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  1. #91
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    This, I think is a problem that both Marvel and DC have. I mean, can anyone really name a female equivalent to Magneto, Dr. Doom, Galactus, or even Lex Luthor, Ra's al Ghul, or Darkseid, who is as famous as any of those guys are? The most notable female villains in comics I've noticed tend to be, well, Batman villains, and even though they're notable, they don't really share the intimidation that you get from some of their male counterparts. Not to mention that some of those female Bat-villains have been toeing the anti-heroine line for quite a while.
    Ivy and Talia have been depicted as being on that level at times.

  2. #92
    Fantastic Member Cruelrain's Avatar
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    Moonstone, Morgan le fay, Selene and Hela are my favs

  3. #93
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    Mystique is another iconic one. The X-men have a few but not too many can rival her for being a top villainess in the X-franchise.

    Edit: Selene is promising on paper, except she's not given the proper spotlight. She should be in a higher class than she's portrayed as and appear more regularly.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeeguy91 View Post
    This, I think is a problem that both Marvel and DC have. I mean, can anyone really name a female equivalent to Magneto, Dr. Doom, Galactus, or even Lex Luthor, Ra's al Ghul, or Darkseid, who is as famous as any of those guys are? The most notable female villains in comics I've noticed tend to be, well, Batman villains, and even though they're notable, they don't really share the intimidation that you get from some of their male counterparts. Not to mention that some of those female Bat-villains have been toeing the anti-heroine line for quite a while.

    The female villains that do get attention from writers tend to be forced into a set series of tropes and/or archetypes that ultimately take away from their "evilness" (I guess that might be the best way to put it?). These archetypes, in a lot of ways, reflect how we see women or what we want women to be in our present society (or at least society as it was when these characters were created).

    Most notable among these is the femme fatale stereotype, which a lot of writers tend to gravitate towards. However, this trope is in some ways harmful because it's all about foregrounding the character's sexuality and attractiveness to the point where that's the focus of the character (more so than it would be for any male character), as opposed to her actual threat as a villain. And in some cases, the threat she poses is through her sexual appeal. However, that serves only to make her an object of sexual desire for the male readers, who view her mostly through that lens as opposed to a threat to be taken seriously. Characters like Catwoman, Poison Ivy, Black Cat, Talia al Ghul, etc. tend to fall into this category. I mean, at least three of those examples I just listed have actually had sex (and in some cases relationships) with their respective male hero. And, before it's said that I hate the Batman/Catwoman relationship, let me assure you, I don't. I'm just pointing out a pattern.

    There's also the trope of the corrupted innocent turned mad by some outside force that a lot of female villains fall into. For example, Jean Grey in the Dark Phoenix Saga kind of epitomizes this archetype in that she is a hero driven to do horrible things. However, that is only because the Phoenix Force drove her insane and forced her to do it. Raven from the "Terror of Trigon" arc from the New Teen Titans run and maybe even Cheetah from Wonder Woman's rogue's gallery fit this mold as well. In these cases, the character is in a sense robbed of her agency. She is turned into an object that is acted upon and forced into doing things instead of being the one who actually makes her own decisions. This trope reflects this inherent need in us apparently to attribute innocence and virtue onto women and female characters: "oh no, the poor innocent girl couldn't possibly have chosen to be evil; something must have made her do it." However, that again, fails to capture female characters as people in charge of their own fates/destinies or even as multifaceted individuals who can be two things at once.

    So, yeah, there are some female villains that I think buck these trends, but as I said, none of them are really household names.
    You can also add the Woman Scorned (Maxima, Talia under Morrison's pen, the original Killer Frost, Black Cat on at least two occasions, Poison Ivy), the misandrist (Superia, Thundra, Circe, any evil Amazon) and the female subordinate (Harley Quinn originally and Madame Hydra).

    Another thing I've noticed: Mind control is a common ability among villains but the way female and male mind controllers are depicted is very different. Male mind controllers often look weird or scary (Dr Psycho, Hector Hammond, Purple Man) while female mind controllers like Emma Frost, Amora, Poison Ivy, the Lady Masterminds are frequently drawn as being conventionally attractive.
    Last edited by Agent Z; 04-02-2020 at 11:37 PM.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Z View Post
    Another thing I've noticed: Mind control is a common ability among villains but the way female and male mind controllers are depicted is very different. Male mind controllers often look weird or scary (Dr Psycho, Hector Hammond, Purple Man) while female mind controllers like Emma Frost, Amora, Poison Ivy, the Lady Masterminds are frequently drawn as being conventionally attractive.
    They're prone to using the sex appeal to seduce people, and is a defining feature. It'd be ok if it were one or two, instead it's the majority.

  6. #96
    Astonishing Member Raye's Avatar
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    That may be why they are being used less. Like you say, it's ok if it's an occasional character here and there, but when it's the majority it kinda says something, and not something good. So they may be kinda pushing some of those seductress types, and some of the other common but harmful in large numbers tropes, aside for now.

