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DC's Most Underrated Female Superheroes

When it comes to DC movie adaptations, Batman and Superman have had a monopoly for decades. Lesser-known characters from the comics might have shown up every now and then but the focus was very much on these two male titans of the superhero genre. Things have started to change in recent years, with Warner Bros. giving more attention to heroes who might otherwise have remained forgotten. Films like "Suicide Squad" or "Birds of Prey" and television series such as "Titans" have made little-known characters household names. Yet, there are still plenty that are missing out on their chance to truly shine.

Nowhere is that more true than with DC's female superheroes. Although the likes of Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn have been given an opportunity to achieve new levels of stardom, many female heroes from DC comics have failed to reach their full potential. There's a whole host of great women who are highly effective heroes that Warner Bros. could bring to the screen, finally giving them the recognition that they deserve.

With the DCEU looking to compete with the MCU, these heroic women could be the secret weapon to give the franchise an edge against Marvel's movie empire. Here are DC's most underrated female superheroes.

Donna Troy

Often called Wonder Girl, Donna Troy is a superhero who was introduced into the DC universe back in 1965. However, the Amazon warrior has gone by the names Troia and Darkstar at different times. Hailing from Themyscira like Wonder Woman, Donna Troy actually has a hidden and secretive history, which has been heavily retconned throughout the decades. This has made it hard to pinpoint exactly where she comes from and made it difficult for fans to follow, possibly explaining her lack of popularity compared to her fellow Amazonian.

Primarily, Donna Troy has been associated with the Teen Titans and often shows up in adaptations featuring the group. She also plays an important role in "Titans," where the character made her live-action debut. Like her backstory, the character's powers and abilities have changed quite a lot. A few things that have remained constant, though, are her super strength and speed along with the ability to fly.

The ever changing nature of Donna Troy might have stunted her success somewhat but it could also be a blessing to those wishing to focus adaptations on her. It gives writers many options to choose from when coming up with a story for the superhero and endless possibilities to explore.


Hawkgirl is a superhero who has served in the Justice Society of America, Justice League, and even the Birds of Prey. Often partnering with Hawkman and Zatanna, she is a formidable warrior who uses gravity-defying Nth metal wings to fly and wields a huge magical mace. Her ultimate goal is to protect Earth from potential threats and she is seen as a ferocious fighter who can turn the tide of battle.

Unfortunately, Hawkgirl has largely been neglected by DC when it comes to live-action adaptations. Almost all of her appearances have come in animated form, although she did have brief appearances in "Stargirl" and "The Flash." This is likely a result of her muddled history. Different origin stories have her come from both ancient Egypt and the planet Thanagar. There are even three different characters who have taken on the mantle of Hawkgirl since her introduction in 1940.

Even with those conflicting beginnings, Hawkgirl has a rich history that is just begging to be explored. Potential movies could focus on her early life thousands of years ago or have the female hero fighting evil in modern times alongside other popular characters from DC comics.


Created by Gerry Conway and Bob Oksnerm, Vixen is a superhero who was first introduced in 1981. Thanks to the fact that she holds the Tantu Totem, a magical necklace she inherited from her family, Mari McCabe is able to take on the attributes of any animal. When her parents are killed, she dedicates her life to protecting all innocent life, whether it be human or animal.

This gift gives Vixen an almost endless amount of powers. She can quite literally draw upon any ability that living creatures possess, even those from the past and future. Vixen can swim and breathe underwater by inhabiting the spirit of a fish or fly through the air like a bird. She has demonstrated more diverse abilities, such as being able to lift many times her own body weight like certain bugs and the bioluminescence of fireflies and some fish.

Vixen has appeared in several television series, such as "Arrow" and "The Flash," alongside being a regular in "Legends of Tomorrow." But the character warrants more significant roles and possibly even a movie to fully dive into everything that she can do.


