These ladies deserved to live in the spotlight. Here’s a list of the top 10 underrated badass female characters. These women, as smart and brave as they are, should have the chance to be the star of the show.
10. April O’Neil (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise)
While the TMNT franchise has been growing and booming since the 1980s, April O’Neil has always been introduced as an understanding friend and ally of the Turtles and the main love interest of vigilante Casey Jones. April has proven in every appearance, no matter how she gets involved with the turtles, that she can hold her own in a fight and is a very intelligent and clever person. She’s willing to do what it takes to find the truth and do the right thing; no matter the cost. And she’s too stubborn to be stopped.
9. Felicia Hardy/Black Cat (Marvel Comics)
While most comic book fans mistakenly believe that she’s a rip-off of DC Comics character Catwoman, The Black Cat is a villain and hero in her own right. Felicia Hardy was raised by a cat bugler father and decided to develop a similar skillset after she was beaten and raped by her college boyfriend. After the death of her rapist, she decided to follow in her father’s footsteps as the Black Cat. She eventually meets the hero Spiderman and has been having an off-and-on relationship with him ever since. While primarily known as a sexy femme fatale, in recent years she has been depicted as a hero/anti-hero and is forever one of Spiderman’s greatest allies. Popular in different animated Spiderman TV series, she hasn’t had a major role on the silver screen. Fans would love to see more of Felicia’s story and background. She proves and encourages women that there is nothing wrong with a good girl with a bad streak.
8. Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern (DC Comic)
The superhero that every millennial needs in their life. Jessica Cruz, the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps, proves that a person’s mental health doesn’t define them. After escaping with her life from mobsters who murdered her friends during a hunting trip, she developed severe anxiety and a fear of ever leaving her home. Despite her trauma, a Power Ring chose her to be a member of the Green Lantern Corps. At first, she didn’t want the reasonability of the ring. However, with Batman’s help, she was able to face her fears and become the fiercest member of the DC Universe. While the film Justice League vs. the Fatal Five portrays Cruz perfectly to her comic book counterpart, other media appearances have not. She proves in this new day and age that if you have a mental illness, you don’t have to be ashamed. You can still be the badass that you are meant to be!
7. Traci Thirteen/Girl 13 (DC Comics)
Don’t mess with this sorceress! While not the most popular superhero in the DC Universe, Traci Thirteen is well known as the daughter of a magical skeptic and a Homo Magi sorceress and as the girlfriend of either Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle or Natasha Irons. Traci has been mostly used as a supporting character since her 2003 debut. However, every appearance she has ever made, she always exists with grace, class, and a bang! Traci finally made her first media appearance in 2017 the film Teen Titans: The Judas Contract voiced by African-American actress Masasa Moyo. Unfortunately, she was poorly portrayed in the film and is a victim of white-washing. You see, Traci has always been depicted as a young half-Caucasian and half-Asian woman with dark hair in the comics. In the film, her character design is that of a redheaded Caucasian girl. Fortunately, DC fixed that mistake when Traci was introduced in the third season of Young Justice. In this appearance, she is voiced by well-known Chinese-American actress Lauren Tom. With many white actors deciding to stop voicing non-white character roles in recent years, why hasn’t DC Comics apologized for Traci’s portrayal in Judas Contract? Either way, I hope to see more of Traci appearing in other DC-related media in the future.
6. Claire Temple/Night Nurse (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
A combination of Marvel characters, Dr. Claire Temple and the alter ego of the Night Nurse, Claire Temple, portrayed by Rosario Dawson, first appeared in the MCU in the Netflix original series Daredevil as a New York nurse who treats superheroes and vigilantes alike when she’s off shift. Dawson has received star billings in most of Marvel’s Netflix series, even as the girlfriend of Luke Cage in the Netflix series Luke Cage. Claire has always been a supporting character to the hero of the show instead of being in the spotlight herself. She has proven to be a brave woman, willing to risk her life for the heroes of New York with her medical skills and her newly developed combat skills. Despite the fact that Netflix is no longer producing Marvel shows, we hope she makes her debut on the silver screen. Also, let’s face it, nurses are the real heroes in any universe.
