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Top 10 Badass Women in the MCU

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Script written by Mark Sammut These are the most badass women in the MCU! For this list, we’ll be going over 10 of the most badass women from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, spanning the television shows and the films. Just a head’s up, there may be spoilers ahead. We’ve included women like Wanda Miximoff/Scarlett Witch, Peggy Carter, Elektra Natchios, Claire Temple, Hela, Melinda May / The Cavalry and Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow.

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Top 10 Badass Women in the MCU

These are some marvelously badass women. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 badass women in the MCU.

For this list, we’ll be going over 10 of the most badass women from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, spanning the television shows and the films. Just a head’s up, there may be spoilers ahead.

#10: Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch

An Avenger with telekinetic and telepathic abilities, Wanda Maximoff may not have had much screen time in the MCU, but she’s definitely made an impact. While her powers are admittedly cool, her journey has also been a fascinating one, with her developing from an antagonist seeking revenge to a heroine who seeks to protect the world. Maximoff’s struggles to deal with the death of her brother and her fear of how others perceive her also make her relatable. While her limited appearances keep her from being higher on our list, the fact that we haven’t seen more of Scarlet Witch has us seeing red.

#9: Hela

Odin’s firstborn and Thor and Loki’s elder sister, Hela is the Asgardian goddess of death. After escaping her imprisonment, she sets out to take her place on Asgard’s throne and is willing to kill anyone and everyone to get what she wants, and she has the power to back it up, mowing through a whole army with ease and even proving herself stronger than all the heroes; only being defeated (presumably) by another villain. Possessing a wicked, iconic look and a dark sense of humor, Hela is a badass villainess whose infamy we hope to see continue.

#8: Elektra Natchios

A bloodthirsty assassin and the ex-girlfriend of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Elektra Natchios has a complex history with the blind hero – she brings out his darker nature, while he sees the good in her. Killed and then resurrected into a superhuman weapon for the Hand organization, Elektra is fiercely independent and resists being told who she is or what she should do, which is part of what leads to her takeover of the Hand. Elektra’s excellent fighting skills, her tragic romance with Murdock, and her struggle with her identity make her very compelling to watch and a definite badass in our book.

#7: Claire Temple

Being a badass doesn’t always mean being a fighter. Claire Temple is a nurse who encounters and helps several superheroes in New York City. While she does learn self-defense and has fought off thugs and ninjas alike, Claire’s strength lies in her bravery and her drive to help people. Her attempts at healing superheroes reveal her ability to think outside the box and she also manages to help inspire powered people when they need motivation. Claire may not be able to fight toe to toe with some of our other entries, but that doesn’t mean she’s afraid to, as she’s got tremendous guts.

#6: Peggy Carter

Talk about being ahead of the times! Peggy Carter was a secret agent and a classic MCU ass kicker, during decades when women were discouraged from showing off how much ass they can kick. After her service in World War II, wherein she aided and fell for Captain America, Agent Carter went on to make headway in fighting unusual threats and paving the way for SHIELD, which she helped found. Her death (as well as the cancellation of her show) are tragic losses for the MCU.

#5: Melinda May / The Cavalry

Phil Coulson’s right-hand woman and an ace pilot, Melinda May is basically a one-woman army, which helped give her the nickname, the Cavalry. Whether she’s fighting thugs or her own evil twin, her fights are among the best “Agents of SHIELD” has to offer. Notoriously stoic and sarcastic, May’s still waters run deep and her devotion to her friends and teammates is unquestionable. Although we considered choosing May’s protégé Skye/Daisy Johnson, whose quake powers make her stronger than some Avengers for the list, ultimately, we felt that the master outmatched the student in May’s case.

#4: Gamora

The second assassin to make our list, Gamora was trained since childhood to be a powerful fighter. The one doing the training however was her adopted father, Thanos, who pitted her against her foster sister, Nebula to make them stronger. Upon forming the ragtag group of criminals and outcasts known as the Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora has become a much more heroic person, seeking to defeat her omnicidal father and reaching out to her bitter sister. While all of the Guardians are formidable in battle, Gamora is arguably the most dangerous, since she’s the most focused, as she’s the perennial straight woman to the others’ antics.

#3: Shuri

There are a plethora of badass women in “Black Panther,” but instead of a more traditional one like Wakandan general Okoye, we elected to go with Shuri. King T’Challa’s younger sister, Shuri is more than just a princess. Possessing a technical genius that rivals or exceeds Tony Stark’s, Shuri has designed some of Wakanda’s coolest gadgets, including Black Panther’s slick nanosuit. She’s also handy at using them herself, both remotely and directly. Best of all though, Shuri’s irreverent personality and sense of humor make her an absolute treat to watch.

#2: Jessica Jones

New York’s hardest fighting and hardest drinking private investigator, Jessica Jones may be super, with both powerful strength and leaping abilities, but she struggles with the hero part. Jessica has personal issues aplenty and is not exactly a people person; frequently making self-destructive decisions. But, when the chips are down, Jessica still tries to do the right thing, and her attempts to confront her demons make her very relatable; as she manages to move forward, despite the impact her previous traumas have had on her.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Misty Knight


Dinah Madani

#1: Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow

Natasha Romanoff, better known as Black Widow, has arguably been the most prominent female lead in the MCU thus far, despite lacking a solo movie, and it’s a spot she deserves. A former SHIELD agent, spy, and ex-assassin with a fascinating, if little-explored backstory, Black Widow is also an Avenger and manages to battle against the high level threats they face with a combination of her signature fighting style, firearms, and sometimes various gadgets. Black Widow is a badass through and through and one of our favorite women of the MCU.

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