Live action female superheroes!
Continuing on with the beautiful women of comics, what about the live-action portrayal of these women?
Yes, many fan-favorites have been brought to life on the big screen and on the small screen.
Of course back in the beginning, the guys grabbed all the big productions.
You had The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941), Batman (1943), The Phantom (1943), Captain America (1944), and Superman (1948).
The women there were pretty much just damsels in distress.
Yeah, Lois Lane showed up, but she and Jimmy Olsen just gave Supes something too do.
Heck, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon didn't even show up on the Batman TV series till the third season of the show.
So here are some of the ladies that made the jump from the printed page to the big (and small) screen.
Jean Grey / Phoenix - The X-Men Films
Famke Janssen was the lady that brought Jean Grey/Phoenix to life in X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand.
One of the better translations from the comic to the big screen in my opinion.
In X-Men: Apocalypse we got a younger version of Jean portrayed by Sophie Turner.
And we even got a hint of Dark Phoenix again.
Wonder Woman (1970s)
Who can forget Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman in the Wonder Woman television series?
No one evidently.
Whenever you hear anything brought up about a Wonder Woman movie, Lynda is almost always mentioned.
At five foot nine, 122-130 pounds and measuring 38-25-35, she filled out the red, white and blue costume quite well.
Wonder Woman (2011)
Now Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights)will be bringing the Amazon Princess to life in David E. Kelly's new Wonder Woman pilot.
The story and the outfit has caused some controversy among internet comic book fans, to the point of the costume being changed.
Though the producers seem to be downplaying the idea that outrage caused the change.
Wonder Woman (2016)
In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Gal Gadot will portray the Amazon Princess.
This time in a costume that looks a little bit like the comics and a little bit like another Warrior Princess, Xena.
Not only will Gal be Wonder Woman in 2016, but she will also get to be Diana in a solo movie, Wonder Woman (2017).
Catwoman - Batman (1960s)
Catwoman has shown up several times, but my favorite is the 1960s TV version.
Julie Newmar owned Catwoman like Lynda Carter owned Wonder Woman in my opinion.
Catwoman - The Dark Knight Rises
Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises at Amazon
In The Dark Knight Rises (2012) the lovely Anne Hathaway became the sixth actress to portray Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.
I have no problem with this because at least Anne is a BRUNETTE!
Poison Ivy - Batman & Robin
Okay...I know Poison Ivy isn't technically a hero.
Well...she could be an anti-hero.
Uma Thurman played Poison Ivy in the film Batman & Robin....
I think she may have been the only bright spot in that film.
Oh she camped it up to be sure, but compared to the rest of the film...she was gold.
Supergirl - (Supergirl 1984)
Kara Zor-El made it to the big screen in another failed venture, 1984's Supergirl.
Really I didn't think Helen Slater was bad as the Maid of Might, and had the story been better we might have actually had a good movie here.
Supergirl - Smallville
Of course Helen isn't the only live action Supergirl.
In the 2007-2008 season of Smallville, Kara appeared on the small screen portrayed by Laura Vandervoort.
She made her "pseudo-costume" look good, but how many fans would have loved to have seen her in the full comic book costume?
Whatever it was at the time...Kara changes costumes quite a bit.
Supergirl (CBS 2016)
Now we have the almost picture perfect Melissa Benoist as Supergirl on the CBS TV show, "Supergirl".
Witchblade - 2001
Yancy Butler starred as Sara Pezzini, the then possessor of the Witchblade in the 2001 series on TNT.
I really didn't think the show was half bad, but it was canceled in 2002.
The rumor was that it had to do with Yancy's alcohol addiction.
But it was the Witchblade, why didn't they just pass it on to another user?
There's a rumored Witchblade film in the works, but despite a teaser poster and a website, I can't find a lot on it.
Looking at the poster, it seems they want Hallie Berry to star.
Batgirl - 1960s Batman
As I mentioned earlier, Batgirl showed up on the third season of Batman, played by Yvonne Craig.
Sadly, Yvonne passed away on August 19th, 2015
Batgirl - Batman & Robin
Batgirl returned again in the ill-fated Batman & Robin movie, this time portrayed by Alicia Silverstone.
Of course in addition to screwing up the movie, they screwed up the character, making her Barbara Wilson, Alfred's niece.
Batgirl - Birds of Prey
Batgirl also appeared in the WB TV show Birds of Prey as Oracle played by the beautiful Dina Meyer.
