Image Comics has some powerful female characters. However, many of these women don’t have superpowers. Do superpowers make someone more powerful than someone without? Well, kind of. But that’s not the point.
Here at ComicsVerse, we don’t believe you have to have powers to be a powerful person. And the female characters of Image Comics prove, time and again, that this is exactly the case! We talked to a few of our writers to see who they think are the dopest women of Image.
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ SAGA is an epic space opera filled with badass women. For me, it’s hard to pick just one character from the comic. But after reading SAGA recently, the badass woman that stood out to me is Petrichor. We first met Petrichor (pronounced pe.trīkôr) in SAGA #31. Hazel walks in on her showering in a detention camp and she was revealed to have both male and female parts. When asked by little Hazel, “…are you a girl?”, Petrichor, as she points to her own temple, replies “..in here, I be girl”. Petrichor later joins Hazel and her family on their ongoing adventure.
A transwoman who was detained, Petrichor experiences widespread disapproval from other women in the facility. They see her as a freak. But she’s a fighter, often speaking her mind, and not giving a fuck about what you think of her. A soldier at heart, she boasts how she killed more enemies than all her fellow detainees’ “useless” husbands. Despite her tough exterior, Petrichor genuinely cares about Hazel and her family. During an invasion, she risks her own life to gather fuel for the team’s magical, wooden spaceship. Alongside her insulting yet witty remarks, her sewing skills provide disguises for Hazel’s family to travel safely on foot.
It’s always a treat to see representation in comics. And it’s more interesting when the characters feel real and relatable. Petrichor’s past remains a mystery, but we know she was booted out of the army. Most recently, Petrichor was seen dwelling on her past love. She attempts to move on with a prayer, pleading “Please. Send me someone to fuck”. No matter how strong we may appear, we can all get lonely at times… or very sexually frustrated, at least. It’s easy to get the label “badass” or “cool”, but it’s even more interesting to read about a badass woman who’s complex and aware of the pangs of life. In an interview, Brian K. Vaughan expresses that Petrichor will be an extremely important person in Hazel’s development.
Hazel’s parents do their best to protect her from the cruel world that demonizes her, but I believe Petrichor will teach Hazel to toughen up and fight back.
One of the most impressive characters right now in Image Comics is Clara Bronson from Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski’s COPPERHEAD. A space western, this story takes place on the fictitious planet known as Copperhead. On the surface, it’s simply an old western town set in space, but there are many levels to COPPERHEAD that make it such an important story.
Clara Bronson is the new sheriff on Copperhead. She’s joined by a deputy (Budroxifinicus, or Boo as Clara selfishly nicknames him for simplicity’s sake) who is a bit cautious around her. He winds up being both her greatest ally and greatest pain in the ass. Clara has a bit of a muddled past that is given more clarity as the series progresses. What drew me into her character was, admittedly, tropes found in these types of female characters: she’s aggressive, she’s a bit rough around the edges, and she doesn’t take shit from anyone. She has a soft side for her son, Zeke, but other than that, she’s not opening up emotionally.
On Copperhead are beings called “Arties,” creatures who are pretty much genetically made aliens that resemble humans. There was a great war that precluded the COPPERHEAD storyline, and the Arties were used heavily in that war. There is a great amount of prejudice towards Arties on Copperhead, and most are essentially second-class citizens. The reason this even matters when talking about Clara Bronson is that she has prejudices herself at the beginning of the series. For many, this is a huge turn-off, but for me, it’s proven to show a lot of growth. Clara isn’t a perfect character: she is beyond flawed. But she slowly learns to accept things and learn from her mistakes, making for excellent character development.
Often in these types of western, the sheriff really is the moral compass. In COPPERHEAD, Clara has her priorities straight but her initial morals and beliefs are a bit jagged. She’s a character you root for not because she’s perfect, but because you know she’s getting better as she grows and learns from those around her, particularly those from a different background.
By Jhoan Suriel
Right off the bat, Poppy is not your typical regal lady. She is biracial, with her mother hailing from the fictional nation of Mribesh and her late father — the former king of Harbeny — being Harbenian. Poppy’s flaws make her relatable as a person of color. She has a strong sense of conviction and cares deeply about her loved ones including her stepmother, Leotta, and Cyrenic, her Sleepless bodyguard. Plus who can resist the charm of her fox-like companion, Bini, who’s in virtually every panel?
Although Poppy relies on Cyrenic to defend her from assassination attempts, she tries her best to maintain positive relations between her uncle — the current king of Harbeny — and her cousin, the Princess of Harbeny. However, Poppy feels like a fish out of water at times because of her mixed heritage. This makes her feel out of place because she has no immediate family left in Harbeny. Poppy’s stepmother leaves to go to her estate, her father is dead, and her mother is in Mribesh for political reasons. She endures scrutiny from her peers because she’s the only person in the kingdom of Harbeny with a Sleepless knight that watches her 24/7/365. So far, this leads to some interesting dynamics between Poppy and Cyrenic. Cyrenic acts as a type of brotherly figure so far, in addition to being Poppy’s bodyguard.
