Superhero movies may still be largely testosterone-packed features with the likes of Chris Pratt, Ben Affleck, or Hugh Jackman at the helm, but thanks to Patty Jenkins’ runaway success with Wonder Woman, the tides are changing for women in superhero movies. With the confirmed Wonder Woman 2, as well as the likes of Batgirl and Sony’s Silver and Black, women are finally showing us how it should be done. All we need now is that all-female Avengers lineup and we’re good to go!
Outside of cinema, women in comics are just as big as they have ever been as pop culture icons. Away from the constraints of movie studios, the superheroes and villains have been free to kiss, kill or marry whomever they want, and look downright deadly doing it. At the same time, favorites like Wonder Woman and Catwoman continue to walk the line as exemplars of the genre’s aesthetic, as well as acting as feminist icons in their own right. Much more than just ink on the page, the most iconic women of comic books have become inspirations and role models for people around the world. So, here are 15 Fierce Comic Book Pin-Ups from the world of fan art for you to stick on your wall.
15. JEAN GREY
As a fiery addition to the X-Men, Jean Grey has been a fan favorite since she hit the pages of Marvel comics back in 1963. A highly-intelligent member of Xavier’s gifted youngsters, Jean has the looks and the books to match. Out on the field Jean became one of the most stunning women in comic books, not just for her looks but for the way she stunned her enemies with sheer power. Of course, it helps that Famke Janssen helped play a particularly alluring and strong version of the character in the Fox movies.
However, it is Jean’s various Phoenix arcs that have made her even more of an icon. Possessed by the Phoenix Force, Jean was given access to pure cosmic power. While classic versions of Jean feature a full bodysuit like X-Men: The Animated Series, there are corners of the internet that have Jean showcasing a little more pinache. Thanks to Nathan Szerdy‘s pin-up, the sometimes literally flaming redhead is easily the most arresting X-Men ever!
14. HARLEY QUINN
They say that laughter is the key to someone’s heart, which would explain why so many people are obsessed with Harley Quinn. First introduced as a one-off character in the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series, Harley has become one of the best cartoon creations of all time. A pun on her classic harlequin attire, these days, the Clown Princess of Crime has ditched her more conservative red and black outfit from the ’90s in favor of a punchier look.
There have been many looks to Harley, but the character has undergone something of a resurgence thanks to Margot Robbie’s appearance in Suicide Squad and the various proposed sequels/spin-offs thereafter. Both the Bombshells version (above) and Robbie’s are arguably the most sultry, sporting hot pants and a crop top.
13. MARY JANE WATSON
Face it tiger, you hit the jackpot! Showing off the other woman in Peter Parker’s life, Nathan Szerdy focuses on the fierce and fiery Mary Jane Watson. While Gwen Stacy got her Goblin sendoff and the neck-snap noise, MJ has had a lot more to do in the Spiderverse. Mary Jane has undergone several designs over the years, but she is best-known for the girl next door look seen above and in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, when she was portrayed by Kirsten Dunst.
Nzserdy doesn’t go for the updated look from Spider-Man: Homecoming, but instead celebrates that classic design of Watson and her signature flaming red hair. Also sporting her own Spider-suit, perhaps MJ should bring out her own line of Spider-Man apparel for the festive season?
12. BLACK WIDOW
Natasha Romanoff is beautiful and deadly in equal measure. The sensual spy is more than your average Bond girl, making Black Widow just as handy to have around as the rest of the Avengers team. Once working for the Russians, she eventually defected to S.H.I.E.L.D. to live up to her superhero namesake. It doesn’t matter that Romanoff doesn’t boast any superpowers, her fighting prowess and intelligence are more than enough to get her through even the most dangerous of missions.
Romanoff is usually shown squeezed into a little black number, but Donald Hamilton showed her at her pin-up best for his “The Sting of the Widow” pulp cover. Black Widow was already one of the steamiest women in comics; of course, casting someone as beautiful as Scarlett Johansson in the MCU was always going to help. Fans now patiently waiting for that Black Widow movie, but could it be on the cards for Phase 4?
