10 Most Powerful Female Superheroes, Ranked by Strength


Whether it’s all-powerful alien beings like Superman and Thor, or innovative humans who make the most of their resources like Batman and Iron-Man, superhero stories revolve around God-like characters imbued with immense power defending the world from all manner of threats. While it has taken mainstream live-action cinema a little longer than it should have to realize the female equivalents of these heroes as major characters and even leading protagonists, franchises like the MCU and DCEU have started to give women more of a platform in these roles.

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This has resulted in many starring performances which have become instantly iconic, from Gal Gadot’s portrayal of Wonder Woman in the DCEU to noteworthy figures of the small screen like Tatiana Malsany’s She-Hulk. From the superhuman and supremely strong to those with telekinetic psychics, and even to characters who can control the elements, these heroines rank among the strongest characters in superhero cinema.

10 Shuri

First Appeared in ‘Black Panther’ (2018)

Image via Marvel Studios

Considered by many to be the smartest character in the MCU, Shuri (Letitia Wright) is an innovative engineering genius capable of utilizing Wakanda’s vibranium into a vast array of effective devices. Introduced to the franchise in Black Panther, her intelligence alone made her a figure of great influence in the movies even before she took up the mantle of Black Panther in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

As T’Challa’s (Chadwick Boseman) sister, it was her birthright to succeed him as Wakanda’s ruler and protector. Imbued by the abilities bestowed upon her by the heart-shaped herb that she herself synthetically recreated, Shuri is a hero with enhanced speed, strength, stamina, durability, and reflexes, to be a supremely powerful combination of physical prowess and intellect.

Black Panther
Release Date
February 16, 2018

Director
Ryan Coogler

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
134 minutes

Watch on Disney+

9 Mera

First Appeared in ‘Aquaman’ (2018)

Atlantis warrior Mera stands by a body of water on a rainy night.
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

A prominent character in the Aquaman side of the DCEU, Mera (Amber Heard) has almost always been cast as the sidekick to the titular hero, but there are many fans – of the comic books in particular – who view her as being the most powerful being in Atlantis. Whereas Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa) is half-human, Mera is a pure descendant of Xebel, giving her a complete range of hydrokinetic powers which even include the ability to drain the water from her enemies’ bodies.

While Mera uses these powers intelligently to garner the maximum advantage from them when in conflict, it is worth noting that her Xebelian heritage also gives her many superhuman abilities, while her training in Atlantis makes her a master combatant. In the DCEU alone she has proven to be a powerful and invaluable ally to Aquaman, helping him find the lost Trident of Atlan and aiding him in the battle against King Orm (Patrick Wilson).

Aquaman
Release Date
July 6, 2018

Director
James Wan

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
140

Watch on MAX

8 Storm

First Appeared in ‘X-Men’ (2000)

Storm (Halle Berry) uses her powers in battle.
Image via 20th Century Fox

Not too dissimilar from Mera, Storm has the ability to control natural elements, although instead of having command over the sea, her power resides in her control over the weather. Storm, aka Ororo Munroe, is one of the most powerful and battle-hardened members of the X-Men, having used her abilities to fight off many powerful enemies.

Throughout these many conflicts, Storm has proven herself not only to be an incredibly powerful member of the X-Men and a capable warrior, but a gifted leader as well, imbuing her with an authoritative and commanding presence which has seen her become one of the most consistent members of the team. The character was originally portrayed by Halle Berry in the original X-Menfilms before Alexandra Shipp took over the role, playing a younger version of the character in X-Men: Apocalypseand X-Men: Dark Phoenix.

X-Men
Release Date
July 13, 2000

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
104

Watch on Starz

7 She-Hulk

First Appeared in ‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ (2022-)

She-Hulk looking at something off-camera in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Image via Disney+

Dealing with the aftermath of a blood transfusion from her cousin, Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) is imbued with a similar ability to transform into a giant, green monster. As such, she possesses a sheer physical strength which is matched by few other heroes. However, she also retains her mental presence when her alter-ego takes over, making her less of a rampaging beast and more calculating and composed while being imbued with super strength.

Additionally, Walters is a powerful figure fighting for good without her powers as well, thriving as a smart and successful attorney looking to represent clients who have fallen victim to supervillains. While the character’s series, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, became a contentious entry to the MCU, it did excel at showcasing Walters as one of the MCU’s strongest characters, and one of the most engaging and consistently fun as well.

Watch on Disney+

6 Mighty Thor

First Appeared in ‘Thor’ (2011)

Mighty Thor/Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) stands in New Asgard wearing her superhero suit.
Image via Marvel Studios

Like many other figures in the MCU, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) began the series as an already admirable character, with an internationally respected reputation as a leading astrophysicist and the world’s foremost astronomer. However, it wasn’t until Thor: Love and Thunder that she truly became one of the most powerful characters in the franchise when she was chosen by Mjølnir to become Mighty Thor and work with King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to defend New Asgard.

When taking the form of Mighty Thor, Foster was imbued with all the powers that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) himself had, even the ability to manipulate thunder and lightning. However, the calling came with its pitfalls, taking its toll on Foster’s health as she was already battling cancer, and eventually leading to her demise as she sacrificed herself to save Thor. Due to her heroism, she was welcomed into Valhalla by Heimdall (Idris Elba).

