Over the past 80 years, DC Comics has given us heroes and villains of all shapes, sizes and powers. Some have gone on to become household names like Wonder Woman, Superman, or Batman. Others have slowly faded into the deep recesses of our memories, like that guy who does that thing, or that girl who can do that other thing. Thankfully, they have been able to keep our favourite heroes busy with stellar baddies to pit them up against.
It’s always difficult thinking up your antagonist. Are they alien or human? What motivates them? World domination or are they just upset they got pickles on their cheeseburger? Not only that, but what the hell are they going to be capable of. You can’t make them too overpowered, then there’s no fight and you’ve got a mass grave of super heroes on your hands. Too weak and you’ve got the inconvenience of constantly throwing them back in jail. As you can see, there is a fine line to walk when creating your super villain.
Luckily, there’s professionals who know that line, and they walk it incredibly well. And keeping up with the times of powerful women in comics and movies, they have equally powerful women to oppose the heroes of today. From regular gals with incredible talents, to extraordinary beings with limitless power, here’s a list of the 10 most powerful villainous women of the DC universe.
Born in the heart of Gotham city, Selina Kyle has had a few origins within the DC universe, but ultimately always ends up as Catwoman. Given in most of the current iterations she is more of a helper to Batman than an enemy, no one can deny that she is one of the original dupers of the Dark Knight. Anyone who can best The Bat in a one on one fight is definitely worth this list. She keeps herself at peak physical condition, is a master thief, superstar acrobat, and can even occasionally call upon the help of cats to do her dirty work. She may not be able to vaporize you or take control of your mind, but I guarantee she can humiliate you in front of your friends, steal anything you hold dear, and look darn cool while she does it.
9 Harley Quinn
Oh Harleen. You had such promise. Such brilliance. But alas, it was corrupted by science, like so many before you. After a sabotaged social experiment in med school, Harleen grew to believe that she had began to have an understanding of the mental machinations of The Joker. So much so that she requested her first year of residency at Arkham Asylum to work first hand with the psychotic clown. After he tried to strangle her, something clicked in her own brain that told her “Hey, this is the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.” Call it love, call it crazy, I call it the beginnings of one of the most dangerous women in the DC Universe. With a background in acrobatics, she can dance around with her mallet or bat and cause you more pain than when you were dumped on prom night.
If you are going to take on Wonder Woman, you’d have to be A) crazy, B) super human, or C) a god. Cheetah is definitely B, and quite possibly A, although my research was inconclusive. I mean, you'd have to be a little crazy to sacrifice your work partner to become an all-powerful cheetah god. Actually, now that I say that, it sounds kind of reasonable. But I digress. Cheetah has had it in for Wonder Woman ever since she surfaced, and has nearly defeated her multiple times. It seems pretty likely that she won’t be giving up any time soon. At least until one or both of them is dead I’m sure. With super strength, speed, agility and enhanced senses, Cheetah can give any members of the Justice League a run for their money.
Don’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of Kiriazis. She hasn’t made too many appearances in the DC universe. That doesn’t diminish her powers at all though. Being one of many beings to possess a Qwardian Power Ring, she is able to manipulate the energy or the ring in ways many other can’t. For instance, she can actually create laser webs using the power of the Ring and her body, as well as use those same beams to slice up her enemies. On top of her lethality with lasers, she also has full disposal of the Ring’s other powers. What’re those’ you ask? Invisibility, mind control, x-ray vision, and much much more! I’ll admit, there are other bad-ass women who don a yellow ring, but Kiriazis is the only one to uniquely use its power to her benefit.
6 Poison Ivy
Another victim of corrupted science, Pamela Isley was left a changed woman after being seduced into becoming the subject of her professor’s experiments. Experiments that gave her the ability to control and manipulate the plants around her, as well as complete immunity from any toxins. She could chug back a couple litres of Joker Toxin and not even crack a smile. Add in her ability to release slave-creating pheromones and a deep rooted misanthropy and you’ve got a gal I dare not trifle with. She’s given Batman a good fight more than enough times, and has even used her abilities to turn Superman to her side. She’s not all bad though, as she has helped Gotham from time to time. Even went so far as to foster a group of orphans during the No Man’s Land series. She’s even died and come back, proving that life will find a way.
