The term "[email protected]$$" gets thrown around a little too loosely at times. It takes more than just being able to beat someone down to make a person a bad-ass. Inner strength can also make a person tougher than someone who can punch you to the moon or eat bullets and heal. With so few women in comics who can be considered bad-ass (thankfully that is changing more and more as time goes on), I decided to dedicate a list to my favorite bad-ass women of the Marvel Comics Universe. I decided to think a bit outside of the box with a few of these.
More than just the clone of Wolverine, X-23 became a fan favorite the moment she appeared in X-Men Evolution (the cartoon) and later in her first comic book appearance in NYX #3. Maybe it's because she's a clone of Wolverine that attracted people to her, but what kept her popular was more than just the claws. She may not have his strength and experience as Wolverine, but she is more ruthless and her senses are better than her predecessor. Despite all of her rage and fighting skills, it’s easy to forget that Laura Kinney is still just a kid. It was great seeing her with the New X-Men comics because we got to watch her grow as a hero and as a person. Her teammates and friends tried to make sure she wasn't just killing to be killing and they also helped her when she didn't know how she should react to normal human and teenage emotions.
- Great Moment: X-Force #16 "Messiah War"
I could have easily gone with her beating Wolverine, but I'm going with a test of inner strength and as well as the physical strength of not giving up. As soon as X-Force got to the future X-23 made an "X" in a stone on the ground. No one actually knew why. They just assumed it was her being weird. After The Messiah War was over, X-23 dragged her injured body that is trying to be forced back to the present back to the X in the stone. We find out that it was the origin point to where they landed. X made it a point to get there so she could go back in time a few moments before her team left so she could save an X-Man Boom Boom from being shot by the Leper Queen. She didn't have to do that, but something in her told her that it needed to be done. It was just another step in her growing into a better person.
9. Monet St. Croix
What we have here is a superhero who's power set seems like overkill. She's super strong, so she can physically hurt you. She can fly and do so at supersonic speeds, so you can't run away. She's physically invulnerable, so it's almost impossible to hurt her. Monet is also a telepath so if she can't physically take you apart, she can dig into your mind and take you out that way. There's nothing you can do to escape her. She's beautiful, dangerous, and she knows it. Monet "M" St. Croix is one of the few characters that could possibly be more arrogant than Dr. Doom or Namor. Despite the powers, she was born into money and a life of almost royalty so she got everything she wanted and THEN she hits the super power jackpot. Even the memory of being kept as food by her brother doesn't keep her down. Whatever is thrown at Monet she adapts and deals with it.
- Great Moment: X-Factor #219 Lies, Damned Lies
Even though she seems to not care, Monet is very protective of her teammates. One of them was shot down in cold blood and Monet was not happy to say the least. So when Monet got a chance she went after the shooter and the shooter’s team. When Monet catches up with them, the assassin takes a shot at Monet and Monet back hand swats the bullet away as easy as someone swats a bug. Monet eventually got her hands on their leader and digs into her brain and rather than kill her, she puts her true personality so deep into her own mind that she will never recover it.
8. Ms Marvel/Captain Marvel:
It wasn't until after 2005 that I really began to appreciate Carol Danvers. She was kind of just there. Then I went back and I realize that Carol Danvers was always a tough woman. Military woman turned Avenger who could kick the crap out of almost everyone. She does have a tendency to be bit boring at times (blame the writers for that), but what can't be denied is that she is one of the greats when it comes to being a hero.
- Great Moment Mighty Avengers #6
There was a nuclear missile headed for a city and Ms. Marvel had seconds to get to it. Ms. Marvel got to it the missile and made sure that it detonated away from people. But Ms. Marvel didn't get away before it exploded. Later, The Sentry was going crazy (shocking, I know) and when it looked like The Sentry was going to kill someone he shouldn't, Carol Danvers comes out of nowhere and punches Sentry and knocks him out. She absorbed the blast of a nuclear missile and let it out on probably the craziest person on the planet and helped save the day.
