Top Ten Most Asskicking Women of Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
Last time, I wrote a post on the strongest women in sci-fi and fantasy TV who didn’t kick ass. I felt it was important, and I still do: too often we equate violence with strength, especially with our pop culture heroes, and especially with our scifi and fantasy heroes. To most, sci-fi and fantasy means action, especially in the realm of television, which I focus on. There are plenty of lists of kickass women in genre fiction out there already, and I felt that another would be thoroughly redundant.
Lately, though, I’ve been inspired, and decided to bring my unique and, let’s face it, expert perspective on the matter to the blogosphere (are we still using that term?).
So hold on, fuckers: these are the toughest, most ass kicking women in scifi, action, fantasy, and elsewhere.
10.Buffy- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Start off the show with the most obvious, giving my abiding, obnoxious love of Whedon’s BTVS.
Why she’s a badass: Mystical and totally sweet strength imbued in her by cowardly assholes a couple thousand years ago. These asshats back in the fertile crescent decided that little girls could fight demons better than their sad, sorry asses ever could, and boy, were they fucking right.
Buffy is more than strong though: she’s clever, brave, self-sacrificing, and staunchly moral. Once, she knew if she fought this evil bastard of a vampire, she would die. But you know what? She still did, in her homecoming dress, at the age of 16, because that’s what had to be done. Then she died, got back up, and killed him right back.
Later on she would die again to save her annoying sister/the world, and after she came back, she beat her up friends, banged a hot punk-rawk vampire, and decided to seize her own destiny, while reclaiming the power that had been robbed of the slayer line for two thousand years. It’s complicated, but if you haven’t watched it already, what the fuck is wrong with you.
I know she’s not the most popular titular character ever, but she’s still one of the most ass-kicking heroes ever.
Also Badass: Willow, Faith, Tara
9. Veronica Mars- Veronica Mars
From the short lived yet lauded tv show of the same name, Kristen Bell played the diminutive, brilliant, paranoid detective with charm and depth.
Why she’s so badass: Like Buffy before her, Veronica is a tiny, tiny little lady. Unlike Buffy, she has no magic strength. She’s just a tiny badass on a mission for truth, armed with a tazer and a camera, and not afraid to tussle with Mexican gangsters, Irish mobsters, or upper class SoCal WASPs. Yeah she’s cute and pretty, but so is a fucking tiger. She catches murderers, rapists, thieves, and crooks while sassing the fuck out of anyone who gets near her along the way with her razor sharp wit.
8. Aeryun Sun-Farscape
Australians make weird sci-fi, but badass warrior babes. Aeryn Sun is the resident brutal ass-kicker/brooder extraordinaire on the bizarre and fantastic show, Farscape.
Why she’s a badass: She’s the perfect fucking soldier except that she’s too willful and intelligent to blindly take orders, even if it means being cut off from her own people, forever. Her physical strength is nothing compared to her mental fortitude, stubbornness, and overall cleverness.
One time this guy kept hitting on her because they were a perfect genetic match or some weird alien culture shit, and while she was infuriated by it she eventually pitied him enough to take him rock-climbing. Of course, the second the cocky bastard looks down for a second, he loses his shit and falls, taking them both down the cliff. Even after falling like a hundred feet though, Aeryn still drags his weeping, pathetic ass to safety like a fucking soldier.
7. Xena: Xena, Warrior Princess.
Remember Xena? Of course you do: she’s the original sword swinging, Titan slaying, chakram throwing, war crying, god banging, ambiguously orienting, Amazon warrior princess.
Why she’s a badass: I haven’t seriously watched Xena:WP since highschool, when I would watch it back to back with BTVS on the O channel. As it’s on Netflix streaming, I tried watching it a while ago, and couldn’t get over the campy production and cheesy dialogue. That being said, Xena is responsible for a lot. She’s arguably the first female action hero with her own TV show, and paved the way for a lot, including Buffy. And Lucy Lawless is unarguably badass. She brought ladies kicking ass to TV.
Then she started killing Greek gods and became an allegory for Christ or some shit. I stopped watching.
6. Starbuck – Battlestar Galactica
Kara Thrace, Call-Sign “Starbuck” in one of the protagonists on the outstanding program Battlestar Galactica. Fighter pilot, sharp-shooter, boxer, and overall ass kicker, I often cite Starbuck as my favorite BSG character.
Why She’s a Badass: Kara “Starbuck” Thrace exemplifies strength. Physical, mental, soulful strength. The product of an insanely abusive mother, Starbuck has weathered all sorts of brutal trials. She’s lived with an insane cyborg who pretended to be married to her, and who she killed every day until she escaped. She learned how to pilot an alien vehicle to escape a brutal planet after she shattered her leg. She went toe to toe with a completely terrifying cyborg lady, who also belongs on this list. She could drink any other member of the crew under the fucking table, and then fly out in her viper to protect the shattered remnants of the human race.
