Sure, most superheroines have enough power to grind their enemies beneath their heels, but they usually aren’t drawn to look like they could. What’s more, most of them aren’t generally inclined to step on you unless you were foolish enough to, say, take the governor hostage and then refuse to negotiate.
I could do a long post about how female characters are drawn in comics: how they conform to narrow and fleeting beauty standards, how they emphasize physical beauty over physical strength, how female characters with traditionally “masculine” or “unattractive” traits are treated versus those who are more “feminine,” and so on. Or I could just introduce you to some super buff super-ladies. Let’s go with the latter.
Not only are these ladies built like tanks, they will not hesitate to steamroll you if you so much as breathe funny. These well-muscled heroes understand that good does not mean nice, and they have no compunction about putting the smackdown on a deserving miscreant. Their appearance, as with all comic book characters, does vary from artist to artist (you have NO idea how long it took me to find a suitably muscley picture of Grace Choi). But they were all created with the intention of exuding physical strength and power, and they certainly do that!
Even among Asgard’s formidable warriors, Hildegarde stands out. Brawny, fearless, and unflinchingly loyal to All-Father Odin, she served as invaluable back-up for both Sif and Thor in their many adventures. Hildegarde was most active in Thor comics throughout the 1970s, though she has occasionally returned to kick ass since then.
Barda — along with her future husband, Mister Miracle — was raised on the hellish planet Apokolips and expected to devote her life to Darkseid. After they escaped to Earth, Big Barda worked hard to establish the cozy, normal home that she never had — and to keep her new home planet safe from all who would threaten her happiness.
Debuting in Thor #426, Code: Blue was a special police squad specially trained to take on super-powered threats. Rigger Ruiz was the only female member of the team, as well as the member with the biggest guns…and the biggest “guns.”
“Duchess” walked out of a swamp and into the Suicide Squad in Issue Nine of that series. No one knew her real name or where she came from: only that she was over six feet, really liked guns, and could throw hands with just about anybody. It was later revealed that Duchess was really Lashina, one of Barda’s old “friends” from Apokolips.
Sure, I could have talked about the regular She-Hulk, but instead I’d like to remind you all of the time Betty Ross, the Hulk’s long-time, on-and-off love interest, got all hulked out. Her stint as Red She-Hulk began thanks to her father, who was so desperate to save her from cancer that he allowed a supervillain to experiment on her cryogenically frozen body.
Grace was a bouncer at Metropolis’s toughest nightclub when she accepted a place in the new Outsiders — mostly for the money. Physically strong and virtually invulnerable, Grace once survived having her head engulfed in hellfire and was up again hours later to beat up the guy who did it. She is portrayed by Chantal Thuy on The CW’s Black Lightning.
Poundcakes — real name Marion Pouncy, which is just fantastic — was one of a small group of all-female wrestlers, the Grapplers, who turned to crime. However, just one encounter with the terminally cheerful Unstoppable Wasp got Poundcakes rethinking her life, and she decided to accept an honest job at Wasp’s company. Aw!
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