7. Sue Storm Richards:
Sometimes people look at The Fantastic Four and think that they are old fashion and have no place in today's Marvel Universe. Up until about 6 years ago, I would have agreed. For years no one on that team evolved accept Sue Storm. Sue Storm started out as just a damsel in distress that could turn invisible and she was lame. Granted, she was always the rock that kept that team together, but that isn't enough to make a good character. Once she turned her invisibility powers from just defensive to offensive, she started to become one of the greats. Not only has she taken out the Hulk, but when Wolverine was brainwashed by Hydra and was ordered to break into the Baxter Building (Home of the Fantastic Four) Wolverine stated that she was the only person who made him nervous. Arguably the most feared man in Marvel was afraid of Sue Storm getting involved. Also, being the mother of a genius (Valeria Richards) and a boy who could destroy the world with a few strong thoughts (Franklin Richards), the wife of a guy who can be emotionally stunted at times (Reed Richards), and having to make sure her other two teammates (Ben Grimm and her little brother Johnny Storm) don’t break everything. All of this while destroying Dr. Doom's Doombots and Mole Man's creations
- Great Moment Civil War #7
During the Marvel Civil War, Sue Storm and her husband Reed Richards were on opposite sides of the fight. Regardless of how they felt about the Super Human Registratration Act, they still loved each other. During the final fight, Taskmaster took it upon himself to try and shoot Sue Storm while her back was turned. Reed jumped in the line of fire and took the shots that were intended for his wife. Sue Storm was not happy at all. She turned around and gave Taskmaster a look and Taskmaster looked like he pooped himself when he saw Sue's face. It was that moment when Taskmaster realized, he f***ed up. Sue Storm leveled Taskmaster with an invisible force field and left him broken. Sure, it's not as impressive as knocking out The Hulk or stopping Wolverine dead in his tracks but it sure was funny.
6. Ultimate Kitty Pryde
When Ultimate Kitty Pryde first joined the X-Men, she was pretty useless. Just a teenage girl who was happy to be an X-Man. But once she left the X-Men and went out on her own, Kitty Pryde became a force to be reckoned with. One thing she did that 616's Kitty Pryde never learned to do was was learn how to use her power to do more than just phase. Kitty learned how to make her body so dense that hitting her would only hurt the attacker. This made her more than just a defensive fighter. Now when she attacks, her body hits feel like getting hit by stones.
When the mutant hysteria hit and the government started rounding up mutants and putting them in camps, Kitty Pryde became a leader. She started by just hiding and protecting her fellow mutants. Hiding turned into fighting and fighting turned into her becoming a leader of mutants. Unlike the 616 Kitty Pryde, Ultimate Kitty Pryde is not timid or shy when it comes to making decisions at an early age. After helping save the world Kitty Pryde became the poster child of mutants. Proving to the world that mutants and humans can coexist.
- Great Moment Cataclysm The Ultimates Last Stand #5
The Ultimate Universe had never dealt with 616's Galactus before (their version was like a swarm of locust) and he was their and ready to devour their planet. While a plan was being executed, Galactus needed to be distracted. So, with the help of Pym Particles, Kitty Pryde grew to almost the size of Galactus and did more than distract him. She kicked his @$$.
5. Jean Grey:
Even before the power of the Phoenix, Jean Grey was not someone to be messed with. The more she learned how to use her powers, the more of a threat she became. She went from being a scared and insecure teenager to one of the strongest telepaths and telekinetics in the world. The 90's X-Men cartoon depicted Jean as someone who is always flailing around and getting knocked out, it is quite the contrary in the comic books. Especially towards the end of her run. Jean Grey is easily one of the most dangerous people in the universe and is definitely on a list of people that you do not want to piss off. Especially if she is actually in possession of the Phoenix Force.
- Great Moment New X-Men #139 Murder at the Mansion
Emma Frost was having a psychic affair with Jean's husband Cyclops and you can imagine that when Jean walked in on them in their thoughts, she was not happy. Jean kicked Cyclops out of Emma's mind and then proceeded to dig deep into Emma Frost's mind. Jean then proceeded to bring out all of Emma's insecurities and low point s in her life leaving Emma Frost broken down in a way that had never been done before.
4. Jessica Drew:
Jessica Drew's life has been nothing but a crap fest from birth. She developed an illness due to radiation poisoning at an early age. Later on, she was drafted by Hydra and brainwashed, tricked into joining S.H.I.E.L.D., tricked into falling in love with a Hydra agent (who she later killed), lost her powers, was kidnapped by the Skrulls and had her face be the one that was used to trick all of her friends and the rest of the world, not being trusted by her friends, so on and so on. Despite all of that, Jessica Drew remains a hero. She's a card carrying Avenger and member of S.W.O.R.D. (Think S.H.I.E.L.D. for outer space) and just recently she helped the Spider totems of the multiverse defeat those who wanted to extinguish their essence for good.
- Great Moment Spider-Woman #5
Jessica Drew finally decided to take life by the horns. No more Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. , S.W.O.R.D., and no more running around being someone's second best. Jessica Jones is finally becoming a solo hero. But it wasn't the butt-kicking that made this a great and defining moment. What made this moment so great was making the decision to not judge a former D-List villain like Porcupine and help him instead of treating him like a stain. Giving him the second chance he needed. Which makes sense considering a second chance is something she desperately needed more than a few times.
