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Marvel's Most Underrated Female Superheroes

For 14 years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has dominated the box office, creating millions of new comic book fans and breathing new life into hundreds of characters. In the comics and the movies, scores of superheroes have found new levels of popularity and increasingly dedicated fandoms. Former D-listers like the Guardians of the Galaxy have become household names, and even icons like Spider-Man have seen their stardom swell. However, despite Marvel's massive wave of success, the rising tide has not lifted all boats.

In particular, Marvel's deep vein of female superheroes still has several gems yet to be properly unearthed. Whether they've made it to the big screen but haven't reached their full potential, or been absent from the MCU altogether, many of Marvel's most badass female superheroes deserve a brighter spotlight. From mutants to Asgardians to aliens and everything in between, there are a ton of women in the Marvel universe just waiting for the chance to take the largely male-centric industry to new heights.

With the MCU's Phase 4 is looking up in terms of female representation, now is the perfect time to shed light on the characters who deserve it most. To that end, here are Marvel's most underrated female superheroes.

Jane Foster

Jane Foster is one of the strongest characters in Marvel history. She currently serves as the powerful "Valkyrie" and before that was "The Mighty Thor," and yet she's still considered by many to simply be "Thor's girlfriend." Becoming romantically involved with a handsome, muscled God of Thunder is bound to make anyone feel invisible, but Foster faced that challenge head-on. In fact, she may just have overshadowed the hunky hero.

When Thor Odinson found himself unworthy of wielding Mjolnir, the sentient hammer sought out a new, worthy owner. It chose Foster, and she became the new Thor. After all, "Whosoever holds this hammer, if they be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor." As Thor, Foster proved herself every bit as heroic and powerful as the Odinson, and in several ways even more so. While battling terminal stage IV breast cancer, Foster was able to defeat Asgard's greatest enemy, the Almighty Mangog –- a feat Thor Odinson struggled with, even in the best of health.

Even after giving Mjolnir back to Thor, Foster was not finished saving the world. She now carries on as both a doctor and the Valkyrie, saving what souls she can and shepherding to Valhalla those she can't. Luckily, "Thor: Love and Thunder" promises to finally give Foster her due, and writer-director Taika Waititi should make sure it's a big due indeed.


If Alison Blaire, aka Dazzler, were a real person, we daresay that she would be the most iconic woman on Earth. Blaire's day job, or more accurately night job, is as a world-famous pop star. Using her mutant powers which allow her to transduce sound into light and heat, Blaire proves her mutant name true by dazzling audiences with uniquely extravagant laser shows. She's both singer and special effects artist. In between gigs, Blaire operates as a superhero, working at various times as a member of the X-Men, a member of Excalibur, and agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Essentially, Dazzler is what would happen if Lady Gaga spent her free time as John Wick.

Despite the obvious appeal of a Gaga-Wick combo, Dazzler's solo series have been few and far between and her big-screen representation relegated to a few non-speaking minutes at the end of the worst X-Men movie. Though she can count even her fellow Marvel heroes among her fans, Blaire has yet to attain the same real-world appeal. Surely a special agent with the ability to turn Lou Reed into laser blasts is worthy of more film time and fandom.


Though Spider-Man has seen a wealth of screen time, appearing in multiple movies and even multiple cinematic universes, many of the Spider-people that support him still languish in relative obscurity. With Miles Morales also finally standing front and center in movies, video games, and comics, perhaps no other member of the Spider-Verse deserves recognition next than Cindy Moon, aka Silk.

In a lot of ways, Silk is like Spider-Man 2.0. She was bit by the same irradiated spider that bit Peter Parker and developed nearly the same power set, plus a couple of handy upgrades. "Wristy" might be a better descriptor, as Moon's powers include organic web-shooters in her wrists, giving her a distinct advantage over Peter "out-of-web-fluid" Parker. Due to their shared arachnid DNA, Moon also has the ability to sense Parker's presence, at one point even assisting in pinpointing his location in another universe.

As a cherry atop her sundae of superiority, Moon also works as an investigative reporter — a tall step up from the tabloid photography that sustained Parker in his early years. Her work, both in costume and out, has even been impressive enough to garner respect from her famously cantankerous employer: J. Jonah Jameson. On that basis alone, Silk should earn admiration from Spider-fans.


When the X-Men relaunched in 1975 with an all-new, giant-sized roster, one of its most beloved new members was Nightcrawler. He could teleport, his look was original and otherworldly, and his half-demon lineage gave him two planes' worth of storytelling potential. When X-writers added another fresh team of mutants in the form of 2005's "Academy X," the teleporting, otherworldly, half-fairy Pixie didn't capture quite as many hearts. It's too bad, because Pixie, whose real name is Megan Gwynn, is just as fun and fascinating as her older, bluer counterpart and has far more potential in the coming decades.

