Top 10 Bad Ass Super-heroines

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I love that comics have become such a huge cultural fixation. Honestly they’ve always been, but with the introduction into the film world, they’ve found more followers than ever. Amidst ever-changing social acceptances and norms, comics are changing too. This means the comics that were once so white and male they’d have been lost in the snow and not have been able to see anyone to not ask directions from, are kind of getting a face lift. It’s about time.

These creations, though loved for years, were originally created in a culture that praised the racist, misogynistic, homophobic viewpoint. Thus they became white males by default. With the exception of a very few (that were created by Stan Lee who faced great opposition) minorities were pretty much shut out, though they enjoyed the comics just as much as their majority counterparts.

So now that comics have moved to film races are changing, genders are changing and that’s great because it’s a step towards fixing a tainted legacy and including all of those people who love and support this industry. Later I’ll do a list of the best comic book heroes who’s race or gender has been altered.

However today I’d like to salute those women that came before all of this, before Blade made it profitable to be a comic book hero on the big screen. This isn’t a ranking in order by the way, these women were selected because they are bad ass and in some cases, broke barriers. If they are “alternate dimension” versions or versions made primarily to capitalize off of a male hero’s popularity they aren’t on this list. So anything with “she” in their title ain’t on here.

This list was created in response to the lack of knowledge people have in regards to women super heroes and the desire to see a list about them that didn’t involve the words “hot”, “sexy”, or “boobs.”

#10 Wonder Woman

Wonder woman

 

Has to be on here of course so I just went ahead and put her first. First appearing in December of 1941, Wonder woman came on the heels of a new exciting interest in comic books.

With Superman and batman leading the way, detective comics wanted to find a way to really capitalize on the comic book medium. Diana was created by the already very successful psychologist William Moulton Marston and his wife Elizabeth. He’d already invented the polygraph (lasso of truth inspiration) and had been hired as an educational consultant. Though her past after his death was a bit rocky, she was quite objectified for a while and dumbed down. Each issue had a different “pin-up” poster of her.

Eventually though they got it together and she regained her bad ass status as a warrior of the Amazons. In addition to succesful comic books, she had her own very successful television show.

“Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world”, Marston wrote. With her bad ass attitude, fighting prowess, magic lasso, sword, armor, flight, and super strength, if she says she’s ruling the world. You’ll be fighting her, not me.

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Pictured, Batman agreeing with me.

#9 Storm

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Another one that HAD to make this list. First appearing in 1975 in the book Giant X-men, storm was originally supposed to be a male named Typhoon. However as they didn’t want an all male team, they combined two of the characters into one Storm Ororo Munroe. Born in Harlem to an African princess and a photojournalist, she didn’t have the cushy life one would expect of such noble birth. After moving to Egypt, her parents die leaving her an orphan.

Eventually she discovers her ability to control the weather and fly. She wanders through Cairo and the Serengeti using her powers to bring water to drought ravaged areas which eventually leads to her being praised as a goddess.

If that isn’t bad ass enough she eventually defeats Cyclops to become leader of the X-men, marries the black panther which literally makes her a queen of the most advanced civilization on the planet, she’s a diplomat, trained wolverine and most of the x-men in hand to hand combat, and is one of the most respected and widely known heroes ever created.

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#8 RocketScreenshot_2015-03-01-10-44-07

That’s Rocket. Flying through an attacking alien spaceship. In this issue she takes on a Gauntlet of 6 of the strongest alien warriors in the galaxy, and whoops all of them. Rocket has a pretty unique character arch. After discovering Agustus Freeman’s unique abilities, she is able to convince him to start helping people under the moniker of Icon.

There’s a whole arch where she gets pregnant and her best friend takes over as Rocket until she gives birth. When she comes back she’s stronger than before and a lot more willing to protect the planet. She’s teamed up with Static, Star chamber AND Shadow Cabinet, Super Boy, Static, and many more.

You probably got used to her on television’s Young Justice. Determined, Strong willed, and infinitely creative Rocket is one to follow with this new relaunch of Milestone.

Screenshot_2015-03-01-10-44-18Screenshot_2015-03-01-10-45-27Oh yeah Rocket “Never back down, Never Surrender.”

