Movies

Eleven Female Character Led Comic Book Movies

There have been many movies with superheroes but not a lot with female superheroes. Unlike my female action movie list, this is considerably shorter. Over time superhero movies gained popularity and more movies stated to star women. This list will only be focusing on female comic book characters in their own solo movie than ensemble movies and manga. That would be another list idea for next time. There might be more solo movies of comic book characters around but these are the ones that I heard of.

Wonder Woman (2017)

This is a combination of two comic book tales of the same character. Wonder Woman was a surprising box office hit. This is a DC comics film. The film is enjoyable, funny and has a lot of action. The film has a part in it that shows the origins story of the main character. The comic book series was started in the 1930s in Sensation Comics before DC Comics. It is often a symbol of strength, feminism and the foundation of the female superhero like Superman and Batman.

Elektra (2005)

This was sadly a dull movie. In the movie, Elektra is an assassin for hire who protects a small family from a group of supernatural evil forces. The character is a part of the Daredevil comic book series from Marvel comics that spun off into a solo comic book series from the Marvel Knights series. The character has a lot of backstory and action movie potential with her being a master of martial arts and weaponry with telepathy. But it was a slow low volume movie okay characters.

Tank Girl (1995)

This is from an underground comic of the same name. The main character, tank girl, really translates the same way onto film as a loud brash uncouth bandit. This is partly because of the actress’s portrayal of Lori Petty being wild and out there. It’s interesting to know that the plot of the film is about finding water in a desert wasteland by draining as many people of their body water index. Some of the cutaway gags are animated scenes from the comic book series.

Supergirl (1984)

The dazed eyed Kar-El ventures to Earth to find a glowing key the city that wears off the bad parts of space and keeps the air inside. In this film, this version of Supergirl is based on Christopher Reeve’s version of Superman. The plot of this film is weird but understandable in the sense of where the villains are coming from finding the stone from Kar-El’s home planet that’s a main power source for them to live to be the source of her witchcraft powers.

Catwoman (2004)

This was not a great film. The villain’s motives are equally stupid as the plot origins take of the comic book property. This film was unfortunately stuck in development hell for over ten years after Batman Returns. It was originally supposed to have Michelle Pfeifer has the Catwoman again but plans kept on falling through. The film was eventually finished has a makeup tycoon developing creme that turns your skin as strong as diamonds unless you discontinue the use permanently disfiguring you.

Barbarella (1968)

Barbarella can be subjective due to the subject matter of sexuality. It was based on the French graphic novel which was the first adult comic book that was written between 1964 to 1965 of the same name. The plot is basically the same as the comic but with effects, that’s very sixties in the front. This is a cult classic film that has a large swinging sixties vibe.

Barb Wire (1996)

This is a weird film and didn’t do well. And it’s weird that a film that is clearly influenced by Casablanca. In the year 2017, an owner of a bar in the last free city in America must fight congressional right wingers for control of her property during the “second American civil war.” The bar owner is also a freelance bounty hunter with various identities that are seen through the film, being an escort/stripper. The film follows a scientist and her spouse who invented contact lenses that can block the transitions of their activities to the government. The film isn’t that good. It was nominated for a lot of Razzies and won Worst Actress – Pamela Anderson. The catchphrase is “don’t call me Babe.” The comic book series ran from 1995 to 1996 with a mini-series in the 2000s.

Red Sonja (1985)

This is a classic action film that’s somewhat a sequel to Conan the Barbarian. This was a cool film that was inspired by the comic of the same name but doesn’t have to be read to understand the film. The Marvel / Dynamite Entertainment comic. The film has the lead character more covered up than the comic book. The film is more female-centric than I remembered it to be. After a series of traumas from the evil queen, Queen Gedren, that changed young Sonja life projectory, she is changed into a tall, fierce warrior woman who will never lie with a man unless he could defeat her in a fair battle.

Sheena (1984)

This was a 1980’s movie bomb. It was not well received. There are various adaptations to Sheena, Queen of the Jungle. From the comic book series that started in the 1930s from Fiction Comics, the cereal reels of Sheena, the 1955-56 syndicated television show and the television series named Sheena from the 2000s. The film is poorly acted with a horse painted to be a zebra. I guess the film wanted to have a strong female character but was not executed properly. The comic is similar to comics like Tarzan with a child orphaned in the jungle.

Atomic Blonde (2017)

Atomic Blonde is a action, mystery and spy thriller of the graphic novel The Coldest City from 2012. In 1989 days before the Berlin Wall was teared down, t a top MI-6 field agent spy must look for microfilm that contains the intelligence agent identity active in Berlin. She is met with gunfire, counter-spying, secret assassinations that she has to report back on to her superiors. This film as a lot of neon lights, new wave music and a Cold War backdrop. This is more of an action film than mystery. In the film they changed a few things from the novel like her sexuality and possibly her hair colour. She looks brunette in the graphic novel but is now blonde in the movie.

Captain Marvel (2019)

This is a recent film that was released that I will soon watch. This is the first female comic book character in a leading role from Marvel Studios. Taking place in 1995, Captain Marvel, or her Kree name Vers, is an ex-U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and current member of the Kree military. In a bad infiltration into a Skrull army, Vers is captured and has her memories probed. After escaping the experiment, she travels to Los Angeles to defend an attempt of a Skrull attack. The comic book character of Captain Marvel (from the Marvel Comics) had multiple characters have the title of Captain Marvel. Carol Danvers character in the comic book is one of the long-running ones. Her former name was Ms. Marvel has the once counterpart of the original Captain Marvel.

References:
Movie posters: impawards.com
Comic book covers: coverbrowser.com
Banner credit: Photo by Michelle Cassar on Unsplash with Photoshop
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