What do Batman, Captain America, and Dracula have in common? No, they don’t all have a mother named Martha, but they’re all bad-freaking-ass in their stories! In fact there are so many cool male characters that we sometimes forget women can be just as amazing at what they do. Here’s a short (and I mean extremely short) list of my favorite female badasses in TV and movies.
Let’s start off with someone that everyone loves and adores…
Buffy Summers (Buffy: The Vampire Slayer)
Three words: teenage vampire slayer. What could be cooler than that? Well, seeing as we’re just getting started – a lot of things. But you know about Buffy and her Scooby Gang, protecting Sunnydale from the forces of demonic evil, right? Yeah, she deserves more recognition!
Ellen Ripley (Alien)
You’ll see this a lot in this article but I just have to say it: I freaking love this character. She’s smart, resourceful, has bigger balls than a dozen men and can probably intimidate the Xenomorph itself if she needs to.
Lara Croft (Tomb Raider)
The legendary Tomb Raider, and I freaking love her too (see what I meant about you seeing this a lot?)! Even in her low-poly state she’s more badass than Nathan Drake will ever be. Yeah, I said it, Lara Croft is cooler than Nathan Drake!
Sarah Connor (Terminator)
Sure, Arnie was amazing as T-100 in the first movie, but who kicker T-1000’s shiny amorphous ass when push came to shove? That’s right, Sarah mother-effin Connor and her trusty shotgun. I think I’m gonna go rewatch T2 right now, BRB.
The Bride (Kill Bill)
Alright, now that the robotic overlord’s plans have been thwarted, it’s time to check out “Kill Bill” and that ass-kicking Bride played by Uma Thurman. I seriously cannot remember the plot whatsoever, I just see that bloodbath of a fight right in front of my eyes and it warms my heart. One girls, one super sharp katana, and a sh@tload of enemies. That’s the good stuff!
Circling back to the supernatural heroines, we got Selene, an extremely attractive vampire, trying to do something or other to the Lycans. Who cares about the plot when you can see Kate Beckinsale slay those overgrown mutts like she’s PETA!
Black Widow (The Avengers)
A spy, a masterful tactician, has friends in SHIELD and Asgard, and is a total babe – who is she? Hawkey is not a “she”, man, come on! Of course, it’s Natasha Romanova (or “Romanoff”, as the Americans call her) aka the Black Widow. If you’ve seen the Civil War already you know exactly why she’s on this list.
Princess Leia (Star Wars)
Although I’m not a big fan of the Star Wars universe, I’d be a fool to deny Leia her badassery status. Escaped from Vader, and Jabba the Hut and even kissed her little bro… wait, that last one isn’t cool at all. Okay, she’s 90% badass, still pretty amazing!
Alice (Resident Evil)/ Leeloo Dallas (5th Element)
It’s a tie between 2 astounding Mila Yovovich roles. I just couldn’t choose between the zombie-slaying psychic Alice, and literally the living weapon in the flesh – Leeloo. I would, however, love to see a movie where these two characters cross paths. There you go, Hollywood, a free idea!
Imperator Furiosa (Mad Max Fury Road)
Last year’s Oscar-winning blockbuster Mad Max: Fury Road told us more than just the story of Max Rockatansky trying to survive the Australian summer, but also gave us her majesty Imperator Furiosa. Anyone who’s seen the movie will tell you how tough she is and they’d still be underselling her badassness. And if you’re one of the 5 people on the planet who haven’t seen Mad Max yet – what is wrong with you?
River Tam (Firefly)
One of the best (and definitely my favorite) sci-fi westerns – Firefly – brought us laughters, tears and rage, when the fat bastards at FOX cancelled it after season 1. Thankfully, with all that crap we also got Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk, Summer Glau, Morena Baccarin and many-many other amazing stars to shine. River Tam, played by Summer Glau, was full of incredible secrets and I’m very sad we didn’t get to see her character develop more. That said, in the Serenity movie, we do see her kick each and every ass she could get her hands and feet on.
Brienne of Tarth (Game of Thrones)
Lady Brienne is, and always will be, a badass character, even if (or when) GRRM decides it’s time for her to die. She better lives long enough to do the deed with Jaime Lannister or that Wildling dude, or I’m starting a petition!… No I won’t, petitions are a waste of time, sadly. But I will be very sad, that’s for sure.
Leslie Knope (Parks and Recreation)
Leslie Knope for the mayor! No, for the president!… Of the WORLD! She’s not the fighty, blood-lusty kind of badass but her career in the Parks and Recreation dept has prepared her to face any danger known to man, or woman, as long as Aubrey Plaza’s April Ludgate is by her side. And where there’s April, there’s Andy, so that’s a dream-team right there! Please go watch Parks and Rec if you haven’t seen it already, and feel the emotional void we’ve all been feeling after season 7.
Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)
Sad news is – Agent Carter season 3 has been cancelled for some unknown and probably very stupid reason, but her legacy lives on in the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe. She was the one who founded SHIELD after all and that’s no small feat for a woman in 1940’s America. She can also tackle at least 4 bad guy at a time (and no, that’s not a euphemism).
Wynonna Earp (Wynonna Earp)
Last but not least I’d like to present to you the grand-grand-grand-grand daughter of the legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp. Wynonna Earp is faced with a choice to either follow her destiny and start shooting demons right between the eyes or just run away like any normal person would. Naturally, since she’s on my list, she went with option A! It’s a new show, literally started around 2 months ago, but it’s already become one of my favorites just for the hilarious quips and Wynonna’s badassness when it comes to slaying the hell beasts.