Unlike Nightcrawler, Gwynn is far from a one-trick pony. In addition to teleportation, Gwynn's powers include flight, emitting hallucinogenic pixie dust, daggers made from her own soul, and most importantly, spell-casting. As a budding sorcerer, Gwynn's potential is almost limitless. During the "Dark Reign" event, she was even considered as a candidate to replace Doctor Strange as the next Sorcerer Supreme. Both mutant and magic, Pixie has a rare place in multiple Marvel arenas and could slot into the MCU in a few different ways.

Though Pixie has mostly been relegated to the kids' table and considered a "Young X-Men" or "New Mutant," her power, personality, and promise are starting to make her too big for her highchair.

Moon Girl

When asked to name the most intelligent person in the Marvel universe, even some of the most diehard fans are bound to answer incorrectly. Many would say Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, or Reed Richards, and they would all be wrong. In fact, the single biggest brain on Marvel's Earth doesn't sit inside the head of any man, or even any adult. That immense intellect belongs to a young girl named Lunella Lafayette, aka Moon Girl, and she also happens to telepathically control a giant, mutant T-rex.

Known as Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, the pair combine an unparalleled amount of brains and brawn to create one of the most unstoppable crime-fighting teams on the planet. And really, when you combine the most brilliant woman on Earth with a giant, fanged terror-lizard, it's hard to find much worthwhile competition. Lafayette's hyper-intelligence is a natural product of her birth and upbringing, but her connection to the dinosaur comes from her Inhuman genes.

Though the Inhumans are a rich and storied cast of characters, their brief foray into the MCU was a notorious flop. Hopefully, the Inhumans will get a second chance at the fame that comes from an MCU feature, and with any luck, fans will get to see Moon Girl and her demonic T-rex on the big screen.


Though Zazie Beetz brought the mutant Domino to life in "Deadpool 2" with a fresh, funny take on her powers of luck manipulation, the character still has a long way to go in terms of breakthrough appeal. Domino has been a staple of "X-Men" and "X-Force" comics since her introduction in the early '90s but has never attained the same solo success as her counterparts Deadpool, Cable, and Wolverine.

Domino, aka Neena Thurman, has the mutant ability to unconsciously alter the probability of events in her immediate area, or in other words: be lucky. While this may sound like an unimpressive ability when compared to eye lasers and weather control, Domino may in fact be the strongest mutant of all. Her luck causes her to almost never miss a shot and never be shot herself, making her potentially the greatest gunslinger in history. In addition, her powers affect her very thoughts, meaning she can take a "lucky guess" and nearly always be right. When guessing someone's thoughts, that makes Domino effectively psychic, and when guessing an answer to any question, that makes her virtually omniscient.

Maybe the number one reason Domino deserves more love is that she is one of the only characters in comics history who allows for a complete suspension of disbelief with her every action. Domino, to whom anything is possible, is a writer's — and therefore a reader's –- dream come true.

Abigail Brand

One absolutely stellar Marvel woman who has yet to appear on either the big or small screen is the half-alien, half-mutant, and all-badass Abigail Brand. She currently runs S.W.O.R.D., the organization that spends its days in space stations orbiting the Earth, protecting the planet from interstellar threats. In a lot of ways, she's the cosmic version of Nick Fury — just as gruff, tough, and cunning, but younger and with better hair.

Like Fury, Brand's main mission in life is the protection of Earth and its citizens. Unlike Fury, however, Brand isn't old, grizzled, and stuck playing puppet-master to stronger heroes. The extent of Brand's superhuman abilities, both from her alien lineage and her mutant gene, are still unknown, but even without them, Brand is a leader by example and a revolutionary. Instead of merely serving the status quo, she ensures Earth's safety by helping its people progress. Recently, Brand elevated humanity's status in galactic society by leading efforts to discover a new metal known as Mysterium and using it to back a new, Earth-centric currency: the "Sol."

With S.W.O.R.D. just recently finding its way into Marvel shows and movies, Brand is the perfect choice to pick up the mantle after Samuel L. Jackson's inevitable departure. Marvel's cinematic future demands a leader who takes absolutely no crap — from humans, mutants, and even super-powered alien emperors.


Like Domino, Tabitha Smith was a member of the hugely popular '90s-era "X-Force." She was also a member of the X-Men, X-Factor, New Mutants, and every other X-team you can think of. Over the years, she's gone by many super-aliases, but she is most commonly known as Boom-Boom. True to her name, Smith makes things go boom in the form of explosive discharges from her fingertips. But unlike a great many other superheroes, Boom-Boom's powers extend past her physical abilities and into her personality. Smith makes her stories pop just as much as she does her enemies, and she is far too often overlooked.