#7 Black Canary

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First appearing in 1941 she appeared to be a villain. Turns out she was infiltrating a criminal gang. She eventually became popular enough to take over the comic she originally was only a side character in! Dinah Lance is an extremely adept hand to hand combatant and in different incarnations can utilize an ultrasonic scream.

She helped found the birds of prey(if you get a chance check out the birds of prey episode of Batman Brave and the Bold). A time endearing hero, she’s been featured in almost all of the incarnations of the DC universe from Justice League cartoons to the Arrow live action television show.

Black canary is one powerful hero.

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Just stay out of her way.

 

#6 Amanda Waller

amanda waller

I want you to look at that cover. I mean REALLY look at it. Joker doesn’t even talk to Batman like that. You know who does? Amanda “The Wall” Waller Ph.D. First appearing November 1986 shes been a “good guy” sometimes and a “bad guy other times.” But her motives are never selfish. What she does she does because of her un-matchable ability to see the big picture. Always calm and collected she’s got a plan for everything. No super powers but hangs with the biggest and baddest of the DC universe from Brainiac to Darkseid. She started the suicide squad and has been a government agent for years. She’s basically the Nick Fury of the DC universe. She’s been played by Pam Grier, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, and now Viola Davis.

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Don’t mess with the U.S or anybody under Waller’s protection.

 

#5 Iron ButterFly

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That’s Iron Butterfly liberating a refugee camp from the evil soldiers that had taken over. She’s a Palestinian Muslim and has ferrokinetic control of any and all metallic substances. As a young girl she had to flee from persecution in her home town. Eventually her family ends up in a refugee camp that begins testing gas chemicals on them. As she watched her family die in front of her, she was gifted with her powers. At least that’s the story she tells people. A founding member of the Shadow Cabinet, she’s saved the world more times than we’ll probably ever know. Completely militaristic in her dedication to her task, she is no-nonsense and fights with great intelligence and perfect utilization of her powers.

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She never backs down from a fight and has the strength, tenacity, and strategic skills to walk away a winner.

#4 Donner & Blitzen

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Yes I know it’s a “two-fer” but these two are truly a pair. Donner is the super strong, bullet resistant, stoic one and Blitzen is the super fast, super smart, wise cracking one. After becoming unsatisfied with the Shadow Cabinet, they start their own faction called Heroes including Iota, Payback, Starlight, and the one and only Static Shock. They move to New York and immediately stop an alien invasion. Oh and they are lesbians, openly, which is kind of a big deal in comics, especially 90s comics.

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Always ready to go fight at the drop of a dime, these two teammates work together splendidly.

#3 Invisible Woman Susan Richards

Susan Richards had somewhat of a rocky start. When she first appeared in 1961 she was completely utilized as the damsel in distress. Being captured, running away to hide, or waiting for her husband to come save her was her M.O. But with the advent of her Force field projection powers she’s become widely recognized as the strongest member of the team. This is witnessed several times in the Civil War arch. She is strong and no longer defined by her husband.

Especially in Civil War she actually leaves him due to differences in opinion on the registration act and how things were being handled. From the comics, to the television shows old and new, to the films, this character’s growth has turned her into the heart and soul of one of the greatest superhero teams ever created.

#2 Vixen

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Vixen was supposed to be the first African woman super hero for DC. Unfortunately they canceled her series before it was made. But that hasn’t stopped her from becoming one of the most recognizable woman superheroes of all time.

In ancient Africa, the warrior Tantu asked Anansi the Spider to create a totem that would give the wearer all of the powers of the animal kingdom, only if they would use the power to protect the innocent. Tantu used the totem to become Africa’s first legendary hero. The totem was later passed down to Tantu’s descendants until it reached the McCabes.

Growing up in a small African village in the fictional nation of Zambesi, M’Changa province, Mari Jiwe McCabe heard the legend of the “Tantu Totem” from her mother. Sometime later, Mari’s mother was killed by poachers and she was raised by her father Reverend Richard Jiwe, the village priest. Reverend Jiwe himself was killed by his half-brother (Mari’s uncle) General Maksai. Maksai wanted the Tantu Totem, which Jiwe had possessed. Mari ultimately moved to America, where she established an identity as Mari McCabe and got a job as a model in New York City. She used her newfound wealth to travel the world. On a trip back to Africa, she came across her uncle and took back the Tantu Totem, using its power to become the costumed superhero Vixen.

