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?
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.