When Arrow first aired on the CW eight years ago, it set off a chain reaction of DC Comics series known as the Arrowverse created by Greg Berlanti’s production company. Although Arrow is coming to an end with its eighth season, the other five shows are still going strong, or in the case of Batwoman, just getting started.
With a DC show for almost every night of the week, there are plenty of superheroes to cheer for. But heroes aren’t just for the boys. The Arrowverse has lots of ladies that kick butt. Here are the 10 best CW heroines ranked.
By day Kara Danvers is a determined and nerdy journalist seeking the truth. When she can’t seek justice through hard-hitting journalism, she greases the wheel by lending a hand as Supergirl. At first, she appears overpowered, as she is bulletproof, has laser vision that cuts through steel, super strength and super-breath, among other powers. But throughout its five-season run, the series has depicted Kara as a flawed person with vulnerabilities and weaknesses. Sometimes the strongest hero is the one who admits weakness and accepts help.
Thea Queen joined the vigilante family business after years of emotional torment and being lied to. She started as a rebellious teenager who made terrible choices as a coping mechanism but soon grew into a determined young woman with a desire for justice.
Her hero’s journey wasn’t easy as she was influenced by her biological father Malcolm Merlyn and his desire to turn her into his weapon. But Thea wised up and decided who she wanted to be by herself. Her greatest moment of strength happened when she stepped down to take care of herself.
8 Killer Frost
Scientist Caitlin Snow’s alter-ego started as a baddie from another Earth but turned into an asset to Team Flash when the last timeline shift brought her out in this Earth’s Caitlin. At first, Caitlin fought her darker side, afraid of hurting or killing others. But once she embraced Killer Frost the two identities became an unstoppable force of brain and brawn. More importantly, Killer Frost’s character proves that one’s past does not have to define their future. Once Caitlin accepted herself completely, the good and the bad, she became a hero in her own right.
7 Black Star
The daughter of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak, Mia Smoak has a legacy to live up to. Much like her father though, the road to heroism does not come easy. Her complicated family history has left her with rough edges and incapable of trusting others. As the show has played out though, Mia has learned compassion and to be considerate of her comrades. Her anger and surly demeanor don’t make her the most popular among her peers but when it comes down to the wire she gets the job done.
Kate Kane returns to Gotham and picks up the mantle of the Bat her cousin Bruce Wayne left behind when he disappeared. There’s a lot of talk about the CW’s first lesbian superhero front and center on her TV show. But Kate Kane is more than the token queer character. She’s a messy human being battling her inner demons while she takes down the bad guys of Gotham. Before she can save her city, she must first save herself. There’s no doubt that she will succeed in both.
5 Felicity Smoak
Codename Overwatch, Felicity Smoak is a different kind of hero from her romantic partner Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. Being a hero doesn’t always mean fistfights and weaponry skills. Felicity’s heroism comes in the form of intelligence and high-tech computer skills.
She has her team’s back and is the go-to woman for tricky espionage technology. Her shared sense of justice makes her the perfect partner for a team of heroes. Even when she faces hardships, she doesn’t let the obstacles block her path. Felicity Smoak proved that smart is super.
Vixen first appeared in Arrow as Mari McCabe, the granddaughter of the original Vixen, Amaya Jiwe of the Justice Society of America. Whether the talisman is wielded by Mari or Amaya, Vixen is a killer heroine. She channels the power of her ancestors’ connection to animal spirits. She can take the power of flight from an eagle or the strength of a bear. Having that kind of power would go to anyone’s head, but that’s what makes Vixen a hero. She never abuses her gifts and only uses them to protect and save people.
3 Iris West-Allen
Iris West is one of the greatest heroines across the Arrowverse. She isn’t a meta with superpowers. She doesn’t have advanced martial arts or combat skills. She isn’t a master in archery or any other weapons. But despite all this, she holds her own as an integral part of Team Flash. Iris uses her wits and extraordinary organizational skills to keep Team Flash working like a well-oiled machine. She also provides incredible emotional support and insight, which is a highly undervalued skill. Iris West-Allen is the heart of her team.
2 Black Canary
Many have carried the mantle of the Black Canary, from the two Lance sisters to Dinah Drake. Whether her power comes from a sonic collar or a metahuman ability, the Canary Cry is an iconic superpower that makes this heroine a top contender among her peers. All the Canaries have carried a darkness and tragic past that led them down the path of becoming the Black Canary. Ultimately, they all won out over that darkness and became courageous heroes willing to put their lives on the line.
Anissa Pierce, the daughter of Jefferson Pierce, a.k.a. Black Lightning, came into powers of her own to become her father’s sidekick Thunder. She’s a bit of a hothead but her heart is always in the right place. She cares so deeply for her community that she’s willing to do a little bit of wrong for a whole lot of right. Anissa only wants to help and make the world a fairer place for everyone. She has a lot to learn still but she’s proven she’s capable of growth.
NEXT: 10 Arrowverse Characters That Could Return For Crisis On Infinite Earths