“The hammer of justice is unisex.” This great quote is from none other than Batman, and something that couldn’t be more true when it comes to the DC Universe. No matter the gender, villainy is around every corner, in every multiverse. There are some great female villains in DC Comics, and the most iconic deserve the utmost recognition, not that it undermines the plethora of female characters in DC Comics.
These female villains are noted for their dedicated time on the comic pages and the turmoil that they put famous DC heroes in. It takes experience and guts to be an iconic female villain, and these characters are the best of the best for their feats and the legacy that expands with every year in the comics.
UPDATE: 2023/05/15 19:10 EST BY JAKE FILLERY
Updated by Jake Fillery on May 17, 2023
Female DC villains continue to prove as exciting and dangerous adversary to the best DC superheroes. The iconic likes of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman face the best female supervillains of the DC Universe, from government officials to alternate-universe moms. Being a superhero certainly is not easy, especially with the best DC female villains looking for trouble.
With each passing year in the DC Comics continuity, characters both old and new provide the iconic DC heroes with new challenges. Many of the most iconic female DC villains have different powers, abilities, and a mutual desire for chaos and triumph over the heroes.
17 Talia Al Ghul
A true challenge for Batman is Talia al Ghul. Not only is she the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, head of the Demon and user of the Lazarus Pit, but she has all of his finances, skills, battle knowledge, deranged sense of morality, and more. Talia makes herself a great adversary of her fighting abilities and her love for Batman.
What makes Talia al Ghul a compelling villain is her loyalty and hatred to her father, and the fact that she is the mother of Bruce Wayne’s child, Damian Wayne. Talia has cemented herself into the Wayne bloodline with Damian as the heir to Batman and the Demon.
16 Martha Wayne
The Joker is one of the most famous villains of all time. So what happens when The Flash creates an alternate timeline in Flashpoint that turns Martha Wayne into The Joker? What happens, is an iconic villain is born. There’s an immense tragedy in Martha Wayne’s villainy, as she became the Joker after watching Joe Chill murder her son, Bruce Wayne.
Martha Wayne took the Joker-look a step further, by carving a permanent smile into her face by slicing at her cheeks. As the Joker, Martha Wayne became the arch-rival of her husband, Thomas Wayne, who became Batman. It’s an interesting look into the Flashpoint timeline, and a fresh take on the Joker/Batman mythos.
Wonder Woman and the Amazons have their work cut out for them thanks to the sheer hatred and villainy of Circe. Circe is immortal, and has been honing her skills in magical powers for centuries. With Circe unleashed, she wastes no time in transforming innocent people into animal hybrids called the Ani-Men, creating an army of humanoid animals.
Wonder Woman’s love and compassion means that she one day believes that Circe can redeem herself, which makes her villainy a difficult task to manage without killing her. Perhaps one day, Diana will see Circe turn a new leaf, but that day has not yet come, despite cracks in the villainous appearance.
Magic users are often underappreciated in DC Comics, but Enchantress will make people remember just how fearful they should be of magic. Enchantress is a magic-wielding super-villain, and what makes her most interesting is the fact that she is nigh immortal, and uses the innocent woman, June Moone, as a vessel for her great power.
As the host, June Moone is a lovely woman, but when Enchantress breaks out, Earth will pay with its blood for confining her. Enchantress has battled many and has recently seen a lot of fame alongside the Suicide Squad.
13 Amanda Waller
As far as DC villains female go, Amanda Waller is perhaps the one with the most power and grit. Although her power is not physical, that does not stop some iterations of the character from having great combat abilities. Amanda Waller has ultimate government power.
RELATED: Comic Book Characters Who Got Their Powers From The Weirdest Sources
Although Waller may not be strictly a villain, her morality certainly is gray enough to class her as such. Waller does not care which of her agents dies, as they are all assets to her. She even works with and gives plea deals to villains, showing how methodical she is.
Electricity powers have always been iconic when it comes to the superhero format. However, Livewire is one of the few characters that puts that into villainy. Livewire is a powerful enemy that takes the fight to none other than Superman, a metahuman known as Leslie Willis with shocking potential.
With growing powers in Electrokinesis, there’s a lot of potential for Livewire as a villain. Her villain costume is great, and has the essence of an electric rebel. The fact that she can absorb energy also makes her a dangerous opponent, especially in a world completely dependent on electricity.
With only two years of history, Punchline is quickly becoming an iconic villain. Not only in Gotham City but in the DC mythos. Alexis Kaye has had her past explored and continues to be a threat to the Bat Family in Gotham City, through her manipulation of the public, and her sharp mind.
