When it comes to comic books and superhero movies, the men almost always seem to rule the roost, Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Superman, Batman, Wolverine – it’s a serious boys’ club! But, luckily for us ladies, times are a-changing! That’s right, 2016 is the year of badass female action starlets and we can’t wait to get into the cinema, popcorn in hand, or cuddle under a blanket on the couch, and cheer them on. Here are 5 female action stars kicking ass in 2016
1. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in Captain America: Civil War
Release date: 27 April 2016
Ok, so Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow isn’t exactly new, we’ve seen her reprise the role many a time in Marvel’s cinematic universe, but this time around, in Captain America: Civil War, Black Widow is taking her butt kicking and badassery to a whole new level. I’m not sure what snapped in Miss Romanoff’s brain but in this latest Marvel instalment Black Widow is even stronger and more assertive than ever before, taking on the strongest male characters one punch, flip, and kick at a time, proving that she is just as strong as any of the men on screen. But it’s not all about the brawn, Captain America: Civil War also sees Romanoff get a lot more screentime and allows the audience to delve even further into her backstory and psyche to understand what makes her tick. I love that Romanoff’s character has evolved to the point where she is making choices herself, choices that she believes in, without having others have a hand in the decision process.
Watch Black Widow take on the iron-fisted Bucky in Captain America: Civil War below!
2. Gal Gadot as Diana Prince / Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
Release date: March 2016 with a dedicated Wonder Woman movie set to release June 2017
Say what you want about Batman v Superman – whether you loved it or hated it, Wonder Woman was pretty badass in DC’s latest instalment. While some may complain that we didn’t see much of Wonder Woman in costume throughout the film, there’s no doubt that her entrance in the latter part of the film was nothing short of epic. She entered the film in a blaze of fire (literally) to take on a rather scary-looking Doomsday while Batman and Superman were still licking their wounds. And, as for her ‘lack’ of screen time, let’s not forget that the lady is getting her very own movie in 2017 and that her alter-ego, Diana Prince, did an amazing job of keeping us intrigued during her interactions with Bruce Wayne. Of course, we can’t forget Wonder Woman’s costume! I was super impressed with DC’s modern reimagining of the Wonder Woman we’ve all come to know and love from the comics – her costume was spot on just the right mix of sexy and powerful.
Watch Wonder Woman’s entrance in Batman V Superman here:
3. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad
Release date: August 2016
I don’t know about you ladies, but I am beyond excited to see Harley Quinn on the big-screen for the first time ever this coming August! Yes, there have been complaints that her costume is a little too sexualised in the upcoming Suicide Squad film but if her strong relationship with the Joker and her page-commanding presence in the original comics is anything to go by, then I’m holding thumbs that’s her character is going to be a lot more well-rounded and oh-so-badass than her overly-sexualised first impression implies. Let’s not forget that in the comics, Harley Quinn strikes fear into the hearts of many men, and not just because she’s one sassy and sexy woman, but because she is every bit as unhinged as The Joker. She is also the only person who has a hold over the criminally insane Joker and she is often able to sway his opinion and decisions, which no man has ever been able to do.
Get a sneak peek of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn below!
4. Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch in Captain America: Civil War
Release date: 27 April 2016
Once again, Elizabeth’s Olsen’s Scarlet Witch isn’t a new addition to the Marvel films but she is evolving more and more with each film. In this latest instalment, we see just how powerful Scarlet Witch is and we also get to know Wanda Maximoff a little better and see what drives her. Ultimately, Maximoff aims to do the right thing and it pains her to think she has caused anyone any pain when using her powers of hypnosis and telekinesis. According to Olsen, the character is “coming into her own and starting to understand and have conflict with how she wants to use her abilities. It’s a dramatic conflict within her and obviously, there’s conflict within the [Avengers] as well.” But just because she is dealing with some inner turmoil, doesn’t mean that she’s going to step down from a fight! Scarlet Witch is all kinds of badass in this movie and takes on even the strongest of adversaries on the battlefield. Another great moment in the film is seeing the connection between Scarlet and the oh-so-powerful Vision and watching her take on the legendary hero will definitely have you shouting; “You go girl!” (even if it’s just in your head).
5. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven Darkhölme / Mystique in X-Men: Apocalypse
Release date: 27 May 2016
If you were a fan of the previous X-Men movies, then it’s time to forget everything you know about Mystique! Gone is the creepy, overly sexualised mystery woman and in her place is a well-rounded, badass Raven! In the latest entry into the X-Men series, the shapeshifting Raven is on her own mission to help rescue mutants who are oppressed or enslaved. She’s fighting for a cause that she believes in and is no longer just Magneto’s voiceless henchwoman. This time around, Raven gets loads of screen-time and X-Men: Apocalypse is shaping up to be a Mystique-centered story. Of course, the thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing her kick some serious butt and stick it to the man (literally) when they’re standing in her way.
Watch the trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse here:
After years of working as an Editor and writer for popular websites like Joburg’s Darling, Cape Town’s Darling and Joburg.co.za, Crystal left her sanity and an established career in lifestyle journalism behind to follow her dream of creating a website for the intellectual and discerning woman. Today she spends her time chasing the thrill of being the first to know about ‘the next big thing’. She’ll try anything once and has been known to put her body, hair and health on the line – all in the name of research.