When you think of best superhero friendships who comes to mind? Batman and Superman (or Clark Kent and his pal Jimmy Olsen). Captain America and Bucky Barnes. Power Man and Iron Fist. Everyone knows these dynamic duos, but they all have one thing in common: they’re comprised of two male characters. It makes sense, considering that the majority of comic book superheros are male (despite some recent improvements), that female friendships are few and far between. When women are included, it is usually in a female/male relationship – especially in movies and television, with team-ups like the Flash and Supergirl, and Hawkeye and Black Widow which have become popular more recently.
However, not all hope is lost. There are plenty of strong, supportive female friendships in comics, whether they are between fellow heroes or ordinary people- they just might not be as well-known as some of the others. We have comprised a list of the 15 Best Superhero Female Friendships In Comics so next time the question comes up, you’ll be ready.
15. Lois Lane & Lana Lang
Although they are not superheroes in their own right, Lois Lane and Lana Lang have played an important role in comics for decades. Their friendship with each other and Clark Kent plays an essential role in many of the stories of Superman, especially with his origin story. Lana is Clark’s his high school sweetheart, the girl next door, and one of the few people to know about his secret identity. Lois eventually becomes Clark’s wife and partner, working beside him at The Daily Planet.
Like fellow lassic female comic rivals Betty and Veronica, Lois and Lana’s relationship may begin with a man, but it doesn’t end there. They are supportive of each other, with Lana even encouraging Lois to pursue Clark. Recently the two even teamed up as superheroes themselves, finally, in Superwoman – as part of DC’s Rebirth series. While their team-up didn’t last very long, it gave fans a glimpse of what could be between these two characters and the drove home the fact that they are so much more than love interests.
14. Squirrel Girl & Nancy Whitehead
One of the best parts of Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, is that when she’s not saving the universe from Galactus or Thanos (yeah she did that on her own!), she’s just a regular twenty-something college student. And like many college students, her first and best friend is her roommate Nancy Whitehead. Nancy is pretty cool in her own right. She is a fellow computer engineering student and loves her cat Mew as much as Doreen love squirrels. She figures out Doreen’s secret identity and pretty much thinks it’s the best thing ever that her new roomie is a superhero.
Doreen and Nancy’s relationship is a welcome one because Doreen makes it a point to included her non-superpowered friend in all of her adventures. The two are equals, despite the fact that Doreen sometimes hangs out with the Avengers (who she beat up when they made fun of her other friends).
With Marvel and ABC developing their New Warriors TV show featuring Squirrel Girl, here’s hoping we see this friendship explored even more. Nancy might not be a superhero, but she’s an important character in her own right who needs to be included in Doreen’s story.
13. Katana & Halo
Katana and Halo are both members of the Outsiders, a group of ragtag heroes formed by Batman after he left the Justice League. Katana is Tatsu Yamashiro, the Japanese heroine with the magical sword that captures the souls of her enemies. She won her blade in a duel with the man who killed her family. Halo is a combination of a human named Violet and an organic being known as the Aurakle. She has the power of light energy, including heat beams and the ability to create holograms.
Halo has no memory of her past life when she joins the Outsiders. Katana is the one who cares for her, eventually legally adopting her and treating Halo like a surrogate daughter. They are more than mere friends or teammates; they are family. This relationship does not weaken either character, but makes them stronger because they have something to fight for. Katana puts Halo first, which makes her a formidable foe if anyone tries to cross her or her daughter.
12. Wasp & She-Hulk
Jennifer Walters is exactly the kind of hero you want to be your friend. (You’ll see she appears more than once on this list.) She’s both a superhero and a lawyer, with the same powers as her cousin Bruce Banner. Jennifer is super smart as well as super strong. She doesn’t let any of that stop her from being friends with Janet Van Dyne, aka the Wasp. In the comics, Janet is often portrayed as flighty and self-centered, but the two manage to strike up a friendship anyway.
One of the best parts of their friendship is their ability to have fun together. In a particularly great issue of the 1989 Avengers West Coast Annual, Mark Gruenwald and Amanda Conner had She-Hulk and Wasp play “Rate the Hunks” with the members of the Avengers. Thor and Captain America obviously got 10s, while Quicksilver wasn’t so lucky, scoring only a 4. Sure it’s nice to see strong, powerful women kicking butt in comics, but it’s also nice to show them letting loose and a little having fun sometimes.
11. Spider-Woman & Tigra
Jessica Drew became Spider-Woman after being injected with spider venom as a child to save her life. She befriends Tigra, the feline superhero whose real name is Greer Grant Nelson, when the latter moves to California after leaving her position on the Avengers. Both women are facing tough times. Jessica just discovered her father was murdered and is seeking his killer. Greer is doubting her powers and her place on a superhero team. The two women are kidnapped by the mysterious villain Locksmith, manage to escape, and later form a friendship. Eventually they go on to open a detective agency in San Francisco.