But Barbara did get to suit up once and we got to see a more faithful Batgirl on the screen.
Harley Quinn debuted on Batman: The Animated Series,but we got to see Harley in real life on the before-mentioned Birds of Prey, played by Mia Sara.
But other than calling the Joker "Mr J", she didn't have a lot in common with her animated counter-part.
Red Sonja (1985)
The She-Devil with a Sword, Red Sonja was brought to life in the 1985 film entitled (appropriately enough) Red Sonja.
There she was played by Brigitte Nielsen.
Sonja is set for a remake, with Rose McGowan as the beautiful barbarian.
The good thing here is that it's being produced by Robert Rodriguez!
Does Psylocke appear in film?
Meiling Melançon played Psylocke in X-Men: The Last Stand, even though in the original script, her character isn't called Psylocke.
But, on Brett Ratner's commentary on the DVD release, he says that she is Psylocke.
Olivia Munn was an almost picture perfect Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)
Black Canary - Legends of the Superheroes
Even though BC was created in 1947, the blonde bombshell really hasn't gotten much screen time.
She has appeared on the small screen a few times though.
In 1979, Danuta Wesley played her on the really bad NBC live-action version of Super Friends, Legends of the Superheroes.
Black Canary - Birds of Prey
Back to Birds of Prey again where Lori Loughlin played their version of the Black Canary.
Black Canary - Smallville
Then on season seven of Smallville, Alaina Huffman did their version of her.
On the CW's Arrow, we get not one but two Black Canaries.
Caity Lotz as Sara Lance (Canary) and Katie Cassidy as Dinah Laurel Lance (Black Canary).
Sara has gone on to become White Canary on Legends of Tomorrow and Laurel.....died.
However....rumor has it that like in the comics (sorta), Earth 2's Black Siren may wind up becoming Earth 1's Black Canary
Huntress - Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey also had their own version of Huntress (played by Ashley Scott) who was based more or less on the Helena Wayne version of the character.
Although on Birds of Prey she was called Helena Kyle because she was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman.
Ala Smallville they had to mess with the character giving her superpowers and making her eyes turn cat-like when she sprang into action.
But Ashley Scott was such a sexy Huntress I really didn't care.
I would have loved to see her try her hand at Catwoman.
Huntress - Arrow
The CW TV show Arrow has a version of Huntress too.
While nowhere near as hot as the Birds of Prey version, this one is a lot closer to the comic book version that most people are familiar with.
This Huntress is played by Jessica De Gouw.
Invisible Woman - The Fantastic Four (2005)
Jessica Alba portrayed Sue Storm-Richards in the 2005 film The Fantastic Four and in the 2007 sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
They stayed pretty faithful to the character I think, and Jessica made a good Sue.
With the announced reboot, someone else will get a shot at the role.
Zatanna - Smallville
Zatanna Zatara showed up on the episode "Hex" in the eighth season of Smallville played by the stunning Serinda Swan.
The physical look was pretty much dead on, which is unique for Smallville.
White Queen / Emma Frost (1996)
The gorgeous mutant that only shops at Victoria's Secret and The White Store has had a few appearances.
Emma Frost showed up in the 1996 live-action television movie, Generation X played by Finola Hughes (General Hospital, All My Children).
Then when Bryan Singer was still attached to X-Men: The Last Stand, he wanted Sigourney Weaver as the White Queen.
White Queen (?) Tahyna Tozzi - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
And in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Tahyna Tozzi plays a character listed in the credits as "Kayla's sister/Emma".
In the film Tahyna does exhibit the White Queen's ability to turn into organic diamond (which I personally think is a stupid add-on ability).
But I do think Tahyna would make a fine White Queen.
White Queen - January Jones
In X-Men: First Class, Emma was brought to life in the 1960s (which totally screws up any time line but hey, go for it guys!) by Mad Men's January Jones.
Visually a pretty good match.
Black Widow - Iron Man 2
In Iron Man 2 we got to see one of my all time favorite female superheroes make the jump to the big screen.
The Black Widow.
The Widow was fleshed out (ahem) by the lovely Scarlett Johansson.
Natalia "Natasha" Alianovna Romanova was also in the Avengers movie, AND there is talk of a Black Widow solo film as well.
Storm - X-Men Films
Halle Berry appeared as Storm in the movies X-Men, X2: X-Men United, and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Really that's all I have to say about that because the movie Storm never came close to the comic's Storm or heck...even the 1990s X-Men cartoon Storm.
Although to her credit, it's rumored that Halle did try to get more character development into the story, but just wound up arguing with original X-Men director Bryan Singer.
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, there is a scene that was cut from the final release where Stryker's team is interrogating people in Africa while searching for adamantium and a young white-haired child is seen watching the interrogations while a storm begins to brew.
If you look really fast in X-Men: First Class, you'll see her when Charles Xavier and Magneto use Cerebro and find mutants for the team.
A white haired child (again) is shown writing in a journal.
In the 2016 film X-Men: Apocalypse, Ororo Munroe / Storm was played by Alexandra Shipp
Gamora - Guardians of the Galaxy
In the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy film, Zoe Saldana will be playing "The Most Dangerous Woman in the Universe", Gamora.
Zoe has appeared in several action films...but I really don't think she would have been my first choice for Gamora.
Although my image of Gamora is stuck back in the old Jim Starlin days so what do I know?
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman - Batman vs. Superman
In Zack Snyder's upcoming Batman vs. Superman, the Amazon Princess Wonder Woman will be portrayed by 110 pound, 34-24-34 Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot.
Yeah...that's a might small for a woman that's supposed to be able to go toe to toe with Superman.
Of course she will probably be wearing layers of body armor as most heroes do these days so you probably wont see more than her face.
I say she doesn't give off the Wonder Woman vibe would be an understatement.
But in a show of class, the "real" Wonder Woman Lynda Carter, posted on her face book wall congradulating Gal and saying that she is sure she will do a wonderful job.
The El Palacio de Hierro commercial starring Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Batgirl
This commercial was made for the Mexican department store chain El Palacio de Hierro and features the 1960 Batgirl, the 1960 Catwoman, and the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman.
You gotta admit, whoever did this, was either a huge fan or did a LOT of research.
Wonder Woman, Catwoman, and Batgirl
Amber Heard as Mera
Here is one of the best comic book to screen adaptations I have seen so far.
Amber Heard as Mera in the Justice League movie.
This is pretty dead on and Amber looks great as Aquaman's queen.
Female Superheroes Brought to Life Comments
Raulo on January 26, 2018:
You didn't add Michelle Pfeiffer and Halle Berry in the Catwoman list yo....
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on June 12, 2017:
When Princess Xena came on to the scene in the 1990's i deemed this television series a long time in coming. Due to an authentic take on Amazonian society or fiercely independent women not dominated by males. Xena as with another action lady, Modesty Blaise not content with utterly defeating her male opponent, she had to humiliate him as well.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on August 23, 2016:
Having seen the Ladies perform a plethora of sporting achievements at the Olympics, it is quite feasible they could achieve 'super heroine' status.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on July 26, 2016:
As an example of 1960's actress, Eartha Kitt was superb as Catwoman.
Around the time of the Red Sonia movie release there was a similar movie 'Thundra'. Must look her up as well.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on July 21, 2016:
Currently at the 'comic book & graphic novel display in my local library. More to follow.
Ian Stuart Robertson from London England on November 14, 2015:
Surprisingly, i've been aware of this topic on the hubs for some time but yet to have posted a comment (till now) ! Growing up in an era where there was only the one feminine super hero, yes there was Lois Lane but she was yet to earn the 'super status' and it was Wonder Woman who became deeply embeded in my psyche. It was so much so that when the bevy of beauties emerged around the 1960's actually it was the actresses who portrayed the characters who appealed to me more so. Sincerely it is hoped the Wonder Woman saga will prevail.
Brittany from Virginia on December 30, 2012:
This was really interesting! Thanks for posting ^^
SALEHAHMADZ on July 14, 2012:
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on April 03, 2012:
No...but you can see the pilot online
jenniferg78 from Philadelphia, PA on April 03, 2012:
Great hub! I love all the pics and videos - especially the old ones that aren't so easy to come by.
I remember the controversy over the wonder woman costume. Did the new show ever make it to tv?
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on January 17, 2012:
Yeah Amber, with as many female Avengers members as there are, they could have easily done a 50/50 split with the men and women. We know Joss isn't adverse to strong female roles....so what gives?
AmberLeeCollins from KC on January 12, 2012:
Was so hoping that the Scarlet Witch was going to be in the Avengers movie!
David Taylor from UK on November 27, 2011:
Hmm, how did I miss Birds of Prey. Off to Amazon for a look. It's a great hub, btw.
naturalsolutions on September 15, 2011:
It is a very long hub, having this superheroes in just one hub is fantastically amazing.
On this women heroes all i admire is the invisible woman of fantastic 4. I love that special power!
Thanks for the video it makes me reminisce the old times.
Ghost32 on August 07, 2011:
I realize they don't likely count as "cartoon superheroes" as discussed here, but two superwomen from the movies still trip my trigger:
1. Sharon Stone as Ellen ("The Lady"), the only female gunfighter in The Quick and the Dead.
2. Uma Thurman as The Bride, swordfighting assassin extraordinaire, in Kill Bill.
My kinda gals. Compared to these two, the others are a bunch of wimps.
(He said nicely.)
KMattox from USA on July 19, 2011:
Loved your hub was very entertaining seeing all those superwomen good and bad. Nicely done lots of fun. Don't forget Hit Girl from Kick-Ass! I voted up and awesome. Thanks for the fun!
edw4rdcull on June 28, 2011:
it's nice to see when your favorite characters come to life on the big screen
Chris from Atlanta, GA on June 26, 2011:
It seems in the comic world the heroine is always trumped by the dominant male superheroes (Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Wolverine, and the list goes on). It's cool that you brought the female heroes to life!
As for Helen Slater, loved her as Supergirl and it was unfortunate that the story/plot/dialogue/well, everything was terrible!...just horrific in every way.
Gotta love the 80's.
Erin Bower from Georgia on June 19, 2011:
Wow; I didn't realize there were that many girl superheroes. I loved the 60's bat girl.
deblipp on April 27, 2011:
To me, Eartha Kitt was the greatest Catwoman.
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on March 10, 2011:
GreenAdam:Yeah I think they could have hired a 10 year old comic book fan as a script consultant and got the characters closer to the comics than they did in Last Stand.
GreenAdam from Detroit, MI on March 10, 2011:
I hated how they used Psylocke in X-Men. She didn't have the "Psy-Blade", and she was on the wrong side. I also hated the "downgrade" that was given to Rogue in that same movie. But the girls on Smallville transferred nicely.
LaZeric Freeman from Hammond on March 06, 2011:
Very cool. I just wish that some of the storylines were as exciting as some of the fan art that is out there on these characters. I especially don't feel that Spiderwoman's stories have ever been as fleshed out as her male counterpart-- that Parker kid.
adfo17848 on February 01, 2011:
Psylocke is awesome!!!!!! ^_^
rocho8431 on January 28, 2011:
Best Hub Eva! I'm most of a Black Widow Fan
superyoss from Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia on January 27, 2011:
Thank you for this Hub! I love superheroes since 1978 (10 yr old), and now I have more than 12540 fantasy pictures - real paper, not digital!
bob9125 from United States on January 25, 2011:
Great Hub! I was always a big jean fan.
3 Finger Reader on October 06, 2010:
I loved Wonder Woman when I was kid. So much so I begged and begged for the Wonder Woman underoo's when they came out. Anyone remember those?
TheOneWhoKnows from Croatia on September 25, 2010:
Yeah, very good selection
Rod Marsden from Wollongong, NSW, Australia on July 03, 2010:
An incredible collection of clips and details. As far as I know birds of Prey as a live action show never made it to Australia. I do have the D.C. comics mini-series from the early '90s.
Wonder Woman as played by Carter is an old favorite. I also loved her more recent appearances in Smallville even though she wasn't playing Wonder Woman. I believe there was an earlier movie made of Wonder Woman starring someone else in the lead role and I have a vague memory from childhood that it was just plain awful.
Craig always looked great as Batgirl but Catwoman, whenever she appeared, always stole the show...among other things. I always had to laugh at the Batman of that era always referring to Catwoman as a poor deluded child and trying to reform her. Women could not be bad back then. They had to be mislead and Batman was always on the let's reform her trail. Meanwhile the Cat in Catwoman was having delicious fun.
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on June 26, 2010:
welshbard: From what I understand, the Scarlet Witch will possibly be in the Avengers movie, played by Eliza Dushku.
Black Widow was in Iron Man 2 played by Scarlett Johansson and she may also be in the Avengers movie as well.
Sif will be in the Thor movie.
welshbard from Western NC on June 26, 2010:
Superheroines I would like to see depicted on film
The Scarlet Witch-Come on, somebody do an "Avengers" movie already, it would be worth to see some awesone wench in Wanda's costume.
Black Widow-Sexy red head delivering elegant ballet kicks to the various bodyparts of numerous male heavies all the while wearing that black spandax cat-suit, you know it would fill the seats.
