Thursday, March 20, 2008

Women's Wickedness Month

So it’s Women’s History Month again… This time around I thought I’d list a few of my favorite Female Supervillians. OK, OK, I know I’m supposed to do something “positive” for WHM, but I just couldn’t help myself. I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and I realized that I just have to get it out of my system. Besides, these are all strong, proactive, and intelligent women so why the hell not?

The Viper (Madam Hydra)

This vixen, criminal mastermind figures very prominently in my early comic book reading experience. When I first got addicted to marvel comics, two of the first three issues I ever read from the house of ideas featured the Viper as the antagonist: Captain America #283, and New Mutants #5. Additionally, The Viper was also the villain in the first X-men comic I ever read issue #173. In all three issues, she was very alluring, despite the fact that she was stone cold crazy. Her whip, sleek body suit, green lips and half covered face (ala veronica lake) made her all the more exotic. Despite her obvious womanly charms, she’s clearly a psychopath and a terrorist. No one is able to work with her, not even the Red Skull, as her only desire is to sow destruction and chaos. The one exception is her teaming up with the Silver Samurai. It’s one of those horrid love stories in the mold of Bonnie and Clyde. The Viper is very scary because she’s the antithesis of everything a woman is “supposed” to be. She's evil, violent, and nihilistic… You never forget your first.


Superwoman hails from a parallel Earth where good and evil are reversed. So, essentially, she’s a bad Wonder Woman. Along with her buddies in the Crime Syndicate of Amerika (that are evil analogs of the main characters in the justice league), she subjugates her world through fear. I first encountered Superwoman in the pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths #1. She died in that story, but I became very interested in her, umm… adventures and thusly bought up all of her previous comic appearances. Her and wonder woman tying each other up was awesome. The Crime Syndicate was just too great of a concept to let go of and so Superwoman, along with rest of her team, has been revived many times. I’ve always had the feeling that she was a perv/dominatrix type and Grant Morrison’s Earth 2 comic confirmed that. In Grant’s story, she lets a sexual deviant Jimmy Olson watch her change clothes, makes a pass at Martian Manhunter by saying she’ll try anything once, and even gets Bill Clinton lassoed up and on his knees. Wow, how could this evil Amazon not intrigue me?


One of the strongest females in the Marvel Universe, Titania, has always kicked ass and never taken names. She’s often seen fighting She-Hulk, another favorite of mine, which really adds to her appeal IMO. The catfights between those two can lay waste to whole city. Titania is great because she’s wish fulfillment gone wrong. She used to be a pathetic weakling until she took Dr. Doom’s offer for superpowers and became the ultimate bully. She’s always spoiling for a fight and can’t stand being beaten. She even had a phobia of Spiderman for a while after he handed Titania her ass on a platter. Ultimately, I like her because if Titania is around there’s gonna’ be a good, knockdown brawl. What also makes her interesting is her unmitigated rage towards She-Hulk. It makes me wonder if Titania has unresolved “special feelings” for the jade giantess.

The Borg Queen

Star Trek has always been mainstream, but there was only one time when it was actually super cool outside of it’s über geeky fandom (which I have been a part of to some extent) and that coolness came in the form of the Borg Queen in First Contact. She’s a controversial figure with some Trekkies because she changed the nature of the Borg, but for me she’s brought a much-needed sexy threat to the Star Trek Universe. What makes her so frightening is that she can strip away your humanity, and enslave you body and soul. Losing you identity in a powerful woman both repels and attracts at the same time. Besides all that, I had the distinct pleasure of being assimilated by the Borg Queen at Star Trek the Experience in Las Vegas, and yes, it was good for me!

The Great Tyrant

Sometimes in life you remember the exact moment you had an epiphany. A moment like that happened to me when I was watching Barbarella. The scene where Jane Fonda’s character meets the Great Tyrant the first time, warped my 7yearold mind. See, up until that point I knew that men and women did nasty adult things together but I never knew two women could do nasty adult things together too. When I watched the Great Tyrant lusting after Barbarella and saying “your very pretty, pretty” I was shocked beyond belief. The Great Tyrant’s scene is tame but after I saw it, a whole new perverted world opened up suddenly. I was very young, very intrigued and I wanted to know more… much, much more. That’s why the Great Tyrant will always hold a special place... my loins….
Watch the scene!

Dark Phoenix

Before Marvel retconned Jean Grey’s death into the realm of ridiculousness, the Dark Phoenix Saga stood as a powerful story of absolute power corrupting absolutely, down into the darkest depths of the soul. Her decent into madness and cosmic evil is the greatest X-Men story ever told IMO. The rest of the franchise has been chasing this masterpiece ever since. What makes the Dark Phoenix so chilling is that she was a warm and wonderful person, Jean Grey the hero, but she was manipulated into becoming a cosmic threat that nearly destroyed everyone that Jean ever cared about. We all worry about the evil that exists inside of us but what if that evil took us over totally. This is what happened in the Dark Phoenix saga, and that’s why as a villain, she stands the test time despite the fact that Marvel has undone the consequences of this gem of story since it first appeared. If you only read one X-Men collection, read this one. Dark Phoenix is truly among the greatest of all supervillains and she reminds me of an era when comics were amazing.

Honorable Mention

What’s fun about Mystique is that I like both her Comic Book and Movie incarnations. In the comic she’s a strong, bisexual leader and in the movies she’s a sexy assassin/spy. But most of all she's got shape changing powers and smurfy blue skin. Now that’s awesome.

The whole Judas Contact was another of those great comic book storylines and Terra was it’s malicious star. Her traitorous activities to bring down the Teen Titans proved her to be an especially devious villain. You gotta’ appreciate someone that’s simply been bad from the beginning but fooled everyone into thinking she was one of the good girls.

I’m not all that much into Batman, but I have admit he sure met his soul mate of a sort in Catwoman. She’s, sexy, crafty and makes thieving look oh so good. Catwoman seems to have survived that horrible movie with Halle Barry, proving she’s got nine lives.

Queen Bavmorda:
When I saw Willow as a teenager, I was supposed to cheer for Madmartigan, feel empathy for Willow Ufgood, and enjoy the antics of the two brownies, Franjean and Rool, but you know what? I found evil Queen Bavmorda in her dark and dreary castle the most interesting part of the whole movie.



ladybug said...

My votes are for The Great Tyrant and Dark Phoenix.

The Great Tyrant for sheer wackiness and Dark Phoenix (the original storyline) for true "when your darkside takes over" angst..or lack thereof maybe.

Dean Wormer said...

Queen Bavmorda WAS the most intersting part of Willow.

I have a "friend" that would disagree with your Borg Queen entry. This "friend" would say that the Borg Queen wrecked a great Trek villain by destroying the collective nature, single-minded nature of the Borg simply so the horrible writing/ producing team that owned Trek at that time could introduce an interesting antagonist. But this "friend" is a nerd so what does he know?

pidomon said...

damn good list
Love teh Borg Queen and I don't care what anyone says!

Randal Graves said...

dean, I sort of do/sort of don't agree with your 'friend.' I still think the Borg were best when they were that single-minded, unstoppable force. Their first appearance? Hell, you just knew that Picard and gang were going to their collective asses kicked the next time they met them. We all know the result, but that's what made the Borg so cool.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Wow...other people have seen Willow!

Arkonbey said...

I agree with Dean's 'friend'. Inclusion of the Great Tyrant was great.

And, because everyone whines about a missing member of a list, I put forth

The Vixen from the Captain Britain comics. Not only is she a totally evil dried up hag, she has two giant musclebound boy toys that she forces to dress outfits to match hers

Swinebread said...

LB – Barbarella was ALL wackiness! Heh heh…

The Darkside angst in the Dark Phoenix saga was much better than that Star Wars Prequel crap

Dean – she certainly was, maybe it was Jean Marsh’s acting that was the reason.

Oh Sure the Borg were better villains when a Hive collective only but the Borg Queen worked for the Film and First Contact was important for reaching non-trekkies out there. I would also argue that making Picard into Locutus of Borg shows precedence of a speaker/leader/figurehead type for the borg.

Pidmon – me too!

Randal – Do agree they were scarier in a mindless/soulless was but I sure do loves me some Borg Queen

Moody – believe it or not yes!

Arkonbey – That’s an interesting villain but I don’t remember her and I had the two Captain Britain Collections at one point. What storyline was she in?

Fade said...

Terra was the first character that really, truly pissed me off. Moreso, because Changeling got his heart broke too. Terra in effect became the first "evil ex" in my mind. Just kept hoping she could be "saved" by love.

Dr. Zaius said...

Although I have never heard of her, I like the picture of the Viper. The Borg Queen was horrifically yummy!

Swinebread said...

fade - heh heh, that's so true. I wish I read TT when it first came out rather than in a trade years later...

dr zaius - She a great character, just what you'd expect humans to be crazy and evil!

Anonymous said...

If you ever have a chance, check out "Cutey Honey The Live". The raw-egg-eating dominatrix high school teacher Mayumi puts that Barbarella scene to shame the way she lusts after one of the protagonists.