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She Has No Head! – 25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2013 Edition!

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News last week of my beloved Rogue being left on the cutting room floor for the forthcoming X-Men Days of Future Past film had me all mopey and thinking about why certain characters mean so much to me, and who manages to hang on, despite all odds. It was time for a list!

[As a sidebar, I didn't have time this year to do my annual holiday gift list, but I've included links to all of these characters' best or recent work that I mention so that if you're shopping super late this year, this could help you out.] And fair warning, before we begin, if a character was repeated on the list and I didn’t have a ton of new thoughts on her I cribbed heavily from my 2010 post, but I gave myself permission, so don’t worry.

As mentioned, back in 2010 I did a 20 Favorite Fiction Females post, and now, after a truly exciting year for female characters in comics, and with a promising 2014 ahead of us, I thought it might be time to revisit the list. See who still makes the cut and who fell clean off. I did a post in early 2013 about 10 characters that were making a run for the title, and some of those ladies did indeed make the jump, and deservedly so.

25 Favorite Females

What I found most interesting as I pulled the list together this time was how some characters managed to triumph over lack of material or worse, bad material. Wonder Woman, despite the fact that I can’t read her book, hasn’t fallen at all from favor in my mind – maybe she’s just got so much iconic power that I am helpless in front of it? Similarly, Big Barda hasn’t been around significantly for years, including the year I made the list, but she still easily makes my list (even if she’s fallen a few spots). When I think of Barda there’s just no other character quite like her and as a result she’s all the more precious to me. On the other hand, Batwoman, who had her peak in 2009/2010 under Greg Rucka and J.H. William’s brilliant and groundbreaking Detective Comics has actually plummeted from spot #1 to clean off the list.

It definitely seems that, for me, having a largely untouched run that is lodged fondly in my memory – such as Cass Cain’s Batgirl or Jakita Wagner in Planetary – works to a character’s favor. I guess I do a better job of preserving their memories and thus loving them unequivocally. However in character’s like Batwoman’s case, she went from near perfection, to a book that, while it had its highlights, was far from perfection for me, with inconsistencies in character, writing, and art as well as shifting creative teams, all of which left me unenthusiastic about the character.  I have no doubt that she can rebound, but this year, with so many tough competitors she just didn’t make the cut. And that’s all a very long roundabout way to say that the DC ladies took it on the chin pretty hard this year compared to in 2010.

In 2010 DC women DOMINATED the list with an incredible 9 spots – nearly half the list. By comparison Marvel only had 4 spots and their top spot was #4 (Rogue). But because the DCU has largely become a place I can’t enjoy, very few ladies made it out intact, including some classic favorites that it pained me to admit I think of less these days than I’d like to (Oracle!)

In fact, only Wonder Woman and Cass Cain didn’t fall in their placement.

So, who did make the cut?

25. JESSICA JONES (down from #8)Jessica-Jones-headshot

Jessica is damn lucky that Netflix and Marvel have partnered to give her a television show, without that she made such little impact in the last year or so (tragic!) that I nearly forgot she existed. Jessica Jones has limitless potential, though I confess I much prefer her as the darker more adult trending P.I., with a ton of problems from Alias to her superhero persona we have seen of late. That said, there are infinite directions she can go in, and I do love her with Luke Cage. Having baby Dani around all the time feels a bit limiting for the character from how I’ve seen it handled so far, but I’m sure there are ways to use the stress and obligations of family to Jessica’s advantage in character development, rather than something to hold her back. I eagerly await someone figuring that out. Soon please?

Read Jessica Jones: best to just read the phenomenal Alias trades by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos and call it a day, it’s Jessica at her absolute best. You should also do this to prepare yourself for the Jessica Jones Netflix show (so excited). That said, this moment from New Avengers (circa 2011?) with Jessica and Luke Cage is pretty awesome:

new-avengers-8

24. MICHONNE (down from #4)Michonne-headshot

I’ve enjoyed Michonne on The Walking Dead television show, the actress (Danai Guria) is a great cast and the writing of her has been pretty solid all around. In the comics I haven’t been enjoying Michonne near as much lately. She hasn’t had much to do for a long time now, and though she’s just naturally a badass, her personal romantic relationships have been a bit awkward and unrewarding. Basically this is an example of me knowing a character has a ton of potential, but being a bit disappointed in how she’s being allowed to show it off. This is not unlike Jessica Jones – in fact both ladies probably owe television for their inclusion on the list this year.

Read Michonne: The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard is the only place to find Michonne, but it’s all you need – there’s now an incredible 118 issues of The Walking Dead and with Michonne’s first appearance in issue #19 she’s in a whole lot of them. If you’re specifically looking for Michonne you should start with Volume 5: Heart’s Desire, which begins with Michonne’s first appearance in the series. You can also of course watch her on The Walking Dead on AMC which returns in February 2014.  Even with all these issues, this is still probably my favorite Michonne moment, so simple, so very Michonne:

Michonne-Full-620x1450

23. JET (new!)Jet Headshot

I like Rachel from Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising a whole lot, but there’s no contest who my favorite character is, it’s the sarcastic and awesome Jet. Gorgeous, guitar playing, joke making Jet. I love her. Terry Moore has been talking recently on twitter with some other folks about the fact that Rachel Rising is struggling. This is a crime as it’s a great, smart, and legitimately scary book that’s also of course beautiful as everything Moore does is gorgeous. So, if you’ve been on the fence, get off it and buy yourself some Rachel Rising.

