2015 Was The Year Of The Female Superhero

by Amy Roberts

Did you just hear that? That was a glass ceiling being victoriously smashed to smithereens by the hand of one of the many amazing female superheroes that we've had the great joy to watch over the past year. The year 2015 has seen a triumphant rise of the female superhero; in comics we've had the pleasure of seeing a female Avengers be assembled, a female Thor and a female Captain America, while TV and films have provided us with more female superheroes than ever before.

After all, it's been a year where female superheroes have finally been given their own TV shows (Jessica Jones and Supergirl, high fives, ladies!), and where after years of playing second fiddle and sexy sidekick to their male counterparts, female superheroes are finally being introduced in male hero stories with the promise of their own film to follow.

Now, you might be thinking; But, there was only, like, five female superheroes of 2015? Well, you would be wrong my friend. Whether they were part of an ensemble show like Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., introduced surreptitiously in the background of another story, or teased to us via movie trailers and posters, these heroic women were all there in 2015, and they grabbed this year by their powerful hands and straight up owned it.

1. Supergirl

Luckily for all of us, CBS's Supergirl has turned out pretty great so far, and given us another terrifically empowering feminist TV hero to admire.

2. Wasp

Ant Man's Hope Van Dyne might have seemed like your a-typical female love interest in this years movie, but she's actually becoming the first female title character in Marvel cinematic history to get her own film (due on the big screen in 2018!), which is well deserved for her perfect combination of sass, smarts and strength. Can't wait.

3. Black Widow

It's still beyond surprising that Black Widow hasn't been given her own movie yet, and while her character experienced some easy to take issue with plot points in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, there's no denying that she was still given a bit more of a central presence in the movie and nailed it.

4. Wonder Woman

Batman Vs. Superman isn't even out yet, but Wonder Woman has still managed to undeniably remain one of the central talking points of the upcoming movie. I can't deny that Gal Gadot looks supreme in the role.

5. Jessica Jones

With it's searingly honest portrayal of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and trauma, Jessica Jones gave us a female superhero rooted in the everyday. The show was so amazing that it actually changed my life and also gave TV and comic fans alike a determined need to demand more complex stories involving female superheroes.

6. Hellcat

Trish Walker might not have been a direct superhero in Jessica Jones, but the hints were neatly laid out for us (obsession with superheroes, tough as hell, a capable student of Krav Maga) and comic fans went crazy in recognizing that we might be seeing Hellcat in the making.

7. Scarlet Witch

Equal parts terrifying and awe-inspiring, Scarlet Witch was an incredibly damaged and complex character who went from villain to hero. There was something completely mesmerizing about the unique way in which Elizabeth Olsen channelled the characters powers into something akin to a dance performance. Total superhero showmanship.

8. Harley Quinn

Once again, Suicide Squad hasn't even been released, and yet, this year it's felt as though all anyone has been able to talk about is Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn. As one of DC Comic's most iconic and well loved characters of all time, it's hardly a surprise. What is surprising is that it's taken any filmmaker this long to bring her to the screen at all.

9. Sue Storm

Fantastic Four's Sue Storm was a formidable character with determined wits, a powerful presence and, well, a penchant for listening to Portishead while studying (I love it).

10. Daisy Johnson

A hacktivist with secret, inhuman powers, the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. character literally rocked everyone's world (sorry) this year with seismic powers that can cause earthquakes at will. She's also proved that she's more than capable of holding her own in beyond stressful and dangerous situations.

11. Melinda May/Skye

Daisy's team buddy Melinda is a ferocious might. I mean, just look at the woman — she's tough as hell and she knows it. One of the best female heroes on TV right now, Skye gets extra points for taking distinct pleasure out of teasing men for not being able to beat her.

So now that female superheroes are on the rise, does this also mean that we can start extending our reach to make superheroes even more diverse? Because I'm loving our renewed representation in the superhero stakes, but it would also be great to start seeing more LGBT and black representation in our heroes as well. Do us proud, 2016.

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