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

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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

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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.

Obscure Origin stories: Sonic The Hedgehog

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It’s funny that a lot of the real origin stories for beloved characters remain buried under years of speculation, when the truth is out there lurking, hidden in the brush, but there nonetheless for those who will look for it.

It's in there, go ahead, don't be a wimp!
It’s in there, go ahead, don’t be a wimp!

Well this time I’ve searched the depths of the “Internet” to bring you the origin story of one SONIC THE HEDGEHOG. Ok to be honest I read it in a comic book when I was younger but I didn’t fully remember all of the details so I DID search the internet a little. It was released as an advertisment/mini comic book.

I actually like the story. It has Sonic starting off on his homeworld of Mobius, that’s the name of the place every Sonic game takes place. Well, until perhaps 1998 whenthey revamped the story for Sonic Adventure, however this origin story still fits.

In the beginning of the comic Sonic is being chased by one Dr. Ivo Robotnik AKA Eggman. Sonic is too fast which leads Eggman to crash his ship in his haste to catch him. Sonic then attacks all of the Badniks he has with him, releasing the animals inside. After Eggman flees the other animals suggest they should go see Dr. Ovi Kintobor surely the good doctor could help sort this guy out? No silly animals don’t you see what they did there? With the names? Dr Ovi Kintobor is just Dr. Ivo Robotnik spelled backwards!

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Right so how did this happen? How did Ovi become Ivo? Well without further delay, here’s the full comic I dug out of the internet just for my too cool readers!

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I actually really like this story. It explains why he’s collecting the rings and why he’s this bright blue color. The fact that Eggman is contributing to his own terrible condition by making Sonic drop the rings he’s only collecting to help him is great in my eyes. I’m a sucker for tragic bad guys and heroes who want nothing more than to save them(i.e Batman and two face’s relationship in the animated series). If you didn’t know the origin to Sonic before, well, now you know!

Oh also there’s something floating around called the Sonic Bible which is basically the same story but its a novel and talks more about Sonic’s family. I might upload that later if you guys want me too :).
Thanks For reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Spoiler Free Movie Review: Superman Unbound!

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Now I know a lot of fuss is going on about Star Trek and Iron man 3. But lets not forget that DC has put out yet another animated film. This is also something to get excited about as they usually do an awesome job when it comes to this.

In this film Brainiac and Superman meet for the first time after one of Brainiac’s droids lands on earth.

The first thing you notice when watching a DC animated film is the artist’s renditioning of the characters. In Superman vs The Elite he had an extremely pronounced jawline, giving him a stranger more cartoony look that I felt didn’t really go with the darker themes they were trying to convey. In this film they lost the hard jaw going with a sleeker look. I like the look for the film.

The Characters

Superman/Clark Kent

Super Girl/Kara Zor-el

Brainiac

Louis Lane

Jimmy

These are just the main characters I can list without giving away too much of the story line.

Superman is going through a lot, he’s a busy guy and the terrorists in Metropolis are starting to bank on this. However his cousin has shown up and tries to take his place during is busier days.

The relationship between Superman and Supergirl is well thought out and plays very well throughout the movie. In fact the side story of Supergirl’s growth and struggles is one of the high points of the movie.

However Supergirl’s babbling dialogue can get very annoying, very quickly. It is as if someone was writing a caricature of a teenage girl and threw it into every word she speaks. The writing for her dialogue doesn’t detract completely from her story but it did pull me out of it from time to time. Her dialogue being so cliche is strange as they definitely put a lot of dedication and effort into making Louis Lane extremely strong, independent, and feisty, everything we’ve come to love from her.

My issues with this movie don’t end there however. While I do enjoy Louis Lane’s character and Supergirl’s struggle to find herself in this new world, the rest of the movie just doesn’t do it for me. My usual problems with Superman come into play many times here. For example when he first fights the droid probe it’s a little tough and can take several hits from him, however eventually it is shown that a desk chair can be used to defeat it. Superman’s own power levels drastically flip flop throughout the movie which is another huge issue for me when it comes to him. Either nothing can constrain him or he’s locked in stop switching it for dramatic purposes, its become to obvious.

As I like to stick to spoiler free reviews this one will be rather short, sweet, and to the point.

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3 Stars out of 5. While the voice acting is really good and the idea is well thought out. The overall execution was lacking, surprising coming from a DC animated flick. I wouldn’t recommend watching it but if you have nothing else to do…I’m sure you could find something better to watch than this one…In fact I’ll be uploading a review on a few other DC animated films very soon so stay tuned for that!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Wiseguy Industries

S.H.I.E.L.D The television series

Marvel Television and ABC have released the first trailer for Agents of Shield. They have decided to ride the wave I call Avenger’s Gold, and rightfully so. They spent over ten years cultivating the movie and now that the fruits of their labor have arrived, they are happily raking in the benefits. From re releasing the movie into theaters only a month or two after the first release, to now a highly anticipated television show.

I’m really looking forward to this. I hear tell they have sufficiently explained Phil-uh I mean Agent (that man’s first name is AGENT) Coulson’s triumphant return to what seems to be sort of a men in black style agency. Several pretty good to great actors have signed on to the show. Here’s the list from the wiki page

Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson: An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who oversees many of the division’s field operations. The character will headline the series. At the 2013 South by Southwest festival, Joss Whedon confirmed that Coulson is alive in the series, despite his apparent death at the hands of Loki in The Avengers. When describing his character’s return from the dead, Gregg said, “When Joss described to me the mystery… and the complexity and the unanswered questions about Phil Coulson standing there trying to deal with this, I found it so fascinating and so true to the world of the comics and mythology in general as I understand them that I was immediately in.”

Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May: An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who is an ace pilot and weapons expert.The character was originally listed with the name Agent Althea Rice (a.k.a. The Cavalry) on casting sheets.

Brett Dalton as Agent Grant Ward: A gruff, asocial manly man in his early 30s who is great at his job but not so great at getting along with his coworkers. Ward has a strong moral foundation and is not without his charm.

Chloe Bennet as Skye: A civilian new recruit and computer hacker, described as “bubbly and goofy” but “also warm, edgy and witty.” She is in her late 20s and can more than hold her own in any situation.

Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz: An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who specializes in weapons technology.

Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons: An agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. who specializes in life sciences (both human and alien) and is the close partner of Agent Leo Fitz.

Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill: An agent with S.H.I.E.L.D. who works closely with Jackson’s Nick Fury.
J. August Richards was cast in an unspecified role in the pilot.

With all of these people signed on it looks pretty promising.

A WILD IDEA APPEARS!

Hopefully they’ll have some people in the from the Damage Control series. If you aren’t familiar with this limited series hereImage

Basically they are the cleanup crew that comes in after the huge superhero fights and cleans up. Created by one of the most amazing comic book men ever, Dwayne Mcduffie, Its one of the few things he did for Marvel before going mostly to DC. Showing Damage control and S.H.I.E.L.D working together would add a lot of humor that a good television show needs to keep it going from season to season. But that’s just something they could throw in there and they have done that specifically in Iron man 2 on the television they mention them briefly.

I believe that Disney will do right by the Marvel universe with this show, I’m not sure how long it will be on the air but I know the first episode will be good. Where it goes from there is anyone’s guess!

I will keep you guys updated on these things as soon as I hear about them!

You’re terrific readers and thanks for following me!

Sincerely,

A wise comic book guy