ByJenika Enoch, writer at
I love movies, music, and art. I'm a certified graphic designer and love to be creative as much as humanly possible. @icemyeyes
Jenika Enoch

"The female of the species is more deadly than the male" — Rudyard Kipling

While many comic book fans (or even non-fans) would think the male species is the most dangerous and deadly out of all the comic supervillains, there is a lot of evidence to support the complete opposite. It's very likely that Rudyard Kipling was right by saying women are more deadly than men and we have several examples from multiple comic publishers to prove it. Whether it be seduction, mutant powers, superhuman abilities, magic, or being just plain evil, there are plenty of women within the popular comic book universes that prove to be just as evil, if not more evil, than their male counterparts.

With this list, we will focus on 10 of the best female supervillains. The female supervillains used for this list are exclusive to Marvel Comics and DC Comics, so keep that in mind before assuming a lesser-known character was overlooked. Despite their foes, these women have proven to be ruthless, daring and just as compelling as any male counterpart they might encounter or defeat. Let's get started!

10. Nebula

Publisher: Marvel Comics

We most recently saw Nebula in 2014 with Guardians of the Galaxy, but she has been wreaking havoc within comic universes since 1985. Nebula is basically an alien space pirate. She once even stole the Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos in an attempt to take over the universe and had to be stopped by some of Marvel's most powerful characters such as Doctor Strange, The Silver Surfer, Doctor Doom, Thor, and The Hulk. She's often a main foe of The Avengers and The Silver Surfer.

Nebula is of Luphomoid origins and possesses a superior intellect and athletic abilities. Although she has no superpowers, she uses devices that release energy blasts capable of incinerating a human being. She was also later converted into a cyborg, but that's another story. The origins seem to vary, but it is said that she is related to the major Marvel supervillain, Thanos. We are set to see more of Nebula, played by Karen Gillan, in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 in 2017.

9. Enchantress

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Not to be confused with DC Comic's Enchantress to be seen in Suicide Squad, Amora the Enchantress is Asgard's most powerful sorceress. She is known to use her bewitching powers to attempt to entrap others into her services, often with the help of Skurge the Executioner as her muscle. Enchantress was introduced in 1964 as a means to seduce Thor away from his human companion, Jane Foster. Although she was sent by Odin to seduce Thor and kill Jane Foster, he banishes her and The Executioner to Earth.

In addition to her bewitching nature, she possesses superhuman strength, longevity, speed, stamina, mind control, telepathy, levitation, teleportation, and transmutation (just to name a few). She's also partnered with some pretty wicked Marvel supervillains such as Loki, Baron Zemo, and Doctor Doom. In fact, she joins Baron Zemo's original Masters of Evil group after her banishment to Earth.

8. Elektra

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Everyone loves a female ninja assassin, right? Although Elektra borders on the line between good and evil, she's done enough to warrant a spot on this list. Debuting in 1981, Elektra served as the love of Daredevil's life but not forever. Her merciless ways and overall violent nature eventually split the two apart. Elektra is probably one of the better known comic characters created by Frank Miller.

Her abilities include: enhanced physical attributes, low-level mind control and telepathy, martial arts training, and she's a master with her twin sai swords. She's been featured in film as well as video games. She was first portrayed by Jennifer Garner in 2003, but is more recently played by Elodie Yung in the Netflix series, Daredevil.

7. Cheetah

Publisher: DC Comics

Cheetah debuted back in 1943 and has served as one of Wonder Woman's greatest and most challenging foes. There have been four incarnations of this character throughout the years with different women serving as Cheetah. The current embodiment is Barbara Ann Minerva. Cheetah possesses the physical qualities of the animal both inside and out as gifted by the plant-god, Urzkartaga. This superhuman ability is what gives Cheetah the ability to go head-to-head with Wonder Woman.

Cheetah notoriously covets Wonder Woman's signature golden lasso, although Minerva seems more interested in defeating Wonder Woman in general. She's been featured both in the comic series as well as various television, film, and video game appearances. We have yet to see a live-action version of Cheetah, but with the forthcoming Wonder Woman film along with Justice League, that might change someday.

6. Poison Ivy

Publisher: DC Comics

Poison Ivy is basically a victim of corrupt science gone wrong. Otherwise known as Pamela Isley, her life was severely altered after being tricked into becoming her professor's lab rat for a potentially lethal experiment. Due to an overdose of plant and floral toxins, Poison Ivy has the ability to control and manipulate the plant life around her. Not to mention she has complete immunity to all toxins, poisons, bacteria, and fungi. Oh, I forgot to mention she has the capability to release mind-controlling pheromones and plant-based toxins.

Poison Ivy has given Batman and Gotham a lot of headaches, but she has also been known to do some good from time to time. Even though her intentions are often leaning towards her title as an eco-terrorist, you do have to give her some credit for her protective nature and obsession of botany, endangered species, and environmentalism.