When Harley Quinn broke free from the deranged relationship of Gotham’s iconic villainous coupling of The Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime went solo on his tirade against Batman. That was until the intelligent and obsessive Punchline became the Joker’s new right-hand woman, a new duo to plunge Gotham into chaos.
A villain who battles with Wonder Woman, and lives to tell the tale is an iconic villain indeed. Dr. Barbara Minerva was a British archaeologist, empowered by the plant god Urzkartaga, or cursed, to turn her into a cannibalistic cheetah woman. With an intense speed, strength, and desire for Wonder Woman’s death, Cheetah is a true threat to the DC Universe.
Cheetah has a great intellect, which matches the other powers she has, like strength and durability. However, being a Cheetah comes with its disadvantages, as she certainly must not enjoy the furballs that may arise when she has to groom.
9 Granny Goodness
There have been many “big bad” for the DC Universe over the years. However, perhaps none is more famed than that Darkseid. Some characters live only to serve Darkseid and his army, and one of the most loyal beings in his command is Granny Goodness, a cruel lieutenant, and despot of Apokolips.
RELATED: Superman Characters Who Should Appear In The New DC Universe
Granny Goodness’ might come from the years of devotion to Darkseid, and how she is a capable warrior, despite the deceiving appearance of her age and name. She trains those at the Orphanage and commands the Female Furies, which has seen members like Supergirl and Big Barda.
8 Lady Shiva
Renowned in the DC Universe as the world’s greatest martial artist, and one of the deadliest women to exist, Lady Shiva has been shown as a ruthless villain. What makes Shiva so dangerous, is that she serves only herself, meaning that her interests alone could be a threat to both heroes and villains that get in her way.
One of the many reasons that Shiva is so iconic is not only because of her fighting ability but her daughter, Cassandra Cain. Cassandra Cain became Batgirl and is perhaps one of the few martial artists that could best Batman in a hand-to-hand fight, including her mother.
In more modern times, Catwoman has become quite the anti-hero. She’s been the long-time love interest of Batman, and the two share a rather complicated, and convoluted future. However, what makes Catwoman so special is that she is not defined purely by her relationship with Batman, but by the villainous acts around the world.
Catwoman is in essence, a masterful thief. There isn’t anything she can’t get her hands on. She’s fought heroes and villains and usually comes out on top, richer than before. She’s one of the more complex characters in Batman’s rogue gallery.
Few characters have such a terrible fate of being prophecized to cause ultimate destruction. Grail is the daughter of Darkseid, a title that would intimidate all that Grail comes across. However, Grail is more than just her father’s daughter. Grail even helped stir in motion the events of the Darkseid War, in which she helped the Anti-Monitor declare war on Darkseid.
Even after Darkseid’s death, she was not free from her father and decided to use the newborn Darkseid for her gain. Only Grail can be so cruel and sadistic as to raise her father into an even worse monster than he already was, and to seek the death of all gods.
5 Killer Frost
Killer Frost has made some chilling rounds through the DC Universe. She has battled countless heroes and even joined forces with the Suicide Squad at one time or another. As a scientist, she exhibits great intelligence and harbors intense cryogenic powers that can rival even the coldest of villains.
RELATED: Biggest DC Comics Retcons (That Were For The Best)
In recent years, Killer Frost has reformed into becoming a hero, but her past is far riper for villainy than her present. When Killer Frost was a villain, nothing would stop her cold, cold heart as she battled members of the Justice League with ease.
With the ability to change her size at will, Doris Zuel becomes Giganta, a dangerous villain that has seen her clash with Wonder Woman on multiple occasions. Giganta can be incredibly huge and incredibly strong, all thanks to her genius-level intellect that gave her the power to change her size. She should not be underestimated as a gentle giant, especially with her evil motives.
Giganta’s allegiance is to herself, and she has teamed with the Secret Society, S.H.A.D.E., and even A.R.G.U.S. for her own goals as the priority of her agenda. Giganta has a lot of potentials and can be a true threat to any city she decides to treat like an ant farm.
3 Harley Quinn
Starting as a character in Batman: The Animated Series, Harley Quinn was the Joker’s sidekick and has since become a figurehead in the DC Universe, with her comics outliving her appearance in a cartoon. Harley Quinn is a renowned comic character for her evolution, with years of villainy behind her, she is one of the most ruthless and crazed anti-heroes around.