Also, on an acting level, Katee Sackhoff originally played Starbuck as the original, male, Starbuck was portrayed: A cigar smoking, whiskey quaffing, hardass. While she kept most of that, she refused to be shown smoking a cigar after she realized she was an icon; She didn’t want young girls to start smoking because of her. Awesome.
Also Badass: Laura Roslin, Athena, and Six.
5. Kitty Pryde – X-Men Comics
Forget the movies, where she is played by three different actresses in three different movies. Shadowcat, from the comics, is the real thing.
Why she’s a badass: From day one, Katherine Anne “Kitty” “Shadowcat”/”Sprite”/”Ariel” Pryde has been the bombacious, headstrong, kick-ass young member of the X-Men. She’s gone from protected teenage sidekick to senior teacher and team leader. Buffy was based on her, and in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men, she takes the lead, being a complete badass and sacrificing herself to save the planet when no one else can, including the FF, Dr. Strange, or anyone else in the entire Marvel Universe. It all smacks of Buffy, of course, and it’s awesome to see her phase Emma Frost’s head into a wall and threaten to let go. You should go read that comic, like, now.
Even outside of Whedon’s comics, Shadowcat is a badass. Her powers may not seem as deadly as say, Storm’s, or She Hulks, but she consistently uses them to kick ass.
Also Badass: Most every other superheroine in Marvel, really.
4. Toph – Avatar, The Last Airbender
No, not the movie, asshole.
Why she’s a badass: Earthbenders tend to be bigger and buffer than the other benders do, but Toph was the exception–a short, blind, young girl who can throw around men four times her size like they were rag dolls. She’s the only character on the show with her own martial art style (mantis style kung-fu, like a baller), and she invents metal-bending, because she’s too much of a thug to be stuck just moving rocks around like the rest of the earthbending jackholes.
A true warrior is supposed to be humble and centered, but Toph doesn’t give a shit about that. She’s a cocky, short-tempered little asskicker, whose head is as strong as the rocks she can fling around with a touch.
Also badass: Katara, of course. BLOOD-BENDING.
3. Hermione Granger – Harry Potter
When I write about Harry Potter characters, I always mean from the books. Not the movies.
Why she’s a badass: Hermione is the best fucking spellcaster in Hogwarts that isn’t a teacher, and better than half of the teachers. Harry could do one spell better than her. ONE. And he fucks up whenever he ignores her advice (looking at you, The Half Blood Prince). Despite her brilliance and skill, she lands in Griffyndor, not Ravenclaw. Why? Because her true strength is her courage. Fuck yes.
2. Brienne of Tarth – Game of Thrones
In this case I mean the show, not the books. I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet, leave me alone!
Why she’s a badass: In a world that’s basically completely dominated by men, Brienne of Tarth stands as one of the greatest warriors in Westeros. While she could take just about anyone in a fight, it’s her nobility that is her true strength: of all the knights in Game of Thrones, she is the most noble, valorous, and brave. Also, thank the Old Gods, her armor is entirely practical.
Also Badass: Ygritte, Asha/Yara, and mothafucking Arya.
1. Nora Kb: Life
More badass than any character on this list. Nora is more of a Slayer than Buffy. Sorry Lucy Lawless, but Nora is an actual Amazon Warrior. She’s not a detective, but if she wanted to put her brilliant brain to that use, she could definitely out-sleuth Veronica Mars. She’s more stubborn than Aeryn Sun or Toph, and more well-read than Hermione. She probably too sly to be a knight, but she’s braver than all of them together, and she could definitely pull off plate mail.
Why she kicks ass:
The ladies in the list above have fought every external horror imaginable. Demons, Robots, Aliens, Romans, etc. Those things are all pathetic. You know what they didn’t fight? Their own anti-bodies. When your entire body attacks itself, the only tool at your disposal is your brain. Luckily, Nora has the strongest, most-willful, strangest, and sharpest brain of any person in fiction or reality.
“Oh wait”, you say, you asshole, “She’s not a fictional character”.
Well, okay. One: I’m not entirely sure that’s true. She has cyborg parts. She regularly appears as different sci-fi characters. She’s reads books like most people drink water, and her IQ is somewhere around “Fucking Brilliant”. She’s also weirdly tall, and has been seen time to time with the Doctor.
Even if she’s not from sci-fi TV, she’s watched enough of it to count.
Two: Well, yeah. Unlike everyone else on this list, she faces a real fucking battle, and is fighting it as brutally as any character would fight a vampire, mutant, or wizard. If I could feel sorry for an autoimmune disease, I would be weeping for hers. Because she’s going to kick its ass. Most people don’t fight that hard against the trials in their lives.
But most people aren’t that badass.
Of all the heroes on this list, she kicks the most ass. She inspires me the most.