Sif and the Valkarie-beautiful women with swords, need I say more?
Michael Ray King from Palm Coast, Florida on June 20, 2010:
Really cool Hub! I like all the video trailers. I hadn't heard of a number of these ladies.
mr. daydream on June 17, 2010:
Nice representation, I wrote a superhero's hub based most on the most powerful and I tried to properly represent some powerful female superheroes (not just Wonder Woman) who have been flying a little below the radar as of late. But I hated the Smallville version of Black Canary, the short hair and that tacky painted-on mask just made her look like the transvestite Robin. Anyway, good job!
strutzas from Kualapuu, Hawaii on June 17, 2010:
Brings back my childhood days, i really loved watching those female super heroes.
epigramman on May 23, 2010:
You have brought me to life because you are my superhero!
Your hubs are out of this world - and I should know - I'M FROM MARS!!!
TWHub10 on April 05, 2010:
Love the hub. Thanks for inspiring this fanboy.
Mamelody on April 01, 2010:
ahh wonder woman.. what little girl didn't want to be one lol. Nice hub hun, brings back memories xx
Brendon Floyd from Oklahoma City, OK on March 15, 2010:
My vote would have to go to Phoenix or even Rogue. I know she was not the star of X-Men but she had her own comic. Or even Elektra, even though the movie did horribly (I kind of liked it) the comic book was fun.
mdlawyer on January 28, 2010:
It is really fantastic. Great!
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on January 27, 2010:
NateSean: Thanks for the ideas!
I was never into Highlander after the first movie, because at the end, that was it...he was the last... then BOOM!, all these other Highlanders showed up. I really think Highlander should have been one stand alone film.
Now I did love the first movie. And even today when I see Clancy Brown in something I watch him kinda warily...LOL
NateSean from Salem, MA on January 27, 2010:
Don't take this is a criticsm, because I like this hub. But I would like to read more of "why" you like these actresses in their roles, or why don't you. The videos are all right but their clips and pictures for the most part. I want to read your opinions on these actresses.
Maybe even separate hubs for each of them going into more detail. Just a suggestion.
I wonder if you've ever watched Highlander: The Raven. It's the spin off of the original Highlander and it features Amanda, a 2,000 year old immortal woman.
Andrew from Italy on January 27, 2010:
My vote goes to Phoenix. Great hub, I love comics too.
Yena Williams from California on January 25, 2010:
Love this hub! I've always wanted to be wonder women and stop bullets with my bracelet! =)
The Green Guru on January 25, 2010:
Sabreblade, I love your hub. Thanks! :)
Elena from London, UK on January 25, 2010:
I enjoyed reading the Hub. I like Urma Thurman, she was a real super woman in Kill Bill. Xena - Warrior princess, I'm sure would have made your list but she wasn't in Comics.
grillrepair from florida on January 25, 2010:
funny how this stuff still fascinates. it all seems so campy from this age...
good hub, thanks.
Mike Lickteig from Lawrence KS USA on January 24, 2010:
Lynda Carter was so perfect for Wonder Woman, it's difficult to imagine anyone else. I didn't like Yvonne Craig as Batgirl as a kid, but she did have a certain grace about her.
Y'know, I liked Helen Slater as Supergirl. The movie was ridiculous, of course, but she tried her best and looked good in the costume. Smallville's Kara was beautiful but didn't really offer much more than looks.
Without really knowing why, I've always liked Finola Hughes. She had guest roles on the TV series Charmed, and (I think) also played the mother on Blossom. (Anyone remember THAT show?) I find her very beautiful and will watch anything I find her appearing in.
The woman who played Zatanna on Smallville had the role nailed.
Well, I'm just rambling and so I guess I should stop. This was a fun hub to read, I like the comic stuff you do. Thanks.
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on January 24, 2010:
Yep...Philent has a Darna Hub here:
Thanks for stopping by!
Cassandra Mantis from UK and Nerujenia on January 24, 2010:
Oh, to see Lynda Carter do her dainty twirl again is pure fun! Someone got me a series of these on DVD, and I had a blast. There are plenty of female heroes in the world to enjoy. I found a filipina heroine called Dharma during my travels there, she's about to become another superhero film, not known over here, but very interesting! Great Hub, as always sabreblade!
Tim from Los Angeles, CA on January 24, 2010:
I think Lynda Carter really set the bar high with her performace as Wonder Woman that that is why is has been hard to get any new films off the ground! Just my opinion, lol.