I’m working on a post about running teen book clubs, but until I finish dotting those i’s I thought I’d talk about my tumblr project again, Favorite Ladies of Comics. On Saturday, I hit #25, and I thought I’d celebrate that lovely number with the demi-goddess herself, Diana of Themyscira.
At that point, I found it important to reiterate that my list was not meant to be taken as any sort of ranking – these are female characters in comics from all over that I enjoy reading for one reason or another. They are not listed in order of my favorites, nor are they listed according to any criteria other than “I want to make sure this list includes women from all kinds of comics, not just Marvel and DC.” Because of that, though, I’ve been thinking a lot about who my very favorites actually are – if I was going to distill this down into my top ten favorite female comic characters, who would those be?
Is it weird that I kind of love that there are currently multiple, fabulous females in the comic world named Lucifer? Regardless, I’m referring specifically to the Wicked + The Divine incarnation, who’s part Bowie, part Tilda Swinton, and all badass. But more than I love her devil-may-care attitude (pun intended, I assure you), I love the moments where we get to see her uncertainty. I love the moments when things don’t go as she’s planning, and she kind of hesitates, and you know that under all the bravada and posturing part of her is still the teenage girl that was chosen to be the god.
9. Emma Frost
My favorite Ice Queen. I love women who get to be bad, and while I do think some of Emma’s redemption arc has detracted from the gloriousness of her unapologetic bitchiness (ew, Emma, Scott? Really?), I do love that she’s retained her iciness and absolute competency. This is a woman who you never doubt is in charge. She never apologizes for who or what she is. She’s powerful, in control, and even when she’s coming around to the good side she does so without losing the core of who she is. It’s not very often that you get to see women be bad, and Emma makes it look oh so stylish.
8. Selina Kyle
I have a great fondness for all three major Gotham villainesses, but I think Catwoman comes out on top for similar reasons to why I like Emma Frost so much. Unlike Harley and Poison Ivy, Selina isn’t mentally damaged in any way. She’s a thief because she likes the thrill and she likes pretty things. She’s smart enough to thwart Batman, and recently her skills and capabilities have brought her up to mob boss status. Selina is a classy lady who knows how to shape circumstances to her advantage.
7. Zatanna Zatara
It’s kind of hard to vocalize my love for Zatanna, since I haven’t actually read much of her literature. I think what draws me to her so strongly, though, is the fact that her character is such an odd one – she’s a mystic, but she’s not a witch or any kind of fantasy sorceress, she’s a stage magician. She’s a performer; I love the idea of this incredibly powerful, true magician being the beautiful woman, when normally she’d be the assistant. I love that even though the world she lives in is magical, she’s always very grounded; in Justice League Dark she’s frequently the problem-solver, helping the group out of the messes that can happen when Constantine gets them in over their heads. I love that she’s sassy, and that she’s friends with Black Canary (ladies supporting ladies! More of that!). I also love her character design, which is sexy and cheesecakey but also totally appropriate (she’s a performer, remember).
6. The Lumberjanes Crew
Am I cheating by having all five girls in one slot? Yes. Do I care? Not even a little. One of the best things about Molly, Mal, Jo, April and Ripley is their friendship; when they’re not all together you can feel something missing. They love each other, they support each other, they recognize and encourage the individual skills they all have. They’re a family, but the more intimate bonds that exist within that group (Mal and Molly, Jo and April’s friendship) are just as important and contribute just as much to the group as a whole. Plus, they’re not afraid to get silly; they can get too intense sometimes (April!) but know when to pull each other back; together, they’re fearless.