For International Women’s Day I decided to spotlight ten interesting female characters from comics, mainly superhero comics as those are what I’m most familiar with. This list is intended to be ten I find interesting, and I tried to avoid characters that even non-comic readers would already be very familiar with. I figure everybody already has a pretty good idea who Wonder Woman is for example. I tried to include a range of different types, and from different titles. So Julia Kapatelis is a great character, but since I’m including Myndi Mayer from the same Wonder Woman era, I decided to leave her for another time. I’ve also tried to include a range or moral fortitude, so some of the girls/women below are absolutely people to aspire to be, while others are a cautionary tale.
Alley-Kat-Abra: Felina Furr is a feline on Earth-C, a world of anthropomorphic animals. Gaining magical powers from a meteorite fragment, she and others who gained powers through similar means joined together as the Zoo Crew. Alley-Kat-Abra proved to be one of the more serious, level headed members of the team. At one point it appeared that her feline nature brought out the worst in her and she killed teammate Little Cheese. However, the killer proved to be an imposter named Dark Alley, and Alley-Kat-Abra was able to rejoin the team.
Annie: Annie is a Life Model Decoy who through unknown means appears to be fully sentient, aiding and romancing Red Hulk on missions. She is fully aware of the fact that she is a machine but seems to take it fully in stride, even joking about it (“I-am-a-robot”). While created in a lab and not through normal means, and probably not capable of giving birth, she is female in form and self-identifies as such.
Blackthorn: During an invasion of Earth by the Horde, Alice L. Pagrovna, tired of living a life of being unnoticed, agreed to the Mortituri process to fight the aliens, a process that grants members of Strikeforce: Morituri powers with the caveat that the process will kill the volunteers within a year. Aline gained a newfound love of life through her adventures and even became pregnant. Between this pregnancy and another member accidentally “stealing” her death, she was able to survive longer than the usual one year limit.
Dream Girl: A member of the 30th Century Legion of Super-Heroes with precognitive powers, she originally appeared to be more beauty than brains. However, upon becoming leader of the Legion in the middle of the Great Darkness Saga, where the team clashed with Darkseid, a hidden side of her and she proved to be more than up to the task of leading the team, proving there was a lot more to her than her looks.
Jean DeWolff: A tough, no nonsense cop, she nevertheless befriended spider-man during a time when the police distrusted him. She secretly had feelings for him that she hid using her tough exterior. She had a passion for the 1930s, dressing in 1930s clothing and driving a roadster. Her sense of duty never faltered even when her dad, himself a former cop turned bad. Sadly she was murdered by an ex-lover who had become the Sin-Eater.
Myndi Wayer: When the Post-Crisis version of Wonder Woman arrived in the United States, publicist Myndi Mayer decided to become her agent. She and Wonder Women didn’t always agree with her profit motives, but Mayer proved to be quite willing to work with Wonder Woman’s agenda, even if she sometimes pushed it a bit. Her presence forced Wonder Woman to confront her own desire for adoration. Sadly Mayer’s cocaine habit led to an unhappy ending for her, but she managed to at least somewhat win over people with very different values from her own.
Songbird: Screaming Mimi was a minor villain, a member of a group of female wrestlers called the Grapplers, differentiated from the others by her sonic powers. But her stint with the Masters of Evil led her to join other former Masters as the Thunderbolts, villains posing as heroes. As Songbird she found herself enjoying playing the role of hero, to the point when after the truth about the Thunderbolts was exposed, she decided to switch sides and was key to turning the Thunderbolts into a hero group, albeit one filled with reformed super-villains and eventually received a pardon. Now despite her criminal past she is generally trusted by the superhero community.
Spectrum: Harbour patrolwoman Monica Rambeau was bombarded by extra-dimensional energies and became Captain Marvel. Highly capable she soon joined the Avengers and not long after that even became team leader. Circumstances have caused her powers to fluctuate in recent years and she went through a series of new code names after Genis-Vell, son of the previous Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) claimed that name. Still she remains one of the most powerful superheroes in the Marvel Universe.
Terra: Some people, male or female, just cannot be saved. Terra was a foul-mouthed teenage girl committing minor crimes seemingly talked into switching sides by Changeling and joining the New Teen Titans. However, she was actually a mole for Deathstroke the Terminator, using her super cute looks to help gain the team’s trust, particularly Changeling’s. Unlike Songbird, no amount of heroics could ever redeem her, and she ultimately died trying to kill the team.
Viper: While very well known to comic readers, Viper is pretty obscure to everyone only just watches marvel movies and shows. Viper is a cruel and cunning terrorist. A high ranking member of hydra as Madame Hydra, she eventually struck out on her own and led other teams, killing the previous Viper simply to swipe his name. While she showed a certain amount of warmth to Spider-Woman when she believed herself to be Spider-woman’s mother, she is normally quite ruthless, and despite her lack of powers, her cruelty and cunning make her a thorn in the side of superheroes.