Multiple individuals have held the title of Huntress in the history of DC comics, although the best known is undoubtedly Helena Bertinelli. The character was initially portrayed as a supervillain in earlier incarnations but now fights as a superhero in her current form. Most notably, she is a valued ally of Batman, although he believed that she could be a bit unpredictable and excessively violent to be a permanent member of the Bat-Family. More recently, Huntress has become a member of the superhero group Birds of Prey and starred in the movie alongside Harley Quinn and Black Canary.

Like the Marvel hero Hawkeye, Huntress is a master archer and is rarely seen without her signature crossbows. She is also a martial arts expert and is skilled in a number of styles, including Muay Thai and Kung Fu. Meanwhile, her past connection to the mob gives her a deep insight into the way criminals think, further enhancing her already formidable investigation abilities.

There are plenty of interesting storylines that solo films could follow. After all, she has crossed paths with many popular heroes, such as Dick Grayson and Time Drake, and worked directly under Superman and Batman. Her tragic origin could also be explored, with the hero attempting to avenge her murdered family.


Courtney Elizabeth Whitmore, otherwise known by her superhero title Stargirl, is a character who was created in 1999 by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder. Wielding a weapon called the Cosmic Staff, she turned to a life of fighting crime after discovering that her stepfather had once been a superhero. The pair joined forces and she took up the mantle of the Star-Spangled Kid before adopting the name Stargirl. She would later join the Justice Society of America and prove a match for many of the established heroes in the group in spite of her young age.

What makes Stargirl such an interesting character is that she derives almost all of her powers from the Cosmic Staff and the Cosmic Converter Belt. These give her enhanced strength and speed, along with the ability to fire shooting stars and manipulate cosmic energy so that she can fly. The character is also rather remiss when it comes to keeping her secret identity a secret. This could be used to set up some very intriguing and fun storylines that would make for great television or movies.


Making her debut in 1993, Rocket is one of the more recent female superheroes. Created by Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan, she acts as the sidekick of the powerful alien being known as Icon. Despite this, she is actually the main protagonist in stories featuring the character and is the person responsible for convincing Icon to use his alien technology and abilities to fight evil.

Rocket does not possess any superpowers of her own and instead uses the inertia belt given to her by Icon to use a variety of powers. These include the ability to manipulate kinetic energy, enhancing her strength and providing a defensive force field to protect her. Combined with her natural quick reflexes and agility, this makes Rocket a hero who can certainly hold her own but is far from invincible.

Largely ignored by most DC media, Rocket has only been adapted regularly in the "Young Justice" series. Hopefully, someone will change that and ensure that the superhero appears more often. After all, she is a fairly unique individual in the way she operates with Icon but is the main character.

Black Canary

Black Canary is actually one of DC's earliest female superheroes, making her debut back in 1947. Originally the alter ego of Dinah Drake, her history was heavily revised during the events of "Crisis on Infinite Earths." She became Dinah Laurel Lance, inheriting the title of Black Canary from her mother. Appearing in many stories featuring team-ups such as "Justice Society of America" and "Justice League of America," where she put her skills to great use. The character has also been heavily associated with Green Arrow over the years and strongly linked with Gotham and the Bat-Family.

In the DC universe, Black Canary can easily be considered one of the best hand-to-hand combatants. This makes her an impressive street-level fighter who is more than capable of tackling villains and thugs, so she would certainly have little trouble matching up with her male counterparts. In fact, she has even been able to come out on top when battling skilled opponents such as Batman. In terms of superpowers, the hero has the canary cry, an ultrasonic scream that can incapacitate or even kill enemies and allow her to fly through the air.

While Black Canary has appeared in "Birds of Prey," "Arrow," and "Smallville" in recent years, she has a rich history that can be further exploited. Expect to see more of the superhero in the future as her popularity begins to grow further.


At first glance, Zatanna might look like little more than a magician but there is a lot more to her. While she does work as a stage magician, Zatanna Zatara is also a superhero who can wield real magic. First appearing in 1964, the character has gone through a few revisions over the years, although her background and origins have changed very little. One thing that has remained constant, though, is the trauma of her early life — abandoned by her own mother and unable to see her father due to a curse placed on her.

