One of cinema’s most underrepresented minorities, women superheroes make up a big part of the superhero community. However, women superheroes are still a rarity on the big screen, even now in enlightened 2011. The following is a list of women superheroes, that we can all look to for inspiration.
Wonder Woman is pretty much the first character anyone thinks of when the subject of “women superheroes” is brought up (and honestly, has a day gone by when this subject hasn’t entered your conversation at least once?). This isn’t because she was the first female superhero, or even the best. But for whatever reason, she shook out as being the most famous, and why not? She’s got a nice patriotic thing going with her costume, and she’s also got a healthy dose of S&M with that truth lasso. Her most famous screen iteration is the ’70s TV series starring Linda Carter, but that could change if the upcoming TV … yeah, that’s probably not gonna change.
Women superheroes are often burdened by being mere reflections of their male counterparts. In this instance, Spider-Woman is obviously intended as a female Spider-Man, and there’s no point in even trying to get around it. Unlike many women superheroes, however, Spider-Woman has managed to be her own gal for quite a while, even getting her own motion comic “Spider-Woman: Agent of S.W.O.R.D.” And no, there’s no relation between her and Kiss of the Spider-Woman. That’s a different Spider-Woman.
The X-Men series has brought possibly the most women superheroes to the screen. Jean Grey, Storm and Rogue are the most famous, but there have been several others in the series, which includes the recen X-Men: First Class. Not only do these women superheroes have to deal with the pressure of being mutants, protecting those that hate and fear them, they also have to deal with the pressures of being women! Would it be an exaggeration to say that watching the X-Men movies makes you a brave feminist crusader? No, no it would not.
Unlike the other women superheroes on this list, it’s very possible that you’ve never even heard of The Tiger Woman. That’s probably because instead of originating in comics or on TV, The Tiger Woman comes from the lost art of the adventure serial. In a 12-chapter serial in the 1940s called The Tiger Woman, The Tiger Woman thrilled adventure-loving kids all over the country with her costume cat ears and she-Tarzan style. The Tiger Woman is not only one of the more obscure women superheroes, but she also might make a cool Halloween costume idea for your girlfriend. Run it by her, see what happens.
Some women superheroes are proud, upstanding symbols of female empowerment. Then again, some women superheroes are played by Alicia Silverstone in universally despised Joel Schumacher Batman movies. Batgirl was never a particularly interesting character, being basically Robin with boobs, but she is a female who wears a cape and fights crime, so she makes the list. Holy affirmative action, Batman!
Now you have at least some idea of the women superheroes that have made it to the big screen. Could all of these women superheroes hold their own against Batman, Superman, or Spider-Man? We don’t know, but we wouldn’t advise you bet against them. They’ve made it this far, after all.