Read Jet: Read Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising for all sorts of reasons, but Jet is my favorite reason to read. The trades are available – 3 of them and up through issue #18 ( I believe) but you can also pick everything up digitally if you want to get fully current. Need more incentive. Here’s Jet, being Jet (well, sorta):

RR16_pgs1-24.indd

22. STORM (new)Storm Headshot

As I wrote about Storm last March, she’s a character I WANT to like very much, but frequently the writing she gets is pretty stilted. I guess the untouchable perfect goddess thing doesn’t work so much for me. Which is why I’ve always enjoyed the more human (and mohawk wearing) Storm. So I’ve welcomed her return to that as she lost trust in Cyclops and ultimately broke loyalties with him in Brian Wood’s X-Men run. Add to that an Ororo on the heels of a divorce and feeling a bit salty — the mohawk returned, she got a slick costume update, and Brian Wood got another crack at her in his new X-Men volume. There hasn’t been A LOT to see yet of her in the new X-Men, but I like the direction we’re headed in. I remain convinced that Storm is a hidden treasure in Marvel and that she’s one of the only ladies of Marvel that makes sense as a Wonder Woman alternative. I’d love to see Marvel give her that attention and respect – a shot at the title, if you will.

Read Storm: The best place to read Storm lately is in Brian Wood’s X-Men, both the previous volume (two trades) with David Lopez and the new one with Olivier Coipel. You can also find her in Uncanny X-Force, but I don’t recommend it.

Storm Detail

21. DEX PARIOS (new – made the jump from on the bubble!) Dex-Parios

Greg Rucka writes some of the best women in comics and has for a very long time. Private Eye Dex Parios is one of my favorites. Ballsy and unapologetic, Dex is a wonderful mix of near fatal flaws and mostly untapped genius. A total screw up at life in general and yet a hell of a detective with a good heart and an unflinching moral code (though one that only makes sense to her  – the best kind as far as I’m concerned), I simply cant get enough of Dex. Two Stumptown volumes were certainly not enough, so I hope we’ve got more headed our way in the future.

Read Dex: Unfortunately Stumptown is on break between volumes, but don’t let that stop you from picking up the first two collected volumes, which are gorgeous and awesome. Greg Rucka doing what Greg Rucka does best and Matthew Southworth delivering absolutely stunning visuals.  As always, I recommend the hardovers on Stumptown, which Oni has made particularly gorgeous – oversized with exceptional matte stock/covers. Need a push? Here’s Dex:

Dex detail

20. ARMOR/HISAKO ICHIKI (new)Armor Headshot

One of my favorite new characters in the last ten years, and completely underused. Where is she?!?!? I hold out hope that Brian Wood will be able to bring her into his X-Men, since he’s written her before both in Wolverine & The X-Men: Alpha and Omega and in his run on Ultimate X-Men I suspect a fondness for her. With an incredibly cool power set that also happens to be visually exceptional, she stands out with ease. I love characters small in stature and decidedly unimposing that can deliver a huge punch (literally), and Hisako has that in spades. Armor is one of the those characters you just can’t wait to dig deeper into. She got a ton of attention in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, but since then with a few exceptions it’s been slim pickings. More, more, more, please!

Read Armor: Unfortunately Armor is not in anything right now. The best place to read her is Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, available in trades and as an epic omnibus (I have it, it’s badass). She’s also pretty great in Brian Wood’s Wolverine & The X-Men: Alpha & Omega, which is not my favorite of Wood’s work largely due to the art, but Hisako really gets to shine. She’s also got a few fantastic moments in Warren Ellis and Kaare Andrews super off the wall Astonishing X-Men: Xenogeneis. Here’s one of my favorite little bits from Xenogenesis – what a way with words she has:

Armor Panel

19. NIMONA (new)Nimona headshot

I wrote a whole post about Nimona this past year I love her so much. She’s just so Nimona-y. She’s a shark! She’s a dragon! She’s a sheep so she can use her own wool to knit you a sweater! She’s everything and it’s awesome. Totally without any kind of traditional morals, she’s far more of a “true villain” than Blackheart (who she sidekicks for) but she cares for him (and he for her) in the most tender and realistic of ways. One of the best things about Nimona is the boundless energy, enthusiasm, and optimism she possesses. It makes her villainy contagious and keeps the webcomic from feeling too dark, instead Nimona is REALLY EXCITED ABOUT CRIME. You will be too.

Read Nimona: If you’re not reading Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona webcomic, you are using the Internet incorrectly. Please remedy that immediately. Here’s Nimona being a hilarious badass:

Nimona-Goons-620x545

18. MAGIK (new)Magik headshot

Who would have thunk it? I’ve never been a big Magik fan, or didn’t know I should be, but the work that Brian Michael Bendis, Chris Bachalo, and Frazer Iriving have done with her in Uncanny X-Men is awesome. Magik is such an interesting character, kind of funny and mean at once, reserved in how much she connects to others (understandably given her nightmarish life) but also boldly unafraid to say whatever she thinks. She’s an odd fit with Cyclops’s team, but it works wonderfully, and not just because her teleportation powers are incredibly useful/convenient. I also happen to love what Bachalo is doing with her soulsword – letting it change shape/size/and even design a bit, giving it a life of its own. I wrote recently about how much I’d love to see a Emma Frost/Magik book team up. I’ve decided to ask Santa for that book this year. C’mon Santa, make a believer out of me.

