Well, it’s that time of the year again when a young boy’s fancy lightly turns to love… of the fictional kind.
In the past, I’ve written about some of my favorite female characters in animation and video games. Well, it’s about time I also gave female comic book characters a chance to shine. After all, throughout the ages, there have been a lot of really hot female characters that have graced the pages of DC, Marvel and other comic books. That’s why, in order to narrow down this list to a manageable five, I had to implement a rule wherein only one character per franchise could appear. It was still hard to limit it to just five and I know some of you may disagree with some of the entries here. But, hey! It’s my list!
So, without further ado, in no particular order, here are my five female crushes from the world of comic books.
Oddly enough, you can thank Ambush Bug for her being on this list.
I was never exactly a fan of the Teen Titans series. I’ve read a few stories involving them from old comic digests called Year’s Best Comic Stores, where DC would compile their biggest, most acclaimed stories from the year’s past and put them into one compilation. The two Teen Titan stories I read from them, strangely enough, didn’t have Starfire in them. So, for the longest time, I was blissfully unaware that a character like Starfire even existed.
But I was a huge Ambush Bug fan, though. I first saw the character when he would generally be a huge pest against Superman and I loved how crazy and insane he was. But back in those days, it was hard for me to even find an Ambush Bug comic because I was dumb and didn’t know comic book stores existed. One day, I did get lucky as I stumbled across Ambush Bug #5, where he proceeded to face off against a character named Scabbard… until Scabbard left because he realized he was in the wrong comic! So, Ambush Bug had to find a way to fill in the rest of the pages with content. One way he did it was by tricking Starfire into doing a *ahem* tasteful pinup pose.
Now, I was a kid when I saw this image and… well, you can imagine the thoughts that ran through my head. The thing is, I thought it was some random girl because, as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t even know who Starfire was! It was actually years later until I realized what her name was and, the more I read about her past, including her being a princess from another planet and seeking refuge on Earth, well, it just added to how enamored I already was with that cheesecake pose she made.
Strangely enough, it’s specifically this version of Starfire I like. She was originally more sensual and fun-loving in the comics. I don’t really get the more innocent version we got from the Teen Titans cartoon nor the more diva-esque one from the live-action series. Give me the more flamboyant version anyday!
The main reason why I had to limit my choices for this list to one per franchise is, because if I didn’t, it would be dominated by the ladies from the X-Men franchise. There’s a lot to choose from. Emma Frost. Kitty Pride. Mystique. Dazzler. And, of course, Psylocke. And while Psylocke may be on the top of the list for a lot of hot blooded males out there, I’m still more drawn to the Southern charm of Rogue.
The biggest reason why Rogue tops the list of all the female X-Men characters is a combination of a lot of things. For one thing, I just love the white streak she has in her hair. It makes her look incredibly distinct and unique. There’s also the accent and her manner of speaking. It’s very prominent in the comic and definitely gave her some extra personality. But the biggest reason why Rogue tops the list from all the female X-Men characters is, simply put, because of the first time I saw her.
The first time I actually read an X-Men comic was in high school. My friend, who was a huge comic book collector, brought the first three issues of X-Men vol. 2. I was generally used to older DC comics that were published in the ’60s and ’70s since my mother collected them. The artstyle, while good, doesn’t hold a candle to all the detail Jim Lee did! There was just something about those lines and how everyone looked bigger than life. And then I got to that point where Rogue came into the picture and it was almost love at first sight.
This was my first introduction to Rogue and it was spectacular. She looked so much different from the other superhero females I’ve been accustomed to! I guess it’s mostly thanks to Jim Lee’s fabulous art. She also wasn’t so prim and proper like I was used to seeing. Rogue also came off as if she had this really confident attitude as she allowed those missile to follow her. And, of course, the accent. Even in the comics, you could hear her Southern accent in your head because of how her dialog was written. It was then and there I became an X-Men fan and I became determined to know more about the characters and the history.
But I still remember looking and Rogue and thinking to myself, “wow”!
The Mistress of Magic did indeed cast a spell on me! But it took a while!
