When it comes to kicking ass on TV, the women were out in full force in 2015. Ranging from ladies adapted from page to screen to ladies that we wish were on page so we’d have something to pass the time over hiatus, this past year was a good time to see heroines in action. Of course, there are more ways to be a prominent character than to awesomely pummel bad guys, but watching women more than holding their own against zombies and aliens was super satisfying all around. Who says that the girls can’t keep up with the boys?
Check out our list of 10 particularly kick-ass ladies of 2015.
Peggy Carter, Agent Carter
Peggy Carter may have been introduced to audiences as Captain America’s love interest in Captain America: The First Avenger, but she came into her own as the lead in her own ABC series in early 2015. As a government agent in the 1940s, Peggy was a lone woman among an office full of men who thought her only good for fetching coffee and answering phones. Peggy turned their expectations around and spent most of the first season kicking ass and taking names to clear Howard Stark’s name while the other agents followed false lead after false lead. She may not have gotten the credit that she deserved at the end, but she did get a second season to do it all again in 2016.
Anne Bonny, Black Sails
Some characters may get kick-ass cred just for being pirates, but Anne Bonny of Starz’ Black Sails more than earns the title on her own. A female pirate operating out of the Bahamas in the 1700s, she carries a pair of swords and wears a permanent glare. She’s willing to cut down just about any enemy who stands in her way. In fact, her introduction on Black Sails in Season 1 saw her killing a man in a tavern. While it’s difficult to call her a hero, she’s a pirate through and through, and what’s more incredible than a female pirate?
Jane Doe, Blindspot
One of the newest hardass female characters on television is Jane Doe of NBC’s Blindspot. After waking up naked in Times Square with no memory of who she is or how she got there, the tattoos covering her body lead her to the FBI. Latent abilities began to surface as her past as a special ops agent comes to light, and the question of whether or not she was a bad guy in the past lingers over her search for identity. Not only is Jane great in her action sequences, but actress Jaimie Alexander is the coolest just for dealing with all of the false tattoos applied all over her body for the series.
Brienne Of Tarth, Game Of Thrones
Brienne of Tarth may be a lady by birth, but she’s more of a knight than most of the men called “ser” on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Complete with sword, armor, and squire, Brienne spent 2015 traversing through Westeros and fulfilling vows as best she could. Determined to protect the daughter of Catelyn Stark despite Sansa’s protests, Brienne followed Sansa to Winterfell. In a stroke of luck, she happened upon Stannis Baratheon and was able to finally avenge the death of her beloved Renly by cutting down the brother who had him killed (presumably). Let it not be said that Brienne could ever be called “oathbreaker,” and watching her slice and dice her way to Winterfell was fantastic.
Jessica Jones, Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones was the first female Marvel super-powered hero to headline her own successful series in recent years, and it was just about impossible not to binge-watch the series quickly on Netflix. Although Daredevil paved the way for Marvel on the streaming service, Jessica Jones more than stands on its own thanks to the awesomeness that was Jessica Jones herself in her first season. Traumatized by her experiences with nemesis Kilgrave, Jessica nevertheless fought against her own PTSD as well as Kilgrave’s powers of mind control to epically take him down. Although there’s no official word on a second season, we'll still be able to see Jessica kick some ass on The Defenders and beyond.
Alex Parrish, Quantico
Alex Parrish is another kick-ass female character new to TV in 2015. As the lead character on ABC’s Quantico, she is a top recruit at the FBI Academy falsely suspected of committing a terrorist attack. Between her skills as a problem solver and her proficiency with weapons, she’s a formidable force who is trying to uncover who has framed her and figure out how she can clear her name. Between the flashbacks and present action, Alex is one of the most compelling characters on television, as well as one of the most skilled agents, thanks to that FBI training.
Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead
The past 12 months has been a solid time for the ladies on The Walking Dead to show off just how badass they can be. While Rick was busy creepily flirting with a housewife and Daryl was busy moping, Carol adapted to life in Alexandria so perfectly that it’s somewhat surprising that she has not yet declared herself queen and been accepted. Trading in her bloody travel duds for sweater sets and cookie recipes, Carol played the role of a harmless domestic while gathering intel on how best to stage a coup d’etat in Alexandria. As terrifyingly ruthless while clean and chirpy in Alexandria as she was with a machine gun at Terminus, Carol was essential to Rick and Co. effectively taking over the settlement.
Kara Danvers, Supergirl
Kara Danvers on CBS’ Supergirl gave DC its first female protagonist on television in recent years, and she’s been a fantastic leading lady. Her action sequences are unlike any others on television as she uses everything from flight to superspeed to freeze breath to take down aliens who crash-landed on Earth and are now threatening humankind. Despite frequent mentions of her off-screen cousin Superman, Supergirl has been able to stand on her own as she grows from girl who happens to be an alien with powers to superhero in her own right.
Lagertha of History’s Vikings is about as remarkable as they come. Rising from her position at the start of the series as what amounted to the Viking version of a housewife, the shieldmaiden elevated herself through the ranks of powerful characters. Not content to sit idly by while her husband took a second wife, she divorced the lead character, married an earl, killed the earl, and took his rank for herself. Although her earldom was usurped, there can be no doubt that Lagertha will have her vengeance before too long. Besides, any woman who can twist her hair into those braids is automatically kick-ass.
Michonne, The Walking Dead
Carol wasn’t the only woman taking names on The Walking Dead in Alexandria. Michonne insisted that they stay in a place with a certain degree of safety and then blossoming when named a constable was great to see. Arguably the most stable of the group to join the settlement, Michonne adapted to life without losing her edge… or her skills with a katana. There are few things as satisfying on The Walking Dead as watching Michonne slice and dice her way through a horde of zombies, and Season 6 has given her plenty of zombie action to make up for the episodes of Season 5 that saw her sword up on the wall.
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Resident of One Chicago, Bachelor Nation, and Cleveland. Has opinions about crossovers, Star Wars, and superheroes. Will not time travel.
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