Without powers: Mary Jane
Off My Mind: Marvel's Most Iconic Female Character
To me the series tanked as soon as Liu left..... v__v
@moviegeek17 said:you don't necessarily need one iconic female character for marvel. Just several well written ones. I thought the black widow series was excellent while it last (ps marvel please bring it back) and currently the x23 series is very entertaining. in general though all these characters need is a great writer to give them some terrific stories.I absolutely loved Liu's Black Widow
I would have to say undoubtedly that the White Queen is the best, if not the hottest Marvel Icon maybe second to Storm, since she first debuted under John Byrne, and being now married to x-men Scott Summers and is now a good girl. You have to put Emma Frost in a least the top 10.
@greenlight1107: I think that Emma Frost is a tad overrated, but that's just me. As a Marvel fan, there's not another character that I find as shallow and silly (and I realize this is because how writers handle her character) as that of Emma Frost. Every time I read a panel with her in it, I roll my eyes and want to punch her in the face (and the writer and editors, for that matter).
i love you for stating this! completely agreed, Emma seriously makes me just roll my eyes everytime she speaks...
I would say, in spite of her constant mistreatment at the hands of Marvel, She-Hulk is Marvel's most iconic female. She's big and large, she's green, you can dress her up in just about anything and she's just.. recognizable. Her powers and attitudes are easy to 'get' as well.
For second place though, I'd say.. the Black Cat. Even though she hasn't been in any movies, tons of people know Spider-Man and, because of him, the Black Cat.
And tied for third place, Sue Storm/Jean Grey. They have movies and such but I can barely remember Sue Storm from the movies.. and the X-Men movies may have well have been called 'Wolverine and the X-Men."
Despite the push over the last few years, Ms. Marvel/Warbird isn't even close in terms of visibility.. and Elektra, well.. she's niche. I'd think Black Widow would trump the both of them.
1) Marvel Girl / Jean Grey
2) Invisible Woman / Sue Storm
Close call, because Invisible Woman is Marvel's first female superhero and predates Jean (only by a couple of a years), but Jean Grey was introduced as "Marvel Girl". She has the same name as the publishing company that created her, so that makes her the more iconic female character. Plus, I think she has been more relevant or at the very least has been the more popular character. Currently, Since Jean is out of the picture and Invisible Woman is not really all that popular anymore, the title of most iconic female Marvel character goes to Emma Frost.
Storm all around IMO. She Hulk if given a movie will soar in popularity IMO due to her unique personality. But Sue was Marvel's first so she could be said to be Marvel's WW. Are we talking recognition or historical value or importance or popularity in comics is the question?
well, my family and friends have me to inform them, so even though they're not interested in comic books they actually know of a few Marvel females (thogh mostly cause of movies), such as Rogue, Jean Grey, Storm, Mystique and Invisible Woman. If I had to make a top of most important females in Marvel Comics I guess they'd be:
02 - Invisible Woman
03 - Jean Grey
04 - Rogue
05 - Elektra
06 - Mystique
07 - Emma Frost
08 - She Hulk
09 - Wasp
10 - Scarlet Witch
11 - Ms. Marvel
12 - Shadowcat
13 - Spider-Woman
14 - Black Widow
16 - Enchantress
17 - Black Cat
These are the ones that matter. The rest are just backgroud characters.
It's sad but true that I can't think of any Marvel female that really stands out as an icon like Wonder Woman. Sue Storm is I think the closest, I sort of think of her as "the First Lady" of Marvel. She's a wife and mother yet still one of the most powerful female heroes out there and a member of the First Family of Marvel. But she still seems a bit subservient to her hubby, Reed Richards.
Yet, personally a lot of the other female characters aren't quite in her caliber. She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Namora, and even Spider-Woman are sort of riding on the coat tails of their male counterparts. Jan Van Dyne (Wasp), Medusa, Mockingbird, and the Scarlet Witch are practically attached to the hip to the men in their lives to the point where they're sort of like an accessory. And I don't think Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy really count as they are more supporting characters and the romantic interests of characters rather than heroes themselves ... and Elektra, Emma Frost, and the Black Cat don't really seem to qualify as the heroic type.
About the only ones who I think might try to fit are:
1) The Black Widow
4) Jean Grey
5) Jessica Jones
And maybe Red Sonja, although I'm not sure if she's still considered part of the Marvel stable or what.
For me it would have to be the Invisible Woman, for me she’s always been Marvel’s first lady. Since John Byrne’s run on Fantastic Four I think her prestige has risen steadily, she’s gone from this character in back ground “supporting the boys” to stepping up and leading team in Reed’s absence. I personally think she is the powerful member of the team.