I already said I read a lot of DC Comics that were published during the ’60s and ’70s. So I already read some stories involving Zatanna way back when and, to be frank, I really didn’t care for her original design as she basically looked like a curly haired Lois Lane in a tux-like leotard. DC then just kept on redesigning her costume in weird ways, like giving her a cape or some disco looking outfit with a staff.
I pretty much didn’t care for Zatanna for years but all that changed with her appearances in Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited cartoons. I guess it helped that her stories that had her playing an important role were rather silly ones in the grand scheme of things. In Batman: The Animated Series, she was framed for stealing a vault full of money by a professional debunker. Not exactly the biggest crime Batman had to solve. However, her story in Justice League Unlimited where Batman enlists her help when Wonder Woman is magically turned into a pig is just gold! I mean, at one point, Zatanna and Circe, the villain of the story, sheds a tear of happiness when they hear Batman sing! It did showcase her more fun side, which I really like. I guess it’s more of Zatanna’s overall playfulness in these two episodes that really made me like her.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that her redesign looks so much better. I guess DC did revamp her overall look to making her come off as more of a graceful looking character than just another Lois Lane lookalike, a problem of the earlier comics. The change to straight, long hair and a better proportioned top had made her stand out a lot more. Also making her jacket and tights a much darker shade of blue also worked out much better for her. These are just little tweaks but made her much cuter, in my opinion.
Zatanna had changed costumes quite a bit since. The most notable is the one from the Justice League Dark series and, to be honest, I like her look there as well! It does highlight how much more serious she can be. But there’s just something about that original tux and tights combo that’ll still do it for me.
Even the taint that is the Sins Past storyline can’t wreck my love for Gwen Stacy.
Like with the case of Rogue, it’s a good thing I put the rule of “one character per series” when making this list because it could have also been dominated by the bevy of beauties in Spider-Man. You’ve got Felicia Hardy/Black Cat. Silver Sable is, coincidentally, another white haired hottie connected to the Web-Head. There’s also newcomers like Silk/Cindy Moon. I could even throw in a curve ball with Betty Brant just to spice things up. Of course, there’s Mary Jane Watson, obviously.
However, in a stunning upset because I have a huge thing for redheads, Mary Jane Watson doesn’t make it on the list. It’s Gwen Stacy who does. I guess it all boils down to what matters the most: personality.
Gwen Stacy is just, to me anyway, generally much more likable than Mary Jane. She’s already seen as an incredibly pretty girl but she’s much more than just a pretty face. She’s also incredibly smart and, most importantly, incredibly nice, which may have been a problem for a lot of fans. Because she was “just nice,” a lot of Spider-Man readers liked the more outgoing Mary Jane Watson. Her “party girl” persona made her a more exciting character to the more sensible Gwen.
Oddly enough, it’s because Gwen Stacy was “just nice” I found myself liking her more than Mary Jane! Gwen was generally the embodiment of what I would like in a girlfriend. She’s smart, beautiful and, most important, nice! It would be fun to hang out with Mary Jane, sure. I’d get to go do all sorts of exciting things but I still prefer “nice” at the end of the day.
Then again, it’s because of Gwen Stacy, primarily her death, which oddly caused Mary Jane to reevaluate her life and stop being the party girl she was known for. She became much closer to Peter Parker as they were both hurting from Gwen’s tragic passing. She, in turn, did start mellowing out and becoming the Mary Jane we know today. So, in a strange way, Peter Parker still got together with the “nice” girl at the end. Weird, huh?
And now for someone a little more obscure…
Right off the bat, there’s just something about Big Barda’s look that I like. She’s very tall and extremely fit. What’s really strange is I normally don’t like this kind of look but, for some reason, Big Barda makes it work for me. I guess it also helps that her full battle armor looks really good on her.
The clincher for me, though, is her overall attitude. While Big Barda is a highly skilled warrior, she also happy living in normal suburbia like an ordinary human. After fighting and killing for centuries, she simply has gotten tired of all of it. But she’s still willing to get back into the fight when necessary. I just love the idea of this seemingly tall and fit woman living the quiet life is actually some really badass warrior from another planet!
Oh, and I gotta add how she’s not at all that shy. I mean, look at what she’s wearing out in public!
Who are your comic book crushes? Let me know ho