The X-Men have always been known for its sultry superheroes, and the telepath Psylocke is no different. Betsy Braddock was arguably a boring addition to the Captain Britain family until she had her mind placed in a no-nonsense ninja. Check out a cheekier version of Psylocke from randomality85.
Looking perfect in purple, Psylocke is largely defined as being as gorgeous as she is deadly. Her early days may have been rather bland, but reimagined specifically with a new outfit in mind, it would seem wrong for Psylocke to wear anything else nowadays. There are a lot of leotards in the world of comics, but it is easy to argue that Psylocke’s is the best. It looks like purple really is the new black. Olivia Munn’s performance in X-Men: Apocalypse divided critics, but at least Bryan Singer managed to get the costume right. so let’s see if she can do any better in Dark Phoenix.
From Yvonne Craig’s lauded performance in the campy ’60s series to Alicia Silverstone’s maligned “Buttgirl” from Batman & Robin, there have been many iterations of Batgirl over the years. Leaping across the Gotham City skyline in her own cape and cowl. Who doesn’t love it when the Dynamic Duo become the Dynamic Trio?
Sticking with the usual look of Barbara Gordon and her red hair, artist SpicyDonut goes for an ultra-retro look Batgirl, complete with old-school Batmobile for good measure. Honestly, no matter how she looks — be it the classic look, a Bombshell version or her more modern threads — Batgirl is the pinnacle of panache! Let’s see how Joss Whedon fairs when he brings Babs to the silver screen in her very own solo movie to compete with the likes of Wonder Woman.
9. SUE STORM
This is one Blonde Bombshell who you hope won’t be turning herself invisible, even though that’s her whole powerset. Pulled from the pages of Marvel’s Fantastic Four storylines, Sue Storm holds the honor of being part of the first-ever comic book superhero team and being a feminist icon for us all to look up to. Alongside Reed Richards, Ben Grimm and her own brother, Sue has been a major part of Marvel fandom since 1961.
Swapping comic books for fashion mags, Stephen Langmead gives Sue a typically understated look with a touch of class. As an homage to her earliest days, Langmead is going back to the start to show just how beautiful the only female member of the Fantastic Four is. But, who wore it better, this Sue or Jessica Alba?
Casting a spell over us all, the magical and mysterious Zatanna sure knows how to rock that Dita Von Teese look here. While magicians may not be the most obvious sex symbols, Zatanna is anything but Professor McGonagall. As the daughter of Golden Age character Giovanni Zatara, Zatanna has settled in as a popular member of the DC universe and even the Justice League.
Picking up where her father left off, Zatanna’s costume is actually based on her father’s, except hers features fishnet stockings and high heels, something that Giovanni definitely wasn’t into. The New 52 reboot gave her a covered look, although Zatanna was seen putting on her classic costume for stage shows. While she is yet to make it into a live-action movie, CW’s Smallville did get Zatanna right by casting the equally magical Serinda Swan.
7. EMMA FROST
Talk about a cold reception — the Hellfire Club’s Emma Frost is as hard and her sometimes-diamond skin. The White Queen was basically designed to be a formidable female powerhouse, and Marvel has never skimped on her visual appeal. There are few character’s that are known for their physical appearance more than Frost is, but don’t let her pretty face fool you into thinking that she isn’t a force to be reckoned with. In fact, she is so famous, DC artist Bruce Timm even turned his hand to creating his own pin-up version of her (above).
From outright villain to anti-hero status and key member of the team, Frost has had one of the best redemptive storylines in comics. January Jones’ performance in X-Men: First Class wasn’t exactly anything special, but the swinging ’60s look of Frost was incredible — fur trim and all. Jones’ outfit may not quite have been the Frank Quitely redesign for the character, but physics probably would’ve have allowed that on our screens.
6. POISON IVY
With poison quite literally running through her veins, Dr. Pamela Isley has been a thorn in the side of Batman since her introduction in 1966. Using her beauty to kill, is there actually anyone in comic books who can use their sex appeal to such an advantage. Plus, let’s not even start on her complicated friendship with Harley and Ivy. The two wicked women make one of the best power couples out there.