Many of the heroes that rose to prominence in the '90s, especially the mutants, came loaded with swords, guns, and pouches but lacked personality. Boom-Boom helped break the mold by balancing her destructive capabilities with her multi-faceted personality, shielding its intelligent, caring core with a shallow, valley girl veneer. Unlike the "me-kill-ninjas-good" Neanderthals that frequented so many other books at the time, Smith was an actual character. And though she has continued, and even expanded upon, that depth ever since, Smith is still considered by many to be a B-lister. In early 2021, Marvel held a vote among readers to decide the final member of the newest "X-Men" team. Despite her many assets, Boom-Boom finished the voting near the bottom of the 10 nominees, even though she had more personality than the whole batch combined.


In the first "Iron Man" movie, Jeff Bridges' character Obadiah Stane famously screams, "Tony Stark was able to build (his first suit) in a cave! With a box of scraps!" Though that may be true, Stark also had with him a degree in robotics from M.I.T., a lifetime of support, both academically and financially, and years of experience running a weapons manufacturing company. When you put it all together, him building a robot with weapons in it is not quite the miracle some make it out to be. For Riri Williams, however, who built her own power armor at age 15 with only the most minuscule fraction of the resources Stark had, her achievement is indeed miraculous.

Williams' early life was marked by poverty, violence, and tragedy — a far cry from the lavish luxuries of the Stark household. Yet Williams was able to overcome it all, not just surviving through it but thriving despite it. When Stark fell into a coma during the second "Civil War," Williams updated her armor and took over for her fallen hero. As Ironheart, she proved every bit the hero Stark was and by now has more than earned a place of prominence among fans — and, at last, her own TV show.

Kitty Pryde

Though Katherine Pryde was one of the first Marvel superheroes to appear in a major motion picture (with a cameo as early as 2000's "X-Men"), true fans likely noticed that her characterization was a bit off. Even when she finally took on a major role in "X-Men: The Last Stand," portrayed by Elliot Page, she was presented as young, immature, and more of a sidekick than a superhero. In reality, Pryde is anything but a sidekick, and easily one of the comics' most significant leaders.

Pryde did first appear as a teenager, but over her long comics history, she has blossomed into one of the mutants' and Marvel Universe's most powerful women and warriors. Not only has Pryde spent time on most major X-teams, but she is also one of the few mutants trusted to lead them all. Over the past decade, Pryde has served as the headmistress of the X-Men's mutant academy, the leader of the primary "X-Men" team, and even as the Star-Lord –- leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

These days, Pryde leads a new team of mutants known as the Marauders and spends her days beating enemies to a pulp and swilling whiskey. Suffice to say, Kate Pryde has a deep and dramatic history that deserves more recognition and big-screen representation.


In the Marvel Universe, Asgard is home to an entire race of superbeings, the most famous of which are certainly Thor and Loki. But the pair have another sibling who has repeatedly shown them both up, all while representing the Marvel sisterhood and the LGBTQ+ community. Though her birth name is Aldrif Odinsdottir, she goes by Angela.

Angela is unique among Marvel heroes in that she was created for and first appeared in the pages of "Spawn." Following a lengthy legal battle between co-creators Todd McFarlane and Neil Gaiman, she found herself belonging to Marvel, where she was introduced as a long-lost sister of Thor. However, seeing Angela in action makes you more likely to call Thor "Angela's brother" than the other way around.

Angela has all of Thor's strength, Loki's cunning, and Spawn's flair for costume design, and so makes for a consistently entertaining read. Though she has starred in a few short solo series, her big break is yet to come. If and when she does find herself in the MCU and among the Avengers, Angela is likely the last person they will want to underestimate.


If you know the name Laura Kinney, there's a good chance that your awareness comes from 2017's "Logan," in which she is portrayed as a feisty little girl in the care of the titular Canuck. Though Dafne Keen brought the role to life and introduced the name X-23 into the popular lexicon, the truth of Laura Kinney is far greater than "Logan" lets on. Kinney has not been a child named Laura, or even a teenager named X-23, for ages in comic book time. For almost a decade now, she has been known simply as Wolverine.

Kinney is not known as "She-Wolverine" or "Lady Wolverine" –- she is simply the Wolverine. Following the death of the original Wolverine, Kinney took up his mantle, and she has (mostly) kept it ever since. Even when Logan returned to life in true comic book style, he agreed that Kinney deserved the title more than he. Several other mutants agreed with Logan's assessment, and that is one reason why Kinney, and not Logan, is currently a member of the main X-Men team.

Like many women of Marvel, Wolverine still struggles to shake off the perception that she is a child, a sidekick, or a cheap copy, but like all those women, her days of being underrated are numbered.