After the latest season of Game of Thrones came to a thunderous and insane end, many people couldn’t help but notice the feminist turn of power that has taken place. GOT wasn’t the only show or movie to highlight female roles, though; there was also the remake of Ghostbusters staring an all-female cast, a film which got really good reviews and several all-female comedies that had women everywhere in stitches. Add to that the fact that the Wonder Woman movie is coming out next year and that her cameo in Batman vs. Superman was the best part of the entire movie, and you have a tiny, but growing, trend. Women are taking back the big screen (and the small screen but I was going for drama there)!
Here are 15 female comic book characters, heroines and villains, who deserve a second look and maybe even their own movies. Some of them have been completely forgotten by time and shiny new heroines who have stolen our attentions and some of them have been around in one way or another for a very long time. The first just happens to be my personal heroine and the reason I’ve always wanted to name my first born daughter, Scarlett…
I mean, come on, just look at her standing all sexy and strong on the cover of this G.I. JOE comic… It’s no wonder I fell in love with her character as a young girl. First of all, she’s a redhead like me, so there was a kinship, but there was also the fact that she was one of the only women role models available in the comic books my father used to bring every week.
So why do I like her so much, you ask? Easy answer. In a group of strong, overbearing, talented men, she stood out. Despite her sex, she was never treated as a sexual object or belittled. She was one of the elite members of the team and they treated her that way. Even though her name connects her to the whimpering lead in Gone with the Wind, Scarlett surpasses her namesake and makes women proud.
14. Harley Quinn
Bad girl to the bone and as sexy as they come, Harley Quinn takes being a villain to a whole other level! Even though she doesn’t have her own movie coming out, she is reportedly the best thing about the upcoming Suicide Squad movie, which stars some major Hollywood players.
If you don’t know about her origins, here’s a little crash course. Her given name is Harleen Quinzel and she was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. That is, before she was assigned the Joker and fell madly in love with him. Once she was hooked, Harleen took on the persona of Harley Quinn, crazy sidekick, and broke him out of the pen. Together, they rampaged the city.
Obviously she’s a villain, like her boss, but we kind of love her anyway. She’s smart, sexy, and a complete ball buster. It’s not so much a question of why do we love her, as it is how couldn’t we love her!
13. The Black Widow
If there was ever a time for the Black Widow to have the lead in a movie, it’s now. With Scarlett Johansson rocking the seriously sexy and dangerous Black Widow, fans would be lined up in droves to watch her kick some serious behind!
For this one I was basically forced by my comic book geek side to post two pictures of Black Widow; one of the comic and one of Johansson. Looking at her here, do you really wonder why the producers of the franchise cast her in the role? The woman is a complete bombshell with the super intense eyes of a true comic heroine.
While Black Widow might not be getting her own movie anytime soon, you may have noticed her taking front and center a bit more in the latest movie, Age of Ultron, where she’s struck up a pretty awesome romance Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk. Oh and she kicked some serious butt in that movie too. Move over Ironman!
12. Black Canary
While Black Canary might not be getting any leads on the big screen at the moment, she is enjoying a resurrection (hehe get it?) on the CW show Arrow. In this version, the Black Canary is a persona taken on by two sisters, Sara and then Laurel Lance, as they battle against dark forces with the Green Arrow. In the original, Sara didn’t exist and Laurel was only the Black Canary after her mother filled the role before her.
Speaking of the CW version, though, this isn’t the first time the Black Canary has been pulled out of comic book history for television. Back in 2002, the WB produced 13 episodes of a show called Birds of Prey, which incorporated the stories of Huntress, daughter of Cat Woman, Oracle, previously Batgirl, and Black Canary, as they fight back against the Joker in Gotham City after Batman has abandoned the city. The show didn’t last, obviously, and it used Laurel Lance’s mother, Dinah, as Black Canary, which jibes with the comics. Still, it flopped, unfortunately.