Talk about haveing a green thumb, Ivy makes you want to look at saving the planet in a whole different light. She has various outfit changes over the years, but perhaps Ivy at her sexist was her vine-covered look in Rocksteady’s Arkham games. Whoever nabs the part of Ivy in Gotham City Sirens, you just know David Ayer is going to try and give us her most sultry look to date.
5. BLACK CAT
Forget Peter Parker’s assumption of being the nerd who isn’t a hit with the ladies, the masked hero sure gets some attractive women throwing themselves at him. Away from Gwen and MJ, Felicia Hardy’s Black Cat is easily the sultriest women to cross paths with Web-Head. Artist Des Taylor also gave her a retro ’40s look to go with her crime spree persona. In her slinky cat burglar outfit — and with that contrasting white hair — Felicia is positively purrfect.
With Felicia’s mother pushing her to be the very best at everything, it made her the best gymnast and cheerleader in school, as well as apparently being well-versed with the opposite sex. She was originally just your standard burglar, until Hardy struck a deal with Kingpin for agility and the power of bad luck. Since then, there has been no stopping Black Cat as a master of disguise and seduction. Who can’t wait for her to mask up for Silver and Black?
There’s no need to feel blue when you are Raven Darkholme. Mystique may have struggled to fit in during her childhood, but the blue-skinned quasi-hero has made quite a name for herself in Marvel comics and beyond. With that blue tinge and those yellow eyes, Raven cuts a stunning look. Of course, even though she can snap your neck in a heartbeat, also remember that Mystique is a mother as well.
The character was always popular, but her inclusion in Fox’s X-verse has made her one of the best-loved X-Men characters around. Jennifer Lawrence is the biggest name to put on the prosthetics, but she isn’t a patch on Rebecca Romijn’s performance and that pulse-racing redesign in the first three X-Men movies. Artist Sabtastic shows off her slightly curvier side, aa look the ravishing Raven wears very well!
3. WONDER WOMAN
Part feminist icon, part sex symbol, Diana of Themyscira is arguably the best-known warrior woman in comics. With the muscles and brains, the amazing Amazonian has become a major part of Justice League to show the men how it’s done. Powerful in so more ways than one, Wonder Woman also has the honor of being one of the cover girls for Ms. magazine. Jaisamp has drawn her here in their own sultry interpretation of Wonder Woman’s Bombshells days.
Another hardened heroine with a convoluted history, Wonder Woman is now known for Gal Gadot’s thankfully redeeming entry into Batman v Superman, as well as Patty Jenkins’ superb Wonder Woman. Spinning her lasso again for Justice League, Gadot’s Diana has cemented herself as the center of the DCEU.
Sure, the other X-Men we have mentioned have their own enormous fanbases, but there’s just something special about the presence of Storm. Who could possibly forget Ororo Monroe? Thankfully, if it is Halle Berry’s movie version, most of us can. However, in the comics and world of fan art, Storm has remained a popular figurehead of Charles Xavier’s gifted youngsters.
Stephen Langmead again draws another powerful female of from the comics, this time showing off Storm’s unharnessed power without being too salacious. With her live-action portrayals still struggling to show her as a wonderful addition to the X-Men, Munroe, in both the animated versions and her various comic book storylines, has proven to be a powerful goddess with an inspiring ability to lead, often by example.
You simply can’t put the words sultry and comic book together without immediately thinking of Selina Kyle. From the camp ’60s TV show with Eartha Kitt to Anne Hathaway’s biker girl, Catwoman has been through more outfit changes than most. However, many hold a soft spot for Ms. Kyle thanks to Michelle Pfeiffer’s lauded PVC performance in Batman Returns. Pfeiffer’s unhinged secretary Selina was so popular, Warner Bros. was once planning her own spin-off. Patty Arroyo‘s drawing channels some serious Pfeiffer here and an iconic Catwoman look.
Far more than just a damsel in distress like Vicki Vale, or another tame love interest for Batman, Catwoman has gone on to crack her whip at sexism in her impressive 77-year history. Sure, there may have been some raunchy outfits that went too far, but she is arguably the best comic book pin-up you could ask for.
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