It’s true that most comic-books pander to adolescent male fantasies, which is the reason most super-heroines have breasts that could pass off as floatation devices as well. In the early years, super-heroines were carbon copies of their male counterparts (Supergirl, Batgirl, etc.), but with time, super-heroines have evolved to hold their own. While there haven’t been too many super-heroine-centric comic-book films till now, women certainly aren’t ornamental in the movies anymore. A case in point is the new Avengers movie where the women – The Scarlet Witch and The Black Widow – are integral to the plot. Here are 10 of the most powerful super-heroines in comic-book films history (in no particular order):
1. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman, is and will remain, the most enduring super-heroine of all time. A powerful princess who can hold her own against the likes of Superman and Batman, this Amazonian has often been hailed as a feminist icon. Yes, there were some rather cringe-worthy sexist moments, particularly in the TV series featuring Lynda Carter, but more often than not, Wonder Woman has stood tall among the pantheon of super-heroines. And we will soon see her make her live-action, feature film debut when she turns up in Batman VS Superman: Dawn of Justice.
2. The Scarlet Witch
In the original comic series, she’s the daughter of X-Men’s chief antagonist Magneto, and she is a mutant who has the ability to warp reality through magic. In the Avengers version, she is shown to be a complete badass who single-handedly takes down the entire superhero team by messing with their minds! But her true potential has still not been explored because there’s no other superhero, who can warp reality like her.
3. Jean Grey
One of the most popular members of the mutant team the X-Men, Jean Grey is an extremely powerful mutant whose powers include telepathy and telekinesis. She is also an Omega-level mutant, a term used to describe the most powerful of mutants, when she is in her Phoenix form.
4. Catwoman/ Selena Kyle
A thief who turns good (or bad depending on the timeline you are in); Selene Kyle is one of Batman’s greatest allies and villains, and a thoroughly intriguing character in the DC universe. She’s one of the few mainstream superheroines to have a film of her own starring Halle Berry, but the movie itself was so bad that most comic book fans like to pretend it doesn’t exist. But ignoring that particular travesty, Catwoman is an intriguing character whose actions just can’t be predicted. And she was certainly kick-ass in The Dark Knight Rises.
5. The Black Widow/ Natasha Romanoff
Agent Natasha Romanoff used to be a femme fatale assassin for the KGB but in time she defected and became an integral member of the superhero team The Avengers. She has had more screen-time in films than any other superheroine and is portrayed as a hard-as-nails assassin who more than holds her own against the big boys.
6. Captain Marvel/ Carol Danvers
She is going to become the first superheroine to get her own movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when Captain Marvel comes out. In the comics, Danvers is a talented pilot who ‘gets’ special powers which include superhuman strength, endurance stamina, flight and near invulnerability. In fact, comic book writer Chris Claremont, who’s often credited for creating strong female characters describes Ms Marvel saying:
“Can you not have a woman who is ruthless and capable and courageous and articulate and intelligent and all the other buzz-words—heroic when the need arises, and yet feminine and gentle and compassionate, at others? That was what I tried to do with Ms. Marvel. I tried to create a character who had all the attributes that made her a top-secret agent yet at the same time was a compassionate, warm, humorous, witty, intelligent, attractive woman.”
The Guardians of the Galaxy was a hoot and a half, and one of the most enduring characters from that particular movie was Gamora – the mad titan Thanos’s adopted daughter. Known as the deadliest woman in the galaxy, Gamora turns against her adopted father and becomes an integral member of the Guardians.
One of the few super-heroines comic book characters to have her own movies, Elektra is a female ninja assassin who is considered one of the greatest creations of comic book artist Frank Miller. The love interest of superhero Daredevil, she is recognisable thanks to her bladed sai which is her trademark weapon. Now she might have not had the best cinematic debut, but her comic book avatar is certainly intriguing.
One of the most prolific members of the X-Men team, Storm is also one of the only mainstream female black characters in comic books. Her basic ability sees her able to manipulate the weather and she even takes the mantle of leader of the X-Men in Cyclops’s absence. In the movies, she is portrayed by Halle Berry and is an integral part of the team.
10. Supergirl – Kara Zor-El
Clark Kent’s cousin from the planet of Krypton, she possesses the same powers as Superman which makes her one of the most powerful heroines in the universe. At times she actually appears more powerful than the original Superman, but the reasoning is that while Clark spent his life trying to control his powers, Kara had no such inhibitions.
However, we wish to see more super-heroines in comic-book films who do not need big busts and curvy outfits, and revealing cleavage – how about them just kicking some ass. What do you think? Did we miss out any of your favourite super-heroines? Do let us know in the comments section.
Featured Image Credit: Black Widow