In Honor of International Women’s Day we at RPG (with help from others) picked our favorite Comic book and Video Game heroines that inspire us and wanted to share them with you. So without further adieu here is RPG’s Top Comic and VG Ladies.
Often over sexualized and underappreciated in the intelligence department, Poison Ivy had a promising career as a Botanist. After being coerced into assisting in the theft of an ancient Egyptian artifact, her accomplice attempts to poison her with herbs contained within. After surviving the poisoning attempt she finds that she is immune to all toxins and diseases.
As a self-proclaimed eco-terrorist, Ivy has proven herself not only in the intelligence department but also as one of the most notable of Batman’s rogue gallery. Her ability to take advantage of critical times watch the flow of Gotham’s crime scene has put her in many powerful positions over the year and make her a formidable woman in any sense of the term. Its easy to see why she made our list and likely always will.
Batgirl (Cassandra Cain)
One of many who have taken on the cowl of Batgirl. Cassandra Cain is the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva. Trained from a young age to read people’s body language and movement, while ignoring speech and writing, Cassandra became a formidable opponent. At the age of 8 she was involved in the assassination of an important businessman and after reading his body language, realized what she had done what wrong, this spurred her to run away, where she eventually ended up crossing paths with Batman. After saving the life of many people she gained the trust of Batman and eventually went on to star in her own series in the late 90s. Her combat skills and ability to read situations have put her on Batman’s most trusted battle companions list, if the caped crusader respects her enough to have him by her side, we are on board too.
Batgirl (Barbara Gordon)
Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl and daughter of Batman’s trusted friend and confidant James Gordon, has been a staple character for years. She is the one character who over the years has stayed by the side of the whole bat family regardless of what has come her way. Not only has she been able to showcase her combat prowess many times and be an effective part of the team dynamic, she has been able to showcase her brilliant intellectual side when she was forced to take on the role of Oracle. During the Killing Joke, Barbara was shot by the Joker, causing her to be paralyzed from the waist down effectively ending her career as Batgirl. Her work as Oracle has been some of the best in the way of detective work anyone has seen in comics to this day which quite easily puts her in her own category of badass comic women, especially when you think that she regains use of her legs later and becomes Batgirl once again.
Jean is a staple X-Men character, felt by many to be the cornerstone of the team. Her ability to draw in people around her and unify the group is often needed. Placed in the Marvel universe as an Omega-Level Mutant, her power potential rivals many super humans within the galaxy and when bonded with the Phoenix, she once even took out Galactus singlehandedly. Know to be one of the more pragmatic teammates she brings a levelheadedness to a group of rather ragtag and emotionally charged mutants, her sensibility and strength under pressure solidify her as an important female within mutant kind and the Marvel universe in general.
Formerly Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers hasn’t exactly had the easiest life. Serving as a US air force officer, she ends up getting caught in a bad situation while trying to get near an alien hero Captain Marvel. A kree device explodes and although she was saved, the device altered her genetic make up, turning her into a Kree-Human hybrid. This gave her extraordinary powers which she eventually started using under the mantle of Ms.Marvel. Carol has had an interesting run through the years but has always proven herself a stoic, hard working and determined hero. More recently, her work as Commander of Alpha flight and leading of the Guardians has put her in a position where many people look at her with high regard. Rightfully so, Carol goes toe to toe with world leaders and staves off alien diplomats who are looking to invade the area. Her ability to diplomatically solve an issue without throwing a punch makes her a valuable asset to any team, but when diplomacy fails, you can be sure that her opponent isn’t going to last long at all.
Kamala Khan, an inhuman with shape changing powers and an obsession with Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) has been the female hero we needed for a long time but couldn’t quite seem to get right. Kamala, a Pakistani-American girl whose introduction to the Marvel universe seems perfectly timed and incredibly important has taken many a fan by storm. Her strong will and timely story lines fit perfectly within a world where people need someone to look up to and to relate with. While still young, she exudes the kind of passion that is required to stay steadfast in your beliefs and show that its your actions that make you who you are, not your religious affiliations or heritage. In terms of strong female heroes in our current day, Kamala shows she deserves the mantle of Ms. Marvel, who in the past have always been progressive, strong willed and powerful women shaping the future for their generations.
