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Comic Countdown #79: Let’s Hear It For The Ladies

Posted on August 4, 2013 AT 08:58pm

(Note before the Countdown: It looks like the numbering on the Countdown got a bit off awhile back, which resulted in Comic Countdown #66 getting posted twice. This means that all the prior installments were off by one. This has since been fixed on the articles themselves. Apologies for any confusion with this.)

It’s time for the seventy-ninth Comic Countdown! With time changing (and for the better) with gender equality in comics, this seemed like a good time to celebrate some of the creators working on books that fall into the minority (though, hopefully, not for long) in writing books led by females. This is a nice step in the right direction, though a lot of work still needs to be done. With that, it’s time for the Countdown!

#10: Lazarus (Image Comics)

This is a brand new series lead by writer Greg Rucka, and with the protagonist of Forever, the Carlyle family Lazarus, this book has a strong female influence right off the bat. She’s tough, strong, and while her character is still developing, she seems to be much more than meets the eye, and Rucka’s work with female characters is something that should always be celebrated. Forever is looking to be a great example of how to properly treat and write a female role, as she’s given just as much character and merit as any male role in the title, if not more.

#9: Ghost (Dark Horse Comics)

Written by noted female writer and outspoken voice Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ghost  focuses on the afterlife, spirits and the main character, Elisa Cameron. While the newest volume is a resurrection of the character, bringing in DeConnick on the book will give a perspective that the title has never had before, and judging by the spin-off the book received after its appearance inDark Horse Presents, it’s going to become on of the premiere titles lead by not only female characters, but by female creators.

#8: Mara (Image Comics)

Mara, the volleyball player turned superhero, is a great character with the abilities not unlike the Man of Steel himself, Superman. Bringing forth that kind of power into an unknown female character is a big deal, and creators Brian Wood and Ming Doyle have done a great job in creating an environment that highlights the character and the abilities Mara has.

#7: Batwoman (DC Comics)

Kate Kane is the protagonist in one of the best looking books in comics right now, and her character is among the tops as well. While she shares the Bat name, she’s not a real member of the Bat family, making her exploits one of the biggest and most independent of the DC Universe. Strong, independent, well-formed and a person all her own, Kane is a great example of taking a major character and putting her on her own path.

#6: Wonder Woman (DC Comics)

Diana Prince hasn’t always been a well-written character, starting off as basically the secretary to the Justice League. Since then, however, she’s come into her own as a leader of the JLA, an Amazon warrior and Goddess, as well as one of the biggest names in comics. She’s still got some work to be done to make her a clearly leading female character, but she’s well on her way, especially given her notoriety as one of the biggest heroes in the world of comics.

#5: X-Men (Marvel Comics)

The brand new, all-female X-Men team is full of some of the most popular and well-written women in all of comics. Featuring leaders such as Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Rogue and Storm as well as mainstays in the X-verse, this is a team that is proof that women can carry a book and make it work just as well as anyone. Only three issues in as of this writing, the story may not always work out, the characters are some of the best in the world, and all of them well done female characters.

#4: Batgirl (DC Comics)

Another entry from Simone, Barbra Gordon has had quite the run, especially given her time as a disabled heroine. Simone has had her perfectly run the entire time, however, making her a valuable member of the Bat family regardless of how her body is working at the time. With her newest solo book, she’s fun, entertaining and a great character, and her female presence is known throughout the entire series, making her not only a great hero, but a female force of nature worthy of a spot on any list that shows off well-written women in comics.

#3: Fearless Defenders (Marvel Comics)

While it’s still a relatively new series, this team featuring female mainstays such as Valkyrie, Misty Knight and others makes this a great team of women that fight the forces of evil as well or better than anyone else in the Marvel Universe.  Given that the Defenders are also those who face cosmic and supernatural elements and that one of their members is from Asgard, this is a very diverse and special team that should be celebrated.

#2: Captain Marvel (Marvel Comics)

No one exemplifies the power of a female lead better than Captain Marvel herself, Carol Danvers. Her arc from fighter pilot to superhero Ms. Marvel to the latest person to pick up the Captain Marvel mantle shows just how well her development has gone, and how great of a character she is. With some of the best arcs and a high-powered leadership role in the Avengers, Carol is one of the most popular heroes in comics, and likely the most popular female hero at this current time.

#1: Red Sonja (Dynamite Entertainment)

Once basically known as a Conan The Barbarian sub-character, Sonja makes this list after only one issue of her new, relaunched series. Writer Gail Simone does such a spectacular job here that this issue is basically the perfect example of how to write a female-led comic, with Sonja hitting every note, including the insinuation that her skimpy costume is worn because she likes it, not because it makes her look sexualized. Simone is the writer in today’s comics to watch in terms of female character development, and everyone should take notes from her about how to make a female character great.


Russ Pirozek, known as "Noobcrawler" to some, is a gamer and comic book fan who sometimes gets around to writing for DigitalNoob.com. He's also awesome. If someone looked up "awesome" in the dictionary, his picture wouldn't be there, but that's because he's too busy being awesome to pose for a photo.

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