(10) The ‘Hello, Sweetie’ that Is River Song
Beginning at number ten of amazing kick-ass female characters is the fabulous, the daring and daughter of the ponds, River Song! We first meet Professor Song in series four of ‘Doctor Who’ when she encounters the Tenth Doctor. She is mysterious, cunning, caring, formidable, intelligent and adventurous.
Since then, River has met mummies, Daleks, Cybermen, various incarnations of the Doctor, married several humans and non-humans, impersonated Cleopatra and escaped death multiple times. And River does all of this with charm, wit, seduction, intelligence, passion, and love.
(9) ‘I Am Not a Damsel in Distress’ Winifred Burkle
Fred is introduced in the second season of the Buffy spin-off ‘Angel’ when she is rescued from another dimension. Everything is familiar yet scary, and she has to learn how to live in the human world again. Along the way, she becomes an important and kick-ass member of the team. Her intelligence and passion for science allow her to make connections and help solve cases that the team couldn’t without her.
As Fred develops, she learns her scientific knowledge and compassion make her a unique team member. She is sweet, witty, passionate, kind, thoughtful, selfless, loyal, funny and incredibly smart. Even in death, Fred is brave, gentle and strong and grateful for the life she has led. She dies knowing she is a hero who doesn’t need to physically kick-ass to be a kick-ass person.
(8) The Strong as Hell Alex Danvers
Alex Danvers has come a long way since we first saw her in season one of ‘Supergirl.’ She has seen her sister become a national hero for the city. But, she herself has become a kick-ass hero. She is fiercely intelligent, physically capable of bringing down aliens and beasts, a wonderful sister, caring friend and accepted herself for who she is.
Her relationship with Maggie shows her vulnerabilities, fears, desires and proves how strong she is when she admits to Maggie they can’t be together because she wants to be a Mum. This is the hardest decision Alex makes but it makes her even stronger because she learns feeling vulnerable is not a weakness, but an opportunity to grow and make positive changes in your life.
(7) Busting Heads Agent Peggy Carter
Agent Carter; the first female founder of SHIELD, one of the only female agents in the military and the one agent who solves the most difficult of cases. Peggy is independent, intuitive, clever, mischievous, charming, and doesn’t let society bring her down or discriminate her.
From the early days of her adventures with Mr. Jarvis, Peggy’s selfless actions bring justice, making her one of the first heroines of her time. Her dedication and self-respect for her own rights are why Peggy is definitely a kick-ass character and an inspiration to everyone everywhere!
(6) Expert in Mathemagics Cassandra Cillian
Cassandra Cillian didn’t have any faith or belief in herself in season one of ‘The Librarians.’ She believes her tumor made her less worthy to be a librarian and couldn’t control her amazing gift. But, as Cassandra becomes an equal member among the librarians, she develops her power of science and magic.
Now that her tumor no longer looms over her, Cassandra has grown confident in her role as a librarian and has even explored who she can be away from the Library. Her kindness, humor, playfulness, loyalty, intelligence and willingness to take risks is proving she is a kick-ass person and librarian.
(5) Owner of the Sonic Lipstick Sarah Jane Smith
One of the Doctor’s best friends, Sarah Jane Smith is witty, kind, warm, stubborn, curious, sassy, loving and faithful. She has proven countless times she is one kick-ass character. Hordes of aliens, beasts and evil gods have come her way and she has always tried to find a peaceful solution.
Her dedication to protecting the Earth is one of her finest qualities and the faith she has in others, no matter their age is what makes her so endearing. Sarah Jane’s love for her son, Luke, and friends Rani, Clyde, Maria, and K-9 is her strength. She doesn’t let anyone make her feel incapable and shows that age is just a number that cannot destroy your spirit.
(4) The Unpredictable Shaw
Sameen Shaw is unpredictable at the best of times but as she forms friendships with Harold, Reese, Fusco and not forgetting the faithful dog, Bear, she shows undeniable loyalty towards them. Diagnosing herself as a sociopath, Shaw never believed she could fall in love or have emotional connections with anyone.
She only believes she is an expert at killing people. But, Shaw also allows herself to not be burdened by her disorder as Root points out, ‘It’s what made you beautiful.’ The relationship she forms with Root gives her the emotional strength to keep on living even though she has lost the one person she will ever love.
(3) Buffy, Oh, She’s the Slayer
Buffy is known for her kick-ass moves but this isn’t what makes her a kick-ass character. Sure, she can kick butts magnificently well, however, it is the strength of her humanity and selflessness which makes her inspiring.
She begins as the new girl in Sunnydale, just trying to forget her destiny as the Slayer. But, her fate catches up to her and before she knows it Buffy is saving the world every day. Fighting vampire king, The Master, the twisted Angelus and a giant demon that used to be the Mayor. Buffy’s strength to keep fighting, to keep surviving when all she wants is peace is a testament to what a formidable and empowering character she is. Buffy isn’t trying to be a perfect hero. She is a real person who is kind and funny but also selfish and arrogant at times. She accepts who she is and allows herself to change and learn. This has led her to become one of the most iconic heroes of all time.
(2) ‘I Wasn’t Talking to You’ Root
At number two, the terrifying yet at times can’t help loving Root. As a killer for hire and a computer genius, Root’s redemption from cold-blooded killer to loyal friend and hero is one of most compelling transformations a character can go through. When she sacrifices herself for Harold and dedicates her whole life to finding Shaw, she becomes not a kick-ass killer but a kick-ass friend, lover, and hero.
Even though Root kills many people she doesn’t do it because she likes to which highlights she has retained her humanity but has hidden it away for so long. When she begins to work with Harold, Reese, Shaw, and Fusco, Root learns she can be a better version of herself by working with the Machine to save people and not kill them. When she falls in love with Shaw, Root proves her loyalty to her when she diverts her mission for the Machine to find Shaw. She is fearless, cunning, sassy, daring, passionate, funny, loyal, determined and heroic. If Root isn’t kick-ass, I don’t know who is.
(1) The Legend That is Korra
So, at number one I think the top slot deserves to be taken by Avatar Korra. My reasons for this are Korra’s transformation from the hot-headed young avatar who only cared about her own needs to the compassionate and loyal friend she becomes is what makes her so kick-ass. Korra has always been physically strong but her spiritual connection with herself and others hasn’t been as easy to acquire.
But, through the countless traumas, she experiences; having her bending taken away by Amon, losing her connection to the past avatars, opening the spirit portal which unleashes Vartu, almost being killed by Zaheer and then defeating the spirit vines, Korra accepts what happens to her and learns from those she fought. This makes her so much psychologically stronger than she has ever been. She shows compassion and understanding towards Kuvira and accepts she has feelings for Asami.
Korra may have some of the coolest powers but it’s her internal growth and the fight between her emotional struggles and fears that I think makes her one of the best kick-ass characters.
But, this doesn’t mean you have to agree with me. What are your thoughts? Who would you have on your own list? Why not make one yourself and share who you think are the best kick-ass female characters. Let’s celebrate International Women’s Day together!