Jessica is also friends with Carol Danvers, aka Ms Marvel (back before she held the title of Captain). It is nice to see that these characters are able to have multiple complex friendships alongside their numerous romantic entanglements. So often female superheroes are defined by the men they are paired with, but Jessica Drew gets to have many strong relationships with fellow heroes throughout her various iterations and stories.
10. Scarlet Witch & Crystal
Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, is a powerful mutant and sorceress. She is a telekinetic with the power to warp reality and change probability. Crystal is an Inhuman with the ability to fly and manipulate the elements. Crystal marries Wanda’s twin brother Pietro, aka Quicksilver, which makes them sister-in-laws. They form a close bond, especially once Crystal and Pietro’s daughter Luna is born. The two women also fight side-by-side as members of the Avengers.
Besides being teammates and relatives by marriage, Scarlet Witch and Crystal also share a deeper connection. Both are characters fighting to separate themselves from the legacies of their families. Wanda is the daughter of the evil mutant and frequent foe of the X-Men, Magneto. Crystal is the sister of the Inhuman Queen Medusa. They both struggle to prove themselves as powerful heroes in their own right.
On the big screen Scarlet Witch will next appear in Avengers: Infinity War played again by Elizabeth Olsen. Isabelle Cornish will bring Crystal to life in the new Marvel and ABC show Inhumans this September. Sadly, while the two properties exist in the same universe, it is unlikely we will see these women sharing a screen anytime soon.
9. Jean Grey & Storm
Jean Grey and Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm, are both mutants and members of the X-Men. Jean is a telekinetic and telepath, while Storm possesses ancestral magic and the ability to control the weather. They are two of the most powerful heroes, not just of the X-Men, but comics in general. Being the two female members of a largely male dominated team, they form a relationship based on mutual respect and understanding. Again, their relationship transcends mere teammate status; they consider each other sisters.
During Jean’s possession by the Phoenix Force, it is her connection to her teammates that helps to tether her. Storm offers support to her struggling friend, including sharing the burden of Jean’s immense powers. Throughout Jean’s trial for her actions as Dark Phoenix, Storm remains steadfast at her friend’s side.
Both women share the experience of having powers that are unpredictable and hard to control. Both are outsiders from society in their own way as well; Jean because of the evil force inside of her and Storm for her visibility as an African-American woamn. There is a level of understanding they have that goes beyond that of just having mutant abilities. If the story of the next X-Men film really is about the Dark Phoenix as rumored, hopefully we will get to see this relationship grow on screen.
8. Barbara Gordon/Batgirl & Dinah Lance/Black Canary
Barbara Gordon and Dinah Lance, aka Batgirl/Oracle and Black Canary respectively, have been teaming up since the early 1990’s as founding members of the Birds of Prey. The two women have a complex relationship. The characters were created as foils to each other, with passionate and idealistic Dinah contrasting with the more practical and by-the-books Barbara. Each has something the other does not, which is what makes them such great teammates and friends.
In DC’s Rebirth, Batgirl and Black Canary have their own story once more in Batgirl and Birds of Prey. The two women are brought back together after an absence to work on a case involving Barbara’s old Oracle alias and are joined by Helena Bertinelli’s Huntress. The three women don’t always get along, but they are a team and put each other ahead of any in-fighting. In writing Barbara and Dinah, Julie and Shawna Benson drew on their own relationship as sisters to create a realistic dynamic between the two characters.
With news of a Batgirl film in development, comic fans can only hope to see Barbara and her gal pals fighting side-by-side on the silver screen.
7. Hellcat & She-Hulk
If you need proof that opposites attract, look no further than Patsy Walker and Jennifer Walters. Patsy is Hellcat, a ball of energy and enthusiasm, a hero with super strength, speed, and agility, but one who also doesn’t always have her life in order. Jennifer is She-Hulk, a seasoned law professional and famous superhero, who more often than not spends her time keeping Patsy out of trouble. The two women could not be more different and yet their relationship is what makes Kate Leth and Brittney Williams’ Patsy Walker A.K.A Hellcat series so enjoyable.
Patsy is a character who thrives off her relationships, unlike many brooding male heroes who prefer to go at it alone. Jennifer, her friend Tom, and roommate Ian are all integral parts of Patsy’s story. These relationships do not make Patsy a weak character, though. Her big heart makes her as much of a hero as any of her other abilities. Jennifer is made stronger through her relationship with Patsy. With Hellcat, she has a friend who reminds her to loosen up and have fun. They are a perfect balance for one another.
6. The Runaways
The Runaways are a group of teenage heroes who are bonded together by the discovery that their parents are actually supervillains. The team is comprised of Nico Minoru, team leader and witch; Karolina Dean, who can fly and manipulate energy; Gertrude Yorkes, who has a telepathic connection to her genetically engineered pet dinosaur; Molly Hayes, who is a super-strong mutant; genius Alex Wilder; and inventor Chase Stein. Despite their powers and intelligence, the characters are typical teenagers who fight (and fall in love) like teenagers tend to do.