The Boss (MGS3)
On the list of veritable bad-asses, none are more so than The Boss, from the MGS series. This is a one woman army, the leader of an elite crew of freakish killing machines and the mentor of the one we all know as Big Boss. The sheer impact that one single character has had on a game hasn’t been seen in such enormity for a long time. Having seen years of triumph and pain, and trudging through the hell that is war and life, this is one woman who not only plays the perfect mother figure but when it come’s down it, isn’t afraid to end your life if need be. The stories of her efforts echoed through history, starting with Metal Gear Solid on PS1 and persisted through the narrative of this beloved franchise. Meeting her in the 3rd MGS game only added to her persona and solidified the importance of character through replays and to the end of Snake’s journey. We tip our hats to The Boss and her sheer undeniable presence.
Aurora (Child of Light)
The victim of a terrible scheme set in motion by her evil step-mother, Aurora is sent to a dream world and attempts to find her way home. Through her travels its easy to see how she grows into a strong young woman fighting her not only her own life but that of her friends. As she travels, people around her can’t help but be inspired by her indomitable will. She inspires fierce loyalty and shows incredible spirit under insurmountable odds. Aurora gives us reason to think twice before assuming what any person is capable of at a glance.
When Metroid first came out in ’86 Nintendo fan boys world wide were excited to play as a new suited hero, be the badest dude around and just have fun. That was until, we all beat the game with certain conditions and realized our favorite badass was indeed a woman. Since then, Samus has gone on to star in 8 unique Metroid games and each one gives us a little more insight into who she is and what she’s been through as a bounty hunter. Samus has won our hearts through intricate story telling and fantastical feats. Our time with the bounty hunter has done a great job at softening our hearts towards women in games in the early days and hasn’t stopped in any of her iterations. As strong female characters go, Samus will always be at the pinnacle of heroes near to our hearts.
Zelda (Legend of Zelda)
Often the damsel in distress, Zelda has recently been given an opportunity to shine as brightly as the Hero of time himself. Starting with Ocarina of Time where she disguises herself as Shiek to assist Link in his travels to Wind Waker where Zelda enters battle with Link against Ganon and uses Link’s shield to ricochet light arrows toward the villain. She has been given the opportunity to show that even a princess doesn’t need to be saved all the time. Her love of her people and Nation and the care she takes in assisting the Hero of time often overshadow the efforts you put in as a player once you understand that much of your progress wouldn’t have happened without her. Maybe one day we will get the opportunity to see a side story where we as players take the role of Zelda and assist Link ourselves. For now, we can live the dream through Hyrule Warriors as Zelda one of the most formidable playable characters.
Cortana wasn’t someone who came to mind right away but it took little convincing to put her on this list. As the AI for one Master Chief, she has seen some stuff. She’s been able to assist the Chief in 100s of missions ensuring the survival of humans and her Spartan counterpart alike. Even during a moment of AI degradation she somehow managed to be an integral part of winning the day, her firm resolve and complete stubbornness, probably inherited from the Doctor she was created from, keep her going and supporting the people she deems most important. This staunch focus and firm resolve definitely give her a deserving spot on our list.
Faith (Mirror’s Edge)
Faith Connors is a Runner in The City. Faith is an important part of the resistance that fights the conglomerate which governs over the City. Her absolute dedication to the cause, focus and unlimited fighting potential are all an asset to the fight at hand. Having lost her parents and presumably her sister at a young age, she has all the reason to fight and keep her head held high for not only herself but the people of the City. Under duress she’s showing amazing determination and has been a source of incredible support for her peers with in resistence groups. Faith might not be a leader in any of these groups but she more than makes up for it with her drive and the trust people put in her ability to make things right. In the end, this is a lady we want on our side and can trust to get things done!
There are so many more women that we could think of, but if we did that the list would never end. So in honor of those who inspire us in what we read and play each day and have done so for many years, from the RadioPressGaming Crew to everyone else, Happy International Women’s Day!