Women of the Marvel universe bracket: Vote for your favorite heroes and villains

For International Women's Month and the launch of the Captain Marvel film, we're celebrating the women of Marvel in the quintessentially March way: With a bracket. Which Marvel villain or hero will end up on top?

Leslie Gornstein
Leslie Gornstein is a senior editor with CBS Interactive. For the past two decades, she's covered consumer and B-to-B tech; biotech; entertainment and various other subjects that seemed interesting at the time. She's the author of The A-List Playbook (Skyhorse) and she lives in Los Angeles.
Leslie Gornstein
1 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Only one can win

It's the biggest, loudest and maybe the only bracket competition we've hosted here at CNET. And it's gonna be Marvel-ous. 

To celebrate International Women's Month and the release of Captain Marvel, we're launching a massive, reader-driven bracket competition featuring the women of Marvel. (You can see the bracket right here.)

By week 5, only one villain and one hero will remain. 

Let's meet the members of our four fabulous divisions. Two divisions, Blockbusters and Mavericks, are for heroines. The villainess divisions are Antiheroes and Secret Destroyers.

Let's start with Captain Marvel herself: Carol Danvers is a US Air Force fighter-turned-half-alien. In our bracket, she's a member of the Blockbusters Division.

2 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Blockbusters division: Gamora

No thanks to adoptive father Thanos, Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana in the Marvel Cinematic Universe) boasts enhanced constitution, strength, agility and more. She's also the greenest member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.

3 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Secret Destroyers division: Hela

She already wins for the head gear. But even when she isn't wearing that amazing set of spider spikes, Hela is a villain to be feared, especially when played by Cate Blanchett in Thor: Ragnarok. Just ask the folks of Asgard. 

4 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Blockbusters division: Shuri

Tony who? Shuri is the princess of Wakanda and a technical genius whose achievements rival those of Iron Man. You can't scare her, colonizer. (Here she's seen in Black Panther, played by Letitia Wright.)

5 of 33 David Giesbrecht/Netflix

Mavericks division: Jessica Jones

Sarcastic. Hard drinkin'. Even mean. Super strong Jessica Jones (played on the small screen by Krysten Ritter) has plenty of character flaws. But she's generally on the side of good, so into our heroine club she goes.

6 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Antiheroes division: Nebula

Nebula has a long-simmering hate of her adoptive father, supervillain Thanos, but her early methods for fighting him place her firmly in a villains division. (She's seen here played by Karen Gillan.)

7 of 33 Jay Maidment

Blockbusters division: Black Widow

She may not have heat vision or super strength, but go ahead. Try to kill lethal super-spy Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson). We'll be waiting from a distance. A very, very safe distance.

8 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Secret Destroyers division: Ghost

Wanting to live doesn't make you a villain, and living as a partially phased-out human being all the time is certainly trying. But being an assassin, at least in the world of comics, puts a person in a villain division, at least for now. As seen in Ant-Man and The Wasp, Ghost was played by Hannah John-Kamen.

9 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Antiheroes division: Proxima Midnight

Thanos' right-hand woman believes she's doing the right thing in helping to wipe out half of all life in the universe. But that's about all the good we can say about her. In Avengers: Infinity War, Carrie Coon brought the villain to life before her unceremonious death by huge wheel thing.

10 of 33 Sony Pictures

Mavericks division: Spider-Gwen

Call her Gwanda, call her Gwen Stacy, call her Spider-Woman. Doesn't matter. If we're in trouble in her Spider-Verse, we're gonna call her.

11 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Blockbusters division: Maria Hill

Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) is the only agent Nick Fury trusts as his lieutenant. You may not see her fight as often as a Black Widow or Gamora, but then again, if you're an enemy of S.H.I.E.L.D., do you really want to?

12 of 33 Doane Gregory

Antiheroes division: Mystique

Everybody loves Jennifer Lawrence. We get it. And nobody likes hiding her true self. But it's tough to love somebody who's aligned with Magneto, so, into the villains category she goes. And a formidable villain she is, thanks to her ability to shape-shift into anyone she wants. (Mystique was also brought to life in the 2000s by Rebecca Romijn in the X-Men trilogy.)

13 of 33 Marvel Studios

Blockbusters division: Okoye

Any member of the Dora Milaje is going to be a formidable foe. But Wakanda's Okoye (Danai Gurira) is the general of this elite group of special forces, trained in all kinds of fighting and weaponry.

14 of 33 Disney/ABC

Secret Destroyers division: Raina

Beware the spiky claws on this onetime agent of Hydra, sure, but pay even closer attention to Raina's ability to see the future (played by Ruth Negga). She knows what's coming. Her enemies, not so much.

15 of 33 20th Century Fox

Mavericks division: Jean Grey

Telekinetic powers? Check. Burning enemies to a crisp? Check. And really -- do we need to know much else? In her latest onscreen exploits in X-Men: Dark Phoenix, she's played by Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner (pictured). Before that, Famke Janssen played this powerful member of X-Men.

16 of 33 20th Century Fox

Mavericks division: Domino

If you don't think luck can be a superpower, you haven't met Deadpool's new buddy Domino (Zazie Beetz).

