The Definitive Guide To The World's Most Powerful Superheroines
Female superheroes are FINALLY taking over the world! The new Supergirl series is out this month, Jessica Jones starts on Netflix in November, AND we have Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel movies to look forward to in the next couple of years. But how well do you know the most pivotal ladies in hero history? This definitive guide will teach you everything you need to know (and make you a little bit super yourself in the process).
Wonder Woman (Princess Diana of Themyscira, AKA Diana Prince)
Who is she?: Just the original superheroine! Diana is originally an Amazon warrior princess from Paradise Island. When she comes to America, she assumes the role of Wonder Woman to take on Nazis and the occasional super villain.
Her powers: Not only is Wonder Woman super strong, but she's got a bunch of amazing Amazon gadgets at her disposal. Her bracelets are indestructible, her tiara makes a great throwing star and her golden lasso forces anyone it ensnares to tell the truth. If you say you've never wanted that power, you're lying.
Why she matters: When Wonder Woman was created in 1941, female superheroes didn't really exist. Not only was she one of the first, but she's still one of THE best. Plus, her origin story was all about rescuing a boy. No damsel in distress here!
Phoenix (Jean Grey, formerly known as Marvel Girl)
Who is she?: Jean Grey is a mutant whose powers are unlocked when her friend is involved in a fatal car crash. After the event, she meets Professor X, who helps her hone her powers and eventually recruits her to join the X-Men.
Her powers: Phoenix has the telekinetic ability to move people and objects with her mind, plus telepathy, allowing her to read thoughts, control minds and even create powerful blasts or energy. Plus, she can talk to animals like dolphins and dogs, which is the only power you need in life, really.
Why she matters: Jean, known then as Marvel Girl, was one of the five original members of the X-Men, which was a HUGE deal back in 1963. Since then, tons of other women have joined the team, but we love that women were part of the ensemble from the very start.
Elastigirl (Helen Parr)
Who is she?: Before superhero activities were banned, Helen fought crime as Elastigirl. 15 years later, when she discovers that her husband has returned to crimefighting and gets caught up in an evil plot, she gets back into the game herself, with the help of her kids, to save him.
Her powers: Elastigirl is super stretchy, which is not only good for reaching things on high shelves, but also transforming her body into helpful objects from parachutes to boats.
Why she matters: It was about time Disney put a female superhero onscreen! But other than that, Helen was an example of a heroine who was also a wife and mom, and we just don't see enough of that type of character.
Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers, formerly Ms. Marvel)
Who is she?: Carol Danvers gets her super powers after an explosion fuses her DNA with the original Captain Marvel, Mar-Vell. In the beginning she calls herself Ms. Marvel, but after Mar-Vell's death, she takes on his name to honor him.
Her powers: Captain Marvel's altered DNA gives her superhuman strength and speed, plus the ability to absorb or fire energy. And in case that wasn't enough, she's also a really great pilot and military leader.
Why she matters: You might not be familiar with Captain Marvel, but she is a BIG deal in the Marvel universe, and she's even getting her own movie in 2018. We seriously can't wait to see her AND Wonder Woman make their silver screen debuts!
Jessica Jones (AKA Jewel, Knightress and Power Woman)
Who is she?: As a kid, Jessica is in involved in a collision with a truck full of radioactive waste. Her family dies in the wreck, but she emerges with with super powers. After the villainous Purple Man uses mind control to have her do his evil bidding, she gives up life as a superhero and becomes a detective.
Her powers: Jessica's accident leaves her with the powers of super strength, flight and invulnerability, but when she gives up life as a superhero, she's also a talented detective and investigative journalist.
Why she matters: Jessica Jones is getting her own Netflix series (it releases in November which is SUPER soon!) and we can't wait to see the way it tackles the story of a superhero who's made the decision to give up being super.
Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
Who is she?: Kamala is a Pakistani American girl from New Jersey. When she discovers her superpowers and learns she's descended from a royal family called the Inhumans, she adopts the name Ms. Marvel from her idol, Carol Danvers, and dedicates her life (the non-school portion, anyway) to fighting crime.
Her powers: Ms. Marvel is a shapeshifter who can stretch and change her body shape at will.
Why she matters: Ms. Marvel is Marvel's first Muslim character to have her own comic book. Sure, she fights supervillains, but her story is also about navigating high school, dealing with prejudice and stereotypes AND coming to accept her own identity. If you're going to pick up any comic book, it should be the first in the Ms. Marvel series.
Black Widow (Natalia Romanova, AKA Natasha Romanoff)
Who is she?: Natasha starts off as a Russian spy and and villain, but over time she changes sides, defecting to the U.S. and eventually becoming an Avenger!
Her powers: Black Widow is a skilled gymnast and martial artist who can get herself out of most situations with just her bare hands. It helps that she's also a weapons specialist with years and years of spy work under her belt.
Why she matters: Black Widow wasn't the first female Avenger, but she's the most famous thanks to her appearances in the Iron Man and Avenger movies. She's proof that you don't have to be a guy to be an amazing superhero on the big screen, and she's paving the way for other female heroes to get movies of their own.
Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green)
Who is she?: Doreen was just 14 when she used her squirrely powers to stage a fake attack on Iron Man, trying to impress him to win a spot as his sidekick. He said no. Later, she rescued him from Doctor Doom with the help of dozens of squirrels, and he STILL didn't let her work for him. Squirrel Girl can't get a break!
Her powers: Squirrel Girl has tons of squirrel-inspired powers, from super speed and agility to strong buck teeth for biting and a powerful tail. Of course, her most important power is her ability to speak squirrel. Her sidekick Monkey Joe (who's a squirrel, not a monkey BTW) is her closest ally.
Why she matters: Squirrel Girl proves that you can be an incredibly silly hero but still kick butt. She was originally introduced for comic relief, but her powers have come in handy on a few occasions in the New Avengers comic series.
Who is she?: Koriand'r is an alien princess from the planet Tamaran. When she escapes the rule of her evil sister and resettles on Earth, her powers make her a formidable addition to the Teen Titans.
Her powers: Starfire's alien powers include the ability to absorb UV rays and turn them into energy. Solar power makes her incredibly strong and also allows her to fly, and her feelings and emotions can make her even MORE powerful.
Why she matters: We love that Starfire's powers are fueled by her emotions. Rather than clouding her judgement, they actually give her strength, both mental and physical, to get the job done. All ladies should know that their emotions are an asset and not a hindrance!
Who is she?: When the last colony of Krypton becomes uninhabitable, Kara is sent to Earth to be raised by her cousin Kal-El, AKA Superman.
Her powers: Coming from Krypton means Supergirl has all of the same powers as her cousin Superman, including flying, super speed, invincibility and x-ray vision, just to name a few.
Why she matters: The Supergirl TV show debuts on CBS later this month (yay!) and so far it looks like it's going to be amazing. Unlike Superman, Supergirl is all about embracing her powers. Plus, the story looks like it's going to be super cute.
If you're an aspiring superhero yourself, get the super look with these amazing hero (and villain)-inspired nail designs!