Read Magik: The best place to read current Magik is in the new Uncanny X-Men book (currently on issue 15). There are a few trades out, but I’d also recommend picking up the latest incredibly fun issue (if you like fun that is) – Uncanny X-Men #15…er, make that #15.INH (sigh!) which is mostly shopping and hilarity and has Kris Anka killing it on the interiors – good god the clothes and hair! Here’s a taste of Emma and Magik, being, well, magic: Magik-Emma-Team-Up2

17. BIG BARDA (down from #7)Gabriel-Hardman-Big-Barda-thumbnail

Cribbed in part from my 2010 post, cause nothing changes when it comes to my love of Barda: I’ve always been a sucker for the whole stranger in a strange land thing, and nobody embodies it better (in the right writer’s hands) than Barda and her hilarious assimilation to modern Earth culture.  I’m also a sucker for a truly devoted couple in love, and Barda and Scott Free are one of the best in comics.  Someone somewhere on the internet (I’m sorry I don’t know who or where you are?) said that one of the things that makes Big Barda easier to love than Wonder Woman, is that her relationship with Free has always grounded her and humanized her in a way that Diana usually feels untouchable.  Now, I don’t necessarily agree that Barda is ‘easier to love’ than Diana but I can absolutely see the truth in that statement.  I think that HAS been a stumbling block for Diana over the years, and one Barda never had.  Regardless, I can’t think of much I’d like more in comics than a Barda/Scott Free book, in the meantime I’ll have to satisfy myself with the old tales and hope for a future DC where there’s room for a great character like Barda.

Read Barda: Actually, you CAN find Barda in the “alt reality/future/whatever” world of Batman Beyond Unlimited – so if you’re desperate for recent Barda, I urge you to seek that out. For the older stuff  it’s definitely Birds of Prey but I’m not actually sure what issues/trades you should look for – any readers want to shout out in the comments?

Big_Barda_012

16. PSYLOCKE (new)Psylocke headshot

Cribbed in part from 2013 post about Psylocke: Between what Rick Remender and Jerome Opena did with the character in the brilliant Uncanny X-Force, her recent costume change courtesy of the uber talented Kris Anka, her appearances in Brian Wood and David Lopez’s X-Men and Brian Wood’s new volume of X-Men I am in love with this character in a way I haven’t been since I was 16 (and blissfully unaware of how she came to be in the first place). I’ve always liked this character even though she’s problematic, but her stories for years have been a nightmare (not to mention her visual portrayals) so it’s exciting to see the character getting such a surge of interest by talented creators and thus a true chance at redemption. I’m excited!.

Read Psylocke: Check out Remender’s Uncanny X-Force run (available in trade). Unfortunately I cannot recommend the current Uncanny X-Force – though it started strong it fell apart very quickly. But Brian Wood’s previous X-Men book with David Lopez has some great Psylocke stuff and Wood’s take on Pyslocke in his new X-Men is excellent, she hasn’t gotten a ton of play yet, but what’s there is great and perfectly on point for what I would hope for in the character – I mean, why on earth did it take so many years for any writers to figure out that it would be amazing to have Psylocke shoot a bow and arrow “psychic knife”? So goddamn cool:

Psylocke-X-Men-1

Go to the next page for #15-6!

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59 Comments

I LOVE Rachel Rising. The art is gorgeous and the story is fascinating, I hope it continues for a long time.
Saga is brilliant also, but I’d hope everyone knew that already.
Magik has always been one of my favorites. Her personality was always very clearly defined and was a nice counterpoint to the rest of the New Mutants. I don’t read superhero books anymore so it’s been decades since I read a story with her in it but Bachalo may be enough to bring me back. I’m just afraid I wouldn’t understand anything going on.
Anyway, cool list!

Gotta say, I think you are pretty much on the money with these picks. I really, really love Miss America Chavez and Kate Bishop over in Young Avengers and Bendis is knocking it out of the park with Magick and Emma Frost in the various X-titles, but for me, Alana from Saga is probably one of the best-written characters I’ve read in recent years, period. Great list, and everything on it definitely worth a read!

@ Rob III: Rachel Rising is one of my favorite books to read as well. However, I read it somewhere on the internet (CBR most likely), that RR is slated to last 40 issues. So it’s halfway done, if it’s true.

Saga is also another fav book of mine. I’d like to joke sometime that after reading Saga, it would definitely make more people practice safe sex more often! ;-)

I’m still reading and enjoying The Walking Dead even after 10 years.

Still reading Azzarello’s Wonder Woman run. Guess I’ll stop when he stops.

Have a good X-mas, Ms. Thompson, and try not to lose your head, eh? :-)

I always learn something from your blogs Kelly. I’m a DC fan so I don’t always get to see what Marvel or others have to offer, so these little morsels of goodness are always welcomed.
Hmmm…I had hoped that perhaps Harper Row could have found alittle love on your list. Though she hasn’t had much time to really get fully developed, she always makes an impression with every issue she has been in yet. And if she ever sticks it out and becomes something like a Robin, her skill set is very unique. Especially when one considers that her skill set involves electronics and the stereotypical world of DC doesn’t usually have girls knowing stuff like that.
Maybe Cass and even Stephanie Brown can get a bit of a boost in your list. I know they are reintroducing Steph into DC this year and maybe Cass too. Forgive me but I can’t recall the series she will be coming to.

slightly surprised no one from Fearless Defenders made the cut. I loved Valkyrie and Misty in particular in that comic and I’d never read anything with their 616 versions in before, only knowing the Ultimate versions. (Ultimate Misty being a bit of a cow and Valkyrie getting screwed over big time by effing Jeph Loeb)

You ought to give Mighty Avengers a shot, Monica’s not been in it a lot YET, but she’s intriguing me enough to want more, as is White Tiger (neither of whom I know).

my list would probably be Rogue, Psylocke, Storm, Jubilee and Rachel from X-Men, Monica and White Tiger from MA and Valkyrie, Misty and Elsa Bloodstone from Fearless Defenders, the only 616 books I read.