Thor
Release Date
May 6, 2011

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
114 minutes

Watch on Disney+

5 Jean Gray

First Appeared in ‘X-Men’ (2000)

Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) uses her powers in combat.
Image via 20th Century Fox

As one of the original X-Men, Jean Grey is one of the story’s most influential heroines, one with such significant powers that she was even able to overwhelm Charles Xavier when she was unleashed. The most notable story from the comic books to feature Grey was the ‘Dark Phoenix Saga’ which has been adapted to live-action film on two occasions, in 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand (where Famke Janssen portrayed the character) and X-Men: Dark Phoenix (with Sophie Turner in the role).

Both films displayed just how devastating Grey could be, with the X-Men being forced to face their most powerful foe yet when the psychic starts to spiral out of control as she comes into contact with a cosmic power known as the Phoenix Force. Even without the erratic enhancements of the Phoenix Force, Jean is a supremely gifted mutant with her telekinetic and telepathic abilities.

X-Men
Release Date
July 13, 2000

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
104

Watch on Starz

4 Supergirl

First Appeared in ‘Supergirl’ (2015-2021)

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl
Image via The CW

An underrated superhero series, Supergirl thrived within the “Arrowverse” as it focused on the titular heroine portrayed by Melissa Benoist. Running across six seasons, the show follows Kara Zor-El / Kara Danvers / Supergirl on her many exploits in National City as she deals with extra-terrestrial criminals hiding on Earth and stands against the prejudice that their existence stokes from mankind.

As a fellow Kryptonian, Supergirl boasts many of the same superpowers as her younger cousin Superman, including unlimited strength, advanced healing, supervision, and even biological immortality, so long as she remains near a yellow sun which serves as the source of her powers. As such, there are many who view Supergirl to be not only the most powerful character in the DC Universe, but as one of the strongest superheroes of all time.

Supergirl
Release Date
October 26, 2015

Seasons
5

Studio
The CW

Watch on Netflix

3 Captain Marvel

First Appeared in ‘Captain Marvel’ (2019)

Brie Larson as Captain Marvel standing in the desert.
Image via Marvel Studios

Given she’s drawn comparisons to DC’s Superman and been touted as an unstoppable being of pure power, Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) is arguably the strongest character in the MCU and undoubtedly one of the most powerful figures in all superhero entertainment. In the films, she starts out as a U.S. Airforce pilot who gains cosmic powers when she is exposed to the tesseract and acquired further abilities when she became a Kree/human hybrid following a blood transfusion.

In addition to her physical superpowers like her advanced speed and strength, Captain Marvel is also capable of flight and many other cosmic abilities, as well as her advanced combat training from her time in the military. While Danvers made her MCU debut in the 1995-set film Captain Marvel released in 2019, she has already become an integral part of the franchise and will undoubtedly play a significant role in its future.

Captain Marvel
Release Date
March 6, 2019

Director
Anna Boden , Ryan Fleck

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
128

Watch on Disney+

2 Scarlet Witch

First Appeared in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015)

Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Multiverse of Madness
Image via Marvel Studios

The most powerful character in the MCU, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) has functioned as both an invaluable ally and a fearsome antagonist to the Avengers since entering the MCU in Avengers: Age of Ultron. A woman with magical abilities enhanced by the Mind Stone, her ability to manipulate the psychology of those who opposed her was made apparent in her first appearance, and her powers have evolved exponentially as the saga has evolved.

Soon after the events of Avengers: Endgame, a resurrected Maximoff was overcome with grief following Vision’s (Paul Bettany) death, rewriting reality in WandaVisionbefore declaring herself a threat to all existence in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. While she is already one of the most formidable characters in the MCU, the cinematic franchise is still only scratching the surface of her abilities depicted in the comics, and the consequences they bear.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Release Date
May 1, 2015

Director
Joss Whedon

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
141 minutes

Watch on Disney+

1 Wonder Woman

First Appeared in ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ (2016)

Gal Gadot as Diana Prince in Wonder Woman's no mans land scene
Image via Warner Bros

While there have been many female superheroes brought to the screen, from some of the MCU’s most powerful beings to women involved in the X-Men, and even heroines from independent superhero movies, Wonder Woman has maintained her iconic status at the top of the tree with Gal Gadot portraying her in the DCEU. The Amazonian warrior princess derives her power from old Greek Gods and serves as one of the most capable members of the Justice League.

Given her genetic build, she possesses many superhuman abilities as well as immortality, while also being bolstered by many of her advanced weapons and tools like the Sword of Athena, the Lasso of Hestia (aka the Lasso of Truth), and her trusty Amazon Shield. Her origin film, Wonder Woman, was a resounding success, marking a yet-to-be-surpassed highlight of the DCEU and serving as emphatic proof that women belong as protagonists in major superhero blockbusters.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release Date
March 25, 2016

Director
Zack Snyder

Rating
PG-13

Runtime
152 minutes

Watch on MAX

KEEP READING: From Black Canary to Valkyrie: 10 of the Most Underrated and Badass Female Superhero Characters

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