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

black canary

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.

iron butter

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.

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 Cartoons of the 90s

The nineties were a time of crazy backwards clothing, 99 cent gas, oval office oral opprobria, and of course…CARTOONS! Man were kids ever catered to back then Disney channel was mostly cartoons and (shocker) so was cartoon network! I know crazy right? Well that was until some…changes…

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You just stood by and let Ted Turner kill us

The WB had morning cartoons as well and all was right in the toon world, we even got a live action crossover movie with the biggest basketball superstar of all time. So things were great. So to narrow it down to five is going to be rough but here are my top five as I remember them, If I leave any out feel free to list your “favs” in the comment section! The rules for inclusion I’m doing shows primarily meant for kids so no…Ren and Stimpy isn’t on here, it had to have STARTED in the 90s so 89 and before doesn’t cut it. Ok…here we go!

#5 Doug

Centering around the new kid and his huge imagination, Doug lured everyone in with its accessibility, and kept them there with their zany characters. Doug is a kid who doesn’t quite fit in but he’s got hi pal Scooter and his dog Porkchop along to help him out. With his huge imagination and strange ability to get into awkward situations, he’s able to keep us entertained. Plus every now and then he becomes one of the coolest superheros to wear a belt… QUAILMAN.

...maybe he was just a tad to old for this...
…maybe he was just a tad to old for this…

#4 X-men

Yes based on the extremely popular comic book series this show brought it off the page and onto your television set. Along with being just a great show in general, it gave us one of the best theme songs in the history of man-kind. I mean most of us are still hooked off the intro alone. Here’s something to try, walk into a crowded place and blast this song and watch what happens.

They will appear…

The character selection was great, they had Morph, Beast, Rogue, Cyclops, Storm,Wolverine, and much more. Even Jubilee served as a pretty good character in terms of  introducing us to the X-men’s world. They did a really good job with character development and keeping them close to their comic book counterparts. From Wolverine and Sabertooth’s rivalry, right down to having Storm be afraid of tight spaces. This show really shaped the direction that Marvel has taken and helped it become the force in film that it is now. Without it we’d still be stuck with movies like the 90s captain america and the Avengers movie would never have existed! Thank you X-men!

But you...no thanks
But you…no thanks

#3 Ducktales

Ok the 90s has the crown when it comes to theme songs. If people can agree on nothing else we can at least agree on that! When this song comes on try not to go WoooOOO!

The show circles around Scrooge Mcduck, the richest duck in the world, and his 3 grand nephews. I’m not exactly sure who the father is(Darkwing duck?) but Donald is their uncle. Huey, Dewey, Louie, and their uncle get into all sorts of adventures while Scrooge tries to protect his riches while gaining more. My personal favorite is the episode  the hound of castle mcduck. Based off of the book “the hound of the baskerville” it really demonstrates the variety of the show and its ability to make a story it’s own. Plus it taught us all that if you have enough money you can do this-

I'm about to diiiiiiiiive iiinnnn
I’m about to diiiiiiiiive iiinnnn

#2 What A Cartoon!

The What a Cartoon show was Cartoon Networks testing grounds. It just so happened that most of their tests were amazingly forward thinking, creative, and outright fun. You never knew exactly what you were going to get when this show came on, and that was half the fun. The other half was knowing that this one shot episode might come back later on for several seasons. Many great shows got their start here including the Power Puff girls, Courage the cowardly dog, Dexter’s laboratory,Johnny Bravo,Codename: Kids Next Door, and little known fact Family Guy!

With all these great shows owing their existence to “What a Cartoon” we have to give it its respect. Side Note: I wish that they’d come out with another show like this, it would really accelerate the amount of good shows being put on television.

#1 Batman The Animated Series

Oh Superman fans stay out of your feelings! Without this shows success your guy never would have made it.

Neveeerrr wouuulddaa maaade iiit
Neveeerrr wouuulddaa maaade iiit

If you’ve ever read even ONE of my blogs you knew Batman was going to be somewhere on this list (Statics not here because he just missed the cut off airing  9-23-2000). Seriously though even non fans have to admit with music by Danny Elfman backing it up and an atmosphere that completely changed the way people saw superheroes, it had to be on here. Batman led the way for other fan favorites such as Superman the animated series, Batman and robin the animated series, countless amazing DVD DC universe features, and a little show called The Justice League. Dare I say without this animated series we might not have seen Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” as any Bat-Fan will tell you if anybody got the Bat right it was this series and Nolan DID study it. It introduced to the world outside of comic books so many things such as how Gotham looks, the relationship between Batman and the police, and the infamous…Bat-Glare!

Just run…he’ll catch you but…maybe he’ll just break one arm…maybe…

Little known fact that’s actually a superpower…joking but he has used it to effectively shutup Superman, Martian Manhunter and just about anybody else foolish enough to question his methods(except wonder woman who insisted on making him her boyfriend).

Close your eyes and try to listen to Batman’s voice…now the Jokers…how about two face? Penguin? I’m willing to bet that you heard in this order: Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Richard Moll, and Paul Williams. I’ve watched every Batman movie a million times over and still these are the voices I hear, no matter how great Heath Ledger was in the Dark Knight that was a one time gig, Hamill has been the joker for decades now. Kevin Conroy has been Batman for just as long and why? It’s off the success of this amazing program. The artwork was amazing in fact they had to give it its own name as it didn’t fit into any category that came before it “Dark Decko.”

Nominated for 19 awards and winning a Daytime Emmy this show embodied not only the Dark Knight and Gotham, but the entire idea of what we want to see in our superhero cartoons. Each hero has a fan following for a reason, when you bring that to the screen you keep those fans and add more (I don’t get what’s so hard about it? Stop letting your ego get in the way Hollywood.)

That’s the best five for right now but as I was doing more research I’m thinking about making a top twenty because WOW the 90s weren’t playing when it came to cartoons! So for now I hope you enjoyed this but I’ll definitely be updating it soon!

Thanks for reading Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries