Steve Seigh’s Top 10 Favorite Women in Comics 2013
As we celebrate our second annual Women in Comics week here at Talking Comics I thought it would be fitting to share with you all an in-depth look at my (personal) Top 10 Favorite Women in Comics so far this year! What you have here is not just some slap-dash list I’ve cobbled together for the sake of getting hits on the site, but rather an outpouring of my true feelings toward some of the greatest comic book ladies this year has had to offer. I hope you enjoy reading my list, but even more than that, I hope that I’ve done the women listed here some much deserved justice. It’s a fact that I would not love comics as much as I do without the wonderful women that inhabit them. Thank you so much for reading and please feel free to share with us a list of your favorite women in comics in the comments section below. Cheers!
Honorable Mention: Domino
I was finding it impossible to choose between Valkyrie or Domino last night, so I’d decided to present you all with the best of both worlds by giving them both a opprotunity to shine. Some people see Honorable Mentions as a form of cheating, but hey, it’s just one man’s list, right? No harm done. Domino, who appears in the on-going title Cable and X-Force, has given me more reasons to smile this past year than I can count. As evidenced by the picture above, Domino is a fun loving girl, who in addition to knowing how to break your wrist in 327 ways, knows how to kick back and have a good time as well. While hanging with the X-Force this year, I’ve witnessed Domino doing some pretty heroic and amazing things. She’s constantly throwing herself into danger for sake of the people … and perhaps a bit of money as well. I don’t fault her for it though. Dennis Hopeless has done a wonderful job bringing this character to my attention through her actions, attitude, and ability to consistently make me laugh out loud with her wit and snarktastic world view. Domino, I salute you, and am happy to give you a mention on this list. Plus, SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS!
Often referred to as “the female Thor”, Valkyrie is far more than that. She’s a woman on a mission. Having failed in her responsibility to select a new batch of female warriors to act as the Valkyrior of Midgard, an evil most foul has been unleashed onto the Earth – and it’s all her fault. For me personally, the character of Valkyrie is all about redemption and sacrifice. She walks the pages of The Fearless Defenders with the burden of her negligence placed square upon her armored shoulders, while still doing her best to lead a team of super ladies. Valkyrie knows that she must atone for her past transgressions, and now that she’s found support in her friends, and is willing to admit to weakness, she can move forward in bringing both herself, and the rest of Midgard, peace. I find her increasingly endearing, funny, and best of all – a warrior with enough heart to vanquish all the Doom Maidens … and anything that might shamble her way in between.
Gamora is fierce. She is calculated, cunning, and will cut you down if you so much as doubt her ability to perform in the face of danger. Since the start of Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora has displayed a commanding presence that has captivated me as a reader (and as a fan of comic book heroics as a whole). I get such a rush when she enters any panel. I quickly begin making predictions about what she’ll do or say next, and even though I’m wrong most of the time, I never once feel let down by the path she chooses to walk. Brian Michael Bendis is in the throws of giving us one hell of a memorable heroine of the space ways and there ain’t nothing anyone can do about it. Gamora will not be denied. She will not be taken lightly and should you be fool enough to catch her eye, you had better hope you live to see the next chapter of your life.
My favorite thing about the character of Sif isn’t her compassion or her devotion toward doing good among all the nine realms. Nah! I love Sif because she will drink all of her ale, and then drink all of yours. After that she’ll smash the glass down on the table, that glass will then shatter, creating a perfect and sharp shard, that she will then use to slice you open from belly to neck. After that, she’ll most likely drag your insignificant carcass to the coldest mountain trails of Jotenheim – where she’ll sleep inside your worthless husk of a body like an elaborate human Tauntaun. Yeah. That’s Sif. She’s the kind of character who will demand to meet the most dangerous and vile creature in all the land just so she can see the look on its face when her blade is sliding down that narrow space between its eyes. She’s a woman who fights for her people. She stands firm in the presence of evil and laughs in the face of death. How could you not love her for that?
Including Alana on this list is a no brainer. Though Saga has been absent from the shelves for a few months there’s no denying the lasting effects that this character has on my memory and my heart. I think a lot of it has to do with her not only being a badass, but being an incredible mother as well. For example, there’s a moment inside the pages of Saga #13 where Alana does battle against a reanimated, sabertoothed beast – while simultaneously wielding a giant mace, and she manages to do it while still breast feeding her daughter, Hazel! That’s how it’s done! That’s parenting! For me, Alana not only embodies the power of love, but she also makes a mark for female characters in comics that are not to be trifled with. You won’t find any of that “The Trouble With Female Characters in Comics” crap in Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga. No, mam. What you will find is a cast of enjoyable, beautiful, and ballsy ladies who will end you if you doubt their strength or conviction.
I’ve got to give it up for Casey. She is steadily proving to be one of comics most complex characters that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. There’s hardly a way to talk about her recent activities without spoiling so much of Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma’s sinister series Morning Glories, but take it from me when I tell you that this girl will warp your mind. She’s the type of character that becomes more and more interesting with every turn of the page and there’s no telling how she’ll surprise you next. I would follow her into hell and she’d more than likely stare the devil in the eye … and then spit in his face. Casey is in charge of her own destiny and you’d do yourself a favor by not getting in the way of what she wants.
I can say with full confidence that Spider-Woman has given my more laughs this year than any other female character in comics. She’s always popping up in the vast amount of books I’m reading and never fails to entertain me. This is particularly the case when Kelly Sue Deconnick is behind Jessica’s snappy comebacks, witty banter, and outrageous one liners such as “Hulk, make me a sandwich.” She cracks me up. However, it’s not just about the laughs. This girl has got heart, too. Her relationship with Captain Marvel has been one of the most endearing friendships I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing in comics this year. And there have been times when she’s nearly brought a tear to my eye with her displays of compassion and selflessness. I’m so happy that I’ve gotten the chance to fall in love with her this year and I hope that she continues to be a strong presence in the Marvel Universe.
4. Hawkeye (Kate Bishop)
Bro, hell hath no fury like a lady scorned, and I pray you’ve got a great insurance plan if you decide to flip Kate Bishop’s switch. Seriously, bro. With her sharp tongue, cat-like reflexes, and keen fashion sense, Kate is giving comic book readers what they want right now – a no guff, rough and ready female who often makes James Bond look he’s been doing it all wrong for his entire career. Though as tough as she is, Kate still manages to find time to concern herself with the people she loves. There have been some truly inspiring and endearing moments shared between Kate and her compatriot, Clint Barton, this year, that have set my heart on fire. She’s a rush in and ask questions later kind of gal, but is always prepared to lay her safety, her reputation, and her life on the line if it means that even one person can be saved to live another day in the harsh world she works so hard to protect. For real bro, Kate Bishop is the bro, bro. You Track Suit Draculas don’t stand a chance in hell against her smarts and cunning ways. See you at the Emergency Room, bro.
3. Xiaolian (East of West)
All that you really need to know about Xiaolian is that she’s the woman who brings Death himself to his knees. He has no control over his compassion for this woman. He would shatter worlds for her, raze entire civilizations, and burn every last soul just to get to her. Any woman that can do that deserves a top-tier spot on my list. I bend my one good knee and bow my head to you, Xiaolian. What would you ask of me? What may I do to please you?
2. Captain Marvel
If adversity had a face Captain Marvel would punch it. That face would then swallow its own teeth, implode upon itself, and eventually become nothing more than a red mist to be carried on the wind. In my humble opinion, Carol Danvers has given us some of the greatest moments and battles in comics that we’ve seen this year. I say this because a good fight isn’t always about who sheds the most blood, but rather about who is making the bigger sacrifices. Most people upon finding out that they have an inoperable brain tumor would retreat into themselves, but not Carol. She’s far too stubborn and far too brave for that. She would rather fight until her very last to protect the people she loves, never once giving a second thought to how those actions may lead to her end. Captain Marvel is also a woman of the people. Her sense of responsibility to the community around her in nothing short of inspiring. I wish that I knew even one person in real life who was like Carol. I think the world would be a far better place. We could all learn something from the adventures of Captain Marvel. She’s not only an important and now iconic woman in comics, she’s also symbol of hope for all who are willing to imagine and pretend. Life is never as bad as it seems, folks. Do what Carol does. Look to the stars in the sky … and then go beyond them.
1. Susan Storm
Sue Storm: The Invisible Woman. Married to Reed Richards, mother of Franklin and Valeria Richards, protector of Earth, and a super powered representation of love incarnate. I always find myself at a loss for words when I challenge myself to write about Sue. It’s not that I don’t have things to say, it’s more so that I don’t know if I have the words to properly express how I feel about her without feeling like it’s simply not enough. She’s got a way of making me feel things for a comic book character that I was unaware could ever be felt by someone simply reading from a page inside of a book. I certainly don’t mean this in a sexual manner. Because although Sue is beautiful, it’s her love for her family, and for an infinite amount of universes that I find attaches me to her the most. I will never be able to thank my podcast co-host and friend, Mr. Bob Reyer, for properly introducing me to Sue. It’s characters like her and her fantastic family that make me feel as if I’m a part of something much larger than simply being just another big bearded comic book guy. Instead, I feel as if I’m a valued member of the team. I’m a time traveler, a world changer. I’m an important part of the fight all because Sue has offered me her hand. I march into the fray without fear, knowing that if the battle goes tits up that she’ll assuredly throw a force field around me. She’ll protect me as if I were one of her own … because I am. I always will be.
– Top 10 Favorite Women in Comics 2013 Soundtrack –
This list was compiled while listening to my favorite female musical artist of all time, Bjork.
This review was written by Steve Seigh – Executive Editor of Talking Comics. You can hear Steve on the Talking Comics podcast, as well as find him on Joblo.com where he writes a featured column called Ink & Pixel. His Twitter handle is @dead_anchoress.