Top Five Action Girls

This week on the show: As part of the Major Spoilers Fifth Birthday Celebration, the Major Spoilers Crew presents their Top Five Favorite Action Girls.

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11 Comments

  1. Charlie
    July 7, 2011 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Just so Rodrigo knows, the only Mario character that hasn’t made it to a mainline video game is Waluigi, poor shmuck

    But yeah, awesome podcast!

  2. Kirby
    July 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm — Reply

    Great podcast. Do not be ashamed of your knowledge of Power Rangers, for we are few, but mighty; also there is a person who may be doing a retrospective, a history of it if you will, who has put too much awesome thought into every season.

  3. slimeknight
    July 7, 2011 at 7:26 pm — Reply

    5. Princess Zelda: She escaped capture for 7 years and helped Link complete his journey in Ocarina of Time.
    4. Lana Kane(Archer): One of the best Black ops agents around.
    3. River Tan: A government created killing machine.
    2. Wonder Woman (JLU): Core member of the justice league who can take on the toughest villians.
    1. Samus (Metroid): A tough bounty hunter who will defeat anyone who threatens the peace of the galaxy.

  4. Carter
    July 8, 2011 at 11:23 am — Reply

    The Pink Power Ranger…really Rodrigo? Really?

    And why no love for Aeon Flux? I could see her not making the top 5, but I expected her to at least get an honorable mention.

    • Damascus
      July 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm — Reply

      I dunno man, I was like in love with both the Pink and Yellow rangers. Kimberly was just so pretty and well, I’ve always had Yellow Fever, so that kind of explains the late and beautiful Trini.

  5. Ricco
    July 8, 2011 at 2:56 pm — Reply

    No love for Ripley? This was the 1st time I had ever seen a woman been the main character or save the day.

    my top 5

    5. Buffy
    4. Xena
    3. Hawkgirl in JLU (female berzerkers are rare)
    2. Ripley
    1. Wonder Woman, any version, she is the definition of a strong woman in pop culture to so many she has to be here for me.

  6. July 8, 2011 at 6:54 pm — Reply

    Good picks, guys – I agree with every one of them (especially Ricco’s Pink Range … mmmm … Kimberly)

    Here’s some others:

    5. Sarah Walker (from Chuck) – It doesn’t help that I have the biggest crush on Yvvone Strahovski right now, but I like this character has a caring side, as she looks initially looks over the main character’s emotional well-being. When this attachment later blooms into romance, the characters grows even more complex, as Walker struggles to recognize emotions she’s kept in check in the field.

    4. Abby Chase (from Danger Girl)- She’s not as popular as anyone else on this list, but “Danger Girl” is hands-down one of my favorite female actioners. While she’s certainly reminiscent of Laura Croft in an espionage setting, she is written with a quirky edge . Reinforcing this is the facial expressions that J. Scott Campbell draws so well in that first arc. These traits have always made her one of the most engrossing characters to me.

    3. Hawkgirl (from Justice League). I know she’s already mentioned by Ricco above, but I really like JLU’s take on Shiera. The best parts of her character come after she temporarily resigns from the team after taking part in an alien invasion, only to re-emerge with a more sporty costume – and twice the attitude. My favorite moments are her interacting with the other female characters of the story, such as Vixen and Wonder Woman. I particularly like her assertion “Wonder Woman doesn’t sweat.”

    2. Sarah Conner. (from Terminator) Aside from Ripley, I don’t think any character more embodies the bad-ass chick than Linda Hamilton (and later Lena Headey) as the mother of mankind’s savior of the machine. She did two rounds with the Terminator and kept ticking – and when you think how much the Govenator embodies macho – that’s saying something.

    1. Princess Leia (from Star Wars) You mentioned Princess Peach and not Princess Leia? I know the moment I felt in love with Princess Leia – it’s the part when she grabs the laser gun from Han and starts blasting away at stormtroopers down the hall with the line “Someone’s gotta save us.” Princess Leia always embodied the perfect woman to me – sassy most of the time and soft some of time. For me, the most depressing part of the prequels is that, despite being aimed at a modern audience, Portman’s Amadala never captured nearly the level of coolness from her predecessor . . . errr . . . I mean her daughter.

  7. July 9, 2011 at 4:47 am — Reply

    Veronika Zemanova is best actiongirl!