Great list, I’m glad there are still Cassie Cain fans out there, she is one of my favorite DC characters. I would like to say for Rogue, well first THANK YOU for making her #1, also I would recommend Mike Carey’s X-Men/X-Men Legacy run, he did more with Rogue in that series than any writer had done with her in years.

HISAKO ICHIKI… she was “born” on the xmen anime, for Japan. I think this is important to mention because I think that’s a first for Marvel comics.

I completely agree about Storm in Uncanny X-Force. The only reason I didn’t remove it from my pull list is because it’s ending soon. I feel like with a few books this year Storm was featured front and center on the cover of issue #1 and then you’re hard pressed to find her anywhere in subsequent issues. As a Storm fan it’s very frustrating to see her constantly take a back seat to other characters.

I would have loved to see the women of Fearless Defenders as well.

The list is great. Kelly, thanks for a great year of comic book discussions.

Happy Holidays :)

Dang, just realized there was no Empowered or Ninjette on here either :(

So many of my favorite characters on here. Such a great year for comic book females. “X-Men”, “Young Avengers”, “Saga”… I could go on, but you already did. Glad to see you’ve come around on Magik. Maybe it’s because I started reading their stuff when I was a kid and they were too, but Magik and Kitty Pryde have always been favorites of mine.

I’m also looking forward to seeing Rachel Grey return to prominence. She’s around in “X-Men” and “Wolverine and the X-Men”, but it seems like neither Wood nor Aaron have found a voice for her yet. I hope that changes.

(By the way, I know Aaron’s not writing “WatXM” any more, but you guys know what I mean.)

No love for Paul Tobin? His BANDETTE and BIONIC WOMAN are both pretty awesome ladies.

I totally don’t get why Margarita Luisa “Maggie” Chascarrillo is not on this list…You and I both LOVE her. Any number of those women from Love & Rockets are more interesting then these fine picks.

We will always agree on Big Barda!

Kate Bishop is my favorite character (next to Pizza Dog) in one of the best comics ever.

Fiona & Cake should have made the cut…but I guess they would need another series to make that so…we need more Fiona & Cake!

Storm is my third favorite X-Men EVER, behind, most notably given the context here, No. 1 Kitty Pryde…tisk tisk Kelly. Storm, She-Hulk (see FF; Lawyer, GREAT Professor, Bad Ass and an fascinating, down to earth and fun date…THE JEENNNNN), Captain Marvel (who I am eagerly revisiting), Black Widow (cinematically positioned well) or your No. 1 Rogue (we basically agree on her) make sense to go head to head with Wonder Women. Given that deep bench, once WW has her Day…Disney should have plenty to counter attack WB with.

I love the direction of Storm’s current potential. I would however, go back in the vault and pick out Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1 #168-227. For me these 60 issues is when I fell for these characters. It marks the period I enjoyed Storm the most. Shortly after she has begun taking a leadership role in the X-Men she forges a path to dual leadership of another group of mutants. A controversy regarding her empowerment follows, but to me serves to reveal her true powered as a leader. She is not the focus of every plot, but over this time some of her most compelling moments happen. The end of this period returns her to her former self and takes the X-Men to a new place…one I also liked for a bit…until things changed at Marvel. Every moment I have liked of Storm after this, simply reminds me of her character during this time.

Given the importance the X-Men have in my life, Storm by default and of her characters own merit is quite high on any list of fictional characters for me. Which makes me more shocked Kitty is not on this list…she runs the better of the two schools now…well does all the major leadership work. You include her former (or current) best friend Magic…I STRONGLY DISLIKE this devision…I STRONGLY DISLIKE SCOTT! AND I REALLY STRONGLY DISLIKE EMMA!!!! I don’t get the appeal AT ALL. Oh they make me Soooo MAD!!! Magic is very interesting, but she is on a team of jerks…she is still one of the head jerks!

Psylocke’s costume change and role is great…but I remember the old British brother and sister relationship she once had. I crave, some of the original characters family dynamics. Then again I also miss that eras Meggan and Skids before she got control of her shield. Sometimes, I don’t like change.

I really need to read some more Jessica Jones, Cass Cain, Question & Sif.

I started reading and never got hooked into the comics featuring DEX PARIOS, Monica Rambeau, Jakita, Suzie & Agent 355. I can try and revisit them, but I suspect I will feel the same. How can I think this? Well because I know I was hooked by FOREVER CARLYLE’s character. Very impressed.

Although, it took me far to long to get on board with Saga (many great characters). GWENDOLYN and Alana are GREAT choices.

Thank you for introducing me here to Nimona (looks great).

I like AMERICA CHAVEZ, but I don’t think her comics are my cup of tea.