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Vixen subsequently has had her own limited series and has been featured in a wide variety of DC properties from television to video games.

 

#1 Lady Death Wish

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If you haven’t noticed this list has a lot of Milestone characters. Well trust they deserve to be on here, see that’s what happens when you make characters actually like people and not some stereotypical nonsense that fulfills your fantasy of what you want them to be. Take Deathwish for instance.

Now the original Deathwish has a terrifying backstory but Lady Deathwish (I know I said I wouldn’t have people like that but hear me out on one this one) has a pretty interesting tale and the entire series is told from his/her point of view.

Let me explain.

Deathwish starts off as male cop LT. Martin Rahm, but even then he knew deep down, this wasn’t who he really was (he still identified as male though). On a case he meets the original Death wish who shoves a gun in his face before realizing that Rahm was a cop searching the murder scene alone.

They fast forward four years and Martin Rahm is now Marisa, spoiler alert sex changes don’t make people any less bad ass. Marisa goes on a hunt for a sicko and ends up taking up the Moniker of DeathWish. Unfortunately only a limited series but there was plenty in there to solidify her standing as one of the biggest bad ass women in comic book history.

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Well that’s my list, hope you guys enjoyed it. Are there other’s you’d like to see? Agree or Disagree? Go ahead and leave a comment I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Wiseguy Industries.

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The Direction of DC and hollywood aka the Goyer/Nolan effect

If you’ve been living under the largest rock in the world for the past 20 years, or with one of those tribes that don’t allow other humans to get close enough to give them cable television.

We don't care how many channels you have! There's still nothing good on!
We don’t care how many channels you have! There’s still nothing good on!

Then you know that comic book movies have really exploded, there are several of them that come out every year. Whether they are based on a comic book or a graphic novel or a combination of both (Dark knight rises), the comic book genre and Hollywood are now inextricably linked. Which is very interesting as the comic book movies made in the 80s and 90s sucked, I mean completely sucked. For evidence I give you the 90s captain america, dr strange, the punisher, Justice League, Nick Fury: Agent of shield and the little known and never released but somehow on youtube 90s Fantastic Four.

However in 1998 they decided to give David S Goyer another shot at this comic book live action gig(he wrote Nick Fury: agent of shield), and he penned the script for Blade. Blade starred Wesley Snipes at the height of his marketability and fame and did so well that it completely kicked off a new wave of movies. The dark comic book movie brought to the screen. It was the perfect set up for it actually, vampires, action, those things really transcend comics and can reach over to the regular movie goers. With Goyer’s amazing script this movie became the blueprint for all future comic book movies to follow including X-men, Iron man, superman returns etc. It also ushered in an age of acceptance and respect for comic book movies.

Mr. Goyer went on to write the rest of the Blade trilogy and then famously penned the script for Batman Begins. Teaming up with Christopher Nolan they completely reinvented the origin story and gritty reboot. This movie is beloved by casual movie goers and hardcore batman fans alike. There may be someone who doesn’t like it, but I haven’t found him.

WHERE IS HE???
WHERE IS HE???

This lead to the Dark Knight which IS the greatest Batman film of all time and I will not hear a WORD against it. Just the opening scene alone was enough to make me pass out from geek overload. THAT is how you introduce a villain. It also led to the best comic book video game ever created with the Arkham series. You may begin to see a pattern and that is what I am discussing today.

