Since the inception of comic book movies, their storylines have generally been focused on strong male characters. Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hulk, Thor, Captain America... the list could go on and on.
However, women are finally emerging as more prominent and significant characters, with both the Avengers and X-Men boasting important - if not headlining - female members. The likes of Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman are now set to get their own movies in the coming years.
These female characters aren't just powerful; they're typically extremely sexy. Comic book movies now boast a plethora of gorgeous heroines and supporting characters played by some of Hollywood's hottest women.
The sexiness of these characters isn't simply based on how physically attractive the actress playing them is or was. It's based on things like their character's vibrant personalities and sexy attitudes, their incredible costumes and the authenticity of their performance. So basically, don't expect to see Barb Wire here - there's nothing quite as off-putting as a mainstream film character coming across like a D-list adult entertainment actress.
On that note, here are the ten all-round sexiest female characters in comic book movie history.
10 Gwen Stacy (The Amazing Spider-Man Movies)
Gwen Stacy was played by the beautiful Emma Stone in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man and its 2014 sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Performing opposite her real life boyfriend Andrew Garfield (from whom she has recently "taken a break") - the titular Spider-Man - the pair shared an undeniable chemistry and Stone's performance was brilliant in both movies and was arguably the best thing about the franchise.
9 Sue Storm (Fantastic Four Movies)
The Fantastic Four movies were terrible - make no mistake about it. Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) really did nothing for the comic book movie genre, other than put a dent in its reputation. Very few actors came away from it with their dignity intact (Julian McMahon ruined Doctor Doom for everyone, for example), but Chris Evans and Jessica Alba are two who can say they did.
8 Peggy Carter (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Hayley Atwell's Peggy Carter has appeared in 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier (albeit as an elderly lady), the 2013 Marvel One-Shot Agent Carter and the Agent Carter television series (which, sadly, looks unlikely to be commissioned for a second season as things stand). She is also set to appear in this year's Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man.
7 Catwoman (Batman Returns)
Going back 23 years, Batman Returns was the 1992 sequel to Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie, starring Michael Keaton. After Kim Basinger had played female lead Vicki Vale in the first offering, Michelle Pfeiffer came in as Selina Kyle for the follow-up movie and blew her out of the water in terms of her sexiness.
6 Gamora (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Zoe Saldana's Gamora was one of the key members of the titular team in 2014's space epic Guardians of the Galaxy. Introduced as an assassin and the servant and adoptive daughter of Thanos, Gamora reformed to join the team and turn against her brutal father.
5 Sif (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Jaimie Alexander has played Asgardian warrior Sif in 2011's Thor, 2013's Thor: The Dark World and in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series. She is arguably the outright toughest female character to have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date.
4 Tina Carlyle (The Mask)
The 1994 comic book movie The Mask was a surprise success. The Mask is a relatively obscure comic book series - at least in comparison to Marvel and DC's big names - published by Dark Horse, but Jim Carrey took on the lead role quite brilliantly (really, he was born to play a character who is essentially an insane cartoon).
3 Emma Frost (X-Men: First Class)
Tahyna Tozzi very briefly portrayed a version of Emma Frost in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but it is the more prominent 2011 portrayal of the character by January Jones in X-Men: First Class (essentially a completely different character) who finds herself on this particular list.
2 Mystique (X-Men Movies)
Mystique has the unique advantage of having been played by two gorgeous high-profile actresses, in spite of the fact that they are indeed intended to be the same character (she has, in fact, been played by Morgan Lily as a child as well, but it's the others that this article will focus on). Both Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence have portrayed the shape-shifting mutant across five movies - starting with 2000's X-Men and most recently in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past. Lawrence will play her one more time in next year's X-Men: Apocalypse.
1 Black Widow (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
There is absolutely no doubting the fact that the sexiest female comic book movie character of all time is Scarlett Johansson's Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow. To date, Black Widow has appeared in 2010's Iron Man 2, 2012's The Avengers, 2014's Captain America: The Winter Soldier and this year's Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Her mysterious past makes her strangely endearing and interesting (as well as quite vulnerable), while her obvious good looks, her sultry personality, her shapely figure being enhanced by her tight-fitting outfits and her ability to lay the smackdown on opponents make her an extremely sexy woman - the fact that she can stand out amongst her super-powered Avengers team-mates also makes her cool as hell.
Of course, there are plenty of comic book movies in the pipeline and the likes of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn might have something to say about this list in a couple of years' time.
Which sexy female comic book characters would you like to see brought to life on the big screen? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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