I feel like I will forever disappoint you in my enjoyment of the current Wonder Women…she is the reluctant God of War! She is fascinating! But what happened in order to get to one of my favorite battles ever in No. 23 remains incredibly distressing and need to be addressed. That said, much of her amazing character development would not have been as interesting without these events. So I remain torn. Either way…she is Wonder Women and that alone keeps her high on the list.

I still don’t get the challenge, even in comics, getting Valkarie constantly.

I am pulling for DaYoung Johansson and Leeward.

Why have I not read Cooke’s Catwomen? I guess, I only like her as an African American…is that racist?

PS: Pick up Jim Woodring’s “Fran” my new favorite female character!

As Kelly knows, somehow forgot to agree with her on Michonne & Jet…in my way to long comment…what she doesn’t know is was also giving her the stink eye regarding Batwomen. It’s not her fault there are issues at DC…but that’s semantics.

[...] She Has No Head!–25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2013 Edition! Who are Kelly Thompson’s top 25 this year? You’ll have to read to find out, but I was surprised by a few of them, and intrigued by a few others. [...]

Omnibus, schmomnibus, I got both Absolute Planetary volumes!

And I know you’re gonna hate this, but the first time I really warmed up to Rogue was the first X-Men movie. From Avengers Annual #10, right out of the gate, I disliked her for what she did to Carol. (And the heavy accent, but mostly Carol.) I was a Call fan from Ms. Marvel #1, 1976.

Around the mid ’80s I turned my back on what had been my favorite comic and never read another X book (except for some X-Factor, mostly PAD’s first run) until Joss Whedon’s run, and now the Wood & Bendis books.

Still friends? :)

Nice list, even partially self-cribbed.

No Jean Grey? Her return in All-New X-Men has been excellent, and she’s the real heart and soul of the book. (plus that gorgeous Stuart Immonen artwork.)

The first two issues of Velvet were fantastic. I hope Brubaker & Epting keep up the great work, and that Ms. Templeton makes the list next year.

As you compile 2014′s list, you might want to start adding a bit of IDW to your criteria. Read some of their output, licensed-based or not, and I swear you’ll be adding Mothra, Arcee, Scarlett/Cover Girl/Lady Jaye/Jinx, and Janine Melnitz/Kylie Griffin/Melanie Ortiz to that list. I absolutely, POSITIVELY, guarantee it.

Shoot, forgot April O’Neil. Narf!

Despite your alarming lack of Kitty (and my possibly equally alarming lack of familiarity with Saga), your list is top shelf. I especially love the inclusion of Forever Carlyle. Even if every other comic from ’13 had disappointed, Eve and Dex would have made this a worthwhile year in comics for me.

Now, in lieu of boring everyone with my list of Top 25 Fave Femmes, I’m going to bore everyone with:

Characters I’m Interested in Checking Out, Mostly Due to This Blog:

5) Cat Woman – In theory Selina’s a character I should love, and I wanted to check out her Nu52 series, especially after seeing Hathaway’s performance in the otherwise forgettable DKR. But what little I saw of the series made me want to see less of it, which was frustrating, especially after Hathaway’s performance gave them a perfect template to springboard off of.

4) Cass Cain – Her back-story is the most compelling to me out of all the Bat-characters, but for some reason she keeps getting pushed back in my queue. Maybe ’14 will be the year I finally buy in.

3) Sif – Due to budgetary concerns, JiM fell just short of my Monthly Get List, and by the time space got cleared (Coincidentally through several cancellations), it was announced to be receiving the axe. I’ll admit to feeling a silly bit of guilt, as if my singular buying power would have staved off the axeman. Trades will definitely be bought.

2) Rachel Rising – Still need to finish Echo first, but it’s been enough to sell me on Moore, and the concept of RR looks like fun worth having.

1) Huntress (Bertinelli) – I’ve been interested in Huntress since seeing her in the JLU cartoon. I’ve read up on her—Wiki, TVTropes, etc.—and this year, with the Nu52 trades dropping, I had planned on grabbing her miniseries. Until I found out they snuffed Bertinelli off-panel, pre-series and replaced her with Alternate Famous Daughter Girl, which snuffed my interest in the book. If anyone has any suggestions on where to see Berti break some serious bad, I’d be very appreciative. Not monetarily appreciative, mind, but I’d definitely toss out a sizeable Thank You.

Bored at work so here is my list of Fav Fictional Females in no peticular order.

Empowered and Ninjette (Darkhorse)- These two ladies I had to put together because they are so integral to each other. While creator Adam Warren put these two, a damsel-prone blonde with dreams of being a heroine and a white girl ninja from New Jersey, into very funny and awkward situations…they have some real life type of moments that you don’t always see portrayed in comics. One of the most persistent for Empowered is her body image problems, even though she looks great. When was the last time you could say one of the X-men ladies were concerned how their outfits made them look to the public?

Tabitha Smith (Marvel)- I’m not a Marvel fan. Not because I have any issues with Marvel, it’s just that I don’t have any issues of Marvel. But a friend gave me her book of Nextwave and I really liked it. Not to knock on any of the other women in the series but I really liked Tabitha Boom-Boom Smith. Maybe in part because of knowing abit of her character from the X-men animated series a few years back. She’s just a fun character.

Death of the Endless (Vertigo)- When Gaiman came up with her character, I fell in love with the concept. She was cool, fun and very wise. She could keep pace with any of her siblings, various gods, demons, Furies, and even Lex Luthor. She is never intimidated by anyone. Also the fact that her character evolved and changed in the vastness of time. We see her go from a cold vamp billions of years ago ,into a person who just gave up on her job as Death altogether and finally to a empathetic person.

