Top 10 Female Comic Book Characters

Misty Knight, Top Ten Female Comic Book Characters

Image: DC Comics

As recommended by our Facebook fan Rachel Marie, this week’s Top 10 honors some of the most animated women in comic books!

10. Black Orchid. Although sheathed in an obscurity nearly as powerful as her art of disguise, the Black Orchid is a Jill of all trades who can deflect bullets, fly, and bend steel with her bare hands.
9. She-Hulk. This gal’s finesse might make you believe that it’s easy being green.
8. Jakita Wagner. Star of the series Planetary, Jakita possesses strength, agility, speed, and invincibility!
7. Batgirl. No matter which of her incarnations you reference, Batgirl was one fly lady.
6. Betty Cooper. Hailing from a different sort of comic than the majority featured here, we love Betty for her smarts, diligence, auto mechanic abilities, and sweet disposition.
5. Detective Deena Pilgrim. This no-mess marvel doesn’t need superpowers to be great, though she does investigate superpower-related crimes.
4. Phantom Lady. She started her superheroine career defending her father with her fists, and moved on to blind the bad with her black light projector.
3. Amanda Waller. She’s 100% human, but her dedication to justice makes her super!
2. Misty Knight. A martial arts maven who can crush bad guys with her bionic arm, Misty’s awesomeness makes us misty-eyed.
1. Wonder Woman. Raised in a female tribe of Amazons, this iconic figure ropes us all in with her lasso of truth.

Who is your favorite female of comic book fame?


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  1. Avatar
    jill 04/06/2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Okay, I’m a comic-book nerd, so bear with me. You missed a LOT of amazing indie/alterna-comics heroines. Here’s MY version of your list:

    1. Death from Neil Gaimon’s The Sandman. She’s the millenia-old, immortal personification of death, incarnated into an oddly upbeat, charming goth girl.

    2. Enid Coleslaw from Daniel Clowes Ghost World. A high school graduate with a post-punk sensibility and a serious case of teenage ennui.

    3. Agent 355 from Brian K. Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man. In a post-apocalyptic world where all the men are dead (except one) there are a lot of tough chicas around. 355, the secret agent charged with protecting him, is the toughest.

    4. Snow White from Bill Cunningham’s Fables. Exiled from the fable homelands and living in a secret community in New York, Snow White has changed a lot since the fairy tale ended. She’s running Fabletown’s government, for one thing. She’s married to the Big Bad Wolf, for another.

    5. Evie from Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta. Brainy, scrappy, and willing to fight against an oppressive fascist government.

    6. Maggie and Hopey from the Hernandez bro’s Love and Rockets. Latina, punk rock lesbians. Need I say more?

    7. Marjane Satrapi in her autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis. Growing up in the aftermath of Iran’s Islamic revolution, Marjane is fiercely intelligent, rebellious, and deeply in love with what is beautiful about her culture.

    8. Abby Cable from Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Proof that true love knows no bounds — but in her case knowing a thing or two about gardening helps.

    9. Tank Girl from Tank Girl by Jerry Hewlett and Alan Martin. She’s an anarchistic feminist outlaw with a mutant kangeroo boyfriend.

    10. Tulip O’Hare from Garth Ennis’ Preacher. A kick ass lady and a top-notch marksman, Tulip travels across the country with a down-and-out preacher and an alcoholic vampire in search for God.

  2. Avatar
    misslikey 04/06/2010 at 4:48 pm #

    if i had to choose it would be batgirl. yes batgirl definitely

  3. Avatar
    Shara 04/06/2010 at 5:44 pm #

    I can’t believe Shiera didn’t make the list. Man she was one of the least clothed of them all, and she had Heman’s footsteps to follow in!

  4. Avatar
    Shara 04/06/2010 at 5:47 pm #

    I’m sorry it’s spelled Shera. I was named after her so she’s got to be my favorite.

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    Melanie 04/06/2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Harley Quinn, no question! A little bit of crazy, and lots of attitude, not to mention a soft spot for the bad boy… I can totally relate to her.

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    Tiffany 04/06/2010 at 8:23 pm #

    Scooter Girl. And all of the girls from Blue Monday. And Hopeless Savages. And Lenore!

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    Katharine Ellis Tapley 04/06/2010 at 9:18 pm #

    You got me with Batgirl, but I agree with Jill about Death, Snow and Abby.

  8. Avatar
    Katharine Ellis Tapley 04/06/2010 at 9:19 pm #

    WAIT! Barbara from I Kill Giants!

  9. Avatar
    Katharine Ellis Tapley 04/06/2010 at 9:22 pm #

    AND her guidance counselor!

  10. Avatar
    Sydney 04/06/2010 at 10:59 pm #


    I’m sure nobody will know who that is, but rest assured: she is the AWESOMEST fictional, hand-drawn, 5-year-old girl on the planet.

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    Justina 04/07/2010 at 12:00 am #

    My favs are Huntress and Black Canary!

  12. Avatar
    Naomi 04/07/2010 at 4:48 am #

    I actually wanted to be poison Ivy from Batman when I was a kid… is that bad? lol!

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    Emily 04/07/2010 at 7:04 am #

    Susan Storm (Invisible Woman), Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), Ororo Iqadi T’Challa (Storm), Anna Marie (Rogue), Raven Darkhölme (Mystiue), Jean Grey (Phoenix), Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel)

  14. Avatar
    Victoria / Justice Pirate 04/07/2010 at 10:10 am #

    I agree with Jill with Death from the Sandman graphic novels. I loveeeeeeed her when I read those.

    Tank girl was HUGE in the 90s. She should certainly be on the list.

    It seems to me you lack Marvel ladies on this list too. Granted the DC goddess of Wonder Woman should be higher on your list, but I’ll ignore it. I am a marvel fan more than DC haha. Black Cat was always one of my favourites. Firebird is incredibly smart and strong, Invisible Woman should be listed. I see I’m not the only one to mention her. Callisto is awesome too.

    If you want to bring some anime chicks in that have awesome super powers, then Sailor Moon should be on the list, but the Japanese version that was unedited, not the way that she was according to the kid-edit version of the U.S….the manga/comic was very good.

  15. Avatar
    Kate 04/07/2010 at 10:30 am #


  16. Avatar
    RachelC 04/07/2010 at 12:55 pm #

    What about Catwoman? She was in a comic book, right? I’ve got to say she is my favorite villian 🙂

  17. Avatar
    Hannah (ModCloth) 04/07/2010 at 1:16 pm #

    All your comments show that this was a hard list to make! Thanks for giving voice to the other awesome gals of comics, everyone :-).

  18. Avatar
    Nina 04/07/2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Storm, Rogue, Emma Frost, and Julie Winters from The Maxx.

  19. Avatar
    Alyssa 04/07/2010 at 7:59 pm #

    I was hoping there’d be at least one X-Woman on this list. C’mon, Jean Grey as Phoenix was named one of the best comic book villains of all time! Plus she was the original Marvel Girl.

    I love Rogue and Poison Ivy (even though she’s from DC) the most, but Jean, Storm, and Mystique are awesome too.

  20. Avatar
    Jessica 04/07/2010 at 9:18 pm #

    Yeah, wheres Cat Woman or Poison Ivy. I’m a Batman fan, but still they’re classic.

  21. Avatar
    Elise 04/08/2010 at 9:39 am #

    There’s no Death in this, thus this list is invalid.

    Neil Gaiman knows how to write amazingly strong female characters, and Death is one of his best and widely popular ones.

  22. Avatar
    Francesca 04/08/2010 at 10:36 am #

    Sailor Moon ruled my childhood as the dubbed cartoon, then became a huge part of my high school career when I discovered the original manga.

    Also, Buffy has been a pretty wicked comic heroine for quite some time; I mean, not only does she fight vampires, but she can FLY now. Tre awesome.

  23. Avatar
    EmilyKennedy 04/08/2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Woo hoo! This is a great post, and I love the comments it’s generating!

  24. Avatar
    Maggie 04/08/2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Jill at the top nailed. Death, Enid, and Marjane all deserve a place. And what about Sally Jupiter from Alan Moore’s Watchmen? She’s wonderful and complex character.

  25. Avatar
    Maya 04/09/2010 at 1:42 am #

    Shadowcat!! Where are all the X-ladies? I think out of all super-heroines, Shadowcat would most likely be the one to actually buy modcloth fun. 🙂

  26. Avatar
    jill 04/09/2010 at 11:16 am #

    @ Maggie — It was a toss-up for me between Sally and Abby (since I already included Evie from V), and Swamp Thing is a sentimental favorite of mine. 🙂

  27. Avatar
    Sarahnargle 04/10/2010 at 1:02 pm #

    Definitely Mademoiselle Marie, the french spy who worked with GI Joe in WWII and eventually had her own comic book series. I have the doll and the Underground Demolition Operations set, which comes with various wigs and outfit changes, spy gadgets, weapons for fighting Nazis, and TNT for those underground demolitions. Stylish and tough, she gave Joe a run for his money, wearing high-heeled boots and fishnet stockings the entire time..

  28. Avatar
    Kebayagirl 04/11/2010 at 5:54 am #

    Thank you thank you thank you for putting my favourite Amazonian Princess as #1!!!

    She’s just THE Best of all, and so inspiring for me. Can’t tell you enough about it.

    And OH HER BOOTS! Her red and white iconic boots. The BEST boots in comicdom ever!

  29. Avatar
    Angela (ModCloth) 04/12/2010 at 1:18 pm #

    I’m wearing my Batgirl shirt today in honor of your post.

  30. Avatar
    Cherokee 04/17/2010 at 7:42 am #

    I so agree with jill on Enid! And what about Cat Woman? Darwyn Cooke has kicked some ass into making Cat Woman a great female comic book character.

  31. Avatar
    Kali 04/21/2010 at 6:49 am #

    Firstly: Buffy. She’s a freakin’ vampire slayer, who still has time to shop! A post-feminist icon to be reckoned with.

    Also, Veronica > Betty. Betty let Archie walk all over her, following him around drooling and offering him anything so that he’d pay attention to her. Veronica knew she didn’t need him.

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