Top Strong Female Characters From Sci-fi and Fantasy Shows

Once rare, shows with strong female leads have increased significantly over the past couple of decades. Viewers looking for a strong female lead who can kick some major butt can find a plethora of them in the sci-fi genre in particular, where these women are well-represented. From the super skilled to the supernatural, they all had the power to defeat bad guys double their size. Some of these female characters originated from comic books while others became so iconic that they were actually adapted into comics. Here are six of the best female characters from sci-fi television shows.


6 Xena: Warrior Princess

Of course, what kind of list would this be without mentioning a trailblazer of strong female leads, mercenary turned vigilante, Xena: Warrior Princess? Her combat and weaponry skills are so elite they might as well be supernatural. Throw in her mental powers, including telekinesis and astral projection, and Xena becomes an unstoppable force not to be trifled with. Xena literally had the power to kill gods, so it’s no wonder she’s considered an icon and is still a revered character to this day.

5 Supergirl

The only difference between Supergirl and her cousin, Superman, is that she’s a female. And a fierce one. Kara Danvers has speed, freeze breath, heat vision, and all the Kryptonian traits that make them powerful beings on earth. Viewers witnessed Supergirl controlling a plane, using her body to help land it safely when one of its wings catches fire in the sky.

Related: Explained: Supergirl’s Legacy & What Made It a Groundbreaking Show on The CW

In season two she engaged in an epic battle against the Man of Steel himself and ends up defeating him despite their matched powers. Supergirls showed what she was truly capable of, proving her superhero status. This victory alone is enough to place her in the upper echelon of strong female leads in this type of genre.

4 Orphan Black

Once again, another Canadian show ranks high on the list of the female-driven sci-fi shows, proving how skilled they are at creating quality female characters. Orphan Black, a critically acclaimed series, explores the themes of morality and identity involved in human cloning. Talented actress Tatiana Maslany brilliantly portrays almost a dozen clones with varying personalities and strengths, making this arguably the best TV series where an actor plays multiple characters. Sarah Manning is the former resident bad girl and one of two clones that can reproduce, the reason why Dyad is always in hot pursuit of her. Then there is Helena, the Ukrainian clone raised to be a killer, a primal and violent clone who has a remarkable arc throughout the series. These are only two examples of the many other strong women in the series.

3 Lost Girl

Using seduction to manipulate and suck the energy from sexual partners is one heck of a superpower and took some time for Bo (played by Anna Silk) to control in Syfy’s Lost Girl. But once she got the hang of it she was able to safely feed, heal, and use it for good. She even has the power to resurrect people as long as it’s done soon after their death. Among her other powers are speed, strength, and intuitive combat skills.

Bo is a bisexual succubus and part of a supernatural race known as Fae. After she discovers she’s adopted, she goes on a quest to learn about her origins. When she first discovers her powers, Bo unintentionally kills her partners after sexual intercourse with them. However, she eventually vows to help others and starts a detective agency with her human best friend Kenzi, perhaps as her way of finding redemption.

2 Wynonna Earp

Heir to her great-great-grandfather Wyatt Earp’s buntline Peacemaker, Wynonna Earp is tasked with using it to end the family curse. Once she turns 27, Wynonna (played by Melanie Scrofano) inherits Wyatt’s gun-slinging abilities that allow her to shoot revenants with precision and send them back to hell. She alone can wield Peacemaker, the only way to kill her enemies, but Wynonna isn’t helpless without it. Her intense combat training empowers her to take on the bad buys when her gun isn’t at her disposal.

Related: Wynonna Earp: Why the Beloved But Canceled Show Deserves Another Season

It’s no secret that Wynonna Earp used Buffy for inspiration, but the sci-fi western created its own identity that led to its own cult following. However, Wynonna isn’t the only strong female character in the show. Her half-angel sister Waverly can kill simply by touching them, and when she loses her temper, she dons a fierce set of angel wings.

1 Buffy the Vampire Slayer

With every generation, there’s a chosen one and this cheerleader turned vampire slayer was it. An adaptation from a campy early 90s film, Buffy the Vampire Slayer went on to become a cult classic and inspiration for other female-led shows. Eventually, it spurred a popular comic book. Her lack of superpowers in no way hindered her ability to take down her opponents. Her mix of martial arts skills and cheerleading acrobatics were certainly used to her advantage, and with the help of Mr. Pointy, here trusty stake, the bloodsuckers didn’t stand a chance. Not only was Buffy (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar) tasked with protecting the world against terrifying forces of evil, she had to survive something even scarier – high school.

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