3. Hope Summers:
Like her adopted father Cable, Hope was born and raised around violence and hatred. Before she was even a day old, people were trying to kill her because of who she might become later in life. Before she said her first words Hope was time hopping with Cable trying to stay a step ahead of X-Man Bishop who wanted to kill her to prevent his past (their future). Thankfully, Hope couldn't have had a better person to raise her in a war zone than Cable. Because of how she was raised, Hope became one of the toughest people in Marvel and she's still not even old enough to buy alcohol. Hope Summers doesn't back down from a fight and she isn't afraid to take a life to save someone and is also ready to sacrifice her own life if it means the safety of others. The most impressive thing she has done is not let the pressure of being called the mutant messiah weigh her down.
- Great Moment New Mutants #14 and X-Men Legacy #236
During Second Coming, Cyclops told Hope to stay away and not get involved in the fight with the Nimrod Sentinels that were coming to exterminate the mutants. Hope, still reeling from the idea of her "father" Cable never coming back, starts to cry while she's getting prepared for battle. Rogue approaches Hope to console her and Hope tells rogue that Cable wouldn't want her to cry. Rogue asks if Cable told her never to cry and Hope responded saying Cable told her it was okay to cry, just win first. Hope put all of her emotions aside and went out to help the X-Men win the fight.
Next to Wonder Woman, Storm might be the most recognized female in comic books. Storm is also one of the toughest females in any fictional genre. We all know she has the ability to control the weather (duh, her name is Storm), but she is more than just her powers. So much so that she actually lost her powers and still refused to quit the X-Men. Wolverine helped retrain her to fight and survive without her powers and brought back all of her skills she learned as an orphaned child in Africa. Storm was always strong and always stood up for herself and what she believed was right. Whether the person she's up against is a god, a king, or a mutant, Storm will always stand up and up stand tall. She's thought of as a goddess for a reason.
- Great Moment Uncanny X-Men #201
After Storm lost her powers, Storm refused to just quit the X-Men. So she challenged Cyclops for the title of the X-Men’s leader. It would be one thing if she had her powers, but this was an Ororo Monroe without the ability to toss Cyclops into a tornado. Even without her power, Storm managed to beat Cyclops and beat him decisively.
1. Layla (Miller) Madrox
In the beginning of this article I talked about how intestinal fortitude is one of the keys to making a bad @$$ and Layla (Miller) Madrox has more of that than anyone in comics. Layla wasn't given the option of having to be the one to set things in motion and to keep the world spinning properly. Layla had this mission thrust upon her at the age of six. She had the horror of knowing how her friends and family were going to die. Even worse she knew that there was nothing she could do to stop it and sometimes she had to make sure these events happened. The one time she strayed away from the plan, she was punished by watching the man she loves die. She told an older Cyclops that every night she’d wake up screaming knowing one day she would end up in a Hellish future where mutants would end up being imprisoned and that she could do nothing to stop it. To me, being able to carry on regardless of everything that she knew was going to happen shows more toughness than having the ability to crush a tank with your hands.
- Great Moment X-Factor: Layla Miller and X-Factor #50
Jamie Madrox sent two of his dupes (duplicates of himself) into the future for information. Layla Miller ran and jumped in with one of them knowing that this was a one way trip for them both and that she would end up being beaten and tortured while she was there. She spent a good portion of her childhood and all of her teenage years in a future with nothing but hatred for mutants. Then she had to go to the past and give her younger self all the memories she learned insuring things would happen and also insuring that Layla would still grow up having the horrible life she just lived.
Honorable Mention: Ultimate (Aunt) May Parker:
I am positive that I am going to get crap for putting her on my list. But guess what? She is the most bad-ass. She isn't super strong, she can't rapidly heal (she had a heart-attack), and she can't stick to walls. All Aunt May has is a revolver and love for her nephew Peter Parker. No matter what life seemed to throw at her she found a way to come out on top and make things work. After her husband ("Uncle" Ben Parker) died, May went right back to work and to supporting her and her nephew. While she did freak out a bit when Peter told her he was Spider-Man, it was the shock that made her react the way she did. As soon as she came back to her senses, May immediately told Peter she understood why he does what he does and supported him wholeheartedly. She even went as far as moving in Johnny Storm after his father died and Iceman after his parents kicked him out and the government was hunting mutants. She didn't care about the repercussions of what would happen to her if people found out she was harboring mutants and Spider-Man. All she cared about was helping her nephew and his friends any way she could.
- Great Moment Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #159 "Death Of Spider-Man"
During Peter Parker's last stand with the Green Goblin, Peter sent Aunt May and Gwen Stacy off to make sure they didn't get hurt. Lucky for Peter, she came back. Not only did she come back, but she came back and put a couple of bullets in Electro and took him out.
Also cool was when she slapped Captain America for all but causing her nephew's death. Slapped him and told him off for being a jerk to him the entire time he was Spider-Man.
I KNOW I missed your favorite female. Let me know in the comments below.