7 comic book heroines you should know about
Although many comic books are male-centric and the gender gap is deplored by many readers, there are quite a few female superheroes to praise and honour. Moreover, the villain side is represented just as well by some captivating characters; here is a list of the most famous:
1. Wonder Woman
Probably the best known heroine, Wonder Woman is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. Her civilian identity is Diana Prince, and she is a founding member of the Justice League. A warrior princess, Wonder Woman has been created by William Moulton Marston, American psychologist and writer. The character was developed in the early 40s and was inspired by Olive Byrne, the creator’s cohabitant, and by early feminists. According to Wonder Woman’s profile, the heroine was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta, and given life by Athena. The Greek Gods are the ones who have given Wonder Woman superpowers and she is easily recognizable by her muscular look.
She-Hulk is a Marvel heroine created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Buscema. Her first appearance was in Savage She-Hulk #1, in February 1980. Jennifer Walters by her civilian name, She-Hulk has become a superheroine by receiving an emergency blood transfusion from Dr. Bruce Banner, her cousin. The effect is that Jennifer becomes a larger, more powerful green version of herself. Just like the Hulk, the heroine becomes stronger when she is angry. She-Hulk is a talented lawyer in her civilian life and she provides legal help to superheroes multiple times.
DC Comic’s Batgirl is the female counterpart of Batman. The character was first introduced as Betty Kane in 1961 (Bat-Girl), and the current version was created in 1967, when Barbara Gordon was identified as the well-known Batgirl in Detective Comics #359. The character is depicted as the daughter of Gotham City police commissioner James Gordon and she operates in the same town, together with Batman and Robin. A Batgirl series was published from 2009 to 2011, written by Bryan Q. Miller. Batgirl was also included in multiple media related to the Batman franchise (TV, film, video games, animations, and merchandise), which has had a decisive contribution to the character’s fame.
First a villain, Rogue debuted in the Avengers Annual #10 in November 1981 to later join the X-Men. Rogue has superhuman qualities due to being a mutant and her ability to absorb the memories and powers of anyone she touches is involuntary. Because she failed to control her mutant abilities for most of her life, Rogue had to avoid physical contact with others, including her love interest, Gambit. Her civilian name was revealed as Anna Marie, and she has been one of the most important members of the X-Men since the 1980s. The heroine is recognizable by the white streak in her hair.
A superhero from comic books published by DC Comics, Raven first appeared in DC Comics Presents #26, in October 1980. Her creators were writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez. The character’s civilian name is Rachel Roth and she is the daughter of a demon father, Trigon, and a human mother, Arella. Raven spent her childhood in an alternate universe called Azarath, led by the mystic Azar. Azar taught Raven how to control her powers, because feeling strong emotions made her to become possessed by her father’s evil energy. Raven’s abilities include soul manipulation, teleportation, flight, prevision, and demonic energy among others.
6. Carol Danvers
Carol Danvers, also known as Warbird or Captain Marvel at some moments in her history, is a heroine featured in comic books published by Marvel Comics. Her first appearance was in Marvel Super-Heroes #13, in March 1968, as a member of the United States Air Force, and she became an incarnation of Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel#1, in January 1977. Carol Danvers is one of the most successful Marvel heroines and is considered a feminist icon. The character has been featured in multiple media products throughout the time, and a live-action film with Carol Danvers is scheduled for 2019, with Brie Larson as the leading star.
7. Natasha Irons
Natasha Irons is a more recent female hero in the DC Universe, and her first appearance dates from February 1994, when she was featured in Steel (vol. 2) #1. Natasha’s parents are John Henry’s brother, Clay, and his wife, Blondel. She is aware of Steel’s secret identity and she is presented as being more practical compared to her brother Jemahl. Natasha evolves from a 13 years old girl to an assistant of Nat, who has opened a Steelworks in Metropolis. Natasha’s specific traits include the armour enabling her to fly and to throw energy weapons.
There are many other fascinating female figures in the comic book world, and, aside from their superpowers and fierceness, these heroines also impress with beauty and unique charm. Which comic book heroine is your favourite?