They are the most kick-ass women of comics, heroes all, arranged just for you in one handy dandy list. To simplify things I’ve left off the women of X-Men because of the size of the mini-universe (they really deserve their own list) as well as those anti-heroes and sometimes villain characters such as Catwoman, Emma Frost, the Black Cat, and the Huntress. I’ve also ignored the more fantasy-style characters who don’t quite fit into the super-heroine category such as Red Sonja, Jungle Girl, Sheena, and the like. Well enough of what I’ve left off the list, let’s get to who made the cut starting with…
10. Firestar – This was the hardest spot on the list and many worthy entries such as Elektra, Mary Mavel, Jessica Jones, Hawkgirl, and Zatanna were in the running. In the end however I went with a childhood TV favorite (yeah, I loved me some Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends) who has found a second life in comics. Firestar, originally created for the show, possesses powers similar to the Human Torch, though her fire-creation powers come from her mutant ability to control microwave energy in forms of light and heat. Insert your own hot babe joke here.
9. Black Canary – Dinah Lance is one of the few comic characters I’ve liked in all her reincarnations from the original JSA member, a valuable part of Giffen’s JLI, Green Arrow’s main squeeze, and an important piece of Birds of Prey. She’s had a few hard times as when she lost her sonic scream, and her appearance in Frank Miller’s All-Star Batman and Robin was, um, memorable. Aside from her cry the Canary is an adept hand-to-hand fighter with strong detective and analytic skills. Oh, and did I mention those fishnets!
8. Supergirl – Part Superman, part cheerleader, the character of Supergirl has been revamped and relaunched as much as any in the DCU but has managed to keep coming back (no matter how many times writers try to kill her off). Whether a cousin of Superman, a man-made Synthetic lifeform, clone, a Kara from an alternate reality (see Powergirl), or even the future daughter of the Man of Steel and Lois Lane, Supergirl continues to kick but with a smile, tiny skirt, and great hair.
7. The Black Widow – What’s a list without a spy? And how about one in a skintight jumsuit! The Black Widow was a former Soviet spy who made her way West and eventually became part of the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. Although she possesses no powers Natasha is a world class athlete, gymnast, and expert in several forms of martial arts, and quite deadly with her Widow Sting energy bracelets. She has also been tied romantically to several Marvel heroes including Daredevil. Currently the Widow has a recurring role in the new Captain America as the former and current lover of Bucky Barnes.
6. The Powerpuff Girls – Blossom, Buttercup, and Bubbles. The precious, and precocious, threesome have kept the city of Townsville safe from the likes of Mojo Jojo and Fuzzy Lumpkins for more than a decade. And they’re just so cute!
5. The Invisible Woman – At first glance the Sue Storm is little more than an afterthought. Oh, she can turn invisible… great. However the character has evolved from a love interest and common damsel in distress to a wife, mother, and serious force to be reckoned with. And character has even weathered some pretty harsh times including some sketchy writing, a few ridiculous costumes (see far left image), and one hell of a craptastic film.
4. She-Hulk – She’s been an Avenger, a member of the Fantastic Four, an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a lawyer (okay, three out of four ain’t bad). Tough, smart, gifted with a cunning wit, and a fair bit sexier than Bruce Banner’s alter-ego, the lovely Ms. Walters earns a spot on this list. It may not be easy being green, but looking like that it certainly doesn’t suck.
3. Barbara Gordon – The character has no powers and has spent half her comic career confined to a wheelchair, yet Babs isn’t someone you’d want to mess with. Whether as the original Batgirl or later as Oracle, Ms. Gordon is a fixture in the DCU. She’s even good enough I can forgive her participation in that best-forgotten Birds of Prey TV-show.
2. Wonder Woman – The Amazon has gone through a few changes over her career (including an ill-advised 60’s revamp sans powers). The current incarnation has powers equivalent to Superman and has become on of the three cornerstones of the DCU, along with Supes and Batman. And, hey, any character that can fulfill fantasies of a princess, warrior woman, and dominatrix, all at the same time, deserves a high spot on the list.
1. Jenny Sparks – Okay, I can sense your shock at my placing the chain-smokin’, trash-talkin’, ass-kickin’ Spirit of the 20th Century number one on this list. Answer me this, what other heroine killed God to save the planet Earth? Not a god mind you (like Thor or Loki, or even an omniscient Beyonder), but the God! She’s the only one I can think of, and that earns you some major points in my book. Although the character’s run in comics was short-lived her impact was enormous. For proof just look at how The Authority has continued to flounder after her absence.