    I think there are some good villainesses out there, but yeah, not many on the same level as the biggest bads for males. Hela and Mystique are the two that immediately jumped to mind for me, but there are some newer ones too, like Star (assuming she does not turn face in her mini) Proxima Midnight and Black Swan, though part of the Black Order, are cool, and there are probably a bunch of older ones that have fallen by the wayside over the years that coudl be brought back and spruced up. The nice thing about villains is that it's much easier to create new ones, or bring back old forgotten ones, than it is to that with heroes, because they don't have to carry the whole book, just act as antagonist for a story here and there.

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raye View Post
    That may be why they are being used less. Like you say, it's ok if it's an occasional character here and there, but when it's the majority it kinda says something, and not something good. So they may be kinda pushing some of those seductress types, and some of the other common but harmful in large numbers tropes, aside for now.
    Moonstone is my favourite villain who does this. When she does it its subtle, and sometimes its behind the scenes - like sleeping with Hawkeye when he was leading the Thunderbolts. Its a feature that's there yet it's the fact that she's dangerous and can't be trusted that defines her and that's simply a tool. Mystique does this, as well.

  8. #98
    Fantastic Member Alphaxman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruelrain View Post
    Moonstone, Morgan le fay, Selene and Hela are my favs
    I agree with this list and add, Amora, the Goblin Queen (not Madelyne on her own, she's more tragic than evil) and Viper as Madame Hydra.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Inquisitor View Post
    Mystique is another iconic one. The X-men have a few but not too many can rival her for being a top villainess in the X-franchise.

    Edit: Selene is promising on paper, except she's not given the proper spotlight. She should be in a higher class than she's portrayed as and appear more regularly.
    Selene should be in a different book, not in a series that runs in the minority metaphor that is X-Men. She's an immortal witch who just happens to be a mutant

  10. #100
    Extraordinary Member Winterboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cruelrain View Post
    Moonstone, Morgan le fay, Selene and Hela are my favs
    My favorites are Moonstone, Amora, Selene and Madame HYDRA.
    "Who wouldn't go out with the Black Widow? I'd strangle a litter of kittens for one dinner with her!"
    Adrian Toomes aka the Vulture


    "Natasha Romanoff, A.K.A. Black Widow - ex-KGB, formerly with S.H.I.E.L.D...Probably the brains of this operation.I have followed her career, and she has been consistently UNDERRATED."

  11. #101
    Fantastic Member Cruelrain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cool Thatguy View Post
    Selene should be in a different book, not in a series that runs in the minority metaphor that is X-Men. She's an immortal witch who just happens to be a mutant
    I agree she should have a range in Krakoa just like Emma and Mr Sinister have

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frontier View Post
    Ivy and Talia have been depicted as being on that level at times.
    Maybe, but both those cases also fall into the tropes/stereotypes I listed before. In the case of Talia, though, in many cases, she is stuck being portrayed as a minion of her own father.

  13. #103
    Moderator Frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raye View Post
    That may be why they are being used less. Like you say, it's ok if it's an occasional character here and there, but when it's the majority it kinda says something, and not something good. So they may be kinda pushing some of those seductress types, and some of the other common but harmful in large numbers tropes, aside for now.

    I think there are some good villainesses out there, but yeah, not many on the same level as the biggest bads for males. Hela and Mystique are the two that immediately jumped to mind for me, but there are some newer ones too, like Star (assuming she does not turn face in her mini) Proxima Midnight and Black Swan, though part of the Black Order, are cool, and there are probably a bunch of older ones that have fallen by the wayside over the years that coudl be brought back and spruced up. The nice thing about villains is that it's much easier to create new ones, or bring back old forgotten ones, than it is to that with heroes, because they don't have to carry the whole book, just act as antagonist for a story here and there.
    Star is definitely an instance where a character probably has much more mileage as a villain then they ever would as a cookie-cutter hero. Which is why I was surprised people kept expecting her to turn out to be an anti-hero or anti-villain...coming off a story where she smacked a kid away just for defending Carol Danvers.

  14. #104
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    Avengers #316 Apr 1990
    "Spiders and Stars!"
    Order has been restored to the universe!

    But the lady that caused the chaos escapes!
    Earth's Mightiest Heroes and the wondrous wall-crawler blast off into outer space
    to rendezvous with Nebula's massive starship on the other side of the moon!


    Shell-Head and the synthezoid avenger arrive at the spaceship first
    and begin working their way through Nebula's guard force!
    And minutes later Cap, Thor, Spidey and Sersi join the attack!

    Script by John Byrne. Art by Paul Ryan (breakdowns) and Tom Palmer (finishes).

  15. #105
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    Hera was the major villain in the Hercules series. Like she was the only actual female big bad that I remember while Circe was the only female big bad from dc comics.
    Last edited by Toxin45; 04-28-2020 at 08:33 PM.

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