Badass ladies of DC Nation

Young Justice - superheroines

With the season finales of both shows this weekend, CartoonClack is looking back at just a few of the awesome female characters featured on ‘Young Justice’ and ‘Green Lantern: The Animated Series’. Is your favorite on the list?


This Saturday morning marks the season finales of both Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series. Since neither show has been renewed as of now, there’s a good chance they will also be the series finales for both shows. Now, there is a strong renewal campaign being led by both fandoms together, so all hope is not lost; but, for this week, I’ve been thinking about how special the shows are. In particular, how special the shows are for featuring several fantastic female characters. These are just a few of the badass women that have made my Saturdays a little brighter.

These are just a few of the badass women that have made my Saturdays a little brighter.

Carol Ferris
Carol has not always been written well throughout her history in the comics, but this might be one of the better versions of the character overall. She’s the first person to have the power of the Star Sapphire ring and be able to give it up. Carol is also the one to revolutionize the concept of love for the Star Sapphires. When Hal is sent back to Earth with no memory of being a Green Lantern, it’s Carol who helps him regain his memory and urges him to go save the universe. More than that, she breaks up with him only when she knows it’s not the right time for them to be together.

Probably best of all is when she’s called back to the Star Sapphires to be their champion for love — one minute she’s in the middle of a business buffet and the next she’s in outer space, called upon to fight Atrocious. And considering the situation, she takes it in stride. What’s great about Carol is that whether she has the ring or doesn’t, she always seems to be a huge part of why the day is saved.

Artemis Crock
Artemis Crock is kind of an anomaly. In comic book canon, she’s an antagonist. In Young Justice, she was brought onto the team out of nowhere with a secret. Since there was a supposed mole on the team, viewers were supposed to wonder if that was Artemis. After all, Artemis came from a family of criminals and assassins, but she wanted to be something better.

Artemis just wanted to be a hero.

She grew stronger as she learned to trust her teammates, but she was always brave. Even when her dad told her that she couldn’t run from her family — that being a villain was in her blood — Artemis just wanted to be a hero. It would have been easy to have Artemis go back and forth between good and evil, self doubt and self confidence; these tropes are used so often and it can get frustrating to see them overused. So it was refreshing to see her go “No, this is what I want. This is who I want to be. I make my own destiny.” It’s a real shame the writers took her out of the hero life in season two, but the sacrifices she made while undercover just shows how strong a person she is. I just wish we could see more of her beyond the season finale.

Iolande is one of the recurring GLTAS characters taken from established Lantern Corp canon. A princess on her home planet, we get to know Iolande over the course of her introductory episode “Heir Apparent” and while some in her court challenge her role as the singular ruler of her people, Hal and the Green Lantern of her sector have confidence in her. And when the lantern ring comes to her, she decides to take on both the responsibilities of the Queen of her people as well as the new Green Lantern for her sector.

Barbara Gordon

It’s never specifically said, but it’s clear that Barbara is the highest ranked non-founding team member.
Out of all the women on the list, Barbara is unfortunately the one with the least character development. My all-time favorite comic book heroine, Batgirl joined the team pre-season 2 but she’s been more or less in the background as far as plot is concerned. However, when she is involved in the episodes, she rocks. In maybe my favorite episode of the season “Before the Dawn,” Barbara leads Alpha team, saves the teens that would later become the Runaways, goes one-on-one with a newly super-powered Shimmer and makes the decision to seal the bioship’s doors, which ultimately stops a wall of water rushing in and drowning everyone on board. And the best part is that Nightwing — her leader — does exactly what she says in the moment because he trusts her judgement. It’s never specifically said, but it’s clear that Barbara is the highest ranked non-founding team member.

Some other Batgirl highlights? Well, she was a huge part of stopping the war world from destroying Earth. When Blue Beetle attacked the team later that episode, Barbara’s first instinct was to push Robin out of harm’s way while she felt the full force of the blast. Her detective work back in “Beneath” was the start of them figuring out the ancient Scarab technology. And if you count the tie-in comic (which I do), she also went toe-to-toe with Match AKA the Superman clone. Even Superboy had a tough time with Match and Barbara still fought him for an hour!

She’s smart, brave and as seen last episode, can knock four ninjas unconscious in a matter of seconds — all without superpowers. As much as I wish they would have given her more character focus, she’s still very badass on the show and I’m so glad she was included.

What better way to round off this list than with Aya. I’ve written about this complex original character earlier this year — how she went from being a bodyless nav computer to a robot who wants to be a Green Lantern to one of the bravest members of the crew. Of course, right after I wrote that piece was when things started going back for Aya. But what’s beautiful about her character is how human she really is; when her heart is broken, all she wants to know from Hal is how she can make the pain go away — how much more human can you get?

And she made the ultimate sacrifice twice. First she put herself in harm’s way to save Razer from the Anti-Monitor. Then she sacrificed her emotions and (with her emotions, everything that’s the fans love about her) so she could save her team. Sure, removing her emotions meant she didn’t have to feel the crippling heartache, but it was still the only way to save her family. And now that she is this cold, cruel mistress of the Manhunters, it only hurts more because the viewers love Aya so much and will make the finale that much harder to watch.

Over the last year, I’ve just been so impressed by both of these shows and how great all their characters are. But the truth is, there are plenty of other great female characters in Green Lantern: The Animated Series and Young Justice — who are your favorites?

Photo Credit: Cartoon Network

2 Comments on “Badass ladies of DC Nation

  1. I noticed that strong renewal campaign is crossed out. I can say that we are trying. We have trended weekly, sent gifts (reach bottles & razaya flowers), letters, bombarded facebook, & all other forms of social media. This has not been met with any response from CN or WB! We are still fighting with plans that continue after the finales. Thank you for mentioning both GLTAS & YJ characters and appreciating the shows. Great Article.

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