Science fiction has more than one iconic heroine. We here at Scifipulse thought we’d list ten of our favorites. Given the recent developments in the United States, it would seem that we need heroic females more than ever. Please note that these heroines are not ranked and this is by no means a comprehensive list. Despite the article’s title. That being said, please enjoy our list of ten iconic female characters.
For many of us growing up in the ’90s. Buffy was the show to watch. Its exceptional writing and honest observation of teenage issues cemented it as a cornerstone of sci-fi. Buffy, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, was strong, smart and funny. With a vulnerability that made her relatable. We the viewers saw how uncertain and difficult the adult world truly was through Buffy’s journey into it. Additionally, Buffy and indeed all characters on the show were not squeaky clean good guys. Joss Whedon‘s best known work was morally opaque and challenged everything. Buffy herself remained our entry point into this world; one heroine in all the world who must stand against the forces of darkness.
The late great Carrie Fisher portrayed this iconic character wonderfully. Princess Leia was tough as nails, courageous and a natural leader. Generations of girls and women wanted to be Princess Leia, generations of boys and men wanted to be with her. Vivien Lyra Blair recently portrayed the character in Obi-Wan Kenobi. (Check out our reviews of this). Further, this young actress absolutely stole the show and did Fisher proud. Moreover, Leia was staunchly feminist. When she choked Jabba the Hutt to death after he enslaved and objectified her.
Played by Chloe Bennett in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. Daisy started off as a hacker, who became a secret agent and then an empowered superhero. Whilst perhaps not as iconic as Buffy, Agents of SHIELD was one of the best and most well thought out shows on TV. Telling Daisy’s story as she grew up, made friends, fell in love, uncovered her past and became a heroine.
Sarah Jane Smith
The ultimate Doctor Who companion. The legendary Elisabeth Sladen played Sarah Jane with class, warmth and courage. She also saved the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) from being seduced into evil by Mr. Finch (Anthony Head) in School Reunion. Furthermore, the Sarah Jane Adventures introduced a new generation of children and adults to Elisabeth Sladen. The show ran until Elisabeth Sladen sadly passed away in 2011. Her impact on Doctor Who is undeniable and this phenomenal actress will be remembered forever.
Hundreds of actresses auditioned for Death’s Sandman role. With it eventually going to Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Over and above that, Neil Gaiman himself has told fans in no uncertain terms that we will enjoy Howell-Baptiste as Death. Based on the Kabbalistic angel of death, Death is as friendly and kind a person as you could ever hope to meet. Gaiman has said that the Sandman’s Death was the kind of person he wanted to meet when he died. Someone who would understand. As a side note, Death has also been played by Kat Dennings and Jamie Chung. (whose performance we reviewed here ).
It is a testament to Hayley Atwell‘s depiction of this character that she has played Peggy Carter in the MCU more times than Chris Evans has played Captain America. Even reprising the alternate universe heroine Captain Carter in Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Atwell brought strength, fire and charisma to what had until then been a minor Marvel comics heroine. Receiving her own show which ran for two seasons. Further, Atwell originally voiced Captain Carter in Marvel’s What If…?
Daniella Pineda played the live action Faye Valentine with snark, strength and vulnerability. Indeed, this actress was so entertaining as the amoral bounty hunter that there has been talk of a Faye Valentine spin-off. Regrettably Cowboy Bebop was cancelled after just one season at Netflix. However, Pineda remains a high point of the show. Also representing queer women in Faye’s sweet, gentle scene with Mel (Jade Harlow). Check out our Cowboy Bebop review .
Alien is a film in which nobody listened to a smart, capable woman. Which ended up getting them killed. Sigourney Weaver is a true sci-fi icon. Going up against horror beyond imagination and making it through. The Alien films are all time classics. Showing working class people’s lives in a hostile, uncaring universe. Indeed, Weaver has rightly had a long and illustrious Hollywood career. But for generations of girls and women she will always be their heroine Ellen Ripley.
The first Muslim-American superhero. Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani) is a superhero mega-fan. Empowered by her grandmother’s bracelet. Moreover, Kamala Khan possesses a Spider-Man-like charm and fallibility. In like vein to Spidey, she navigates adolescence as well as the superhero world. Vellani herself has called out no less a person than Kevin Feige. Over the MCU dimension’s correct numbering (Earth 199999 in case you were wondering). This alone makes her a candidate for this list. You can read our Ms. Marvel reviews here .
Last but most definitely not least is Gal Gadot‘s Wonder Woman. A fierce yet caring heroine who journeys to the mortal realm to put an end to the First World War. Gadot depicted a perfect balance between Diana’s bravery and naivete. It brought tears to my eyes when Wonder Woman ventured into no man’s land to clear a path for the soldiers. The former Miss Israel has reprised Diana in Wonder Woman 1984 (which we also reviewed ). And is set to play the character for a fifth time in the yet untitled Wonder Woman 3.
Which iconic heroines are your favourites? Do you agree with our list? Please leave a comment and remember, there is no problem that cannot be solved with chocolate. Take care.