  8. Oldcomicfan
    July 11, 2011 at 2:12 pm — Reply

    I was surprised at some of the ladies you missed, and pleased by some of your selections. I would never have thought of Emma Peel! A few of the ladies you overlooked:
    Nausicaa from Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind (manga version, not anime version): A princess from a dying kingdom who leaves hearth and home and ends up sacrificing her life in order to save the world from man-made catastrophes and nature running amok.
    Lt. Uhura: How could you have missed her? Although the 60s writers never did her character justice, she did run with the big dogs, kiss Captain Kirk without being bedded by him, and even took the helm of the Enterprise a time or two, and never let the mini-skirt slow her down!
    Dunian Knute: From Appleseed (either anime or manga versions): She’s in love with a robot, fights wars and a key member of ESWAT without sacrificing her feminine charms. And in the episode where she gets shot in the head and loses an eye – wow! Does she make wearing a eye-patch look hot. And it’s more than a fashion accessory, in the chapters that follows, she had problems adjusting to combat, being handicapped by her blind side.
    Kiki: Okay, she’s an incompetent teen witch who leaves home to make her way in the world, but she accepts her limitations and tries her best to rise above them, makes friends, and changes life for the better in her adopted down, all without facing down a super villain or getting into a fight. She’s a better role model than any of the Disney princesses.
    Flavia DeLuce: If you haven’t ready any of Alan Bradley’s Flavia DeLuce series, you’re missing some of the best Faux British mysteries being written today. She’s eleven. She’s half an orphan. Her sisters are just plain mean. She’s rather fond of poison. And she solves mystery after mystery by reasoning them out, not just stumbling along nonsensical clues like Nancy Drew. Pick up a copy of “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” today. It’s the first book I’ve read in thirty years that I enjoyed so much I read it a second time immediately after finishing it the first time.
    Alternate fifth place entry: Mathilda from Leon: The Professional. Natalie Portman at her best. If Queen Amadala had been Mathilda, she would have kicked Anakin’s nards up between his shoulder blades the instant he started down the Dark Path. And she would have torn Darth Maul a new hole in the bargain.

  9. Damascus
    July 14, 2011 at 2:26 am — Reply

    I liked everyone’s selections here, obviously we’re all going to rate people differently, mostly due to different rationales, so here’s my top five and maybe a few honorable mentions.

    5. Beatrix Kiddo. The woman has been done wrong and she decides with unflinching resolve that she must Kill Bill, and then the Black Mamba proceeds to become one of the baddest chicks in cinematic history.

    4. Rose Tyler from Doctor Who. Apart from the fact that I’m in love with Rose, she’s my favorite companion and the most proactive of all his compatriots. She comes back with a big ass gun to take some matters into her own hands and does that awesome thing where all this crazy messed up stuff is happening around her and she acts like it’s just another Tuesday. She’s goofy, sexy and tough when she has to be. Action girl throughout time.

    3. Leeloo from The Fifth Element. Leeloo shows up in a futuristic world where Chris Tucker is even more irritating that he already is in real life and she kicks so much ass while looking so damn hot that what list would be complete without her? I get that as this fifth element, she hasn’t always looked that way, nor has she always been a female humanoid creature, but what a female humanoid form it was. Whoo, she’s hot and she got to chase down Jim Gordon with a goofy ass haircut and put the beating on all sorts of vaguely dog/pig/Kilowog-like creatures.

    2. Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor from T2: Judgement Day. She survives two run-ins with the machines, and after that first movie she buffs up and becomes a true survivor, she can take care of herself and has gone about preparing for the inevitable day when the machines rise. She refuses to be caught with her pants down, she’s got the future Mankind in her care and she’s gonna whip some reforming metal ass in order to keep her son safe. (Plus I love that there’s that real feeling that stuff has been happening between the first and second movies, there’s this real feeling of weight to that time between.)

    1. Ellen Ripley from Alien, Aliens, Alien: Ressurection, etc. This was an obvious choice for me, she was the first really badass chick that had a hugely formiddable opponent to fight and I never once thought, “man she’s tough….for a girl.” I just didn’t want to get on her bad side, not even if I had the big mecha pincer suit from Aliens. She wasn’t androgenous, but she wasn’t hyper-sexualized like a Lara Croft, and she repeatedly defeated some of the scariest creatures to be shown on film.

    Here are my honorable mentions, I really like these ladies, but alas, I tried to be as honest with my list as I could be and not go some jokey route or anything. These are just some really tough gals that make me look like as masculine as Pee Wee Herman. In no real order:

