Did you hear? The Wonder Woman movie just got a new director (hi, Patty Jenkins!), which means that one of our favorite lady comic superheroes will soon be on the big screen. We can’t wait to see it! And it’s becoming clear that there’s a lot of love out there in the comic world for feisty female faves as well as male ones. And if Wonder Woman intrigues you, well, good news: There are a bunch of other women in comics who are just as awesome, everyone from classics like Super Girl and Star Girl to more obscure but equally as awesome ladies who kick ass all over the page. In honor of superheroines everywhere, here are some comic book ladies who deserve more attention.
Kiden Nixon (NYX, NYX: No Way Home)
NYX, written by Joe Quesada, tells the story of bereavement, growing up in a violent high school, and the pure shock of finding out you can slow down time. The first two might sound familiar, the last one not so much. After Kiden begins to see the ghost of her father following her around with various cryptic hints to people who need help, she leaves home and discovers a gang of relatable misfits on the streets: her emotionally exhausted school teacher, a girl who looks oddly like a young female wolverine, and a girl who can turn into any animal.
NYX was one of the first comic books I read as a teenager, and it really hit home. I may not have been able to relate to her experience with wolverines, but I know how it feels to feel totally unsure about what is going on with my body. NYX introduced me to a type of girl hero, that wasn’t all spandex and invisible jets (though those are great too!). It had that down-to-earth vibe I looked for, paired with some epic super-powers.
Spider-Girl (Spider-Girl, The Amazing Spider-Girl, etc)
When I first got into comic books I was a pretty typical fan: I liked Spider-Man after I saw the movies, but I didn’t know where to begin with all the different kinds of series out there. Then I saw Spider-Girl. She sat on a shelf with a big issue number 1 on the cover, and her arms were wide open, as if welcoming me with a big geeky hug. In case you aren’t familiar with this fabulous lady web-slinger, May ‘Mayday’ Parker is the daughter of Peter Parker, the original Spider-Man. Writer Tom Defalco decides to explore what might happen if May followed in her father’s footsteps and dons her own blue and red suit.
Spider-Girl has a vintage vibe to it; it feels like one big Saturday morning cartoon. It has old-fashioned art work and the grounded plot of a teenage girl having to balance high school, her dreams, her family life, and her superpowers. May was always a great role model for me because she refused to be perfect. She made mistakes constantly but always seemed to make them better after some hard work. Plus, like her father before her, her awful puns made her such an endearing read.
Araña Corazon (Amazing Fantasy, Araña: The Heart of the Spider , etc)
After I finished the Spider-Girl run I was dying for another webslinger, and The Heart of The Spider did not disappoint. Araña’s superpowers come from a blue alien substance that one night grabbed hold of her. Her first appearance in Amazing Fantasy Vol 2 gave an interesting look into the life of a half Mexican and half Puerto Rican girl, a perspective that I hadn’t seen before in comic books, and was awesome to read about, which I for one hadn’t really seen before in my collection of comics. Her adventures are just as acrobatic and interesting as you might expect for someone in the spider universe.
X-23 (X-23: Innocence Lost, NYX, Uncanny X-men, etc)
Meet Laura Kinney, better known as X-23, a clone who came from Weapon X, the same secret lab facility that produced the X-Men’s Wolverine. . I was drawn to X-23 for her very quiet and spontaneous demeanor, but I stayed for the well-rounded person that lingered inside of her. Like every other Weapon X creation, Laura was handed a raw deal from the get-go, but even without someone to show her the way she still came to find her own moral compass, even if she made slip ups along the way. If you were created to be a weapon, it’s a pretty tough life. But Laura still manages to face the world with courage, and have some real adventures along the way.
5. Ladyhawk (Spider-Girl)
One alias, two heroines! Ladyhawk, the alias of the crime-fighting duo Rosetta and Regina Morgan, are two determined women that fight street crime in the Spider-Girl series. They’re the twin daughters of a crime kingpin, but they decided to stay out of the family business, purging the streets of New York from crime instead. Inspired by the fallen hero Falcon, Ladyhawk continued to chase after super-villians and thugs even after a nearly fatal attack by villain Hobgoblin, which leads to Regina being confined to a wheelchair. Not that it stops her: Regina quickly becomes the most kickass disabled superhero in the city.
6. Bumblebee (Teen Titans, Doom Patrol, Infinite Crisis, etc)
Otherwise known as Karen Beecher-Duncan, Bumblebee was the first official female African-American superhero for DC comics. Karen is as assertive as they come, and incredibly dedicated to whichever good cause comes along (a big one being the creation of Titans East). Much like Ant Man, Bumblebee has the ability to change size, and, of course, she also stings like a bee. As much as I love my awkward and vulnerable heroines it’s also great to have Bumblebee, who’s just bursting with self-confidence.
7. Wild Girl (Wild Girl)
Taking a break from the major players DC and Marvel for a moment, I’d like to introduce an independent comic called Wild Girl, written by Leah Moore (the daughter of Watchmen’s Alan Moore) and John Reppion. Wild Girl is trippy and dark, but in an oddly comfortable way, and each panel is filled with beautifully surreal artwork. After a traumatizing accident at home that leads her to run away, teen Rosa Torez suffers a head injury that changes her life forever. How? Well, imagine waking up after knocking your head and realizing you could speak to animals. Yeah, it’s a pretty big change.Wild Girl is Dr Doolittle meets The Tracy Fragments. It’s a beautiful story with artwork that’s just as stunning.