10 of The Most Powerful Female Villains in the DC Universe
Not bad, just drawn that way.
CBR released a list of the 20 most powerful villains in the DC Universe, and spoiler alert: It’s all men. I didn’t notice this until I read through the list multiple times; I was just delighted that Darkseid was number one and that Lex Luthor ranked higher than the Joker (Superman villains ftw). Yet once I noticed it, I was like, “Hey, what gives?”
Are there no female villains that are more powerful than Ra’s al Ghul or Gorilla Grodd? This isn’t entirely a knock on the list itself, because honestly, it took me awhile to call some to mind myself. So many female villains end up being anti-heroes, switch sides, or have been either underused or over-sexualized that we sometimes forget how badass some of them are.
So here are 10 of some of the most powerful female villains in the DC Universe, in no particular order, except maybe for #1 and #2. In this roundup, everyone is a badass.
#10. Granny Goodness
She’s the right hand to Darkseid himself and the trainer of the Furies, but she didn’t start out that way. Raised in the “Lowlies” as a member of the brutally-oppressed peasant class, Granny was taken from her parents at a young age to become one of Darkseid’s elite warriors, known as the “Hounds.” Part of their training was to train a dog, who Goodness named Mercy, and then eventually kill it, because of clichés.
However, Granny killed the person who commanded her to do that. When brought before the great Darkseid to explain herself, she said that, by killing the dog, she would have robbed Darkseid of an asset. Mercy would obey her, but would always obey Darkseid first. Testing this out, Darkseid commanded Mercy to kill Granny. Granny killed the dog and graduated with honors. This ability to instill loyalty to Darkseid above all else is what made him pick Granny to run the training facility for his elite soldiers.
#9. Jade Nguyen
After Lady Shiva herself, Jade Nguyen, a.k.a. Cheshire, is one of the deadliest assassins in the world, and if Black Canary says that, you know it’s no joke. Trained in martial arts and many types of poison, Cheshire is as deadly as she is beautiful. While her origins are rooted in the trauma of surviving warfare, growing up around that much death and carnage hardened Jade into a skilled mercenary.
#8. Poison Ivy
Pamela Isley is an eco-terrorist who should get as much respect as Ra’s al Ghul, but she doesn’t, often being dismissed as a seductress, rather than appreciated for her intellectual capabilities and just how vast her powers are. Because of her ability to channel planet life through a force known as “the Green,” Ivy can manipulate and animate plants. All of them. She can bring down skyscrapers with roots and turn a tropical paradise into your worst nightmare. In addition to play manipulation, she is immune to all toxins and can make her own skin toxic to the touch, which she can control at will. Calling her a “crazy plant lady” is a real oversimplification.
#7. Morgaine le Fey
I’m most familiar with Morgaine le Fey from the Justice League Unlimited show, but she has a cool legacy in the comics, as well. Based on the legendary sometimes-heroine, sometimes-villain, sometimes-tea-spiller of Arthurian legend fame, the comic book incarnation is a powerful black magic sorceress. Her spells are able to control even the strongest of supernatural beings. She can warp reality, she’s a nearly immortal being, and she can see into the future and transform people into monsters.
#6. Silver Banshee
Siobhan McDougal was accidentally cursed with the power of a banshee, which, in this universe, isn’t for predicting death, but creating a scream so loud it can cause death. The first time Superman went up against Silver Banshee, he needed to bring Martian Manhunter for backup. Her scream is able to put people into a coma, drive them insane, or just kill them.
In addition, she is immune to the sound powers of others (sorry, Black Canary) and can control other sound waves. She’s apparently even been able to kill someone using their own heartbeat to shatter her victim’s bones. There is also the death stare, which allows her to kill someone with just a stare, but it requires (sometimes) knowing their real name and maintaining eye contact.
Grail is a daughter of Darkseid and an Amazon by the name of Myrina, who gave birth to Grail around the same time Wonder Woman was born in the new timeline. While a new character, Grail is extremely powerful, with the abilities of a New God and an Amazon mixed into one. Her Omega beams are even able to shatter Wonder Woman’s bracelets. Grail has teamed up with the Anti-Monitor to wage war against her father and has even taken down the Justice League single-handedly. Take that, Kalibak.
Despite Suicide Squad not doing a good job of capturing all the things that make Enchantress a great villain, it did make people look and try to figure out who the hell she is. Like Le Fay, Enchantress is a powerful sorceress with god-like abilities to bring back the dead, manipulate reality, and even stop time. She is restricted at times through her possession of the human June Moone, who is her host. Without her host, Enchantress can become unstable and can wreak immense havoc through her ability to summon armies—sometimes just mind control armies, sometimes armies of the dead. Both are a real pain.
Supergirl‘s latest season put this Worldkiller on center stage, and it’s no surprise why she was chosen. Reign is a biological weapon created on Krypton before it was destroyed, using banned science, by Zor-El, father of Supergirl. Great job, dad.
She was one of four Worldkillers Zor-El created only for him to pull a Doctor Frankenstein and regret his creations. She and the other Worldkillers survived Krypton’s end. Reign traveled to Argo City, where she found Kara Zor-El and defeated her. Reign moved on to conquering Earth, but was stopped only when Supergirl was able to harm another one of her soldiers. Reign retreated, but promised Supergirl that she would return and that there were more Worldkillers out there. So … yelp.
#2. Lady Shiva
Sandra Wu-San is a contender for the world’s greatest martial artist in the DC Universe and mother to Batgirl Cassandra Cain. Known as Lady Shiva, she has kicked the ass of some of DC’s greatest heroes, including Batman himself. She was only defeated by Tim Drake because he was using a speed-enhancing drug when they fought. Her skills have allowed her to control her nervous system so she can feel less physical pain and control her bleeding rate. There are very few who can compete with Lady Shiva, and those who do say her name with fear and respect.
One of the first gods of Krypton, Cythonna is the Goddess of Ice who was banished by the other gods of Krypton because she wanted to bring death, darkness, and coldness to the known world. Sounds like haters to me. After Krypton’s destruction, Cythonna broke free of her prison and eventually went to seek out the last light of Rao she could find: Superman.
When she realized (ala Ghostbusters) that he was not a god, but a Kryptonian, she proceeded to beat the crap out of him. Seriously, she slapped him across the face and knocked him out. Superman said, “She possesses a strength beyond anything I’ve ever encountered.” He had to team up with Lex Luther in order to come up with a plan to defeat her, and even that only worked by taking her to the sun and weakening her to his level. Cythonna was then eventually trapped inside the Earth’s core. Totally not dead.
Who are some of your favorite female characters in the DC Universe? Have they been cursed by bad movie adaptations?
(images: DC Comics)
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