There are a lot of beautiful people in comic books. Heroes and villains alike are drawn to look absolutely stunning and for the most part, it’s just the way the artists decided to depict them. Sometimes, however, these characters are meant to look impossibly gorgeous because they wield that beauty like a weapon. While there are a few bombshell heroes who might have done that, beauty as a weapon is most commonly seen wielded by seductive villains, playing with the heartstrings and loins of the men and women around them like mere playthings.
It makes sense, of course. After all, if you were after something as monumental as global destruction or control, you’d use every advantage you had. It worked out relatively well for quite a few villains, as you’ll see below. There’s nothing wrong with using good looks to charm your way through life, it is wrong to use those good looks to ultimately try and destroy humanity or conquer it, as these infamous 15 villains did. We will of course include the more obvious villains like Poison Ivy and Mystique, since they often leave their seductive qualities in plain sight, but we’ll also show you those who use their beauty in more subtle, though equally harmful, ways.
15. ELEKTRA (SKRULL)
The Skrulls had a program for Super Skrulls for the purposes of invading Earth. One of these Super Skrulls was Pagon, who masqueraded as Elektra, who the Skrulls had covertly detained. Each Skrull has to truly become their target in order to avoid detection by things like technological scanners or magic. Even Wolverine’s senses couldn’t tell them apart from the real thing. In order to maintain his cover, Pagon had to literally use Elektra’s looks.
Using Elektra’s form, he took over the hand and even managed to persuade Daredevil that he was Elektra Natchios, the woman Matt Murdock loved and had him healed by the Hand, the notorious organization of ninja assassins which Pagon was leading. Even in Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix, Elektra is shown as a killing machine, using her looks to seduce Matt to become a member of the Chaste, though he ultimately resists her since she seems too reckless and morally grey for him.
14. POISON IVY
Pamela Isley has had her origin revised a few times. Her Post-Crisis origin has her as a shy, botanical biochemistry student who was seduced by her professor, Jason Woodrue. He used her for a twisted experiment, injecting her with various plant toxins, through which he was able to create a plant-human hybrid: Poison Ivy, one of the deadliest villains in Batman’s rogues’ gallery.
Since becoming that confident eco-terrorist, she regularly uses her beauty and pheromones to seduce and control people, most of whom tend to feel an intense love for her. In this way, she was able to take control in Detective Comics Vol 2 #15 (written by John Layman, artwork by Jason Fabok and others). No one can resist her. She was even able to take control of Superman in Batman Vol 6 #611 (written by Jeph Loeb, illustrated by Jim Lee and more).
Raven Darkholme is a mutant with the ability to shapeshift into anyone she wants. It’s impossible to determine how old she actually is thanks to her abilities, but we do know that she’s at least as old as Wolverine, if not older. You’d have to assume, given that the world has historically been unkind to women, that someone like Raven Darkholme would use every asset to get ahead. And more power to her, really!
We saw that in Wolverine Vol 3 #62 (written by Jason Aaron, art by Ron Garney and more), when she used her natural beauty and charm to seduce Logan and draw him into her gang of bandits, a gang she then betrayed so she could walk away with all the loot they’d collected. While the expected reaction would be disgust, you’d be forgiven for being slightly impressed as well. It was the old west and she proved that, even without her powers, she’s a survivor.
With her wide skill set, Selina Kyle has become an accomplished cat burglar. She’s incredibly flexible, undeniably stealthy and highly trained in several martial art styles. She’s a match for any of Gotham City’s costumed crusaders, including the dark knight himself, with whom she famously has quite an unstable relationship.
Sexuality is not something Selina hides from, though. She flaunts her beauty and curves, partly because flirting dangerously like that is clearly fun for her but oftentimes because she knows it distracts her opponents from her true intents, allowing her to make a smooth getaway. It’s how she’s often depicted. Just look at her character in The Dark Knight Rises (directed by Christopher Nolan) and how she made her escape with a congressmen using her looks alone. Let’s see Batman do that!
11. EMMA FROST
This powerful psychic generally appears scantily clad and there’s a reason for that. She wears her sexuality proudly and flaunts her beauty with confidence. It supposedly gives her a psychological edge but let’s not get into that. We’re talking about how she uses her beauty to get under a man’s skin.
There are few adaptations of her actually using her sexuality as obviously as she did in X-Men: First Class (directed by Matthew Vaughn), when she used her telepathy to keep the Soviet General occupied with an illusion… for some reason. In the comics, she’s been able to rise to incredible power with both her unmatched telepathic abilities, as well as her undeniably good looks, as we see in her origin story as depicted in X-Men Origins: Emma Frost (written by Valerie D’Orazio, illustrated by Karl Moline and more).
10. HARLEY QUINN
Harleen Quinzel was a brilliant gymnast and psychiatrist whose downfall came when she was introduced to the Joker. After the sessions she had with him, she became entranced and drawn into his madness until one day she freed him and left her old life to become his Harley Quinn.
Harley may act like a harmless loon but don’t be fooled. She’s deadly and at times almost as crazy as (or crazier than) her Mr. J. She does have one thing Joker doesn’t: an ability to effortlessly seduce people, as she did with Deadshot to make Joker jealous in Batman: Assault on Arkham (directed by Jay Oliva and Ethan Spaulding), which leads Joker to threaten Lawton when he escapes. It doesn’t end well for Mr. J, but it’s not as if he’d really care.
9. TALIA AL GHUL
Batman has developed quite a few unstable relationships in his time as the dark knight detective; something to discourage workplace romances. Sometimes he really should know better. Take his relationship with Talia Al Ghul, daughter of the Demon’s Head; something that was adapted to film in The Dark Knight Rises with its essential points intact.
