There’s something captivating about a woman who knows who to wield power. And it’s properly fascinating to watch her unleash such chaos into the world, all at her own whim.
If you’ve been able to check out Jacob’s feature of my list of my favorite female superheroes, I hope you’re ready to face my list of favorite female villains.
As a special note, you should know I graciously left off myself from the list, since I know full well I am my own worst enemy. There are too many problems and too many issues I have with diving into why I am such a nefarious foe to myself, and I don’t want to scare off too many readers.
My favorite female villains:
- Irene Adler, Sherlock Holmes
Irene Adler was among the first female villains I really liked. She didn’t just use her looks to battle Sherlock Holmes, but she used her intelligence and her wit. “A Scandal in Bohemia” remains one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes stories to this day. She also used a lot of her power to protect herself, and that really said more about her than the King who wanted to track down the photo he gave her. In the Guy Ritchie movies, I liked her character’s added appeal a lot, as having connections and doing things for her own “protection” seemed to be very fitting to her character. I also like that she’s willing to go out and help the hero from time to time, something that reminds me more of Catwoman.
- Poison Ivy, Batman
Poison Ivy is actually one of my favorites largely thanks to Uma Thurman’s performance of her character in Batman and Robin. I like how sadistically ironic and unapologetic she is about it. She’s a character whose villainy is almost laughable, especially since she’s so good at convincing and distracting people while she tries to kill them with her kisses. If you want to save the earth from humans by killing all the humans, it’s hard not to admire that kind of commitment, even if the idea really is asinine.
- Fujiko Mine, Lupin the Third, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine
Fujiko Mine is from Lupin the Third, an anime that used to run on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim program. The animation is a little less than ideal, but the characterization is awesome. Lupin is a criminal mastermind, and along with him are Goemon the Buddhist samurai, the Jegin, the sharpshooter, and Fujiko, the femme fatale with a penchant for disguising her real intent. She works alone as much as she works with the others, and often ends up trying to steal the treasures that they’re after for herself. Much like the other villainesses, she’s clever, quick-witted, and unapologetic in her efforts to get what she wants. She adds a twist to the “Bond Girl” sort of role she was designed to play. In the 2012 anime series The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, she’s moved up to the starring role with a lot of the same characters from Lupin the Third.
- Mystique, from X-Men: I like the idea of her character more than I like her, I think. She was always trying to go after the things she wanted, and I can admire the drive even if I don’t agree with the result. I also like the idea that she is a headmistress of sorts, founding the Brotherhood of Mutants – there’s no denying that teachers haven’t been some of the best villains of my life.
- Catwoman, from Batman: I feel like I would have included her in the actual list if she had Batman had finally tied the knot in the last set of comics that came out. I don’t think it’s good to toy with other men’s feelings, even if you’re out to destroy them. Just kill them, really, come on. If you’re going to kill them, the head games seem unnecessary.
- Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation: I feel like I shouldn’t need to defend this, but invariably someone disagrees with me. Leslie Knope is the worst kind of villain because she’s so pretty and perky and so seemingly good-intentioned you don’t notice that she doesn’t compromise well, she believes she is always right, she finds less than integral ways to work around the system, and if you stand in her way, she will find a way to punish you. She’s just as likely to cause chaos in her town as she is in her own life (have you ever watched that show and wondered how they end up drunk so much?) and it is usually up to Ron Swanson to put her in her place. She’s a Nurse Ratched with a pretty face and sparkly eyes.
C. S. Johnson is the award-winning, genre-hopping author of several novels, including young adult sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Check out her books on Amazon.
What do you think? Let Jacob know in the comments below and tell him about your thoughts on your favorite female villains. While you are at it, check out his article on the film Chappaquiddick. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
By the way, did miss Jacob’s book announcement? Check it out.