Delirium of the Endless (Vertigo)- Sister to Death and the other Endless, Delirium is such a tragic character. One that you wish you could hug her pain away but if you did that…she wouldn’t be herself anymore. She could be prone to great goodness to those she liked and also proned to great destruction if you got on her bad side. Jill Thompson made Delirium into such a little ball of silly joy in her Little Endless series.

Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and Barabara Gordon (DC Comics)- This is a tough one for different reasons. I love Batgirl. She wasn’t a tragic character like Batman and Robin. She was simply a person that wanted to do good for the sake of doing good for the most part. I’ll admit that I have read very little of Cass but from all the praise given by the fans on her, how could one not like her?
In regards to Barabara, I met her in the comics first as Oracle and the idea of her being this tech savvy lady that all the heroes leaned on in the DC world was pretty awesome. I’m trying to like her in the post-Flashpoint universe and for the most part I do.
Stephanie Brown was my Batgirl. There is so much fun to Steph when she wore the Batgirl mantle. During her short time she stood up to Batman, ran around with Clarion the Witchboy, killed holographic Draculas with Supergirl and took on Scarecrow. With Oracle as her backup, she made for some pleasant reading.

Kara “Supergirl” from “The Supergirl From Krypton” (DC Comics)- Kara was redesigned and brought back after a long hiatus by DC. They nailed it. Kara had that mix of sweetness, innocence, sexiness and raw power that Supergirl should have. But they didn’t overdo it in any of those. Kara looked like what many teenaged girls in how she dressed at the time (whale tails and all). Kara acted like one would imagine. Love the part where Krypto went after her. But then when she was brainwashed to be evil…her power was nearly unmatched.

Well, that’s my list. Merry Christmas to all of ya :)

An off-the-cutt top ten comic females, based on currently running stuff only:

Alana (SAGA)
Lizzy Hexam (THE UNWRITTEN)
Mystique (ALL-NEW X-MEN, WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN)
She-Hulk (FF)
The Wasp (UNCANNY AVENGERS)
Black Swan (NEW AVENGERS)
Xiaolian (EAST OF WEST)
Suzie (SEX CRIMINALS)
Kitty Pryde (ALL-NEW X-MEN)
Kate Bishop (HAWKGUY, YOUNG AVENGERS)

I’m sure I’m forgetting a couple huge ones. I finally finished reading through X-STATIX and because that book still feels like it’s from the future I kept having to remind myself that U-Go Girl, Dead Girl, Venus Dee Milo and Lacuna weren’t all eligible. What a wonderful, wonderful comic.

Runner-ups include Darla Deering, Medusa, Tong, Shark Girl, Sue and Valeria Richards (FANTASTIC FOUR has been a disappointment, yes, but only relatively, and I still adore those characters), Wanda Maximoff, Jean Grey. Absolutely nothing or nobody from Wood’s X-Men, which I read the first issue of and put right back down again–what an enormous disappointment of a comic.

What was it you found disappointing about Wood’s X-Men, Elpie? Everyone’s entitled to their opinion, I’d just be curious to hear your reasons, since I loved it and everyone I’ve spoke to at least liked it.

I’m hoping Firestar – one of my childhood favorites – gets enough to do in Amazing X-Men (and does it well enough) to make your list next year.

I’m so glad America Chavez turned up in Young Avengers and is making an impression on people. She first appeared in a mini-series called Vengeance that no one read (and rightly so) and was such a likeable character in such a skippable series that I thought it was a huge shame we’d probably never see her again. Glad that prediction turned out to be wrong. (Also glad to see that apparently Gillen and McKelvie had as much trouble taking Ultimate Nullifier seriously as I did.)

@marvin duran – Armor/Hisako Ichi was in the X-Men anime but she wasn’t created for it; she first appeared in Astonishing X-Men several years prior to the anime.

@TJCoolguy: I threw up my hands the second time Kitty Pryde said “OMG.” A couple of really bad attempts at humor along those lines were the only thing I /hated/ about it, but Wood’s writing is so damn milquetoast otherwise that there was nothing in there to compensate.

It lacks the quippy Bendis-y charm of All-New, the sheer wonder and awesomeness of Wolverine & and the Bachalo/Irving factor of Uncanny, making it the worst X-Book in my eyes. I really /wanted/ to like it, based on the cast, but it didn’t even /kind/ of throw me a bone. Coipel’s art is good (though not on the level of Bradshaw, Immonen, or Bachalo at the best of times) but even he didn’t seem to be bringing his A-game to the project.

The whole “psychic arrow” thing that Psylocke did wasn’t exactly new – Mirage was doing it back when she was undercover in the MLF as Moonstar.

Really good choices. But c’mon, Apex aka. Katy Bashir and Nico Minoru were stars this years. They are both such unique and interesting characters

I love Big Barda!

With Keith Bowden on this…Big Carol fan. I was a huge Rogue fan until Ms. Marvel #9 where we kind of find out that Rogue, besides saying SORRY, never made amends to Carol (and really, what woman tries to assassinate another woman after she’d been raped?) like taking a bullet. Something that says, ‘sorry for ruining your life.’ The stuff that Rogue went through was bad, but she did it to herself, like stealing an iPod and finding out there aren’t any songs on it. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Rogue, but she’ll always be second to the Boston Badass.

