Joss Whedon has brought us some truly amazing characters, and some even more amazing female characters. While there are tons of kick ass women to choose from in the Whedonverse, here are a few of my favorites.
Cordelia Chase, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel
Cordelia had quite the awesome run on Buffy and Angel. Though she may have been a bit vapid and air headed when we first met her at Sunnydale High, but she slowly became much more than the popular cheerleader after working with Buffy, and even more so in Angel once she starts having visions of people who need help. What makes her awesome is her growth. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to be judged by the high school version of me. Cordelia showed us that there is more to life than being popular, and that everyone has the power to change for the better.
Penny, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is the best thing to come out of the infamous 07-08 Writer’s Strike. While she might not be from the future, a supernatural slayer, or an assassin, Penny is still awesome. She lives in a world full of super villains and super heroes, yet she still takes it upon herself to try and make a positive change in the world—even if she isn’t super-strong as Captain Hammer. Penny uses whatever she can to do good in the world, even when it might seem like her efforts would just be drops in the ocean. She is able to see the good in everyone—even a singing, vlogging, super-villain trying to make his way to the top. Penny is awesome because she doesn’t ever get superpowers or special abilities. She’s just a regular woman doing her very best to make a positive impact on the world, and she knows her efforts are valuable.
Willow Rosenberg, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Having a slayer for a best friend could make a girl feel a bit inadequate, but that is not the case with Willow. While she may have started out a bit bookish, awkward, and nerdy, Willow ends up being a complete badass. She manages to tap into her own fount of magical powers during a ritual to re-ensoul Angel. After realizing her new powers, she started to practice witchcraft and caught on pretty quickly. She ends up being the most powerful witch in the entire dimension. She definitely goes through a bit of a “dark period”— we all have dark periods, though in her case, she turns her into a terrifying, powerful, evil witch rather than being mopey and listening to emo music—she ultimately is able to come out on the other side as wiser and stronger.
Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy was one of those heroes that didn’t really choose their lot in life. She was born a slayer, and because of that, it meant her life was anything but normal. Buffy has to fight pretty hard against that normal teenage desire to just “be normal”, but as time goes on, she starts to realize that slaying is a part of her destiny. Though she’s never going to have a fully normal life, she decides that she won’t spend her days as some recluse slayer. Despite having an interesting calling, Buffy still has friends and boyfriends. She even managed to be one of the pioneers of the modern trend of human girls dating vampires (though, mercifully, none of the Buffy vamps sparkled in the sunlight…). Buffy is able to roll with a dangerous, far-from-ordinary life, and she manages to still have people she cares about while kicking some major ass. Even better, Buffy has some pretty awesome game when it comes to making corny puns.
River Tam, Firefly and Serenity
River is flat-out amazing. She was able to survive imprisonment and horrific torture and experiments, and despite those experiences leaving her bit…unique, River still manages to laugh, be a good sister to Simon, and have the amazing ability to seriously kick some ass. Sure, she can be a bit of a wild card sometimes, but once she realizes Mal and the rest of the crew on Serenity are genuinely trying to help her (well, except that one time Jane tried to sell them out…)she tries to be a good passenger. She’s essentially a deadly assassin, but she works hard to overcome her demons to be a good sister and friend. Anyone who can manage to carry on after what she’s been through is a badass in my book. Also, she can kill you with her brain.
Melinda May, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Melinda May is awesome. She’s an amazing pilot and weapons expert for S.H.I.E.L.D., she has excellent skills in martial arts, and she more than earned her nickname as “The Cavalry” when she was in Bahrain as a S.H.I.E.L.D field agent. She’s fluent in several different languages, and she manages to stay in control even though she’s constantly facing down insane villains and Hydra’s complete upheaval of the world and S.H.I.E.L.D as we know it. What makes her even cooler is the fact that we don’t know all of the ins and outs of her past. She’s tough as nails and whip-smart, but she’s got quite a lot hidden in her past that has made her the person she is today. Despite the potential baggage and past wounds, she is able to get up every day and do her job with a crazy amount of excellence.
Zoe Washburne, Firefly and Serenity
Zoe is amazing. What I love about her is she isn’t that “kick ass female character” who wields weapons and has zero emotions. She also isn’t some wilting flower, staying at home, clutching her pearls while her man goes off to war. Zoe is a soldier herself, and though she is tough as nails and can get out of just about any scrape she finds herself, she’s also pretty madly in love with her goofball, Hawaiian shirt-loving, pilot husband, Wash. Zoe is a bit of everything. She’s incredibly strong, tough, and intelligent, but she’s also kind, loving, and caring. She is a great example that women don’t have to pick being strong or being loving. I want to be Zoe when I grow up. She’s a big damn hero.
Who are some of your favorite women in the Whedonverse, and why do you love them? Let me know in the comments!