The best female comic book characters?

To go along with my upcoming blog on feminism, sexism, and women in comics, I thought it'd be a cool idea to also do a list of the best female characters in comics. Hero, villain, old, young, human, or not, all that matters is that they're female and that they're a good character. Good is subjective of course, so narrowing it and finding suggestions can be difficult. I'm thinking along the lines of who they are as a person - do they have a personality? Are they not frequently relegated to stereotypes? That they're not frequently demeaned, disparaged, or objectified. Are they given time and attention, allowed character evolution... obviously not every character will meet all of these, but we're looking at them overall and in comparison to others.

Anyway, here is what we've come up with so far:

Abby Holland. Agent 355. Agent Dana Scully. Agent Kuo. Aisha. Amanda Waller. Andrea. Angie Spatchcock. Anita Blake. Aria T'Loak. Arwyn. Aspen Matthews. Aunt May. Aurora. Barbara Gordon. Bast. Big Barda. Black Canary. Black Cat. Black Orchid. Black Widow. Bleez. Blink. Blythe Cameron. Boy. Buffy Summers. Bunnie Rabbot. Cameron Chase. Carol Ellroy. Carrie Stetko. Cassandra Cain. Cassie Hack. Catwoman. Cecilia Reyes. Channon. Chantinelle. Chase Darrow. Chastity. Cheetah. Cinderella. Cologne. Courtney Crumrin. Crazy Jane. Crystal. Daisy. Dawn. Dawn Granger. Death. Deathcry. Deena Pilgrim. Delirium. Deren Beq. Despair. Diamondback. Dian Belmont. Dizzy Cordova. Dōa Yoshino. Domino. Door. Dust. Echo (Dread of the Endless). Elaine Belloc. Elizabeth Sherman. Emma Bishop. Emma Frost. Enchantress. Engineer. Epiphany Greaves. Faith Lehane. Felicia Book. Fig Keele. Francine. Frau Totenkinder. Freefall. Gemma Masters. Gert Yorkes. Gran'ma Ben. Gully. Gwen Dylan. Halo Jones. Hitgirl. Hollow. Hope Summers. Hyakurin. Inara. Irma Geddon. Jakita Wagner. Jane Foster. Jean Grey. Jenny Quantum. Jenny Sparks. Jessica Jones. Jessica Kidby. Jessie (Pokemon). Jocasta. Jubilee. Judge Anderson. Judge Beeny. Kagura (Gintama). Karolina Dean. Katchoo. Kate Kane. Kate Spencer. Kathy George. Kaylee. Kimberly. Kim Pine. Kitty Pryde. Kit Ryan. Lady Blackhawk. Lady Death. Lady Johanna Constantine. Lady Mechanika. Ladytron. Layla Miller. Lee. Lenny Shapiro. Liara T'Soni. Lizzie Hexam. Lois Lane. Madame Xanadu. Madeleine Benoir. Madelyne Pryor. Maggie Chascarillo. Maki Otono-Tachibana. Marjane Satrapi. Mary Jane Watson. Marzi. Maxine Baker. Mazikeen. Medusa. Megan McKeenan. Meggan. Mera. Mia Dearden. Michonne. Miho. Mina Harker. Mingchao (Et Cetera). Misty Knight. Molly Hayes. Molly O'Reilly. Moondragon. Moonstar. Moonstone. Ms Marvel. Mystique. Nemesis. Nemi. Nico Minoru. Nuala. Ozma. Pearl Jones. Pepper Potts. Pixie. Poison Ivy. Power Girl. Promethea. Psylocke. Queen Maeve. Ragged Robin. Rain Harper. Ravager. Red She-Hulk. Red Sonja. Renee Montoya. Rin Asano. Risa del Toro. Rogue. Rose Red. Rosie Nolan. Rukia Kuchiki. Ruth Cutter. Sadie Dawkins. Sage. Sailor Scouts. Sally Acorn. Scandal Savage. Scarlet Witch. Sephie. She-Hulk. Silk Spectre. Simone Cundy. Snowbird. Snow White. Songbird. Sonya Blade. Spider-Woman. Squirrel Girl. Stargirl. Starlight. Starling. Stella Olemaun. Stephanie Brown. Storm. Strel. Supergirl. Susan Storm. Tank Girl. Tara Chace. Tefe Holland. The Female. Thorn. Tigra. Toshi Hara. Traci Thirteen. Tulip. Two Hand Revy. Typhoid Mary. U-Go Girl. Valkyrie. Vampirella. Vicki Vale. Voodoo. Wasp. Willow Rosenberg. Witchblade (Sara Pezzini). Wonder Girl. Wonder Woman. X-23. Yelena Rossini. Yuki Nagato. Zatanna. Zealot. Zee Hernandez. Zephyr Quinn. Zoe Washburne.