However, I’m glad I’m not the only one that sees that Remender story as being utterly bat-shit crazy. She’s honoring Xavier by killing? Chuck would be proud…not.

Haven’t picked up Saga yet, but my wife says it’s great.

Oh yeah, and huge fan of TGWWBK, but you already knew that. :)

I believe Miss America first showed up in Joe Casey’s “Vengeance”, which I found to be pretty incredible as well.

Jessica Jones is at the end of the list because she hadn’t done much this year but Cassandra Cain is number 3? Has she even appeared in a story yet this year? Its a good list of female characters but I can’t say whether this is a list of the top 25 female heroes of 2013 or just the 25 female heroes you should check out.

On a side note I completely agree Remender pretty much threw out Rogue’s characterization, though I’d argue it happened within the first 2 issues rather than recently. One would think Carey’s run of Legacy never happened, honestly the bickering amongst characters in the first few issues of that series felt like he’d thrown every bit of character development that happened within the last 15 years out the window.

Quite a good list. I definitely want to check out Saga and Journey Into Mystery. I’ll always love Wonder Woman, but I despise what Azzarello has done with her. She is a supporting character in her own story! As for Rogue, I haven’t cared for her in a long time and Remender didn’t do the character any favors.

Nobody should read the trash Azzarello Wonder Woman.. EVER. It’s terrible. Wonder Woman has become a secondary character in her own book, she’s become the opposite of everything she once stood for. She’s the exact opposite of everything she should be. She’s destructive, violent and a force for War now. They’ve taken away everything that made Wonder Woman unique.

I’d not put Rogue at the top b/c Uncanny Avengers has done everything they can to destroy her.

Also the list is very Saga heavy (2 made the list and 2 more on the bubble?). Saga is good, but there are other great female characters that need a spotlight like Zatanna.

Oh and Magik deserved to be on the list, until Marvel brought her back and made her evil. She lost everything that made her a great character and turned her into.. crap.

Personally, I got Velvet right out of the gate. I do not think it is too early. There is so much characterization in the art alone and then you add Brubaker’s espionage prose on top, wow. She reads like a person from that era, and for me, almost a real Winter Soldier (without the stasis or bionic arm.) Can’t wait to find out more.

Sif, Storm and America Chavez (what little I read) are always worth a read. I hope the three of them wind up in a title I want to read next year. Why the heck Storm does not have her own title just blows my mind.

Jean Grey also had a good 2013 with All New X-Men. It’s so good pick it up.

@Anonymous, regarding Jessica Jones’s being so low and the whole placement issue: The article is Kelly’s “25 Favorite Fictional Females–2013 Edition” NOT “25 Favorite Fictional Females OF 2013.” IOW, it’s like an encyclopedia or even Guinness Book of World Records; each year’s NEW editions don’t cover JUST what happened in the particular year. For instance, a 2013 encyclopedia entry for “US Presidents” would still list Obama as the most recent President but a 2008 edition would still list Bush as the most recent. And, any list of Presidents in 2008 couldn’t possibly include Obama since he’d not been elected at that point.

I’ll admit I was a bit confused by the list at first but that’s a lot less problematic for me than Kelly’s pretty arbitrary ranking. She noted that she pretty much gave up of DC this year, but why should that mean Batwoman drops off the list entirely (especially from #1)? What was it REALLY about Batwoman that warranted her being #1 (presumably last year) that could’ve led her to fall off the list completely this year? Was it really some incredibly horrible writing or artwork that caused the character’s drop or is there something else at play?

So there is no objective justification for this gigantic list? Some of these characters haven’t even been seen this year at all.

So there is no objective justification for this gigantic list? Some of these characters haven’t even been seen this year at all.

No objective justification for Kelly’s personal favorite fictional female characters? That’s weird.

I don’t read enough new comics to be particularly swayed by them, but my favorites of the moment:

1. Kitty Pryde (X-Men/Claremont, X-Men/Whedon, Excalibur/Davis)
2. Storm (X-Men/Claremont)
3. Black Widow (Amazing Spider-Man/Lee-Romita, Amazing Adventures/Colan, Avengers/Harras-Epting, Captain America/Brubaker, Avengers movie)
4. Monica Rambeau (Avengers/Stern)
5. Tomoe Ame (Usagi Yojimbo/Sakai)
6. Invisible Woman (Fantasic Four/Lee-Kirby, Byrne, Hickman)
7. Halo Jones (Ballad of Halo Jones/Moore)
8. Death (Sandman, Death/Gaiman)
9. She-Hulk (Avengers/Stern, Fantastic Four/Byrne, She-Hulk/Slott)
10. Catwoman (Catwoman/Brubaker)
11. Oracle (Birds of Prey/Dixon)
12. Michonne (Walking Dead/Kirkman)
13. Songbird (Thunderbolts, Avengers Forever/Busiek)
14. Rogue (X-Men/Claremont)
15. Aunt May (Spider-Man/Lee-Ditko, Romita, Marvel Team-Up/Dematteis)
16. Jenny (Zot!/Scott McCloud)
17. Girl One (Top Ten/Moore-Ha)
18. Crystal (Fantastic Four/Lee-Kirby, Avengers/Harras-Epting)
19. Sersi (Eternals/Kirby, Avengers/Harras-Epting)
20. Jessica Jones (Alias/Bendis)
21. Helen Potter (Tale of One Bad Rat/Talbot)
22. Evie (V for Vendetta/Moore)
23. Harley Quinn (Batman Adventures/Dini)
24. Sif (Thor/Simonson, Thor movies)
25. Black Cat (Amazing Spider-Man/Wolfman, Spectacular Spider-Man/Mantlo)

Plus Pyslocke, Silver Sable, Batgirl (Cass Cain), Viper, Wonder Woman, Nova (Frankie Ray), Firestar, White Queen, etc. etc. etc.

