to defeat Doctor Doom just by running him over with squirrels, so maybe it’s a far more useful power than we think it is. Still, she’s a lot of fun, and she’s even been babysitter to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. We’ve paired her against somewhat of an opposite character in Renee Montoya, The Question. Renee is an embittered ex-cop, her life ruined with Two-Face outing her as a lesbian and trying to frame her for murder. She’s cleared of the murder but disowned by family and disenchanted with the police force. She becomes The Question, a masked crime fighting vigilante. Now, we know that Montoya has the edge of experience with crime and street fighting, but the whole swarming with squirrels thing is just too appealing.