Rogue can suck the powers, memories and strength from anyone she touches. She’s a staple in most X-Men adaptations as she is well known in thinking of her powers as a curse, very unlike the typical superhero. Rogue’s struggle to accept her mutant powers becomes one of her major narrative arcs, and I am glad to report that in the comics, she finally has fully developed, and controllable, mutant powers.
Storm, apt for her name, can be best described as strong. Storm refuses to take a human life after killing a man attempting to rape her when she was younger, then she wandered the desert on the brink of death, and eventually was seen as a goddess by her tribe in Kenya. And she isn’t just physically strong, her indomitable will can resist the manipulation of powerful telepaths such as Processor X, Jean Grey, and Emma Frost.
I first saw Jean Grey, otherwise known as the Phoenix, in the 1992 TV series simply called X-Men. Iconic for 90’s kids, this was probably our first introduction into comics outside of actually reading comics. But Jean has actually been around since 1963. A staple in the Marvel universe, Jean has undergone multiple reincarnations, transformations, deaths, and revivals that it’s difficult to keep up with her. She was recruited as the only female member of the X-Men as a teenager and has untapped, almost unlimited, power. In the Marvel universe, Jean represents pure determination and resilience in her ability to always return. Always.
Death of the Endless
Death comes from a family called the Endless in the Sandman series, but it is possible that she is the most powerful of her family. Being the personification of Death literal, she is not only omnipresent but also influential enough to strike fear into the Furies. Ironically so, she’s maternal, kind and friendly to the mortals she escorts into the afterlife and is a representation that power doesn’t necessarily mean aggression. Though not known widely in the DCU, I would argue she is the strongest.
Hawkgirl is one of two heroines in this list who came from the Golden Age of comic books. Hawkgirl is a reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Chay-Ara and has centuries of memories and combat knowledge. She is often paired with Hawkman, a reincarnation of Prince Khufu, and love affair relationship has spanned DC comics. But that’s now how I remember her. I remember her from the Justice League animated TV show, in which she’s in love with John Stewart (Green Lantern) for most of the show. I always thought it was cool how Hawkgirl could take out four Green Lantern Corps singlehandedly.
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Wonder Woman, also known as Diana, has only one mission: peace. One of the founding members of The Justice League, Diana is an honest, caring and empathetic leader who seeks the truth and honour in her comrades. But that doesn’t equate to weakness at all—as it was Diana who famously snapped Maxwell Lord’s neck to save Batman and Superman. Her public image was tarnished and Batman and Superman objected to lethal force, but it takes a strong leader to do what you gotta do.
Scarlet Witch, also known as Wanda, has extensive powers that have always made her a formidable foe to anyone. She can warp power around her, send hex bolts of energy, and is excellent in combat. She is an experimented upon mutant who was kidnapped in Serbia with her brother, and is known to suffer from mental illness and PTSD that is directly connected to her powers. She induces pure chaos. I just like her a lot.
There is a reason a Captain Marvel movie is being released on International Women’s Day. The film starts with Vers, a soldier on the planet Kree whose dreams haunt her. Memories of a life before Kree cause her to question who she really is and where she came from, and through a weave of misadventures, sassing a young Nick Fury and pure determination she discovers her true identity. Throughout the film she is told to suppress her emotions, particularly her humour and her anger, and a motif of being knocked down and told not to get up fuels her. Vers becomes, obviously, Captain Marvel by the end of the film and she demonstrates her pure, unfiltered power. She’s a great heroine to admire. Hey, you’re only human.
BRB off to watch Captain Marvel. Happy International Women’s Day!
By Hillary Albertson