Poppy’s most distinct feature is her sense of fashion because she wears some incredible clothes that would make modern royalty blush. Because SLEEPLESS takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, Poppy wears dresses with puffed up sleeves and various colors and accessories. In SLEEPLESS #1, she wears a black and red dress that stands out from the rest of the characters in the story. In addition to regal dresses, Poppy wears a smock to sleep, keeping true to the period. The creators craft a world that is believable and unique. Ultimately, because she deals with loneliness and makes mistakes, you can’t help but root for her. Poppy feels hopeless but she has some strong male and female characters surrounding her.
By AJ Zender
If you are looking for a crew of Badass Image Comics’ women, look no further than Kurtis J. Wiebe’s RAT QUEENS. A high fantasy tale that flies in the face of traditional fantasy tropes, this series carries a raucous, over-the-top, and highly diverse atmosphere. Following an all-female band of adventurers, the titular Rat Queens, Wiebe takes readers through a high action foray full of curse words and plenty of middle fingers. Any of these awesome women deserve a place on this list for their cunning, their inner strength, or just their take-no-crap attitudes, but none better epitomize this team than their de facto leader, Violet.
Violet was born into Dwarven Royalty deep within the mines of her family. As such, her family’s servants doted on her as a princess. She learned to be a lady in waiting of the court, and when her beard grew in, her family deemed her old enough to marry off. But Violet didn’t dream of marriage or of staying in the stale-aired Mines. She dreamed of high adventure on the surface world, of slaying monsters and partying until dawn every day. So, on the night of an important dwarven festival, Violet stole her family’s ceremonial armor, shaved off her beard, and fled to the surface world.
Violet perfectly represents the badass spirit of women because she doesn’t allow anyone to tell her who she is. Her entire present life has been defined by her choices alone. The fact that the other Rat Queens, each brilliant and strong-willed, are willing to look to Violet for leadership should tell you a lot about how strong this character is. More importantly, Violet does what she does to protect the people that the cities have failed.
By Kat Vendetti
Many of the students attending Kings Dominion Atelier of the Deadly Arts, a high school for assassins, had a traumatic childhood. But it’s the way Maria takes control of her situation in the early arcs of DEADLY CLASS that makes her the most badass.
While most students at Kings Dominion are there by choice, Maria is among a handful who aren’t. When she was a child, Maria witnessed the brutal murder of her family by the hand of a deadly crime syndicate. But, Maria was spared and the gang took her in. They groomed her into the perfect assassin, forced her into a relationship with their leader’s son Chico, and sent her to Kings Dominion.
But Maria’s past didn’t break her – it fueled her. During her time at Kings Dominion, Maria knows exactly what she wants and takes charge of getting it. Despite Chico’s ownership over her, Maria falls in love with DEADLY CLASS’ protagonist Marcus, and Maria – spoiler alert – murders Chico during his violent rampage when he discovers the two together. When Chico’s father, the deadly “Alma del Diablo”, seeks out Maria to punish her for Chico’s death, she enacts the bloody revenge she’d been planning all along. Maria murders the syndicate nearly single-handedly, finally severing ties to her captors who took away her family. In the end, Maria didn’t need rescuing – she was her own savior.
And throughout it all, Maria still showed visceral and human reactions to the pure horror she faced. She’s not cold and stoic – after Chico’s death, Maria is visibly in pain. Maria says in DEADLY CLASS that pain is the only thing that defines her. However, it doesn’t make her broken; it makes her a strong person who took her life back and didn’t need someone to catch her if she fell.
By Jhoan Suriel
Michonne is a character who has experienced things we could never even think of. What makes her a powerful character is that she’s a mom, a widow, a hardened warrior, and a rape survivor. Over the course of the series, she develops a close relationship with the Grimes family. Because of this, she’s an aunt figure to Carl and one of Rick’s closest friends. Michonne is loyal to her friends and a bad ass when push comes to shove. Before the walker apocalypse, she was an avid bodybuilder, took part in a fencing team, and had a middle-class family.
The most recent issue of THE WALKING DEAD highlights how important her immediate family is to her and that deep down she’s still human, despite the tough act. Michonne loses many loved ones throughout various issues of THE WALKING DEAD including her ex-husband, Dominic; one of two daughters; and her boyfriend, Mike. The apocalypse turns her into a lone survivor who roams the land with two walkers until she meets Rick’s group in the prison arc.
Michonne is best known for her signature weapon — the katana — which she found in a neighbor’s house. She wields the katana with the expertise of a samurai because she’s had to defend herself against walkers and people. The katana is such a crucial part of her identity that at one point in the series she (temporarily) decides to hang it up on a wall for good. Michonne is the kind of woman you want to have around in case of an apocalypse to survive with. She’s also the kind of person that prefers quiet activities such as fishing to get away from people.
All in all, Michonne is a well-written minority character with flaws that anyone can relate to despite taking part in combat and experiencing trauma. Thankfully, she’s not the stereotypical angry black woman that news and pop culture often depicts. Michonne is a dope woman because she kicks ass with a katana, experiences all kinds of horrors, but is still a big softy at the end of the day.
Image has countless awesome women, but we couldn’t fit them all into one article! If you need more, check out our Dopest Superwomen of Image article. Or, let us know who you think is the dopest woman of Image!