Still welcoming further suggestions too! It'd also be great to have something to say next to each character, about why they're a great female character. If anyone has anything to say about that, please share it and I'll include it in the list and attribute it to you. If you'd like to just throw your vote behind them (multiple votes welcomed), let me know as well, as I'll include a "recommended by" for each character as well.

The big part however, is in ordering them. I would love, love, love some help in this! I'd really like for it to be a group effort :D

So far, my opinion for the top 10 thus far would be the inclusion of:

  • Carrie Stetko
  • Deena Pilgrim
  • Kate Kane
  • Michonne
  • Jakita Wagner
  • Frau Totenkinder
  • Buffy Summers
  • Gert Yorkes
  • Voodoo
  • Agent 355

I don't know a whole lot about all of these characters though, so I need others' opinions!

eta: Added Zatanna. Linked to Zephyr Quinn's page, that so kindly suggested! Thank you!

eta 2: Added Rose Red, Ozma, and Nemesis.

eta 3/4/12: I updated the list with the current list in the forum post.

eta 3/5/12: I updated the list with the current list in the forum post.

eta 3/7/12: I updated the list with the current list in the forum post.

Start the Conversation

My first comics :D And my collection...

I just responded with this in a topic, but I want to put it in my blog for keeps. Plus I'm adding more here... even though I, embarrassingly, wrote a lot already. I'm just feeling chatty right now, ok?

My first comic ever was given to me by my dad. I was five and my parents had made the mistake of teaching me to read starting at three, so by five I was begging for more to read (mostly Berenstain Bears and Boxcar Children, not comics) lol But my parents were poor so my dad pulled out his old box of comics and gave me this one (Unexpected no. 171). This was in 1991, and this book was his newest, from 1976, which is why he let me have this one. Most of the rest of his comics are from the 50s when he and his brothers were kids and he didn't want me to destroy them :P I actually did not destroy it though, and still have it! It's in pretty good condition, considering how careless I was a kid.

The rest of his collection is most Swamp Thing, Tales From The Crypt, Action Comics/Superman, Detective Comics, The Flash, Captain America, and Jonah Hex... so, mostly stuff he was worried my mom would be pissed with him for letting me read. And after she threw a fit over the Unexpected comic, he wouldn't let me look at any of the others... and then in the mid-90s he sold most of them :( Ugh. But they had bills to pay! Anyway...

The first I bought myself though was an Archie Comic, no 110 (I didn't actually remember the no. off the top of my head, I browsed the gallery for the right cover lmao). I bought it just a few weeks after I got the one above, with my tooth fairy and birthday money I'd been saving (and even still the lady in the bookstore gave me a discount, because it was the first time I was buying a book, which is why I remember this so well; she made such a big deal of it). I distinctly remember wanting a Spider-Man comic or an X-Men comic with... I think it was Magneto on the cover? I don't remember exactly, but I remember an impressive and scary looking man on the cover haha. I just looked through the gallery at the X-Men comics from the time though and they've all got like Magneto, Cable, or Wolverine, so I don't know which one it was exactly. Anyway, my mom flipped through a bunch of them (she was the one to take me to the bookstore to buy one-- my dad would've let me buy whatever I wanted) and of all the comics there she only approved of Archie, and this was the newest one so I bought it. I actually bought every single Archie comic after that, up until like 1997 haha My little sister and I loved Archie comics. We still have tubs of them in storage in our parents' basement!

I remember this cover so well!

It wasn't until I was about eight or so, so like 1994 or around there, that my mom gave up trying to keep me from buying any other than Archie. This was at the height of popularity for Goosebumps, plus there was X-Men, Spider-Man, Batman: The Animated Series, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Tales From the Crypt, The X-Files, etc on tv and I was obsessed with all of them and watched them all, so she figured comics couldn't be much worse haha

So the first comic I bought for myself that wasn't an Archie comic, and for which I had to mow our lawn to earn money for, was Gambit no.2... I don't remember why I bought the second in the series, when I'm pretty sure the bookstore did have all four at that point, but I did. Maybe it was for the cover? Who knows what was going through my head at the time lmao I was head over heels in love with Gambit though, from watching the cartoon. I just thought he was the best, and that he was so cute :P But my mom was not happy with my choice. She actually read it herself, once I finished, and then I remember her shaking her head and saying, "Tabby, I don't know why you like this stuff!"

