There are so many heroines out there that fit in this category and its impossible not to love their attitude and their “shoot first, talk later” ways.
It’s so easy to let yourself live vicariously through these women and let yourself get lost in their adventure and their seemingly fearlessness. I say seemingly because the reason I actually am able to love and relate to them is the fact that they are flawed and scared, and despite that they still go out and kick-ass, which in my eyes is what makes them so brave.
Some of my favorites are:
Anita Blake, Allie Beckstorm, Cat Crawfield (Night Huntress Series), Kitty Norville, Kate Daniels, Jaz Parks, Sirantha Jax, Rachel Morgan, Sasha Trudeau (Crimson Moon Series), Xhex and many, many more!
What about you?
* What makes a Heroine, Kick-ass in your book?
* Who are some of your favorites?
For me a kick-ass character is someone who usually wins physical fights. She’s a martial artist, mistress of the blade, or the best gunslinger around. Usually, she also doesn’t take crap from anyone. Also, plot- and character wise she can’t be a victim, hostage, or a liability. In other words, she’s competent in her job. If the reader or audience is constantly told that a character is competent but has to be rescued all the time, she’s not kick-ass.
However, in order to be a heroine she has to be smart, defend the helpless and the innocent, and fight for a noble cause.
The first kick-ass heroines that come to my mind are from movies and TV:
Sarah Connor from Terminator 2, Xena, Buffy, Trinity and Niobe from the Matrix movies, Zoe from Firefly, and of course Ellen Ripley from Alien.
There are also a lot of kick-ass heroines in comics. Sadly, some writers write them as victims, though, so their kick-ass ability is more flexible:
She-Hulk, Binary/Warbird/Ms. Marvel, Rogue, Storm, Big Barda, Hawkwoman, Black Canary, Elektra…
Perhaps I read the wrong books but I just can’t find as many kick-ass heroines in books. Most of the time they just don’t seem to be very smart.
Steven Brust writes perhaps the most kick-ass women around: Sethra Lavode is the most powerful person in her world and she’s definitely kick-ass. Sadly, many of the other Dragaeran characters lack in the smarts or noble cause department and so they can’t really be heroes or heroines.
Kristine Smith’s Jani Killian is a former military and she has a lot of street smarts because she’s been on the run from her government for a long time.
My current favorites: Sarah Connor, Xena, Buffy, Sethra Lavode, Storm, Rogue, Jani Killian