5. Sara Pezzini/Witchblade (Top Cow Productions)
While her crime-fighting persona is Witchblade, Sara Pezzini and the Witchblade are actually two separate things. When New York Homicide Detective Sara Pezzini was shot during a shootout, a mystical gauntlet called the Witchblade bonded with her and saved her life. The Witchblade gives Sara multiple abilities such as, but not limited to, giving her full body armor, producing energy blast, incredible superhuman strength, and being able to form various weapons. Together, Sara and the Witchblade protect New York City from supernatural foes. A TV series entitled Witchblade was produced in 2001 by TNT. However, the show only lasted for two seasons. Rumors stated that the show was canceled due to Yancy Butler’s, who starred as Detective Sara Pezzini/Witchblade in the series, alcoholism. It’s time for a comeback for this hero after 20 plus years, and to have an actress who deserves to portray her.
4. Barbara Kopetski/Barb Wire (Dark Horse Comics)
She’s just a small-town girl, livin’ in a dystopian world. Barbara “Barb Wire” Kopetski grew up in a loving family which included her parents, grandmother, and little brother, Charlie. After the death of her father, she decides to leave home for a time. By the time she returns home years later, her hometown is overrun by gangs, drugs, and crime. Thanks to her skills as a bounty hunter that she learned while she was away, and with help from her brother, she defends her city in hopes of returning it to its former glory. Pamela Anderson starred as our favorite bounty hunter superhero in the 1996 film Barb Wire, which is considered one of the worst films of all time. Anderson even won a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst New Star. If anyone deserves a reboot, it’s her! I say we give her one. But whatever you do, don’t call her babe!
3. The Magdalena (Top Cow Productions)
A title only passed down to the female descendants of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene, The Magdalena serves the Catholic Church to protect the world and the Church from demonic forces. Each Magdalena has been trained in hand-to-hand combat, swordsmanship, and has the ability to see into people’s hearts and souls to show them the errors of their ways and help them to redeem their sins. Every Magdalena is also entrusted with the Spear of Destiny, which has the ability to see the future and kill demons, to help them to fight evil. The Magdalena is actually known as an ally to Sara Pezzini/Witchblade. Seeing these two women fighting side by side should prove quite entertaining and shine a spotlight that they both deserve.
2. Riya Dashti/Blindstrike (Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters)
Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, Iranian-American Riya Dashti/Blindstrike was first introduced as an enemy of the Flex Fighters working with Dr. Racine Cleo, A.K.A. Dr. C, until it was revealed that the Flex Fighters mentor, benefactor, and CEO of Rook Unlimited, Jonathan Rook, was the real villain trying to take over their city. The Flex Fighters decided to work with Riya and Dr. C to defeat Rook. Riya’s parents were both scientists who worked for Rook Unlimited along with Dr. C. Riya’s parents were killed in a plane crash that Rook sabotaged himself, to keep them from exposing his criminal ways. Dr. C was on that plane and survived. She faked her death and years later, Riya figured out the truth. After a young Riya located Dr. C, she raised and trained Riya as a ninja to one day take down Rook. Not only is Riya a skilled martial artist, but she is also armed with many Flexarium, an elastic-based substance that gives the Flex Fighters their powers, based weapons. Unfortunately, Netflix canceled the series after two seasons; leaving Riya’s and the Flex Fighter’s story unfinished. Fans of the show deserve a proper ending, with Riya finally getting justice for her parents and moving on with her life.
1. Elisa Maza (Gargoyles)
Number one on our list is the one and only Elisa Maza, a 2nd Grade NYPD Manhattan Detective from Disney’s series Gargoyles. In the series, Elisa is the first human to befriend the Gargoyles after they awaken from a thousand-year-old spell in 1994. Her role in the series is to help navigate the Gargoyles in the modern world, helping them protect the city, and as a love interest to Gargoyle Clan Leader, Goliath. The Gargoyles series is beginning to gain popularity once again in the 21st Century thanks to the streaming service Disney+. Actor and Filmmaker Jordan Peele hopes to bring Gargoyles to the silver screen. I hope he succeeds so we can get more of the fabulous Elisa Maza.