You have no idea how much my childhood self is geeking out right now! She-ra, Princess of Power! I loved this heroine, so much so that I have flash backs of playing with her action figure. I even had the horse!
Ok, calm down. The question here is if She-Ra is deserving of her own spotlight on the big screen, to which I yell “YES!” If Gem and the Holograms can star in a movie (which flopped big time by the way because they tried to change it… why change it?!), then She-Ra is ready to make a comeback. Just imagine, electricity crackling through the air as she transforms from timid Princess Adora to the super wicked She-Ra! Oh and He-man could be there too but technically, he already got his movie.
Don’t let the word “girl” fool you, there is nothing childish about Supergirl. There is a whole of cheesy when it comes to the CW version of Supergirl, but that’s what they’re going for and I kind of like it.
It may not be Hollywood, but Supergirl is enjoying the spot light just fine at the moment. The show is one of four DC shows the CW is producing (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow) and its holding its own amongst the big boys.
The premise behind Supergirl is that, although she leaves Krypton at the same time as her cousin, she arrives on Earth when Kal-El is already a man and has to learn how to be her own heroine. In the comic and the show, Kara develops from a young, insecure woman, into a confident heroine with abilities to rival Superman’s. Having said that, she’s like a million times lesser known than the man in red and blue, but that’s changing. She’s coming into her own.
It’s sad really, that Batgirl is always so eclipsed by her more notoriously known male alternate, Batman. As a fighter and computer geek, she’s pretty awesome, but she’s barely heard of outside of comic books.
Batgirl is actually Barbara Gordon, daughter of Commissioner Gordon of Gotham City. Frustrated by the state of the city and knowing Batman needed a bit of back up, she assumed the name, mask, and crazy black costume to fight crime. Did she ever save Batman’s butt? Many times.
So why isn’t she in the latest Batman movies you ask? I can’t really give you an answer to that one but I can say that comic book fans have been calling for her character to make a big screen appearance for years. I think the latest Batman movies would have really benefited from a little less Affleck and a little more of this amazing character.
I have always been a huge fan of mythology, from Greek to Egyptian to Norse, so when I discovered the character Valkyrie I fell in love!
She’s part heroine, part villain but totally against her own will. In her origin story, Samantha Parrington takes on the role of Hulk whisper, much like what Black Widow did in Avengers, The Age of Ultron. She talks him down from the Statue of Liberty and they become friends. This is where it gets interesting though… Samantha gets spelled by the Hulk’s enemy, Enchantress, and gets turned into Brunnhilde the Valkyrie. Now, while Brunnhilde might not strike most of us as the sexiest of names, Valkyrie is definitely a super sexy, super fierce character in the Marvel universe.
Huntress hasn’t had much screen time at all over the years but she has make a few appearances in the TV show Arrow. That show has actually turned up a lot of amazing female comic characters, including two versions of the Black Canary.
There have been a number of different versions of Huntress herself as well but the most well-known is Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a notorious Mafioso. In her different origin stories, Helena either watches her family get murdered, like Bruce Wayne, or gets kidnapped and assaulted by a rival mafia family. Either way, she is trained by a bodyguard and comes back to Gotham as a fighter. Although she sometimes fights with Batman, he doesn’t really see her as an equal, which is frustrating, because she’s awesome.
Huntress also stood front and center in the comic series Birds of Prey and its TV version by the same name that aired for one season in 2002. While she’s made appearances on Arrow, she’s definitely due for a bit of spot light.
While we all know Storm from every single X-Men movie, she hasn’t spent much time front and center… yet. I say “yet” because in the latest movie, X-Men Apocalypse, her younger self was introduced alongside young Cyclops and young Jean Gray. Comic book aficionados across the globe shook with joy and anticipation at the chance to watch these character’s origin stories on the big screen, mainly because it means that we’ll get the chance to see more of them as they grow into their powers and the characters we know them as in the original X-Men movies.
