1. America Chavez / Miss America (Young Avengers)
America Chavez’s story begins when her mothers sacrifice their lives to save their home planet, Utopia. In reverence to their legacy, Chavez leaves home (where it’s a little too perfect) to fight injustice in more crime-ridden dimensions. She teams up with other superheroes including Loki, Hulkling, and Wiccan. In Young Avengers #12 she flippantly mentions that she is a flying, dimension-hopping, virtually indestructible lesbian.
2. Kate Kane / Batwoman (Batwoman 52)
Like so many supers in the multiverse, Kate’s backstory is tragic and includes the loss of both her mother and twin sister at the hands of a terrorist organization. As an adult, she joins the Marines to please her father, but is eventually outed as a lesbian and is dishonorably discharged. Upon her return to Gotham as a socialite, she parties and binge drinks every night until an encounter with Batman (who has a similar backstory, no?) incites her to begin fighting crime. Her wealthy father funds her endeavor and provides her with some of the top technology to blow away the seedier elements of Gotham. When she’s not whooping ass she can be found in the arms of her longtime love, Renee. Speaking of…
3. Renee Montoya / The Question (Batwoman 52)
When Renee tells her then-girlfriend Kate Kane to “get a life,” she couldn’t have imagined her speech would lead to Kane actually getting a new life — as Batwoman. Years later, when they’re reunited, Montoya is already working with The Question to protect Gotham from Intergang. As her desire to fight the good fight intensifies, she reconnects romantically with Kane. As her story arc develops, the original Question succumbs to illness, and after some typical superhero soul-searching, Montoya assumes his place. Unfortunately, in recent iterations of Batwoman, Montoya is no longer a superhero and simply a member of the police force.
4. Karolina Dean / Lucy in the Sky (Runaways)
After discovering her famous Hollywood acting parents are covert members of Pride, an organization intent on destroying the world, Karolina Dean joins The Runaways. Soon after, she discovers her alien ability to absorb solar energy, earning her the nickname Lucy in the Sky. She has the ability to fly, create force fields, and solar blast anyone who threatens the universe. She also happens to be gorgeous, which is sometimes listed among her superpowers. When she enters an arranged marriage to keep peace between two worlds, her partner shapeshifts into a woman to please her.
5. Ramona Flowers (Scott Pilgrim)
She is more than Scott Pilgrim’s obsession: Ramona Flowers is a subspace-traveling, mallet-weilding, endlessly desirable bisexual woman. How else would someone end up with seven evil exes? She’s guarded and maybe a bit cold, but she isn’t particularly interested in how most people feel about her. However, when she’s jealous or upset her head glows.
6. Gwendolyn (Saga)
One of the most enigmatic characters in the fairly recent Saga series, Gwendolyn is on the hunt for her ex-fiancé, Marko. She doesn’t want him back, but he stole a family heirloom from her, a set of rings that allow languages to be translated between two speakers. After becoming infected with Heroine (a parasite that alters brain chemistry), Gwendolyn sees a naked mirage of the first woman she ever slept with, Velour.
7. Clementine and Emma (Blue Is the Warmest Color)
Clementine and Emma come into each other’s lives unexpectedly and urgently. A story about love, forgiveness, and being addicted to approval, the graphic version of Blue Is the Warmest Color provides both characters a depth that may have been missed in the film. So what makes these women kick-ass? Enduring real life isn’t as easy without a superpower.
8. Agent 355 (Y: The Last Man)
In a world where anyone and anything on Earth with XY chromosomes died at the same time (aside from Yorick and his monkey), Agent 355 is on a mission to restore order to the world. She’s a black bisexual woman who, throughout the course of the book, sleeps with male and female characters while protecting the last living man. Eventually, she enters a consistent physical relationship with the brilliant and arrogant Dr. Mann.
9. Dr. Allison Mann (Y: The Last Man)
A brilliant scientist who blames herself for the death of men (a result of an ego-driven biological experiment), Allison Mann is ready to right her wrongs. She uses her supreme intellect to guide Yorick and Agent 355 to safety and answers. While navigating, she begins an intense physical relationship with Agent 355. She may physically be the weak link on their little team, but she may also be the scientist they need to save the world.
10. Betty (Rat Queens)
Betty’s a beer-guzzling, shit-starting mercenary, and when she isn’t off adventuring with the other three members of her crew in Palisade, she’s narrowly avoiding being assassinated by orcs and trolls. Her other favorite pastimes include women, drugs, and candy.
11. Tank Girl (Tank Girl)
The tank pilot and bounty hunter is well-known for her lack of manners, bad behavior, and carelessness with the hearts of her lovers. A woman who lives in a tank can’t be expected to follow too many rules. Besides, she can usually fight her way out of any pickle. Until, of course, she ends up with a multimillion-dollar bounty on her head.
12. Various Characters (Dykes to Watch Out for)
Many a queer woman has found herself pouring over a strip of comics from the Dykes to Watch Out for series and nodding her head in recognition. Whether it’s common relationship issues, mothering, or dealing with unenlightened family members, Bechdel drew the everyday life of gay women in a hilarious and thought-provoking way. These characters are the women who love women without the weight of supernatural forces. These are the women we are. There’s nothing more kick-ass than gay women in the real world.
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