I only bought/read comics for a few more years after that. I stopped some time around middle school, because it just wasn't "cool" and, you know, I wanted to be cool. This was like 1998. I'd already stopped buying Archie almost a year earlier, but at this point I stopped buying X-Men (which was the only other series I bought tbh, aside from the occasional single issue of Tales From The Crypt, Batman, or Nightwing). I'd go 10 years before buying or reading another comic... After I graduated college in 2008 and started grad school I was depressed and feeling kinda lonely since all my friends were off working full-time and starting families while I was still going to school full-time. I was working part-time though, at a movie theater, but most of my co-workers were high school kids so we didn't really have anything in common... I remember one night, when I was paired up with a new kid who was only 16, and we went to take the trash out and I saw strange green lights in trucks in the field behind the theater, and so I jokingly mentioned that it looked like Shredder was transporting ooze... and he had no idea what I was talking about! I ended up hanging out mostly with my managers. Who were total comic book geeks lol. They'd bring their new comics into work and when it was slow or we had breaks, we'd go in the office and read them.

They were more into DC though, especially Superman (who I've never been really fond of), so eventually I ventured out to the comic book store in my hometown to check out what was going on with X-Men now. Aside from the movies, I hadn't seen anything X-Men since I was a kid, so I didn't even know where to begin. The men working at the comic shop were less than helpful when I explained myself though and asked for suggestions. They were rude and derisive and, when they thought I couldn't hear, made sexist remarks about me (mostly about my breasts, and how they would ask me if I'd flash them for free comics when I went back to the register, ugh). The whole experience was just awful and I left without buying anything and have never returned. The next week though me and my managers carpooled into the city to hit up some comic shops there. They were much helpful, and there were actually women working there so they were very welcoming to me. This was when I bought my first comic as an adult haha Well, comics, since I finally had enough money to buy several! I got Wolverine: Killing Made Simple, X-23: Innocence Lost (collection), X-Force v3 no1-9, and Astonishing X-Men: Gifted. And that's just X-Men! I also bought a bunch of Fables and 30 Days of Night because I thought they sounded cool, plus I loved the 30 Days of Night movie that had come out a few years earlier. Actually, we all ended up buying 30 Days of Night because we loved the film haha!

I finished them all pretty fast and wanted more. I also started googling all I'd missed and was just like "OMG" when I saw all that had happened in the world of X-Men. But I couldn't get back into the city, so I started buying online from Amazon, until I discovered the wonderful world of digital comics! That's the majority of my collection now, digital lol. The ease of access and availability just trumps everything, though I do occasionally buy a physical copy of a book I really want. But my collection has exploded since! I don't even want to think of the money I've spent D: But it's worth it because I love them.

I have just about all of X-23, X-Force v3, Wolverine, X-Men (New X-Men, X-Men Legacy, etc), Astonishing X-Men, X-Factor, Gambit, Deadpool, Dazzler, Daken, New Mutants, X-Treme X-Men, X-Men Forever, Uncanny X-Force, Ultimate X-Men, Jubilee... yeah, I love X-Men! Also all of Marvel Zombies and other X-Men stories like House of M, etc lmao I've also got Gotham City Sirens, The Long Halloween, Joker, The Killing Joke, Arkham Asylum: Madness Begins, Hush, Harley Quinn, Birds of Prey, Batgirl, Nightwing, The Dark Knight, and a bunch of random stuff, some of the new 52, etc Outside of those I have all of Fables, everything 30 Days of Night and related series (even the X-Files crossover, which I love!), and some Echoes, Greek Street, Hack Slash, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Preacher, Sandman, The Walking Dead, Witchblade, Singularity 7, Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, and Human Target.

I also love comics based on my favorite tv shows, movies, and video games, such as Doctor Who, Fringe, Tomb Raider, Dead Space, InFamous, Serenity, Supernatural, Buffy and Angel, X-Files, Assassin's Creed, Deus Ex, Mass Effect, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Left 4 Dead, Prototype, Fallout...

And yeah! That's about it! I have NOT read them all yet... I've gone some very impulsive sprees lol so I haven't had a chance to read everything. Fables, X-Men, and Gotham City Sirens get most of my attention tbh! But I can read very fast and still maintain my reading comprehension, so I am getting through them quickly at least.

So that's me and my comic history lol :D

eta: I went in and made some edits, since I initially wrote this at about 2am! Cleared up a few things, fixed a few mistakes. Hopefully it's more clear now.

Start the Conversation

Hey there, so it's my first day...

Found this site when trying to see what comics I'm missing from my X-Men collection. I love how comprehensive it is! Also seems to be a good place to eventually post my fancast for a X-Men tv show haha Seems everyone's doing it, so why not! This also seems to be the best place for me to geek out over my favorite comics with other fans, which is something I'd been looking for, so I'm looking forward to that. Yay!

29 Comments