You see talent is hard to come across in Hollywood, not to say that there is a LACK of it there, but I’m saying its hard to come across, I’ll explain. It’s not an agent’s/producer’s job to find NEW talent, it’s his job to make the company money. So new people aren’t really what they are looking for, they are looking for a track record of making money. Much like how job searching today goes, you look and see they want someone with 3 years experience for a job but you can never get the job because…well you can’t get hired without three years of experience. It’s a whirlwind of aggravation to be sure and Hollywood you can see the result right there on the screen. The same people are making everything, the same people are acting in everything, they have their stable of actors and writers and now everything looks the same. Nobody new is getting in which means everything’s a remake or at the least a cheap rip-off of something that someone who is actually creative made in the first place. So they found a creative person in Goyer, he somehow slipped through the cracks and now he’s their go to guy for every single superhero, video game movie, as is Nolan. This is what I call the Goyer/Nolan effect, when you create something good in Hollywood they will leach your brain until they get every penny it can produce.

C'mon I know you've got something for Dr strange in there...
C’mon I know you’ve got something for Dr strange in there…

So now that the audiences have shown they want superheroes and they want dark. Hollywood says they want Goyer/Nolan! (nothing wrong with that they are very talented). Now everything looks dark, now everything is just a little different, and now we see the problem, they start trying to do things like them without them. Now the movies are FLOODED with dark, dingy, wannabe movies like Green lantern that just don’t work because that’s not really the character. This is pushing more and more people to independent films and outlets. The film festivals have been exploding lately, as have other outlets that promote indie films such as Netflix. Apparently the big movie studios are going to keep throwing more money into remakes and being safe until the movie going populace wises up and stops going to them. When that happens I believe what Spielberg said is true. They won’t try to make better movies, they’ll just up the prices and keep the movies they do make in theaters for a year.

That’s fine with me, gives me more chances for my films to be seen by greater audiences. However the Goyer/Nolan effect is taking great effect on DC. DC has long been known for their unwillingness to flinch when it comes to certain things about their characters. They even released a Mortal Kombat game with no real fatalities.

All he did was drill him into the ground? But where was the BLOOOD
All he did was drill him into the ground? But where was the BLOOOD

Now clearly they are willing to change origin stories and things about the characters they never would have before. Which could lead to a better DC but they walk a thin line of treading into Marvel territory. DC and Marvel have always been two different entities when it comes to characters. DC has had the more “SUPERhero” the over powered, high morals, and huge stars. Marvel has always been darker and more real. Both takes on the superhero have their merits but fans of DC and Marvel love them for these differences. DC is getting darker but I believe that they will be able to pull it off because they have gotten Guillarmo Del Torro to write and direct a film starring the lesser known but darker DC characters.

All in all the next few years in Hollywood should be interesting, but as much as I love comics…can I please get something a little different?

The Top 5 Disney Movies You’ve Already Forgotten

Things are different for the big mouse these days, that is to say they are now even bigger than ever! A few years back they acquired Marvel and made some big moves, and recently they bought Lucas arts and all of Star Wars from George Lucas. So with Marvel movies and comic fans to be pleased, mixed with the Star Wars fanboys, Disney has a lot on its plate, aside from that new pirates movie I’m hearing about. So today lets take a look back at the family fun cartoon movies made by Disney that in this new hullabaloo, you’ve already forgotten.

#5-Oliver and Company

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Ok I know this movie gets a lot of slack. But Billy Joel has never been a critics favorite and the audience LOVED this film so take THAT learned critics. This movie is set in New York City and features a host of talking singing animals. Its a modern day take on Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist. Oliver the cat is left behind when all of his other litter-mates are adopted. He wanders the street until he meets Dodger the dog and helps him rob a hot dog vendor. Dodger takes off with the food and unbeknownst to him, is tailed by Oliver. They eventually team up to help his owner pay back the ruthless “Sykes.”

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You know he’s evil because he smokes.

With a lot of great songs by Billy Joel and Huey Lewis and The News this was destined to be an audience pleaser and critic hair puller.

Why You’ve Forgotten It

Probably because it’s not played anywhere due to terrible ratings online. Disney just doesn’t play it, even on the extended channels, which is a shame because it really is a great movie.

#4 Angels in the Outfield

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So I stepped out of the field of animation for a second for this movie. Being a baseball player growing up there were three movies that were required watching. Sandlot(if you didn’t know who the great Bambino was you could NOT be on my team because you probably played like a girl), Rookie of the year, and Angels in the outfield. You were not a real baseball player if you hadn’t watched these movies to the point that you could quote them from beginning to end.