G-man, as far as Mary Jane is concerned, the question is who is Marvel’s most iconic female CHARACTER… nothing in there about the female character having superpowers. And for most non-comic book readers MJ is probably the most iconic character. I think if people were going to pick top comic book romances that Peter & MJ would probably be #2 after Superman and Lois Lane
i also agree with @SC, that is well said and really should be true. Yet we have to understand why Wonder Woman is so iconic in the first place. I'm not sure who was the first female hero for DC but it very well could have been Wonder Woman herself. Lets look at what made her so iconic. She is a leader, she is independent, she is strong and can stand her ground with just about any male hero. Also we have to realize to be iconic means they stand for something bigger. Just like Captain America or Superman. Being a positive role model also helps with this. With that said we have to see who has those types of qualities on the marvel side. Then we can make a strong conclusion as to who would be considered as the most iconic.Yes, very good points. I'm having issues really finding a Marvel superheroine or female that really stands for something bigger while being independent and a role model in her own right. Iconic is, in my opinion, different from most popular and having the most name recognition. I still think one of the issues is that the earliest Marvel girls were not created to be independent characters - they were made to fill the female role in the team. It took years for Storm, Jean Grey and The Invisible Woman to get where they are now. When you look at the Big Three, despite your issues with either of them, they really do exemplify the DC general archetype in a way that no female character really does. It might just be the case that Marvel's Big Three is Spiderman, Captain America and the Hulk - while there is room for much more popular characters to join this group, such as Wolverine, Iron Man, Storm and Thor, those three really seem to get at the heart of what Marvel is for me - character-driven superhero stories that look at the journey from powerlessness to power using intellect and other means. IMHO.
I'd have to go with the Invisible Woman for these reasons
1.Her powers are her's she not a female counterpart of a bigger hero
2.In the Marvel Universe, she's one of the only ones that's always a mother (to my knowing)
3.Despite being a loving wife & mother she still has her own ideals (Civil War)
4.And most importantly, she represents how women are viewed not just in comics but media in general. Look at how she has gone from damsel in distress to being one of the most powerful meta-humans on the planet. A sign of how to times have changed
@PhoenixoftheTidesAmazing points, and very well said. I agree with this overall view and think it gets at the heart of the difference between Marvel and DC and why this difference might affect how Marvel wouldn't have an "iconic" female character.That's a great point, and the core of the question IMO. Marvel doesn't have an iconic woman like Wonder Woman because Marvel isn't like that at all. It's not even about the spotlight, cause in that caseI actually think Storm has been in the spotlight more than WW for at least the past 2 decades.That's the main difference between Marvel and DC. DC is all about icons, role models, the best of the best.. As many characters as they have, the focus always end up on one of those 10 or so characters that really drive this universe. That's also why they have so many legacy heroes, to continue and give depth to these amazing icon's stories. The DC heroes are kinda like gods living in their Olimpus-like base, isolated from the rest of humanity (sattelite, underwater, the moon etc). They see humanity as defenseless people who need protection and humanity sees them as the great and holy saviors. Even the heroes issues are godlike, such as "am I doing too much?" or "am I taking away their free will?".Marvel works differently. It's more about your next door neighbour who got superpowers. Even a character that is a god such as Thor is flawed and makes mistakes of a humain nature. Their base is a mansion on 5th Av. There really isn't that line between them and the rest of humanity. They're just other people, like you and me, who happen to have superpowers. It's all about relatable characters, not icons per se. There aren't really many male characters who are iconic as well. The only iconic character I see is Captain America. The rest, such as Spider-Man, aren't icons. They're just people trying to do good to the best of their judgement.
Sue Storm is technically the first one, without a doubt.the first chronologically is probably miss america.Ms. Marvel though has always been in my mind their strongest female in personality though. With She-Hulk a close second.
i think elektra is a close bet, but im gonna go with Rogue. she has always fascinated readers and last time i read xmen legacy it was all about her. and she had a major role in the movie (even though much of that was steeling kitty's role from the comics)
emma frost might count and shadowcat.
as for what was said about DC's wonder woman, i really think catwoman is the bigger hero and the more iconic. i think she is DC's flagship female hero.
I'd say Mary-Jane's main problem is.. she doesn't really stand for anything in the Marvel Universe. She's best known as Spider-Man's wife.. the girlfriend that didn't die.. and lately, she's been written out even as that. She has her moments of heroism.. the best tease Marvel had was when Jackpot was running around, tricking readers into thinking she was Mary-Jane. Still, she is recognizable and most other long-haired red-heads are mistaken for her... and that's what this is all about, right?
As for Emma Frost.. she's gained traction but I couldn't tell you off the top of my head what she is and what she does. She.. made a mess of Firestar's life? Only reason I knew that is I loved me some New Warriors.
My revised list, and I keep flip-flopping between the top two:
2) Mary-Jane Watson
3) Black Cat
4) Sue Storm/Jean Grey
5) Black Widow
6) Ms. Marvel/Elektra/Emma Frost
I don't think anyone besides comic readers have ever heard of Ms. Marvel. I hope they don't waste her potential again or undermine her. Monica Rambeau was built up during the 80s only to be treated like crap by her own team and pushed out of the spotlight.
