13 Female Marvel Characters Who Kick Ass

by Dawn Day

With The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Ant-Man ruling the comic book world’s big screen productions through the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it is easy to forget that there are incredible comic book superhero stories with women leading the cast of characters to victory. While characters like Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, and Gamora all kick some serious butt in the films that have already been released, most of the attention is placed on their male counterparts. (Plus, even Mark Ruffalo who stars as the Hulk in The Avengers’ movies had something to say about the lack of Black Widow merchandise for Avengers: Age of Ultron.) It’s time to increase the number of ladies on the screen, Marvel.

It is important for comic book women to be given as much stake and back-story as the men–otherwise they become the fuckable eye candy traipsing around alongside men who save the day. But there is hope. Captain Marvel, the first female-fronted movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, arrives in 2018 (behind a third Captain America, a third Thor, a second Guardians of the Galaxy and the beginning installments for Doctor Strange and Black Panther). To remind the world in the meantime that the superhero universe isn’t exclusively a boy’s club, here are some of Marvel’s badass female comic book characters that prove women don’t need nobody to come to their rescue: 

1. Captain Marvel


Captain Marvel, aka Carol Danvers, boasts flight, strength, and shooting energy bursts from her hands as her powers. As a member of the Air Force, she climbed her way through the ranks. Captain Marvel works with the C.I.A. because of her natural smarts and abilities as a combat fighter. Her eventual career change as a journalist (and feminist!) leads to her working as an editor at a women’s magazine, and soon her powers and persona as Captain Marvel emerge. She is a badass warrior who fights villains like Deathbird and Mystique. Get pumped to watch Carol Danvers on the big screen. 

2. Scarlet Witch

The Scarlet Witch will play with your mind. That’s what her ability to tap into mystic energy does. Creating alternate realities, the Scarlet Witch, also known as Wanda Maximoff, uses her powers for both good and evil, alongside her brother, Quicksilver. With X-Men villain Magneto as their father, these twins participate in terrorist activity before deciding to change for the better. Scarlet Witch appeared on the big screen in Avengers: Age of Ultron, portrayed by Elizabeth Olson. 

3. Gamora

Gamora was brought up by Thanos, and is a hand-to-hand combat expert. She works with Thanos, but eventually turns on him when she disagrees with what he’s doing. She is a woman of integrity in that way. *Respect.* Eventually she finds herself joining up on Star Lord’s team: Guardians of the Galaxy. Luckily, we get to see this killer character played by Zoe Saldana in the film adaption of Guardians. We’re hooked on a feelin’ that Gamora’s fighting skills are one of the best parts of the movie. 

4. Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)


That’s right, you saw the picture correctly. Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, is due to be 8 months pregnant in the next issue due out in November as a part of the All New All Different Marvel launched this fall. Writer Dennis Hopeless said in an interview on Marvel.com that the first arc of the plot is all about Jessica learning how to be more careful about putting herself in danger while carrying her baby. With superhuman strength, endurance and speed plus her venom blasts, it’s no secret that Spider-Woman is a badass chick. Plus, Hopeless said that Jessica will not reveal the father of her baby anytime soon, meaning she is repping single moms everywhere—proving that single moms are serious superheroes.

5. She-Hulk

She’s a She-Hulk in disguise. Well, not really in disguise. But also in the form of Jennifer Walters–Bruce Banner’s cousin. With much better control over her Hulk-self than her cuz, Jennifer lives in New York and works as a lawyer. Her powers are equal to the strength and endurance of the Hulk, but since she can maintain her intelligence as She-Hulk, she’s obviously the superior being. She’s all of the Hulk with more smarts than the “Smash!” 

6. Wasp

Janet van Dyne, or Wasp, works in close quarters with Ant-Man, though she has her own victories and history. Daughter of scientist Vernon van Dyne, Janet gets help from Dr. Henry Pym’s “Pym Particles” to shrink down to a microscopic size and spread wings. The recent Ant-Man film had an ending, which eluded to Pym’s daughter Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) returning to the big screen as the Wasp. We hope it comes true. 

7. Black Cat

Better beware when Black Cat is around. She’s got some serious jinx power, just like her name implies. Black Cat’s, or Felicia Hardy’s, back-story includes the tragic death of her beloved father and a date-rape by her college boyfriend. With training in aerobics and stunts, she is no stranger to slinking from roof to roof. Black Cat dates Spider-Man, and is basically the coolest bad girl in town. 

8. Nebula

The name Nebula sends fear across the galaxy. She is believed to be the granddaughter of the evil Thanos, and works with him for a while as he gets ready to assemble the Infinity Gauntlet. This galaxy-pirate is trained to use high-tech alien weapons and can kick some serious butt in combat. The Marvel Cinematic Universe places Nebula played by Karen Gillan, opposite Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy as they disagree over fighting Ronan. She will return in Guardians of the Galaxy 2

9. Angela

Daughter of Odin and Frigga, Angela’s newest comic is set to be released Oct. 21. “ANGELA: QUEEN OF HEL” will show Asgard’s lost princess dive into Hel to rescue her companion Sera. As a newer character on Marvel’s block, Angela got her first title comic in 2014 as Asgard’s Assassin. It would be awesome to see this apparent sister of Thor pop up with her own movie in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. 

10. Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan

KAPOW! Here comes Kamala Khan. She’s a 15-year-old Pakistani-American living in New Jersey and having a hard time fitting in with her peers. She looks up to Captain Marvel, and one night when she’s walking home is engulfed in a magical mist that gives her shapeshifting powers. Thus Ms. Marvel, teen-crime-fighting sensation, is born.

11. Black Widow


We’ve already seen Black Widow, otherwise known as Natasha Romanova–among many other aliases, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Played by Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow makes her first appearance in Iron Man 2, and returns in following films throughout the series including both Avengers and Captain America. The films reveal pieces of Romanova’s past as a Soviet spy, but a film into her backstory would be seriously cool. She is a trained combat fighter, and her signature weapons are two hand guns, which she uses to off her foes. 

12. A-Force

Hold up. If you haven’t heard of A-Force, you need to. Marvel launched the all-female team in 2015, and since has released four issues of bad-assness. The team, comprised of characters like Captain Marvel, Spider-Woman, Scarlet Witch, Pixie, Storm, and more, is led by She-Hulk, and works together to defend their island nation of Arcadia in Battleworld. #AForceIsTheNewAvengers

13. Singularity 

As if A-Force wasn’t already cool enough, the team of mighty women have a new character come aboard: Singularity. Singularity is the first gender-fluid character to hit the scene. A-Force writer G. Willow Wilson told USA Today in February that Singularity is a “cosmological event” rather than a flesh and blood creation. Instead of having an assigned gender, Singularity chooses to be female, and has an awesome power set that allows her to easily navigate through different dimensions and worlds. Singularity should be a BIG star in the comic world–she’s already made of them. 

Let’s give these heroes their own movies, Marvel. With a 22:1 male-fronted vs. female-fronted ratio for films either made or slated to be made my Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s clear that there is some serious underrepresentation for our fave lady heroes. Plus, a movie about Black Widow’s days as a Soviet spy would just be really fucking cool. C’mon Marvel, make it happen.

Published September 23, 2015

Photos via Marvel

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