    1. Samus Aran – As mentioned elsewhere, she probably made a lot of young boys confused after playing pretend that they were Samus only to find out later that they’d been playing as a girl for all that time.
    2. Turanga Leela – Rodrigo explained better than I can.
    3. Lara Croft (video game more than movies) – Those early games were ridiculously compelling and so much fun to play and I’d rarely seen many mainstream games have such an intelligent and strong female lead (which was partially shot in the foot by her ever expanding bra size).
    4. Claire Redfield from Resident Evil. She went up against hordes of zombies and kept her cool in a tight spot. She deserved some props for not being the “typical” girl (Barbra from Night of the Living Dead) in a Zombie outbreak.
    5. Heather Langencamp as Nancy from Nightmare on Elm Street. She didn’t go insane. That’s enough, she fought off Freddy Krueger over and over again and she didn’t go nuts. She set a trap for him and took him down (for a little while at least) and she lasted longer than Johnny Depp too.
    6. Trinity from The Matrix. The girl had the very first DAAAAAAMN moment in the first Matrix movie. Once I saw that I was glued to that seat and resigned myself to pissing my pants if the urge arose because I wasn’t going anywhere.
    7. Xena: Warrior Princess. While I always found Gabrielle to be more attractive to my particular tastes, she’s the epitome (not said the way Shia Lebouf pronounces it) of the action girl. Anytime somebody talks about a new Wonder Woman live action show or feature, they always seem to say that they hope it’s someone like how Lucy Lawless looked in Xena. She’s meets that perfect balance between being pretty and being tough. Not too muscular like a Chyna type and not too dainty like a (sadly) Adrienne Palicki.
    8. River Tam from Firefly and Serenity. As the guys said, pretty much Summer Glau in anything she’s in. She’s hot and yet she’s intriguing and you aren’t sure whether she’s going to kiss you or break your neck.
    9. Eden Sinclair from Doomsday. She sneaks into the quarantined section of Scotland (I think) to see if a cure for the Reaper disease can be found amongst the remaining survivors within the zone and she has to defeat cannibals left and right and be resourceful enough to get out of there alive, plus she has a really cool eyeball tech thing too.
    10. Selene from Underworld. When she does her little opening monologue I’m following along just thinking “alright, whatever, vampires vs. werewolves that’s cool” and then she jumps off the roof and does that little landing with a bounce and into a perfect stride without missing a beat, I was ready for the awesomeness to come. I wasn’t a big fan of the later films, considering the latest to be the weakest, but it was a more structured view of vampires and how they might form their own organization. I didn’t care for the Westside Story/Romeo and Juliet backstory and would have probably just liked it better that the werewolves just decided they didn’t want to be slaves anymore, but the movie holds its own well and mostly because of a beautifully leather-clad Kate Beckinsale who will be reprising the role in Underworld 4: New Dawn which should be coming out in 2012.
    11. Dora the Explorer. Come on, the girl runs around in the woods, on mountains, on boats that are piloted by Pirate Piggies, all mostly by herself without any kind of parental supervision with only a monkey (I’ve seen Monkey Shines before), backpack and map as support. She’s braver than I am, I’m not going to Mexico by myself. lol. Sorry Rodrigo.
    12. Ms. Pac-Man. She faces off against and frequently eats many ghosts in her daily struggles to run up and down hallways looking for food. She deserves your respect!
    13. Marge the Police chief (Frances McDormand) from Fargo. She’s out there solving crimes, catching a killer, using a funny accent, and dealing with sub-zero temperatures all while like 8 or 9 months pregnant, that’s tough.
    14. Clarice Starling from Silence of the Lambs. She catches Buffalo Bill, goes toe-to-toe with Hannibal Lector and doesn’t get her liver eaten with some farva beans and a nice chianti. That’s enough for me.
    15. Olivia Benson from L&O: SVU. She’s sexy and tough. She has to deal with rapists and child molesters and she hasn’t killed one of them yet and she can stand up and face down any one of them in the cage and knows how to manipulate them into confessing or to slipping up and doing something stupid. She’s also the calming influence that Stabler needs so that he won’t end up turning in Dexter and hunting all these guys down and slicing them up and dumping them into the Hudson river in some garbage bags.
    16. Olivia Dunham from Fringe. She gets thrown into a situation where she has to handle the most bizarre situations that only a mentally ill science fiction writer could come up with on a daily basis and on top of the has to babysit a brilliant scientist who’s missing chunks of his brain thus screwing up his memory and basically making him very spotty in his lucidity and his ability to make sense to anyone other than perhaps his son. I love me some Walter (but not that bastard Walternate, lol).
    17. And last but not least (and I’m sure you’re all ready for me to be done) Dana Scully from X-Files. Much like Olivia Benson keeps Stabler in check, Scully keeps Mulder in check. Granted she drives me crazy for her general unwillingness to believe in anything despite going years and years confronting alien after alien and all sorts of creepy things in between.

    Yeah, so that’s it. I didn’t bother with comic characters or too many cartoon characters either for that matter. They’re pretty obvious too though.

    • Damascus
      July 14, 2011 at 2:28 am — Reply

      Maybe I should write for the site, considering the verbosity with which I wrote my comments. I never know when to shut up, see, I’m doing it again.

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