With the upcoming Runaways show from Hulu it will be interesting to see the relationships develop between the characters. Besides Gert and Nico, the kids do not start out as friends. They are forced to spend time together once a year because of their parents and none of them enjoy it. However, once the truth comes out, they form a ragtag family to replace the adults that have betrayed them. They look after each other – and especially after Molly, who is the group’s youngest member. While they still don’t always get along, they do always have each other’s backs.
5. Misty Knight & Colleen Wing
Misty Knight and Colleen Wing become friends when Misty saves Colleen’s life during a gun battle. Later when Misty loses her arm, it is Colleen who helps her get over the loss. Both women are intelligent and strong as well as gifted martial artists. They are friends with fellow heroes Luke Cage and Danny Rand (who Misty dates in the comics) and even work alongside them as part of Heroes for Hire. Misty and Colleen also go on to open their own detective agency, Nightwing Restorations, eventually earning the nickname “Daughters of the Dragon”.
Misty and Colleen are such beloved characters (and friends) that their appearances in Luke Cage and Iron Fist led to fans clamoring for them to get their own spinoff series. It would not only be a great way to explore these supporting characters, but would give the Netflix Marvel world more shows led by female heroes. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see Simone Missick and Jessica Henwick teaming up together? Here’s hoping for at least a scene between the two characters in the upcoming The Defenders or even in season two of Luke Cage.
4. Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy
While Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy aren’t superheroes, it would be remiss to leave them out of any list of comic gal pals. The two characters first crossed paths in Batman: The Animated Series before transitioning over to the comics in Gotham City Sirens. Since the beginning of their relationship, Poison Ivy has been part of Harley’s journey from Joker sidekick to autonomous anti-hero. It is Ivy who, time and time again, convinces her friend to leave her abusive relationship with the Joker. Ivy’s always there to support Harley when she does.
Harley and Ivy have always maintained a flirty friendship, but it has not been until more recently where their relationship has developed into something romantic. In DC’s Bombshells, as well as Harley’s solo comic as part of Rebirth, the two women are portrayed as officially a couple. After showing the two women supporting each other over the years (and through traumatic circumstances) it is nice to see such a relationship develop.
Fans are hoping Harley and Ivy’s relationship will be featured in the upcoming Gotham City Sirens film. There is no word yet which characters will join Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, but the chances are good that Poison Ivy will be one of them.
3. Hawkeye/Kate Bishop & Ms America Chavez
Kate Bishop is Hawkeye – the other one. She’s an expert markswoman and member of the Young Avengers, alongside America Chavez. America Chavez is a lesbian Latina superhero who goes by the name Ms America. She has the ability to fly and travel through different dimensions and is also nigh-indestructible. The two women meet when Kate saves America, and right away they have chemistry. They’re both strong, intelligent women who initially clash, but quickly become friends after exchanging a couple of one-liners.
Some fans see the potential for their relationship to become romantic, like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn’s. The most important thing is that they support each other. America encourages Kate to make a name for herself as Hawkeye outside of the shadow of Clint Barton. And Kate is always there for America, whether it is to bail her out of trouble or provide her a shoulder to lean on.
2. Jessica Jones & Ms Marvel/Carol Danvers
Fans of Netflix’s Jessica Jones are familiar with Jessica (Krysten Ritter) and her relationship to her friend and adopted sister Patsy Walker (Rachael Taylor), but they may be surprised to learn about a different friendship from the comics. In Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos’ Alias, Jessica is friends with Carol Danvers, who back then went by the name Ms Marvel. Since Marvel planned on giving Carol her own film, she could not show up in a Netflix show and thus the change to Patsy was made.
In the comics, Carol is a steadfast friend who remains by Jessica’s side even when she has pushed everyone else away. Carol is the only one Jessica really talks to, however little, about the trauma she experienced at the hands of Kilgrave. In fact, Carol is the one to save Jessica, snapping her out of the Purple Man’s control. The two have a strong friendship (and shared love of alcohol) which helps to bond them and assists Jessica’s recovery in the long run. Ever the good friend, Carol also helps set Jessica up with Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, which leads to the two dating for a few months.
1. Wonder Woman & Etta Candy
Diana Prince, better known as Wonder Woman, is often ranked as one of the most powerful (female) superheroes of all time so it makes sense that her best friend would be equally awesome woman. Etta Candy is the first woman Wonder Woman meets in “man’s world”, making her a teacher as well as a friend. Etta instructs Diana in the ways of the world, and in turn learns that she can be more than just Steven Trevor’s secretary. The two women complement each other because they are strong in different ways. Etta might not have Diana’s physical strength, but she has intelligence, warmth, and spirit, all of which frequently come in handy. Etta isn’t a demigoddess, but she is able to hold her own alongside Wonder Woman in a fight, even saving her friend’s life on occasion.
With Wonder Woman set to be released in June, Diana and Etta’s friendship will be brought once again to the big screen. Already Etta has stolen the trailers with her funny lines and big personality. For the first female-led superhero film in recent years, it will be important to see not only Diana, but the other women she surrounds herself with, both super and ordinary. It looks like this portrayal will live up to that, as well as continue the legacy of lasting friendship between these two characters.
What’s your favorite female superhero friendship from comics? Let us know in the comments!