A cheat sheet for all the new comic book power ladies

Today marks a pre-tty big day for Spider-Man and his friends. If you know anything about the tale of Peter Parker (or, have at least seen the two most recent Spider-Man movies with Andrew Garfield and our gal Emma Stone), you know that Spider-Man’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy, sadly dies during a battle with Green Goblin. Spider-Man just can’t save her in time. It’s honestly pretty tragic.

In the world of the comics, Gwen Stacy died way back in 1973, and in the movie reboots she died in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 last year. Gwen Stacy has been gone from the Marvel world all this time . . . until today.

As of today, Gwen Stacy is back! And she’s not just back to hang out with Peter, she’s back as Spider-Man Spider-Gwen. That’s right, in an alternate Marvel timeline, it’s not Peter who gets bit by a radioactive spider that gives him web slinging abilities, it’s Gwen. Talk about a comeback story.

Gwen’s not the only lady of comics who has gone through a complete transformation recently. Indeed there has been something of a Lady Hero Renaissance as of late (about time!). Because all this amazing lady news comes out piece meal, and sometimes our brains get a little scrambled, we put together a little cheat sheet so you can keep track of all the woman-comics-awesomeness coming your way. It’s all impressive individually, but when you see these changes all grouped together the badassery only grows.

The new Thor is a lady

Know who’s also been newly minted as a female? Thor. The back story behind this is that the Thor we know and love is deemed “unworthy” to lift his hammer — Mjölnir — and he can no longer pick it up. So in steps this new Thor, who is totally worthy and is also one of our new feminist heroes. In the most recent Thor issue, #5, a baddie actually asks our new lady-Thor what “kind of Thor are you?” because even HE doesn’t think Thor should be a woman. Bad move. New Thor (lady Thor) punches him in the face. Violence is not the answer, but in this instance we have to say it’s pretty dope.

The birth of A-Force, an all-female Avengers team

Soon, the Avengers team we know and love will be no more. Marvel is going to re-boot and re-shift their ever expanding universe and wipe some of the slate clean. When all that is said and done, it won’t be Iron Man and Captain America in charge of the Avengers, but rather She-Hulk. In fact, the entire Avengers team will be made up of females from the Marvel universe and there are SO MANY OF THEM that are far-too-often forgotten. I wholeheartedly support anything that brings Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat, aka Ellen Page in the X-Men movies, to the forefront.

Wonder Woman is taking the spotlight

Wonder Woman is going through a BUNCH of new and exciting changes. The big one is the fact that she’s been completely re-imagined for the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice movie — she’ll be played by Gal Gadot, and her new costume is so much better than the skirt and cape of yore. Oh, and she’s also going to get her own movie down the road, which will be helmed by an awesome team of female writers, producers, and a female director.

If that ain’t enough, there’s also a digital Wonder Woman books reboot happening, which is based off of the 1970’s TV series. You can buy these now, and read them off of your Kindle and iPad, and I suggest that you do — if only because the first adventure is a literal disco adventure. ’70s, remember?

Ms. Marvel is a new Pakistani superhero and we love her

There are so many amazing things about Ms. Marvel, it’s hard to figure out where to start. So let’s start here: Kamala Khan is a teenager who lives in New Jersey and her parents are from Pakistan. Kamala is the first ever Muslim character to headline her own Marvel comic. Here’s how it happens; the character begins to realize that she has shape-shifting abilities, so she calls herself Ms. Marvel after her idol, Carol Danvers who was the original Ms. Marvel. So much yes. Kamala is strong, smart, and she refuses to define herself through labels because she’s the brand new teen superhero we’ve been waiting for.

Supergirl is coming to the small screen

Supergirl is having a huge moment. Following in the footsteps of the other ridiculously successful DC TV shows, Supergirl is coming to the small screen. The show isn’t just going to be about her saving the day and stuff, but about her EMBRACING her powers and figuring out who she is as a person. She’s of course going to use her powers to save the day, but there are going to be a hundred other facets to her character, too. Also, Supergirl will be played by Melissa Benoist from Glee. Oh also it was just announced that Calista Flockhart has joined the cast, because the show needed to be a little bit more awesome.

Peggy Carter has stolen our hearts

Oh, Peggy. We heart you so much. In the comics, Peggy Carter is a huge character to Captain America, but she’s not a really huge character to anyone else. Marvel’s latest movie outings have completely changed that, and then they went and took things one step further by giving us the best female led comic show to date. It’s also the only female comic show currently on TV, but hopefully she’s the first in a long line of more to come. Peggy is resourceful, doesn’t take no for an answer, and strives to only do what she knows is best. And on top of all of that, she doesn’t need any man — Steve Rogers or whoever — to give her life value.

Did I miss any awesome female heroes? While there used to be only a handful, now there are five or six handfuls, and seriously there’s room for SO many more. The more, the merrier.

Images via here, here, here, here, here, and here.