In Apocalypse, she’s actually on the side of the bad guy, for like a millisecond, but it’s only because she thinks he’s the answer to the world’s problems. Storm is a good person, she just needed to find the Professor and the X-Men.
5. Jean Grey
Just like Storm, the character of young Jean Grey is going to be explored in upcoming X-Men movies, which is freaking amazing! Originally played by Famke Janssen, who slayed the role, young Jean Grey is going to be played by Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In the last movie, an alternate time line from the first X-Men movie, Jean is fully aware of her powers, unlike her character in the original movies, in which Professor X has blocked a lot of her abilities for her own good and the good of the world.
This new time line Jean is quiet and withdrawn as a teenager, but you can see the power inside of her in glimpses. Apocalypse did a good job introducing her. Let’s just hope they continue in the same vein and get the amazing Jean Gray right.
4. Silk Spectre
Even though it’s overlooked and underrated, Watchmen is honestly one of my favorite hero movies of all times. It’s so political and deeper thinking than most comic book movies and that’s probably because it comes from a graphic novel as opposed to a serial comic.
Silk Spectre is a twofold character, Sally Jupiter and then her daughter, Laurie, both of whom wear the costume and assume the name. Although they’re related, the two women and their characters could not be more different. While Sally embraced her sexuality and the perception of her as a fighting pin-up girl, Laurie is fierce and feminist in the most revealing and contradictory costume ever made. She’s a bit of a conundrum.
Still, the legacy of Silk Spectre is one of the back stories of the Watchmen movie and novel, when it could have taken a more front and center spot. The original Silk Spectre was a heroine in a time before women’s rights and then her daughter took up the mantle in a different age.
Tigra’s origin story is an interesting and convoluted one but it would make a really cool movie. She started dressing in a super strong cat suit to right a wrong but ended up almost dying then being brought back with a cat soul. She transforms through magic into an ancient race of cat people’s most feared protector, Tigra.
Sound a little like Catwoman? It should, because technically her resuscitation by cat soul is similar to how Catwoman came back to life, but the rest is totally different. First of all, Tigra is physically a cat who is a woman, not a woman pretending she’s a cat. She’s also seriously strong and a fierce defender of her new people.
Tigra does eventually join the Avengers, most of whom even non comic book movie fans know today, she’s never been a name that most fans can remember. Maybe it’s because she’s been out shadowed by Catwoman for all these years or maybe it’s because so few people, other than true fans, actually know she exists.
With the release of last year’s super anticipate movie, Ant Man, people were reintroduced to the heroine the Wasp.
Like a few of the other super heroines in this list, the Wasp is a mother / daughter duo but only in the movie. In the comic, only Janet van Dyne played the Wasp, while her daughter Hope Pym became a super villainess called the Red Queen.
The comic Wasp and her husband, Hank Pym, a.k.a. the original Ant Man, are two of the founding members of the Avengers group, which is why the movie was created. Directors of the Marvel movies are planning on reintroducing them to the Avengers, although at a different time and as different characters than their original personas.
1. Hawk Girl
Hawk Girl is kind of a different heroine. She’s not a mother/daughter character, or a cat soul infested woman, or even a rich girl who grows up to fight crime. She’s an ancient priestess named Chay-Ara who is cursed along with her lover Prince Khufu, to be continuously reincarnated so that her nemesis, an evil and jealous priest named Hath-Set.
Hawk Girl and Hawk Man, Chay-Ara and Khufu, are an inseparable team, that is once they remember who they are and find each other in each reincarnation.
Both characters deserve their own story line, they’ve lived a hundred lifetimes, but they are actually being acknowledged and dragged out of retirement on the CW show Legends of Tomorrow. Hath-Set, now calling himself Vandal Savage, is the big bad and the entire purpose behind putting together a team to time travel and kill him before he destroys the world.
It’s complicated and all hinges on the powers of the alien metal that makes up Hawk Girl’s and Hawk Man’s costumes, but that’s all the more reason to give them their own origin story.