It's taken far too long to start seeing superhero gender equality on-screen, with Marvel and DC only just now delivering standalone female superhero movies. There was the amazing Wonder Woman movie, of course, and in 2019 we'll get both that film's sequel and the long-awaited Captain Marvel movie. It's frustrating that it’ll still be a year before we'll get to watch any of these heroes in action, but the good news is there are actually plenty of
streaming movies & TV shows about female heroes and villains already out that you probably haven’t had the opportunity to watch yet.
Even though female superheroes haven’t truly been at the forefront until now, this list of female-focused superhero or villain films and shows is vast and doesn’t reduce women to being accessories in the male superhero’s romantic storyline. The picks range from dark indie superhero flicks like
Super to forgotten childhood movies like Sky High and Up, Up, and Away. There’s something here for everyone, even for those of you who might not be too big on superhero content in general.
There’s also a huge timespan for these films and TV shows, from 1975 to present day, so you can witness the evolution of female superheroes by watching them all. While you wait for all the upcoming lady-centric comic book movies, now is the perfect time to stream these ones you might have missed over the years.
1 'Elektra' Elektra wasn't well-received by fans, but it does feature Jennifer Garner as a superhero, so what's not to love? You can watch it on Amazon. 2 'Batman Returns'
This Batman movie is the perfect reminder of why Catwoman is one of the best villains in the DC universe. Michelle Pfeiffer's iconic role is so good it'll make you want to root for Catwoman instead of Batman. Sadly, the film was recently removed from Netflix, but you can watch it on
Amazon. 3 'Supergirl'
We might not get a Supergirl movie anytime soon, but the TV show fills that void. Besides focusing on the heroine, the show has plenty of female characters who play key roles in the story. You can marathon it on
Netflix. 4 'Super'
If you love
The Office and Ellen Page, you need to watch Super. It's a dark comedy starring Page and Rainn Wilson that isn't your typical superhero movie. Frank (Wilson) decides to become a hero named The Crimson Bolt after his wife leaves him. He enlists the help of his friend Libby, who becomes his sidekick Boltie (Page). Luckily, the movie is on Netflix. 5 'Tank Girl' Tank Girl's graphic novels have a big cult following, but she still remains one of the most obscure superheroes out there. Her story is much darker than that of a regular superhero, delving into substance abuse, anarchy, and her sexual prowess. The film adaptation came out in 1995, and was lauded as one of the first overtly feminist superhero movies. You can watch it on Amazon. 6 'Kick-Ass'
Super, Kick-Ass is another dark superhero action comedy featuring a badass female superhero: Hit Girl. At only 12 years old, Hit Girl is even better at fighting crime than the movie's titular hero. It's recently been removed from Netflix, but you can watch it on Amazon, along with its sequel. 7 'Wonder Woman' (TV Show)
It's impossible to discuss female superhero TV shows and movies without at least mentioning
Wonder Woman, the show that started it all. The '70s classic continues to play an important role in pop culture, showing how empowering female superheroes are for women. Luckily, you can watch it on Amazon. 8 'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
If you're an
Avengers fan and haven't checked out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet, it's about time you do. Not only does the show feature some familiar characters like Phil Coulson, but it also has great roles for plenty of women. Watch it all on Netflix. 9 'Up, Up, And Away'
This is one of the most underrated old school Disney Channel movies and it's time to revisit it. In this one, everyone in Scott's family, including his mom and sister, are superheroes — except him. You can watch it on
Amazon. 10 'Sky High'
Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays a supervillain who pretends to be one of the good guys, wrecking havoc in
Sky High. Danielle Panabaker also plays a feminist, nature-loving superhero who controls plants. You can watch it on Amazon. 11 'Gotham' Gotham includes almost every Batman villain, so naturally it has tons of female baddies on the show, from Poison Ivy to Tigress. Marathon it all on Netflix. 12 'Watchmen' Watchmen comics have a big cult following but the character remains pretty obscure within the DC universe. For those who hadn't read the comics, the 2009 movie introduced a new female superhero: Silk Spectre. Watch it on Amazon. 13 'Zoom'
Sky High, Zoom is a superhero movie directed towards tweens and is a bit more on the silly side than action-focused. In the movie, Captain Zoom (Tim Allen) trains young misfits how to become superheroes, including plenty of girls. Watch it on Amazon. 14 'Arrow'
Arrow is technically about Arrow, but the show also has plenty of female superheroes. There's Black Canary, Speedy, and more. You can catch up on Amazon and The CW's site. 15 'The Flash' The Flash is an Arrow spinoff, but has plenty of female superhero characters as well. One of the main ones is Caitlin Snow, a former hero who grapples with her villainous alter ego Killer Frost. If you want to watch it, Amazon and The CW's site have got you covered. 16 'Legends Of Tomorrow' Legends of Tomorrow is a The Flash and Arrow spinoff with White Canary and Hawkgirl, who play key roles in this supergroup. Watch on The CW's site or on Amazon. 17 'Legion'
If you're still not convinced to watch
Legion, consider this: Aubrey Plaza plays a mutant. Need I say more? Catch up on Hulu.
Now that summer is on its way, it's the perfect time to stay in and watch all of these superhero movies you might've missed.