Happy International Women’s Day! Today we celebrate all the amazing women around the world and all of their accomplishments. I thought I’d compile a list of the top 12 most influential women in sci-fi, fantasy, and horror of the past 20 years. It was hard choosing between these characters, when I tried to break it down to only 10 it was near impossible. I picked based on popularity, staying power, and what they brought to each of their franchises. Here we go:
The sister of the King of Wakanda was easily one of the biggest breakout stars of the film. Her spunky attitude and intelligence endeared her in the hearts of Marvel fans. She proved to be an important part in Avenger Infinity War in trying to defeat Thanos and will continue to have a large effect on the overall MCU going forward.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Sarah Michelle Gellar redefined “the last girl” role as Buffy. Her wit and tenacity made her one of the most talked about heroines on television from the late 90s to the early 00s. The show taught horror fans, that just because you are a cute blonde doesn’t mean you can’t fight back against monsters.
Following Daredevil on Netflix was no easy task for a new show about a heroine no one knew about. However, comic fans had known about Jessica’s journey for years. She showed us that not all modern day Marvel heroes are squeaky clean.
Speaking of not being squeaky clean, let’s talk about Hit-Girl. The pint sized, blood thirsty, foul mouthed crime fighter made her debut in Kick-Ass. She easily stole the movie with her overwhelming bloodlust and nonchalant attitude.
Sara Lance is one of the most interesting characters to come out of the Greg Berlanti/DC TV Universe. She started out lost at sea, became the original Black Canary, DIED, came back (thanks to Ra’s Al Ghul) became the White Canary, and now leads the Legends of Tomorrow. She is also the CW/DC TV Verse’s first positive representation for the LGBTQ community.
As The 13th Doctor, Actress Jodie Whittaker had tremendous shoes to fill. She is the first female Doctor Who ever! Fans the world over have embraced her. She, being the first, has definitely left her mark in the history books of Science Fiction.
Despite not being the first or even second Supergirl, actress Melissa Benoist completely embodies the role of Kara Zor-El. Her charm and compassion shines in the role. The series face real life hot button issues unapologetically and Melissa does it with a smile.
Despite what you thought about the first Suicide Squad film, we can all agree Margot Robbie portrayal as Harley was pitch perfect. Her craziness and unpredictable nature gave fans the Harley we’ve been dreaming of seeing in real life since Batman The Animated Series.
The most dangerous woman in the universe and the daughter of Thanos, Gamora, was perfectly brought to life in James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy films. Zoe Saldana brings an intensity and ferociousness to the role.
From being prostituted out, to being enslaved, and then becoming the Mother of Dragons and controlling the biggest army of Westeros, Daenerys is THE most badass woman on television. She has captured nations while releasing imprisoned people. She also a ton of sweet nicknames like: Break of Chains, The Unburnt, Lady of the Dragonstone, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, and of course, Khaleesi.
Actress Scarlett Johansson has carried the mantle as being the first big screen superheroine featured in the MCU. Her portrayal of Black Widow, the Russian Spy turned SHIELD Agent turned Avenger, has been a high point for the MCU films. She is rumored to finally be getting her long overdue solo film soon as well. Bottom line: She was the first heroine to stand side by side with heroes like the Hulk and Iron Man on the big screen, as an equal.