17 of 33 Sarah Shatz/Netflix

Secret Destroyers division: Madame Gao

Just because a villain has no traditional superpowers doesn't mean you should turn your back on her. Just ask Daredevil and the Iron Fist, both of whom have run up against the crime lord Madame Gao (Wai Ching Ho). 

Running the heroin trade makes you very powerful, with many, many bruisers ready to do your bidding without argument.

18 of 33 20th Century Fox

Mavericks division: Negasonic Teenage Warhead

There are superpowers, such as strength or flight, and then there are the ridiculously amazing powers of Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand, as seen here in Deadpool 2), such as the ability to manipulate reality at a quantum level. Her weaponized sullenness also counts as a superpower in our book.

2018 Comic-Con - "Iron Fist" Portrait Session
19 of 33 Rebecca Cabage/AP/SIPA

Antiheroes division: Typhoid Mary

Her powers vary depending on what comic, movie or TV show you're enjoying, but for our purposes, we'll stick to her ex-Special Forces double persona. That's more than enough. In the last season of Iron Fist on Netflix, she was played by Alice Eve.

20 of 33 Marvel Studios

Secret Destroyers division: Ayesha

Technically, this golden high priestess and the leader of the Sovereign people only turned against the Guardians of the Galaxy after a kerfuffle over batteries, but since then, she's been relentless in her pursuit. When Ayesha's ships come after you, run. Onscreen she was portrayed in GOTG Vol. 2 by Elizabeth Debicki.

21 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Mavericks division: Valkyrie

She may be an alcoholic, and only alive because another warrior took a spear for her, but don't discount the fierceness of Valkyrie (played with perfect sardonic wit by Tessa Thompson). She sure knows how to fight in a gladiatorial ring and pull her weight during a universe-sized crisis.

22 of 33

Secret Destroyers division: Dark Phoenix

Exactly how villainous she'll be in the upcoming film we don't yet know (the latest Dark Phoenix movie debuts in June, starring Sophie Turner) but an out-of-control Jean Grey armed with telepathic and telekinetic powers can't be good. We last saw Dark Phoenix onscreen in X-Men: The Last Stand, played by Famke Janssen.

23 of 33 Netflix

Secret Destroyers division: Mariah Dillard

Like Madame Gao, Dillard lacks the traditional repertoire of superpowers. But she can catch rivals such as Luke Cage off their guard, and in a way, that's a power in itself. In the Netflix series, she's played by Alfre Woodard.

24 of 33 Walt Disney Studios

Blockbusters division: Scarlet Witch

One word: Sorceress. 

(Seen here played by Elizabeth Olsen in Avengers: Age of Ultron.)

25 of 33 20th Century Fox

Blockbusters division: Storm

Never, ever mess with someone who has the ability to control storms. You risk getting your butt slapped by lightning ... or worse. (In the recent X-Men films, she's played by Alexandra Shipp (pictured); in the 2000s films, Halle Berry played the controller of weather.)

26 of 33 Disney/ABC

Mavericks division: Peggy Carter

Merely calling her your "best girl" doesn't do her justice. She's "best" at quite a lot. Just because a secret agent doesn't have innate powers doesn't mean Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) can't take down a villain. And she has.

27 of 33 Marvel/ABC

Mavericks division: Quake

From humble beginnings as a hacker comes a woman now able to create earthquakes. There's no S.H.I.E.L.D.-ing a villain from that. In ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daisy Johnson aka Quake is played by Chloe Bennet.

28 of 33 ABC

Antiheroes division: Aida

Artificial intelligence can be very helpful. It can also be very helpful to an evil organization, especially when the AI is emotionally unstable and prone to murderous rages and trapping people in the Framework. The Artificial Intelligent Digital Assistant, or Aida for short, was played on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Mallory Jansen.

29 of 33 Patrick Harbron/Netflix

Antiheroes division: Elektra Natchios

This dangerous martial artist evolves from goodie to villain after having her memory wiped by enemies of the Defenders. In season 2 of the Marvel-Netflix Daredevil series, she was played by Elodie Yung. She's also been portrayed on the big screen by Jennifer Garner in 2003's Daredevil and 2005's Elektra.

30 of 33 20th Century Fox

Antiheroes division: Emma Frost

A powerful telepath and mental torturer with diamond skin, in X-Men: First Class Emma Frost gets cuddly with Sebastian Shaw, who wants to start a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and United States. Sometimes known as The White Queen, Frost was played by January Jones.

31 of 33 20th Century Fox

Secret Destroyers division: Lady Deathstrike

Wolverine isn't the only mutant with regenerative abilities: Lady Deathstrike (Kelly Hu in X2) also had claws and bones infused with the metal adamantium, as well as super strength. Don't get too close.

32 of 33 20th Century Fox

Antiheroes division: Psylocke

Martial arts mastery is deadly enough, but add occasional telekinetic powers and Psylocke (Olivia Munn in X-Men: Apocalypse) is a formidable foe for any member of the X-Men.

Women of the Marvel universe
Women of the Marvel universe
33 of 33 Marvel Studios / Composite by Chelsea Shi/CNET

Women of the Marvel universe

Head here for more on the women of the Marvel universe, from Captain Marvel to X-Men and everything in between.

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