A young boy’s deadbeat father tells him that he’ll start coming to see him if the angels win the pennant.

The only known photo of his father.
The only known photo of his father.

The only known photo of his father.
Suddenly a real angel appears in the form of Christopher Llyod and his zany antics set the Angel baseball team on the fast track to winning the entire World Series. A pretty fun movie with an interesting concept.

Why You’ve Forgotten It

It doesn’t really hold up over time and doesn’t get any airplay. Despite great acting sometimes writing was just to on the nose and fell flat. Also it had a god awful sequel called Angels in the Endzone. Sigh silly sequels, stop tainting the originals, you too prequels! The trailer still gives me chills though here it is.

#3 Flight Of The Navigator

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Another foray outside of the animated setting. This film is about a young boy living in Ft Lauderdale, Florida who goes to retrieve his younger brother from a friend’s house, he returns 8 years later and hasn’t aged a day. They take him to the doctor and while they try and figure out why he hasn’t aged, a spaceship has crashed nearby. The next day David hears a voice and follows it into the spaceship who informs him, yes the spaceship itself informs him, that he is it’s only way home. He “downloaded” star maps into David’s brain and after the crash he lost them all. Thus David is now “The navigator.” An interesting storyline and eventually a pretty fun movie to watch.

Why You’ve Forgotten it

Well maybe if the child star had been a bit more memorable and in a few other things, people would go check it out. Actually it might even get some airtime, however this child star fizzled out pretty quickly and hasn’t been in a movie since an uncredited role in 96. While Sarah Jessica Parker is in this movie its a small role though I do believe there is some scantily clad scenes for her, shocking for Disney I know. They are currently remaking this film so I’m sure we’ll all be remembering it soon enough.

#2 Treasure Planet

Disney Treasure Planet Jim & Long John SilverI’m pretty sure I’m going to get a lot of slack for this list. However Treasure Planet is one of the most innovative and daring movies in Disney history. Some quick facts about Pirate movies, before Pirates of the Caribbean, they just didn’t work. From Cutthroat island to Hook, they bombed. Disney decided to bring the classic tale of Treasure Island into the new age with a brand new twist, they’d be in space. Jim Hawkins is a 12 year old boy who is given a sphere and is told to beware the cyborg. He eventually sets off on a quest that spans worlds. Creating an entirely new universe from scratch, Disney laid upon us amazing visuals and creative ideas one after another. With quirky new characters and a lead that was able to connect to an audience even in this new sci-fi world, this was a really good movie that suffered from poor advertising and poor timing.

Why You’ve Forgotten It

Because it bombed at the box office. It came out in 2002, if you don’t remember that means this film had to compete with Spider-man, Harry Potter, Lord of the rings, Star wars, Austin Powers, Men in Black 2, Die another day…yeah there just isn’t a place to squeeze this new creative Disney film in. However its failure at the box office didn’t make it any less of a movie and it was nominated for a best animated feature oscar. Oh and Joesph-Gordon Levitt is in it so…there’s that, ROBIN!

#1 The Emperor’s New Groove

theemperorsnewgroove221Some movies I just don’t know HOW they pitched to anybody with sense. An aztec style stuck up, self absorbed, prince gets turned into a llama and has to enlist the help of one of the very people he was hurting to get back to his original form. And David Spade’s going to play the llama.

I lied
Trust me, it’ll be great.

Seriously though, how does this work? Precisely that reason, casting. The brilliant casting of David Spade as Emperor Kuzco, Eartha Kitt as Yzma the evil scientist, John Goodman as the friendly Pacha, and Patrick Warburton as Kronk. The movie is funny, fresh, original, and spawned a successful television series.

Why You’ve Already Forgotten It

No clue, mostly I know I’d forgotten about it precisely because Disney hasn’t done anything like it in years. 2D animated movies are extremely hard to come by in American Theaters these days and without being able to say “hey this movie sucks and they can do better because look at this one,” Emperor’s new groove kind of falls to the back of the movies to watch list.

Well that’s my list! If you have any additions or comments about existing parts of the list please let me know in the comments section!

Thanks for reading as usual you guys are amazing!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries