The 21st century has become the age of the superhero movie. There’s been an awful lot of male superheroes with their own solo movies: Spiderman and Batman have even rebooted several times in the past two decades, with successes (“The Dark Knight” trilogy”) and failures (everything with Ben Affleck as Batman). But there are very few female superheroes amongst the bunch, with only a handful getting solo flicks. With the sheer amount of female superheroes who’ve appeared in the pages of DC and Marvel Comics, I think this should be rectified A.S.A.P. So, here’s my top ten badass ladies who deserve their own time in the spotlight.
Sidenote: I’ve tried my best to only feature superheroes that don’t have locked-in solo films in development, so superheroes like Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Huntress and their like won’t appear here. Black Widow will appear because I won’t trust that they’re finally giving her a solo film until I see the first trailer.
10Power Girl/Kara Zor-L, DC
Power Girl, Earth-Two’s Supergirl, is the older, more mature version of Superman’s Kryptonian cousin. Blessed with the same superpowers as Supergirl and Superman, she is also a hero for humanity, albeit in a different world and a tad bit older. In the comics, a crisis on Earth-Two forces Power Girl to join Supergirl’s world, where she meets her alternate self and carves out a secret identity all her own. Basically, she’s a Supergirl who’s fully come into her identity and her powers. How cool is that?
9Vixen/Mari Jiwe McCabe, DC
Have you ever wanted to embody your spirit animal? With a little help from the Tantu Totem, the Vixen can harness the spirit of any animal, past or present, giving her practically immeasurable powers. Hailing from the fictional African nation of Zambesi, Mari inherited the Tantu Totem from her mother after she was killed by poachers, inspiring Mari to become an animal activist and eventually, Vixen. She was played by Megalyn E.K. on “Green Arrow,” who hinted at a spinoff series somewhere down the line. Another version of Vixen, Mari’s grandmother Amaya (played by Maisie Richardson-Sellers), appears on “Legends of Tomorrow.”
8Psylocke, Marvel Comics
Telekinesis, telepathy, precognition, martial arts skills, psychic energy blades…what doesn’t Psylocke have? With telepathy skills rivaling Professor X himself, she can commune with others and reach the Astral Plane, and when she’s on the physical battlefield she’s one of the fiercest X-Men there is. She was played by Olivia Munn in “X-Men: Apocalypse,” but many fans would like to see more of the character in future films. I, for one, am always down to see Psylocke stab more bad guys with her mind blades, so here’s hoping we see more of her.
7Miss America/America Chavez, Marvel Comics
She’s strong, she’s gay, she’s Latinx, and she will definitely kick your ass. Miss America, aka America Chavez, is Marvel’s first Latinx LGBTQIA+ superhero to have her own ongoing series. Her powers are numerous and include superstrength, superspeed, ultra durability, flight, inter-reality transportation and star blasts (which are as cool as they sound). Raised by her moms in the Utopian Parallel, she’s inspired to pick up heroics herself after their deaths. Miss America eventually joins the Teen Brigade, where she continues to kick ass as a co-leader with Ultimate Nullifier. America Chavez is an animated TV series just waiting to happen and has already appeared in the animated film “Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors,” voiced by Cierra Ramirez.
Despite that truly awful wig, Amber Heard did a great job playing Mera, a Xebel princess, to Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry in “Aquaman.” Armed with super strength and the ability to control water, she saves Arthur’s father and Arthur himself several times throughout the film. Going forward in their relationship, it’s apparent she’ll be seen as an equal and an ally, hinting at the character’s time as a standalone Justice League superhero in the comics. She’s not “Aquaman’s hot girlfriend,” she’s the damn knight in shining armor to Momoa’s Arthur, and this trend will hopefully follow in “Aquaman 2.”
5Nemesis, Marvel Comics
Ever wonder where the Infinity Stones came from? Well, they were originally a single, all-powerful woman named Nemesis. After growing tired of her own existence, she shattered herself into the six stones Thanos so desperately covets, keeping the last stone (the Ego stone) to store her own consciousness. If that Ego stone comes into contact with the other six, Nemesis will be reborn. Newsweek’s got some interesting speculations about Nemesis and “Avengers: Endgame,” so maybe we’ll be seeing her soon?
4Storm/Ororo Munroe, Marvel Comics
She’s one of the X-Men, a descendant of African witch-priestesses, and one of the strongest mutants on Earth. Ororo Munroe, the daughter of a Kenyan princess and an American journalist, can control the weather, fly, and more. Storm was one of the first major black female superheroes in the comics world and continues to be one of the most memorable X-Men of all time. She was played by Halle Berry for four “X-Men” films and then by Alexandra Shipp in “X-Men: Apocalypse” and the upcoming “Dark Phoenix.” Her appeal and her title as a Badass Lady lies, obviously, in her powers, as flight and the ability to control the weather are some of the cooler and more unique superpowers. She can even manipulate light and moisture in the air to appear nearly invisible. If Marvel is looking for another female-centric solo flick after “Dark Phoenix,” Storm could fit the bill.
3Big Barda, DC
Big Barda is the most interesting superhero you’ve never heard of. A New God of Apokolips and genetically perfect being, she’s known for being an original member of the warrior guard the Female Fury Battalion and has powers of teleportation, immortality, super-strength, fighting skills, the ability to withstand nuclear blasts and more, according to CBR. Big Barda is a strong, beautiful alien god with enough superpowers to hold her own in any situation, and would definitely be able to fling Batman into the sun if he got on her nerves. Ava DuVernay, who’s been tapped to produce a “New Gods” film for DC, said her favorite superhero is Big Barda, so we could be seeing her on the big screen sometime soon.
Also, fun fact: creator Jack Kirby supposedly based Big Barda’s personality on his wife Roz, and her looks on Playboy model Lainie Kazan.
Hippolyta, the mother to Wonder Woman, has had a fascinating journey we’ve only seen bits of in DCEU thus far. Played by Connie Nielsen, Hippolyta is the Queen of the Themyscira, a matriarch, and fighter who leads the Amazons with her powers of diplomacy and a huge sword. While she was portrayed as more of a hindrance to Wonder Woman during her solo film, there’s so much more to Hippolyta’s story; the same could be said of Robin Wright’s Antiope, the Amazon general and sister to Hippolyta who actually trains Wonder Woman. A solo film or three about the sisters, Hippolyta’s relationship with Zeus, and Diana’s birth would be new territory for the DCEU, and would easily make bank at the box office.
1Black Widow/Natasha Romanova, Marvel Comics
I know we will supposedly get a “Black Widow” standalone film, but Marvel hasn’t pinky-promised anything, so Natasha Romanova is claiming the highest spot on this list. Natasha’s a super spy and survivor of the KGB’s Red Room, where she was trained to seek and destroy (and possibly received a super serum). She earned her name, the Black Widow, for her great success at seducing her targets and probably killing them with her thighs.
My feelings about Scarlett Johannson aside (“Ghost in the Shell” is a travesty), she’s done right by Natasha, portraying her a three-dimensional person with guns, grace, and old man puns. As an original MCU Avenger, the Black Widow deserves a solo film, and she’ll hopefully be getting more screen time in “Avengers: Endgame.”