When she was a villain, Harley Quinn was quite the threat. Many underestimated her due to her whimsical personality, and often quirky insanity. However, she has been quite the menace to not only America but to the world thanks to her time in the Suicide Squad.
Superwoman may have a name reminiscent of the always-good Superman, but she is far from it. Superwoman originates from Earth-3 and brings with her all manners of evil. As a member of the Crime Syndicate, Superwoman is this Earth’s version of Wonder Woman, but far darker, and has the identity of Lois Lane.
Not only is Superwoman’s powers greatly threatening, but her impact on the Prime-Earth that the main DC continuity follows has been sent to reckoning thanks to Superwoman. At one point, she birthed the child to Mazahs, which would later become the new Darkseid.
1 Poison Ivy
As far as villainy goes, Poison Ivy proudly boasts of how good it feels to be bad. What makes Poison Ivy so iconic is her empowerment of femininity. Her motives often always involve the betterment of nature and the Green. In recent years, her environmental crusade has seen a rise of supporters online, but many that understand, lack the realization that she would have them turn to plant food.
There are few tethers to the human world that Poison Ivy loves, like her relationship with Harley Quinn. However, despite the change in morality Harley, Poison Ivy remains a proud villain, who is defined by her power as mother nature, rather than her love or relationships with others.
Who was the first DC female villain? ›
Catwoman, the very first of the female super villains, is Selina Kyle, but in her first appearance, she was known only as "The Cat," and did not appear in costume. Rather, she was at that time a cat burglar and ingenue, the first femme fatale of Batman's superhero career.Who is the most popular DC female? ›
Wonder Woman is no doubt the most iconic female character on this list due to her status as one of the first female characters to ever grace the pages of DC. She is the most popular female comic book character in the world and is right up there with the likes of Superman and Batman as the most iconic characters of DC.Who is the most popular female villain in Batman? ›
Catwoman has been Batman's greatest female villain throughout his entire career. She originally debuted in 1940, created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane.Who is the most op villain in DC? ›
Darkseid is often considered one of the most powerful villains in the DC Universe and is a force of evil so powerful he tends to be treated as the final threat in other media from the DC Animated Universe to the final season of Smallville.Who is the female ice villain in DC? ›
One of the chilliest characters in the DC Universe, Killer Frost has been a villain, an antihero and a hero. First introduced as Crystal Frost, a former student of Professor Martin Stein, she was an adversary for Firestorm until her death.Who is the strongest DC superhero girl? ›
Without question, Wonder Woman is the most powerful DC superheroine in the entire DC universe. She is one third of The Holy Trinity and stands equally next to Batman and Superman.How many female villains are in DC? ›
So far, we have 2,355 female characters who are categorized as Villains.Who is the strongest female hero? ›
Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch)
Wanda Maximoff, later known as Scarlet Witch, is the most powerful female superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She has the power to singlehandedly tackle Thanos and torment Doctor Strange. Wanda, played by Elizabeth Olsen, can manipulate reality and time.
|First appearance||Jungle Comics #2 (Feb. 1940)|
|Created by||Fletcher Hanks (as "Barclay Flagg")|
|Abilities||Superstrength, flight, other unspecified powers|
- Metamorpho. ...
- The Atomic Knight. ...
- Viking Commando. ...
- Detective Chimp. ...
- The Clipper. ...
- Arm-Fall-Off-Boy. ...
- Ragman. ...
- Odd Man.
Who is the best girl for Batman? ›
- 1 Selina Kyle (Catwoman) Unsurprisingly, Batman's most popular love interest is the antihero and occasional villain Catwoman.
- 2 Silver St. Cloud. ...
- 3 Talia Al Ghul. ...
- 4 Julie Madison. ...
- 5 Wonder Woman. ...
- 6 Vicki Vale. ...
- 7 Zatanna. ...
- 8 Andrea Beaumont. ...
Although the character Betty Kane was introduced into publication in 1961 by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff as Bat-Girl, she was replaced by Barbara Gordon in 1967, who later came to be identified as the iconic Batgirl.Who is Batman's number 1 villain? ›
The ultimate Batman villain is a deranged psychopath who acts as more of an agent of chaos than an organised criminal. Also known as the Clown Prince of Crime, the Joker is the arch-enemy of the Dark Knight — one capable of such unthinkable evil that can make even Batman shudder.Who is the least popular DC villain? ›
- 1 The Penguin Is Arguably The Most Disliked Because He Is Useless.
