Margot Robbie is back this week as Harley Quinn, and guess who’s not joining her? The icky Joker. She’s ditched her maniacal boyfriend and is now flying solo in her very own movie, Birds of Prey.
Quinn isn’t 100% all there, but that’s because the Joker threw her into a vat of acid. Even so, she’s got it together enough to handle what comes at her, like assembling a girl gang to go up against the new baddie in town (Ewan McGregor).
Here are seven other female superheroes who took the lead, landing them front and center on-screen:
1. Wonder Woman
In 2017, Gal Gadot brought the Amazonian Wonder Woman to the big screen. She may have been sans invisible plane, which we thoroughly enjoyed in the 1970s TV version starring Linda Carter, but she did don the metal Bracelets of Submission. Her entire life, she’s been warned, “Be careful of mankind, they do not deserve you.” But with Wonder Woman being the daughter of the gods Zeus and Hippolyta, it makes her a demigod and potentially immortal. She’s got this.
2. Captain Marvel
Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island) took on the title role in 2019’s Captain Marvel. In the comic books, Captain Marvel is of an alien race, sent to Earth to observe technological development. In the 2019 movie, Earth is caught in the middle of a battle between two alien forces. In the above trailer we see Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury ask her about the intergalactic tiff, saying, “So, Skrulls are the bad guys? And, you’re a Kree, a race of noble warriors?” He’s close, but she’s not shy in correcting him, saying, “Heroes. A race of noble warrior heroes.” You get it, girl.
3. Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson has played former KGB assassin Natasha Romanoff, a member of the Avengers superhero crew, since 2010. However, Black Widow marks the character’s first ever standalone movie, which you can look for on May 1) In the forthcoming movie, she’s in a really dark place and feels like she has “no one to call and nowhere to go.” But, it turns out, she has a sister figure in Yelena Belova, played by AMC’s very own Florence Pugh (Little Drummer Girl). Even superheroes have to ask for help sometimes.
4. Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones is a street-level superhero, skipping the leotard and opting for jeans and a black crop jacket. She doesn’t really want to go out of her way to help people, and would rather hide out in a dive bar, but with the villain Zebediah Kilgrave (David Tennant) out there, she knows she must. While reluctant, she’s able to put everything on the line, because she has nothing to lose. Krysten Ritter takes on the title role in the Netflix original series.
We first met Elektra (Jennifer Garner) in the 2003 movie Daredevil, playing opposite Ben Affleck as his love interest. And, like Harley Quinn, she uncoupled from her suped-up bf and went her own way. Elektra has the ability to mesmerize people and utilize mind control. And, she sometimes does it for self-serving reasons. She may not be 100 percent heroine, being a hired assassin and all, but… a girl has to make a living. But in the 2005 movie dedicated to her story, she has a change of heart and decides to protect her targets, rather than cash in on their destruction. While a sometimes murderer, she also has self-reflection. We feel like that earns some points in the superheroing category.
6. Dark Phoenix
2019’s Dark Phoenix puts the focus on X-Men’s Jean Grey and her backstory, starring Sophie Turner in the title role. As a small child, her parents were killed in a car accident, with her in the back seat. Now grown, she’s trying to figure things out. Professor X (James McAvoy) notices a difference in her, saying, “She’s changing.” But, into what? His arch nemesis, Magneto (Michael Fassbender), has also taken a notice, addressing her directly vs. talking behind her back, “You’re not looking for answers, you’re looking for permission.” While conflicted, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
7. Mighty Thor
Natalie Portman took on the role of scientist Jane Foster in 2011’s Thor and the 2013 sequel Thor: Dark World, but Foster was absent for the third installment, 2017’s Thor: Ragnorak. Fans thought she may have been gone forever, making a quiet exit from the Marvel Universe. But, nope. She’s now signed on for 2021’s Thor: Love and Thunder, and it is a doozy of a role. She’ll be playing Thor. Well, not the Thor, which Chris Hemsworth has cornered the market on. Instead, she will transform into Mighty Thor. The plot is pulled from the 2014 comic-book storyline, where Foster is able to pick up Thor’s hammer, called Mjölnir, earning her the title of Goddess of Thunder. The girl doesn’t give up.
Bonus: We’ll leave you with this. Even Killing Eve‘s Villanelle is a fan of the superhero genre:
— catherine (@naomisscotts) April 8, 2019
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