Possibly the most powerful magic user in the DC universe, Zatanna is a master of spells and cosmic abilities. Comparable to the likes of Doctor Fate and John Constantine, she can wield a number of powers, ranging from teleportation to manipulating elements or minds. This has made her a valuable addition to both the Justice League and the Justice League Dark, with her being one of the few people to be a member of both groups.

Zatanna has undoubtedly seen her popularity rise in recent times, yet there is scope for further growth in the future. With so many different stories from the comics available to adapt, there should certainly have been a Zatanna movie already and more to come after the film that is currently in development.


Raven is perhaps best known for her appearances in the hugely popular "Teen Titans," a group that she helped found. She has also appeared in the television series "Titans" where she was portrayed by Teagan Croft. First appearing in 1980, the animated version of the character proved to be such a hit with fans that the comic version has been altered to match up more closely with her on-screen persona.

The daughter of an actual demon, Raven is an empath, meaning that she can sense other people's emotions and take direct control of her astral form. This can give her the ability to project herself into different locations to see and hear what is happening. The hero can control people as well, forcing them to feel calm in addition to being able to manipulate energy and shadows. On top of that, her demonic ancestry has imbued Raven with the ability to use magic.

With Raven being a powerful superhero in her own right, it would be great to see her on-screen more. Her dark past and struggle to keep her demonic side in check could make for compelling viewing, especially when she has the ability to cause so much destruction.


Angela Spica, otherwise known as Engineer, is a woman who infused herself with nanomachines. The blood in her body is effectively replaced with a metallic liquid that contains countless microscopic machines. These tiny robots provide Engineer with the ability to coat herself in metal, transform into any shape, and create almost anything at will. The nanomachines have made her effectively invulnerable and able to interface with almost any machine regardless of its complexity.

Engineer is also a member of the Authority, a team put together by Superman to take on jobs the Justice League is not suited for. Composed of hard-nosed and pragmatic superheroes, the group answers only to themselves and isn't under the control of organizations such as the United Nations. Yet, it's a team that has not featured often in DC comics, much like Engineer herself — which is a shame considering how unique and compelling they both are. So there's a lot of potential for Engineer to feature more prominently in live-action adaptations, alongside the Authority, and show exactly what she is capable of on the big screen.


Batgirl is arguably one of the better-known female superheroes within the world of DC comics. Several different characters have taken on the title of Batgirl over the years, including Cassandra Cain, Helena Bertinelli, and Stephanie Brown, although it is Barbara Gordon who is most closely associated with the alter ego. Despite her popularity and success in the comics, there have been very few live-action adaptations featuring Batgirl.

Like her mentor and ally Batman, Batgirl doesn't really have any actual superpowers. She has never let that stop her from being a superhero though. A star athlete, she is more than proficient in many forms of self-defense and is a very capable fighter. But her greatest strengths are in technology and acquiring information. A brilliant hacker, she is able to access computers and electronic devices easily, in addition to being skilled with a wide array of gadgets. When Gordon is the Oracle, she often assists Batman with advice and knowledge.

Demonstrating that she is a survivor who will never give up, Batgirl has faced her fair share of trauma and tragedy. Her story would make for a great solo series or a movie, so let's hope that the upcoming movie does the character justice.


First appearing in "Aquaman" in 1963, Mera is a warrior who is the wife of Aquaman and Queen of Atlantis. While she was originally little more than a romantic interest for her husband, the character has evolved over the years and made her into an intimidating hero. However, it has been difficult to fully shift the initial image that she had in the comics and has led to Mera being seriously underrated for a long time.

As you might expect, Mera shares many of the same powers and qualities as Aquaman. She has superhuman strength and speed as well as the ability to control water with her one-of-a-kind hydrokinetic powers. Still, there are many differences between the two water-based heroes. Mera is much more distrustful of the surface world and doesn't share her lover's sympathy for humans. She also suffers from a nervous breakdown following the death of her son coupled with furious rage.

It is this very distinctive personality that makes Mera such a compelling character and one that deserves to be explored further. At least, she should be given the chance to shine on her own rather than alongside Aquaman.