In the past, she’s used her beauty to help further her father’s schemes and while the romance between her and Bruce was genuine, it didn’t stop her from using his feelings to manipulate him, as we see in Batman #232 (written by Dennis O’Neil, illustrated by Neal Adams and more). In that particular story, it was revealed that she’d essentially been spying on Bruce for her father and the leader of the League of Assassins, Ra’s Al Ghul.
8. BLACK CAT
Felicia has undergone numerous changes throughout her career as the notorious Black Cat. She used to be more of a friend to Spider-Man but in recent years has made changes for the worse, driven toward vengeance against Spidey for his behavior back when Otto Octavius had taken control of Parker’s body.
She’s often depicted as passively using her beauty in fights and in social settings. There are few better examples than her depiction in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, in which she constantly uses a man’s attraction to her advantage. First it was Peter Parker for his intellect, then Michael Morbius in order to make Peter jealous (though she did end up genuinely falling in love with him later on). She knows she’s attractive and just like any other tool, she knows just how to use it.
Top Cow Productions’, Madame Mirage, stars a superhero fighting supervillains continuing their lives of crime under the guise of a corporation called Aggressive Solutions International. ASI is a PR firm, covertly offering services such as assassinations. One such villain involved is the ridiculously stunning Gwen Summers, better known as Aphrodisiac.
Being a knock-out isn’t really one of her superpowers, but being able to “kick a victim’s pheromones into overdrive” and compel others, including Madame Mirage herself, to suddenly become wildly attracted to her, as she did in her first appearance in Madame Mirage #4 (written by Paul Dini, art by Kenneth Rocafort and more) is. Unluckily for her, Madame Mirage was more than prepared. Still, Aphrodisiac’s abilities were powerful enough to make Mirage a little more cautious.
Among the Asgardians, Amora ranks among the most beautiful. She’s had a long history with Thor and the Asgardian royal family. Odin once sent her to remove Jane Foster from his son’s life before exiling Amora for working for Loki. Her natural beauty has been enhanced by magic, the same that allows her to turn any man into her thrall with just a kiss.
She doesn’t always need to use that magic, though. Her charm was enough to keep Skurge the Executioner under her control for a long time. He fought all manner of foe for her, including the Avengers. Speaking of which, Enchantress has always wanted Thor and was even able to briefly enslave him in Avengers #7 (written by Stan Lee, art by Jack Kirby and more).
5. SELENE (THE BLACK QUEEN)
The inner circle of the Hellfire Club consists of several immortals, one of them being Selene, the Black Queen. She’s been around for thousands of years and has had time to master every essential skill in her quest for power. She wasn’t always the Black Queen, though. After all, you need to be cunning, patient and powerful in order to earn a place among the inner circle.
Even with all that power, though, it’s not usually necessary, she will try to use her beauty to get ahead. Take, for instance, the time she attempted to seduce Juggernaut in Uncanny X-Men #183 (written by Chris Claremont, illustrated by John Romita Jr. among others) so she could kill him. Luckily for Cain, Wolverine was there to start a bar fight, ruining Selene’s plan that night.
4. BLACK WIDOW (PETRA)
Through their training in the Red Room, each Black Widow learns how to use every skill and asset they have to become the world’s most lethal female spy. Each spy received enhancements that augmented their strength and slowed the aging process, allowing them to retain their youthful appearances. Petra had none of these things, but after so long pretending to be a Black Widow in order to satisfy her clients’ fetishes, she came to believe that she really was one of them.
She became violent and like a Black Widow, used everything she had in an attempt to steal the title from Yelena Belova in Black Widow: Pale Little Spider #2 (written by Greg Rucka, art by Igor Kordey), including her beauty, which she used in order to get close to Detective Golitsyn, so she could murder him.
The Teen Titans once allowed Tara Markov into their team. She was quite a young girl who won the heart of Garfield Logan, better known as Beast Boy. They had a brief relationship that ended when it was revealed in Tales of the Teen Titans #42 (written by Marv Wolfman, art by George Perez and more) that she was working for Deathstroke the whole time.
She used Beast Boy’s infatuation with her to work her way into the Titans so that their arch-nemesis could take them down one by one. Controversially, it was also revealed that she’d been maintaining an illicit affair with Deathstroke since she was a much younger lady. Her manipulations scarred Beast Boy and left him cold and unwilling to give Terra II a chance later on.
2. SPIDER-WOMAN (CHARLOTTE WITTER)
Several women have taken on the title of Spider-Woman. There was Jessica Drew, Julia Carpenter, Mattie Franklin and Charlotte Witter. Unlike the others, Charlotte was not a hero. In fact, she was quite literally a monster. She appears in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 2 #5 (written by Howard Mackie, illustrated by John Byrne and more), revealed to have been created by Otto Octavius as part of a plan to rid the world of all spider-based heroes, most importantly, Spider-Man.
Charlotte feeds on human blood and is seen using the powers she’s absorbed, including Jessica Drew’s pheromones to hunt down past business associates in Spider-Woman Vol 3 #1 (written by John Byrne, artwork by Bart Sears and more), where she’s able to easily entrance Spider-Man just as he enters the fray.
1. STACY X/RIPCORD
Miranda Leevald was a mutant with the ability to control pheromones and with them either induce nausea or sexual pleasure. Her mutation also caused her skin to become scaly and almost reptilian, though that didn’t stop people from falling hard for her looks after just one touch.
As far as villainy goes, Stacy-X wasn’t all that evil. She was really just trying to survive. While under the employ of the X-Ranch, she used her pheromone powers to please the wealthy clientele. It changed when the Church of Humanity attacked. Luckily for Miranda, the X-Men were there to save her. She joined them and for a while, did some good with her powers. Unfortunately, because of her inability to let go of her old life, she left the X-Men.
Who else do you think tends to use their beauty like a weapon? Tell us in the comments!
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