My Marvel preferences may show in the list.

Ms. Thompson,

I really think that your book should be turned into a graphic novel and that Bonnie and Lola should be on this list! You should really think about making another Kickstarter page for it, because I would definitely be on board! Your writing is phenomenal, and so is this list.

Cheers,

Sebastian

i preferred Miss America Chavez in Casey’s “Vengeance”

Interested re Rachel Rising – I really liked some of “Strangers in Paradise” but aaargh, he just couldn’t finish it, and every time it felt like it was coming to a conclusion, some new craziness started and it all got so frustrating…. So I’m put off reading him because what if that happens again? I think I have Post-SiP-traumatic-stress-disorder or something, flashbacks to all those “aaaaaargggh, what are you DOING??” moments :-)

Once Moore committed to finishing SiP (around #75) the book improved dramatically. So I’d recommend picking up those last fifteen issues, Sarah. In addition, it seems as though he has brought the same approach of those later SiP issues to his new projects. Both Echo and Rachel Rising seem to be written as direct responses to complaints by readers that his previous work meandered too much. So as someone who completely understands your concerns regarding SiP, let me note that both Echo and Rachel Rising don’t have those problems. They’re both excellent comics with clearly defined plots.

Marvin said:
“HISAKO ICHIKI… she was “born” on the xmen anime, for Japan. I think this is important to mention because I think that’s a first for Marvel comics.”

Ummmm….Armor first appeared in 2004 in Astonishing X-Men, created by Joss Whedon. The anime series was in 2010.

If you’re looking for a Marvel character who first appeared in animation, and then made the jump to comics, you’ll need to go a lot further back. Firestar comes to mind, as does the HERBIE robot from Fantastic Four.

Any reason why Kitty Pryde was left off your list?

Armor, but not Pixie? Ugh.

No, we need more cheap and lazy asian fetish characters in our comics. See, this one, she has a stylish bob haircut, so fears allayed!

Thanks, Brian! I read SiP to the end, but I can’t ever re-read it because damn, al those extra Parker Girls, aaargh! Maybe I’ll spend my Xmas vouchers on more – would you recommend Echo or RR more?

Oh yeah, agreed, the Parker arc likely was the worst. I almost gave up on the book and I loved it when it began. I am likely one of the few people ever who saw the Previews listing for SiP #1 back in 1993 and said, “Hey, this book sounds awesome.” And I’ve read Moore’s work ever since but the Parker stuff really stretched me as a reader.

As for Rachel Rising vs. Echo…hmmm…Rachel Rising is likely the better book, but the complete run on Echo (roughly 27 issues) is available in one affordable trade, so I guess I’d recommend that first.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to pick up Super! by a small joint in Jersey called Unlikely Heroes. Once you do, I’m sure we’ll see a fantastic character by the name of Blitz on your list next year.

Some nice ones included on this list, though I don’t agree with you that writers like Bendis and DeConnick have really done their best jobs on the characters mentioned. And I can’t say I take any list of favorite fictional females that lacks both Scarlet Witch and She-Hulk, and is so cold towards Storm.

As a general reminder, posting under a false/fake name and posting multiple times using a proxy server to change up your IPs so that you can agree with yourself (and the like) will get you banned.

Happy Holidays!

Oh, if you haven’t read it already, I LOVE Carla Speed McNeil’s Finder series. I love how Rachel has grown over the books, especially in ‘Voice’ and am dying for the ‘Torch’ arc to be continued, but it seems to be on hiatus (if you want to have a look at it, what’s been done so far is on Speed’s website, http://www.lightspeedpress.com/ )

(apologies if you know all about it, I just adore all the Finders, especially the footnotes in the collections… love world building…)

I love Rogue. She’s definitely my favourite comic book character of all time.

But seriously, Uncanny Avengers is the only title I have ever seriously regretted buying. If I want to read about Brotherhood Rogue, I have plenty of back issues I can read. Including ones where she’s out to get Wanda, erm, I mean Dazzler. I suppose the next thing that’s going to happen is that this “death” is going to be used as an excuse to make Rogue incapable of touching others again. You know, just to complete the character assassination.

It’s so disappointing, especially when X-Men Legacy ended on such a promising note.

Excellent list! I can’t wait for the epic Uncanny X-Force omnibus early next year for more Psylocke. There is also the Age of Apocalypse omnibus (though very pricey) to which I consider Rogue (in any alternate version) at her best.

Yes! Thank you! Rogue at #1 ^-^ And you are absolutely correct; Remeder has destroyed, simply DESTROYED her character in Uncanny Avengers! It’s despicable, and I hope they don’t use that as cannon in the future. So sad. :(

Kitty (Prof. K) P r y d e would be on my list. Benefits has remade her into a formidable leader without relying on the played out romance dynamic that Whedon needlessly exploited.

[…] She Has No Head!–25 Favorite Fictional Females, 2013 Edition! Who are Kelly Thompson’s top 25 this year? You’ll have to read to find out, but I was surprised by a few of them, and intrigued by a few others. […]

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