5 Killer Frost
So there’s been a couple Killer Frosts, but I’m going to go with Louise Lincoln’s version, because that’s pretty much the one I grew up with. While Caitlin Snow’s dependancy on human heat makes her more dangerous, it’s really her greatest weakness as well. Louise however, can survive off any energy regardless of it’s source, and trying to melt her will only make her stronger. That’s right. Unlike other heroes and villains that can control or manipulate ice, heat actually helps Killer Frost as she can convert it into an excruciating, icy death. It doesn’t help that she did this willingly to herself after her mentor died; a mentor who just so happened to be the original Killer Frost. She has even sold her soul to gain more power. If that doesn’t scream villain, I don’t know what does.
Okay, so she’s on our side now. I get it. That doesn’t mean we can forgive her past transgressions as a big meanie. June Moone gained her powers from Dzamor, a being of immense power, and almost immediately committed her first offence; duking it out with Supergirl. One was willing to sacrifice thousands of innocent lives just so she could gain some more power to ‘help protect Earth’ while the other was able to kick the moon out of alignment and sabotage any means of increasing power. I’ll let you figure out who’s who. Enchantress later went on to join the Suicide Squad, only because Amanda Waller had agreed to help her control her evil side. It wasn’t until she joined the Shadowpact that her evil side truly disappeared - for how long, I don’t know - after the “Enchantress” personality of her was murdered. Yeah. That can happen.
3 Evil Supergirl (Kara Zor-El II)
I know what you’re thinking: You big dumb idiot, Supergirl is Supergood. And you’re right. However, for a brief stint there was an evil Supergirl. Kinda like Bizarro Superman, but less goofy. With an upgraded, multi-colored kryptonite battle suit, Lex Luthor utilized the Black Kryptonite energy to corrupt Supergirl and turn her to his cause. But instead of corrupting her, he ended up creating an alternate, darker version of Supergirl. Believing she was sent to earth to kill Superman, Supergirl 2.0 went on a rampage, taking out anyone who stood in her way. Possessing all the powers the good Supergirl has, it took everything the Justice League had to stop her. She managed to take out Black Canary, Hawkman, and the Flash before facing off against the Big 3. It wasn’t until Wonder Woman caught both versions of SG in her lasso, merging them back into one, that her destructive reign ended.
2 Silver Banshee
At her peak, Silver Banshee could have destroyed any of our heroes with just a stare. Cursed at a young age and doomed to roam the planet as a hate-fuelled spectre, Silver Banshee squared off against the best of the best, only to be defeated by trickery as opposed to brute force. See, if she happens to know your true identity, all she has to do is think of you while looking at you and you’ll drop dead. Since she’s technically a ghost, she can teleport, fly, and possesses incredible strength. And if you know anything about banshee, then you know her scream is also lethal - at least to us regular humans. Sadly, she has been manipulated and dumbed down over the years, becoming more of a lackey than a constant threat, but given the nature of comic books, it’s totally possible for her to climb back to the top.
The most powerful sorceress in the DC universe. Once a Princess, she was cast from her kingdom after she killed her weak husband. In her exile, she studied and gained power and eventually made a deal with the Greek god Hecate to enact revenge against the rest of the gods. This destroyed Hecate, but not for long. After she got her fill of fun with attempting to wipe out the early Amazons, she ended up getting kinda weird and secluding herself on her own private island of evil. However, after Wonder Woman showed her face, Circe realized her work was not finished, and vowed to kill Wonder Woman, thus enacting a prophecy promising the rebirth of Hecate through Circe. She succeeded by reverting Wonder Woman back to the clay from whence she came. But since it’s a comic, she did eventually come back through some magical means. Regardless, Circe has defeated Wonder Woman and nearly wiped out the Amazons on multiple occasions.