@Stegman: I didn't say DC heroes are perfect. Yeah, they are flawed, but it's just different from Marvel. I mean, you don't see Hal Jordan telling the Guardians he can't go save Jupiter cause he has to work overtime in order to pay the rent. You don't see Superman struggling in his relashionship with Lois, on the verge of divorce. You don't see WW stopping at a KFC to get a snack.
You may try hard to look past the superhero identity to get to the individual at DC, but the superhero identity is nearly always more important than their personal lives. But if you take Iron Man for example, the fact that he is Tony Stark and his personality traits are always more important to the stories than the fact that he is Iron Man.
It's not about power level either. Marvel has several very powerful heroes. But even the Silver Surfer who's to be one of the least relatable Marvel characters is always having existential crisis to which we can all relate. The point is that the DC stories are centered on the image of the super-heroes, while Marvel ones are centered on their personalities. One is to inspire and the other is to relate.
The problem with the Marvel women is that a large percentage of them are knock-offs of long established, iconic male characters, & the rest tend to play supporting roles in larger organizations. They don't have a Wonder Woman, who has stood alone for nearly 70 years, while also serving as a cornerstone for the company's flagship title. Most of the Marvel women tend to be defined by the team they're immersed in, as opposed to being defined as individuals. Original characters like the Invisible Woman, The Wasp, The Scarlet Witch, & Marvel Girl never got to headline their own title. They've tried to elevate Ms. Marvel's status over the last few years, but, ultimately, she ended up right back where she's resided for years, just one more pretty face on the Avengers roster.
You're joking right???
For non-comic readers, Ms. Marvel easily.
Jean Grey, Sue Storm and the Black Widow are close as well.
@War Killer:To me this is why I hated that Liu left the series when she did because I felt she could have do so much more with Natasha and her character. But the thing I didn't Swierczynski's run was that it was a big change from Liu's, I mean first we see Natasha going off the grid and fighting an invisible enemy who knows so much about her past, someone who is literally turning her own friends against her, and it felt like a great spy story. But then we get this random story about her keeping this perverted dude who thinks that she killed his father. Personally the only thing I liked about his run was the art, even though Acuna's art has really rubbed off on me.I grade Swiercynski on a curve lol. I mean Liu/Acuna were a hell of an act to follow, folk. He crafted a good spy thriller that was fitting for Natasha, my only real complaint was that the ending felt rushed because he had to tie everything up to make way for the Widow Maker event. This is why I hate events more than any other reason, they often interrupt and shorten or completely end ongoing narratives. If Swiercynski had two more issues I think his run could've elevated from solid/good to great.
Storm without question. Whether you like or dislike her you have to face the fact that for some reason everybody knows who she is. If you’re on this site it may be because of all the unfortunate storm threads or it might be that she appears as one of the most prominent x men, she’s had her own teams before. One thing that sets her out is that she’s easily recognizable physically, there are a lot of blonde and even red headed women in comics. But how many white haired African princess’ are there? I have a picture of Jean Rogue and Storm as my desktop background and my non comic reading friend came over and says “is that a picture of the x men” I tried to deny it but he just said “I can see Storm”. She is the leading lady of Marvel, thanks to her widespread fame in all sorts of mediaThis,plus Sue Storm is well known too.
To be honest, the fact that most Marvel women, including Ms. Marvel, aren't "iconic" is because Marvel rarely ever tries to push their female characters like DC pushes theirs. I mean let's see, DC have a Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Birds of Pray series. And Marvel ONLY has an X-23 series at the moment, which to me personally is a fantastic series and the reason because of this is because Marvel has a writer who knows what she's doing and actually has a love for the character, understand what it means to write a butt-kicking female character, and what's to do something with her. I my opinion, Black Widow most recent series was amazing because it had Liu writing it, if Marvel would actually try to find good writers who have a love for these female characters, we'd be seeing them a lot more.
Ms Marvel!!!As for the opinion that Ms Marvel is not "iconic" enough... because all the schmoes who only watch crappy tv shows and movies don't know who she is, well, I don't care what they think cause they are in fact schmoes. hhahha.
Today i've made a poll on facebook, and i asked to my friends "I want my non-comic book readers facebook-friends to give me the name of the Marvel female character they consider the most iconic ".
The fact that worked was because (1. Marvel did the smart thing and got a writer who knew and loved the character and (2. Because we the fans responded by buying the one-shot and telling Marvel that "hey, we like this and want to read more!"
If Marvel would literally just sit down and see who would be the best person to write Ms. Marvel/She-Hulk/Black Widow/ect, someone who loves the character and actually wants to do something exciting and fun with them, and lastly if we the fans would respond to this by buying the one-shot or mini-series, then we would start to see more of Marvel's female character begin to grow more popular, and I dare say it, more iconic.
X-Women nearly made me vomit and following the lead of a CV friend I burned my issue. I'm not joking.
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