- 2 The Fiddler A Flash Villian Disliked By Many. ...
- 3 Angle Man Is A Villain Without An Angle. ...
- 4 The Prankster Is Not A Fan Favorite. ...
- 5 DC Fans Love To Dislike Poison Ivy. ...
The first supervillain ever to actively battle a superhero on a recurring basis was the Ultra-Humanite, who frequently fought Superman during the Golden Age, and first appeared in Action Comics #13.Who is the weakest DC villain? ›
However, Kiteman has a dimwitted personality, and he can't come up with intelligent plans to outwit caped superheroes, one of the most brilliant superheroes. So, without a doubt, Kiteman is the weakest of all the villains.Who is the deadliest woman in the comics? ›
The Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy
Thanks to being trained by Thanos, Gamora knows just about everything there is to know about combat and killing. She is an expert with any weapon, and even once wielded the Godslayer sword. While working for Thanos, she shared a telepathic link with him.
Summary. The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) is a fictional comic book superhero that appears in books published by Marvel Comics. The character first appeared in X-Men #4 (March 1964) and was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.Who is the female Kryptonian villain? ›
Ursa (Sarah Douglas) is one of the Kryptonian Villains that takes over the world. She appears in both the 1978 film "Superman" and the 1984 film, "Superman II". In "Superman", Ursa is a co-conspirator of General Zod (Terrence Stamp) during his attempt to take control of Krypton.Which DC female can beat Wonder Woman? ›
Supergirl. Supergirl has once beaten Superman and she can definitely give a tough fight to Wonder Woman. She might beat her with her sheer strength itself.
What DC character can beat Wonder Woman? ›
As one of the only mutants who could be more powerful than Scarlet Witch, Jean Grey would also likely be able to beat Wonder Woman. Throughout her years as a character, Jean Grey has only grown more powerful, developing newer abilities as her current ones only grow stronger.Who is the smartest woman in DC comics? ›
- Veronica Cale.
- Natasha Irons.
- Dr. Light (Hoshi)
- Barbara Gordon.
- Poison Ivy.
- Lois Lane.
- Rose Wilson.
- #8: The Devil. ...
- #7: Emma Frost. ...
- #6: Catwoman. ...
- #5: Santanico Pandemonium. “From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996) ...
- #4: Xenia Onatopp. “GoldenEye” (1995) ...
- #3: Amy. “Gone Girl” (2014) ...
- #2: Jennifer Check. “Jennifer's Body” (2009) ...
- #1: Catherine Tramell. “Basic Instinct” (1992)
- 8 Deathbird.
- 7 Enchantress.
- 6 Titania.
- 5 Nebula.
- 4 Hela.
- 3 Dark Phoenix.
- 2 Mystique.
- 1 Madam Hydra.
- Aspen Matthews. Champion.
- Rogue. Runner Up.
- Sara Pezzini. Final Four.
- Wonder Woman. Final Four.
- Poison Ivy. Elite 8.
- Black Widow. Elite 8.
- Jean Grey. Elite 8.
- Caitlin Fairchild. Elite 8.
|First appearance||Wonder Woman #204 (January 1973)|
|Created by||Robert Kanigher (writer), Don Heck (artist)|
A female version of the Joker appeared as part of DC's Tangent Comics line in her own one-shots (Tangent Comics: The Joker #1 in 1997 and Tangent Comics: The Joker's Wild! #1 in 1998). This Joker bore little resemblance to the traditional interpretation of the character and instead was modeled on Duela Dent.Is there a female cyborg in DC? ›
Scarlett Taylor was a government agent who underwent the same transformation as Cyborg, becoming Variant.Who is the female hero in Marvel? ›
Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Gamora, Shuri, and more!Who is the smartest female superhero? ›
Lunelle Lafayette, otherwise known as Moon Girl, is the smartest person in the entire Marvel Universe. She found this out by using the Banner B.O.X., something that is specifically designed for figuring out a person's intelligence level.
Who has better female characters DC or Marvel? ›
DC Has Better Female Characters Than Marvel
She pointed out, "Women read comics, too," and shared how, when it comes to female characters, she feels "like DC has a better variety for that." DC has many strong female superheroes like Wonder Woman and introduced the third female superhero of all time, Supergirl, in 1959.
1 Batman Is The Top Of The Heap
Batman is comics' greatest vigilante, and arguably the most popular American superhero. He's starred in more movies and TV shows than any other superhero, has multiple video games under his utility belt, and is a staple of DC Comics' publishing slate.