Why it’s awesome: Well, why ISN’T it awesome? Though Thor has always appealed to me (I love Mythology of all kinds) I’ve never been a big Thor reader mostly because I have to make tough choices about what to read for money and time. I’ve started to read the most recent run because it obviously appeals to my interests – i.e. women in comics – and have really been enjoying it so far. But between my affection for Norse mythology generally and my enjoyment of the Thor films (Hemsworth4eva!) I’ve dug Mjolnir for a long time. It has the power to “destroy mountains” (no joke) and just about anything else (so long as it’s not adamantium and vibramium). It can also create force fields, emit blasts of energy, anti-force, thermo-blast, god-blast, and create wind and antimatter particles. It’s also got some cool rarely used stuff like the ability to cause vampires to burst into flames and crumble to dust (watch out Jubilee). Also it’s a hammer so it can just pound the crap out of stuff...that's what hammers do. Oh. And it can travel THROUGH PLANETS to return to Thor. Badass. Then again its name means “The Crusher” or “The Grinder” which is damn brutal for a weapon wielded by a god…and a weapon that demands you be worthy before you pick it up. Worthy of the wielding The Grinder? Yikes!
Fatal Flaw: Not sure it’s a flaw, but it can really break your heart if it finds you no longer worthy and refuses to budge. Then again, that little trick is the best possible insurance that a literal god weapon won’t fall into the wrong hands, something that none of the other weapons on this list manage.
Why it’s awesome: One of the best names for a weapon ever, even on this list full of great names. This weapon is pretty unique on the list in that there’s nothing specific to Alana about this weapon – i.e. this is not Alana’s “signature weapon” or anything, it’s just a weapon she stole and has used a few times, but it’s too cool not to include. A weapon that provides both physical and emotional devastation?! Amazing. That is particularly brutal and thus super cool...assuming you want things to be brutal and we do, because we're talking about weapons here. Alana has used it on Marko, Klara, and Gwendolyn, and even threatened to use it on her daughter Hazel, though her bluff was called on that one. It’s interesting that everyone Alana has used it on thus far (to my knowledge) is someone emotionally connected to her in some way – her husband, her step-mother, her husband’s ex – rather than just being random people. I wonder if that’s just a coincidence? It’s pretty interesting either way.
Fatal Flaw: Doesn’t work on robots!
LASSO OF TRUTH
Owner/Wielder: Wonder Woman
Why it’s awesome: Unbreakable, immutable, and infinitely elastic, the Lasso is highly flexible in what it can do and what it can be about. It can restore lost memories, eliminate illusions, hypnotize, protect from magical attacks, force people to tell the truth, and of course be used to tie people up – it IS a rope after all. Wonder Woman obviously uses the lasso for good, but the truth is that the lasso’s purpose is to allow the wielder to compel those bound by it, which means it is crazy dangerous if it falls into hands that are less than someone like Diana. The Lasso of Truth is one of those great objects that has real myth and mystique to it and it somehow manages to straddle both being this badass weapon often used for violence and also this powerful beacon of justice. Few weapons can handle both those extremes with the same grace as the Lasso of Truth. Also, let’s be real, great weapons need great names, and THE LASSO OF TRUTH is a GREAT name.
Fatal Flaw: In the wrong hands it is a massively dangerous weapon and it can be highly dangerous even for non-villains to use. Artemis, inexperienced with the lasso, once inadvertently drove a man to suicide.
Why it’s awesome: So this is not technically wielded by a woman, but it has a “female persona/sentience” and there are actually several versions of Fantomex (because he has three different brains) and at least one of those brains (and forms in Uncanny X-Force Vol. 2, not my favorite development/execution to be honest) is a woman, so we’ll say E.V.A. is eligible as a weapon, she certainly deserves to be. E.V.A., which generally presents (or used to) as Fantomex’s sentient ship possesses a symbiotic and telepathic relationship to Fantoxmex, and is actually his primary external nervous system. E.V.A. is biomechanical and is both ship and weapon. She’s incredible in that she can both be controlled telepathically by Fantomex as his ship and weapon, but also has the ability to control herself as well when he hands off the control. She can shift her shape into several different forms, control/fly herself, and shoot energy weapons. Having E.V.A. is kind of like getting to be both human and computer (which technically I guess Fantomex is anyway?) but E.V.A. puts a much finer point on it and she looks like an alien.
Fatal Flaw: Though there have been examples of Fantomex not feeling pain or at least being able to better withstand it thanks to E.V.A. being his nervous system, if E.V.A. is injured separate from Fantomex he can feel her pain, which could be a liability.
BLACK WIDOW’S GAUNTLETS
Owner/Wielder: Natasha Romanova/Black Widow
Why they are awesome: Black Widow’s gauntlets are basically a fashionable Bat utility belt. The history on the gauntlets is essentially that a version of them (as bracelets) were designed by the Soviets and they have been upgraded and modified by SHIELD. But my own personal canon is that Natasha long ago started making upgrades and modifications herself. She’s more than clever enough to handle it and she knows best what she needs. The gauntlets include or have included the following: a grappling line/hooks, “widow’s bite,” “widow’s kiss”/knock out gas, explosives, tear gas, radio transmitter/tracking. The gauntlets often feel like an extension of Natasha, they’re as clever and as resourceful as she needs them to be because those are the things Natasha naturally is. One of the best things about Natasha is her ability to not only survive, but to thrive, in a world where most of her closest allies and enemies have far more base power than she does. Writing about Natasha and her gauntlets makes it more clear than ever that Black Widow is basically Marvel’s Batman…annnnd now I also want to write her more than ever.
Fatal Flaw: I don’t own a pair.
What about you? What are some of your favorite weapons? If I hadn’t been making a list of weapons with women wielders I might have included Fables’ Witching Cloak, The Batmobile, Steve Roger’s Captain America Shield, Star Lord’s Helmet, Hellboy’s “Right Hand of Doom,” and if I’d had room Valkyrie’s Dragonfang Sword (made from an extra-dimensional dragon fang. DRAGONS). What about you?
Kelly Thompson is a freelance writer living in Manhattan. She is the author of the superhero novel THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING recently optioned to become a film, and her new novel STORYKILLER is out now. She wrote the graphic novel HEART IN A BOX and is writing IDW’s JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS, and co-writing CAPTAIN MARVEL & THE CAROL CORPS. You can find Kelly all over the place, but twitter may be the easiest: @79semifinalist