Comic books may get criticised for their confusing storylines, cheesy dialogue and ridiculous origin stories, but the one thing the medium has always got right is its sexy characters. While it’s true that it took a very long time for them to be more than just damsels in distress and eyelash-fluttering love interests, comic books have been responsible for introducing some of the most empowered and iconic female characters ever created. Thankfully, while female character development has definitely improved over the years, artists still know how to bring the eye candy when it comes to our favourite comic book hotties.
10. Lady Sif (Marvel Comics)
Any woman who can tame Thor in the bedroom has to deserve a spot on any sexiest comic book character list. Thankfully, Lady Sif is proportioned in all the right places and isn’t as muscle-bound as the God of Thunder, but she’s still someone you wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of. Always as willing as her allies the Warriors Three to dive headfirst into battle (although, unlike her male companions, she wears a much skimpier outfit while doing so), Lady Sif has been disappointingly underused in the recent Marvel movies. Here’s hoping that the sexy and well-cast Jaime Alexander has more to do (and more to show off) in future Asgardian adventures on the big screen.
9. Catwoman (DC Comics)
Batman may be a superhero who always stringently keeps to his personal code of honour, but even the Dark Knight can’t resist the ways of Catwoman. Playing the seductive bad-girl and always clad in skin-tight leather, Catwoman is probably one of the most fetishized female comic book characters. However, there’s much more to this femme fatale than just her looks and, when she’s not being ogled, Catwoman is an interesting character in her own right.
8. Emma Frost (Marvel Comics)
When it comes to skimpy outfits in mainstream comic books, it’s hard to beat X-Men’s Emma Frost. Instantly recognisable by the amount of cleavage she always has on display, Emma Frost is a reformed ex-member of the villainous Hellfire Club who eventually went over to the good side. Nevertheless, she still can’t resist her wicked ways and many fans weren’t happy with her home-wrecker status when she stole the attention of Scott Summers (aka Cyclops) from Jean Grey. The blond ice queen has the ability to read minds and can become near-invincible by turning herself into a diamond. She’s also kind of a bitch at times, which makes her even hotter.
7. Tulip O’Hare (Preacher)
Breaking away from the tradition of the scantily-clad superheroes and femme fatales, Tulip from Preacher is a no-nonsense, tough character who doesn’t take crap from anyone. Raised as a tomboy by her father, Tulip proves herself handy with a gun and, despite a brief, disastrous side job as a hitman, she isn’t afraid to use her expert marksman skills on anyone who crosses her. Although she isn’t constantly strutting around in a revealing costume like most sexy superheroes on this list, when she’s not being a complete badass artist Steve Dillon manages to slip in plenty of panels of Tulip walking around naked or having sex with her preacher boyfriend Jesse.
6. Black Cat (Marvel Comics)
Peter Parker may have endured his fair share of hardship and grief over the years, but he’s always done pretty well with the ladies. Neither relationship may have ended well, but Parker did manage to bag the ultimate girl next door Gwen Stacey and he married the supermodel/actress Mary Jane Watson. However, the sexiest woman in the Spideyverse has to be Felicia Hardy, aka the Black Cat. Often unfairly disregarded as a cheap Catwoman rip-off, the Black Cat’s character – a cat burglar who has an on-off relationship with the superhero – actually predates Catwoman’s similar depiction in DC comics (Catwoman was first introduced as a petty pickpocket but she didn’t plot big heists or wear a cat suit in the comics until the 80s). She also manages to edge out her more famous rival by having a slightly more revealing outfit and a more interesting love triangle with the superhero.
5. Ramona Flowers (Scott Pilgrim)
You don’t have to stray far from the big Marvel and DC titles to find some other hot comic book girls. Although Ramona Flowers still has powers which could rival some of the most popular superheroes (she can near-instantly travel anywhere via a form of hyperspace called ‘subspace’ – which is handy when you’re an Amazon delivery woman – and she’s pretty good with a huge mallet), Ramona is one of the most relatable and realistic female characters in a comic book. Hapless ‘hero’ Scott instantly falls in love with Ramona and has to fight her evil ex-boyfriends before he can claim her heart, but the series gradually reveals that she’s not quite the dream girl Scott thinks she is. Ramona has problems and baggage of her own and their relationship is far from perfect. However, it’s easy to see why Scott fell in love with this manic pixie girl. Although she’s drawn in fairly simple anime style by creator Bryan O’Malley, Ramona oozes cool, mysterious attitude. Usually wearing a short skirt with roller blades and always dying her hair different bright colours, Ramona is a sexy character for those who prefer the ‘alternative’ look.
4. Power Girl (DC Comics)
When it comes to origin stories, Power Girl would be number one on the list of confusing, contradictory backstories. Originally a descendant from Krypton on Earth-Two, Power Girl’s origin was changed to make her an Atlantean instead. Bafflingly, she was then changed back to a Krypton. Wherever it is she’s actually from, Power Girl earns a coveted spot on this list on the basis of her ridiculously large, heaving breasts. To say that Power Girl is top-heavy would be a huge understatement, and her super-strength is probably the only thing preventing her from developing chronic back pain. Although she has never been a break-out character in the DC Universe and it’s unlikely that we’ll see any actress portray her in a superhero movie anytime soon, Power Girl’s revealing, cleavage-friendly costume has managed to make her an instantly recognisable fan favourite.
3. Nancy (Sin City)
Most of the females in Frank Miller’s trashy noir series Sin City wear next to nothing and are drawn with impossible, gravity-defying assets and curves, but it’s still no challenge picking the sexiest character out of them all. Stripper Nancy Callahan is the object of affection and attention at the dive bar Kadie’s, and she is brought to life by writer/artist Miller’s always attentive eye for the female form. The series may be illustrated in black and white, but the lasso-toting exotic dancer sizzles so much on the page that not even Jessica Alba could do her justice in the movie adaptation (although it probably would have helped if the actress had actually stripped).
2. Judge Anderson (2000AD Comics)
Any female character who spends most of her time stood next to the grizzled, stony-faced Judge Dredd is going to seem much more attractive just by comparison’s sake, but Judge Anderson is one of the few undeniably sexy residents of Mega City One. Based on Deborah Harry, lead singer of rock band Blondie, psi-Judge Anderson is definitely one of the hottest authority figures in comic books, helped in no small measure by the appeal of a girl in uniform. Brought to life by Olivia Thirlby in the 2012 movie adaptation ‘Dredd’, one scene shows Anderson reading the mind of a perp she has just arrested only to discover that he’s fantasising about having sex with her – a definite downside to being sexy and also having the ability to read minds.
1. Vampirella (Vampirella)
One of the most enduring horror comic book characters of all-time, Vampirella is instantly recognisable thanks to her ridiculously revealing choice of outfit. Wearing a red sling suit which leaves very, very little to the imagination, Vampirella has been immortalised in covers by legendary artists like Frank Frazetta, Enrique Torres and Bob Larkin. Running from 1969 to 1983 (although the character has been intermittently revisited in the years since with various miniseries and one-shots), the character has a weird origin story which gives an alien twist to the vampire legend. One of the few survivors of an alien race called the Drakulons, Vampirella crash lands on earth in a spaceship and, although she still craves blood, she becomes a ‘good’ vampire. Possessed with blood-sucking vampiric abilities like super-strength, shape-shifting and heightened senses, Vampirella made horror comics sexy.