Wednesday, May 25, 2011
I have always liked strong, independent female characters. Whether in film or TV, OR in comics. I have never cared much for those eye candy, damsel in distress types as they tend to make for stereotyped role models. While Hollywood has sadly gone backward in this area, both TV and comics are replete with powerful, EMPOWERED female characters. From Scully to Buffy…from Starbuck to Nikita, the roster of strong women continues to grow. With that in mind I thought I would offer up a few words each about my personal favorite female comic book characters. In no particular order, here are my top ten.
Power Girl –Not only is she at superman levels with her powers, she is also a natural leader (JSA All-Stars). Karen is gutsy, decisive and smart. She is someone you believe that other very powerful men and women would willingly follow into battle.
On top of saving the world on a regular basis, PG is also the head of her very own company and has friends who DON’T necessarily dress up in spandex. As we all know Karen Starr tends to “stand out” in a crowd and the way she deals with the way the men around her are distracted by her *ahem* assets is funny, charming and surprisingly real in tone. I get a huge kick out of PG because she does come off as a “real” person with all the foibles and pratfalls we are all subject to.
Of all the characters on this list PG would the most fun on talk radio!
Sue Storm – Of all the female characters on this list, I think sue has come the farthest. As originally constructed, the “Invisible Girl” had a pretty wimpy power, spent her time as a) a hostage and b) mooning over Reed. Well Sue of today sure isn’t your daddy’s Invisible Girl. Today she is clearly the most powerful member of the FF AND co-leader along with Reed Richards. Sue has some serious Force Field Mojo that gives pause to all but the most powerful opponents.
On top of THAT Suzie is also wife, mother and mentor to quite the brood. From her two gifted children to DRAGON MAN, Sue Storm is the rock that holds the group together. Reed may be the brains but Sue is the heart and soul of the FF. A remarkable person.
Of all the characters in this list, PG is the one you’d like to go to a comedy club with!
Batwoman – Kate Kane is just plain TOUGH. Physically…mentally. She could give the big bat himself a pretty fair fight. Her personal code of ethics forbade her lying about her sexual orientation even though it effectively ended her military career. She went through some tough times after that but came out on top. She overcame. Together with her dad acting sort like her personal version of Oracle, Batwoman gets the job done efficiently and professionally.
Of all the characters on this list Kate is the one you want to teach you tactics and military theory.
Supergirl – How would you like to slap a big red “S” on your chest and try to live up to the mantle of Superman himself? How hard would THAT be? Now try doing it as a teenaged girl! A teenaged girl from out of town….WAY out of town.
Now I have been a Supergirl fan since the 1960’s so I am not even going to pretend to be unbiased here. But this version of the Girl of Steel shows a wonderful mix of courage and vulnerability. Kara regularly faces challenges that would give her legendary cousin pause. She does this even though she is not sure she will ever live up to Superman’s example. She overcomes even when she’s afraid. Now THAT’S courage.
Of all the characters on this list Kara is probably the most likely to listen attentively to your problems.
Witchblade – Sara Pezzini is Dirty Harry only TOUGHER. Plus HOT. And that’s not even counting her connection to one of the most powerful forces in the universe. She was seriously bad ass BEFORE that. Sara is regarded as one of the best cops on the force, even though her perps more often than not come in various states of disrepair. Pez is completely no nonsense and that INCLUDES her relationship with her (semi?) sentient weapon. As near as anyone can tell Sara is the first keeper of the blade to share even equal control over the relationship. In my opinion her most admirable character trait is her sense of duty. She has often wanted to relinquish the Witchblade and all the weirdness that goes along with it. But she sticks because she knows there is a job to be done and that she is the best person to do it.
Doesn’t matter if she’s happy with it. It’s her job and she does it.
Of all the characters in this list, Pez is probably the one you’d most want to have a beer with.
The Magdalena – I am about the current Magdalena (Patience) here. I LOVE this character. Here we have a direct descendant of Christ himself and the latest in a long line of divinely empowered holy warriors who DOES NOT TRUST THE VATICAN! And with good reason. They see her merely as a weapon while Patience wants a life AND a reason for what she does. She is not content to merely take orders from the church. Patience wants to know WHY she is being aimed at her foes. She sees herself as a person and a warrior, NOT a tool. Talk about conflict. I mean she trusts Vampirella more than the Vatican!
Of all the characters on this list patience is the one I want to get my back in a barroom brawl!
Wonder Woman – Diana inspires. She inspires just by the example she sets every day. Like Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman is so much more than just her powers and skills. She’s one of THE BIG THREE. Other heroes want to live up to her example. At her very best Diana is both Warrior and Diplomat. She is an emissary of peace…just sometimes with a sword.
In comic book history and popular culture Wonder Woman is the very embodiment of female empowerment. Just ask Denny O’Neill what happened when he tried to depower Diana!
He took away Wonder Woman's powers, exiled her from the Amazon community, and set her off,sans costume, into international intrigues with her blind mentor, the dubiously-named I Ching. These changes did not sit well with Wonder Woman's older fans, such as Gloria Steinem.
Of all the characters on this list Diana is the one I’d most likely become tongue tied with!
Catwoman – You can never tell whether or not Selina is a hero or a villain. She IS the best thief in the DCU though. What makes her so appealing to me is how free she is. Selina follows no rules but her own. She goes where she will, does what she wants and loves at her own discretion. Catwoman is also extremely loyal to her friends and those she cares about. She is SO loyal that even though she knows that Bruce Wayne is Batman she has never betrayed that secret.
Of all the characters on this list I would most want Catwoman with me in a fox hole.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Funny, sardonic, super powered, independent AND well dressed? Buffy may just be the coolest hero EVER. Now I won’t talk about Buffy the movie or TV character. Just the comic book hero. What a journey she’s been on! Season Nine has seen her at the head of a Slayer Army, experimenting with her sexuality AND crashing through a mountain whilst having sex with a super powered Angel. Oh and her sister was a centaur and also a Giant. Makes me tired just thinking about it! On a more serious note, Buffy is perhaps as nurturing as Sue Storm. The Scubbies are not just her allies and friends. She sees them as family. When Buffy commits to someone, it’s forever. She even love Faith like a sister, though she’d never admit it.
Of all the characters on this list I would be most likely to invite Buffy to Thanksgiving Dinner.
Oracle – Started out as Batgirl. Shotgunned by the Joker and put in a wheelchair for life and THEN became truly dangerous to criminals as Oracle, hacker supreme. Every time Oracle appears on the comic book page she shows us what true courage is. She is an example of the indomitable spirit that all people are capable of. Plus she is also UBER hot! Barbara single handedly held no Man’s Land together in the early days after the big Quake. She also demonstrates that intellect is a far greater weapon than muscle.
Of all the characters on this list Barbara is the one I would want to coach my little league team!
So that’s my personal top ten. I wanted to squeeze Batgirl in here as I find Stephanie brown one of the most delightful characters in comics but she JUST missed the cut. Make her a solid 10A!
And that’s 30!
Posted by Holmes at 4:40 PM