Poison Ivy has been portrayed in live-action and animated film and television and has been portrayed by Uma Thurman and Diane Pershing. She's also recently become a key character in the Suicide Squad comics and is quite close to Harley Quinn.

5. Viper

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Viper is best known as a headmistress in a large sector of Hydra. After all, she was formerly known as Madame Hydra. Debuting in 1969, Viper is easily considered to be one of the most evil women in the Marvel Comics universe. Starting out as an orphaned child in Hungary, she was taken by Hydra and raised by Kraken. Although her only superpower is delayed aging, she is highly skilled in combat tactics, possesses ruthless conviction, and is extremely charismatic. She's also quite lethal with a sword and is immune to most toxins and venom.

She's faced many foes throughout her time in the comic universe, but her main adversaries are Wolverine and Captain America. Her relationship with Wolverine was a focal point of the 2013 film, The Wolverine, and she has a very extensive history with the X-Men.

4. Dark Phoenix

Publisher: Marvel Comics

The Dark Phoenix Saga debuted in 1980 and showed the true power of evil as it took hold of an X-Men founding member: Jean Grey. The power of the Dark Phoenix is unparalleled, as it managed to destroy an entire solar system under Jean's control. Eventually, Jean decides to sacrifice herself to end the Phoenix's reign of terror and its grip on her. However, it must be noted that although Jean Grey is the most popular host, the Dark Phoenix can possess anyone. Just recently, her ex-husband Cyclops was possessed and the event caused The Avengers and the X-Men to go to war.

We saw Jean's power on film with X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand, mostly in the latter. Although it can be debated on how well it was portrayed, seeing the Dark Phoenix story was a special moment for a lot of people as it unleashed the power of this dark entity. If you've seen X-Men: Apocalypse, you have also gotten another taste of what Jean Grey is really capable of.

3. Catwoman

Publisher: DC Comics

Catwoman, also known as Selina Kyle, is a vexing woman who is keen on living life by her rules no matter the consequences. She's definitely not the kind to go on a murderous, bloody rampage. Kyle debuted in 1940 in Batman #1 as The Cat. She started her career as a jewel thief and amassed a lot of wealth by seducing Gotham's wealthy population. A lot of people have started seeing Catwoman as more of an antiheroine in recent years, as she usually starts off as an enemy of Batman but comes to his aid eventually. Even in the Christopher Nolan trilogy, she gets her start as a thief but eventually sides with Batman in an antiheroine role in The Dark Knight Rises.

Catwoman has been portrayed in film and television for decades, starting back in 1968. She's been portrayed over the years by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kitt, Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, Anne Hathaway, and Camren Bicondova. She has no real superpowers but she is an expert burglar and is highly skilled in hand-to-hand combat and gymnastics.

2. Harley Quinn

Publisher: DC Comics

Harley Quinn is perhaps one of the more complex female supervillains ever created despite just being introduced in 1993. Also known as Dr. Harleen Quinzel, she does serve as more of a sidekick to The Joker, but her obsession and destructive behavior isn't what she always was. Initially, Quinzel was an intern psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum who volunteers to observe and analyze The Joker. She quickly falls down the rabbit hole and becomes obsessed with her patient and assists him in escaping Arkham more than once.

Although Harley Quinn doesn't necessarily possess super powers due to a mutation or freak accident, she does have elevated agility, speed, and strength, as well as immunity to toxins, thanks to an antitoxin administered by Poison Ivy. She also can do some decent damage with a mallet or baseball bat. She's been long featured in television and web series, as well as video games and animated films. We are getting our first live-action version of Harley in Suicide Squad this August.

1. Mystique

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Despite what the new X-Men trilogy is leading us to believe, Mystique is the epitome of femme fatale and is quite the supervillain. This shapeshifting super-spy, also known as Raven Darkhölme, was introduced to comic audiences in 1978 and has been nothing but a menace to the X-Men. She's a frequent partner and collaborator with X-Men supervillain, Magneto, and has been a member of the many incarnations of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Aside from her natural talent of seduction, Mystique's powers include mutant shapeshifting, superhuman agility and reflexes, and accelerated healing.

In the comic universe, Mystique has ties to the X-Men as she is the mother of Nightcrawler and Graydon Creed. She's also Rogue's stepmother. Although she is a supervillain, she did briefly serve Professor X as a secret team member. We've seen her in six film adaptations of the X-Men story with the latest being X-Men: Apocalypse. She's been famously portrayed in film by Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence:

Honorable Mentions

Scandal Savage (DC Comics), Lady Deathstrike (Marvel Comics), Star Sapphire (DC Comics), Silver Banshee (DC Comics), Black Cat (Marvel Comics), Granny Goodness (DC Comics)

Who is your favorite female supervillain? Let us know in the comments!


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