My Favourite Pop Culture's Badass Heroines

Sydney Bristow
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that perpetually preggo/low-key mom Jennifer Garner first won our hearts as the hyper-alert, latex-clad CIA operative and SD-6 double agent on Alias. Sure, in later seasons the plotlines were harder to follow than one of the show's fabled Rambaldi codes, but audiences rooted for Round Kick Queen Sydney Bristow no matter what risqué disguise or mission she was assigned. It was almost enough to forgive Elektra — almost.
Secret weapons: Wigs, foreign languages, martial arts, whatever gadget Marshall invented that week

Brenda Walsh
This Minnesota-raised twin braved the halls of West Beverly sans the designer labels armor of her richie-rich classmates. Known for her excellent bitchiness, Shannen Doherty's iconic '90s character on 90210 is a survivor of Flower Pot Smashing Love (see: her epic fight with Dylan), a breast cancer scare and — horror of horrors — wearing the same dress to the spring fling as Kelly (who later stole the aforementioned boyfriend). No matter what the drama — be it being robbed at gunpoint at the Peach Pit to eloping with a drug dealer or simply fighting her curfew — this was the one Walsh no one dared mess with (both on-and-off the set).
Secret weapons: Teen angst, perfect bangs, impersonating older (and sometimes French) women, manipulation

Daria Morgendorffer
MTV's monotoned, acerbic animated wonder Daria Morgendorffer raged against stereotypes, social classes and the requisite mean-girl cliques on the battlefield of Lawndale High School with her refreshingly realistic take on the jungles of teendom with every pointed quip she unleashed on the TV show, Daria. She's so delectably dry, it's as if Janeane Garofalo and Dorothy Parker had a kilt-wearing baby together.
Secret weapons: Vicious rhetoric, steel-toe combat boots, grade-point average

Jordan O'Neill
Sorry Sinead, but as a rookie trainee in GI Jane, Demi Moore's the only shaved head we can sign off on. Between the one-armed pushups, weathering hell-week and later keeping a cool head in a tense Libya hostage situation, this navy SEAL trainee gave as good as she got, even sticking it to corrupt politico Anne Bancroft. Still not sure women make good soldiers? As this brazen lieutenant told her sexist commander: "Suck my d**k."
Secret weapons: Combat training, obstacle courses, water-boarding

Lara Croft
This video game vixen got her big-screen chops with the introduction of Angelina Jolie in the big screen adaptation of Tomb Raider. An archaeologist/adventurer with perfectly plaited hair and pistol-packing short-shorts (which could rival her recent Oscars gown in the gams-sharing department), this wealthy crypt-creeping goddess was out to save the world one rare artifact at a time.
Secret weapons: Backflips, jet skis, rope swinging, martial arts training

Lisbeth Salander
This motorcycle-riding, computer-hacking genius from the global sensation The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books and movies (Rooney Mara) may look like your goth friend from middle school, but this asocial loner has an uncanny (often illegal) knack for tracking down men who abuse women and punishing them by any means necessary. Always letting her freak flag fly, the prickly, morally-ambiguous misfit has been both a victim and a heroine — and despite her sometimes questionable methods, we wouldn't want her any other way.
Secret weapons: Photographic memory, disguises, computers, home tattoo kits

The Bride
Uma Thurman's ass-kicking, lemon jumpsuit wearing, martial arts mamma Beatrix Kiddo, aka The Bride, in Quentin Tarantino's two-part epic action thriller, Kill Bill brought a whole new meaning to "Here Comes the Bride." An unstoppable assassin, after four hours of clutch-your-seat suspense and bloody-soaked revenge, her surprise "Five-Point Palm Exploding Heart" technique finally brought her the justice she sougt.
Secret weapons: Five-point exploding heart technique, sword play, killer soundtrack

Wonder Woman
This well-accessorized superhero from the DC Comic books is actually an Amazon warrior princess on a mission to bring the ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the (it figures) hatred of men. With her high-soaring leaps, superhuman strength and star-spangled satin hotpants that would make Katy Perry green with envy, Lynda Carter (Bang! Pow! Wow!) was our first legit girl crush — and some of us still have the Underoos to prove it.
Secret weapons: Indestructible cuffs, lasso of truth, spinning, flight (with or without her invisible, lucite-like plane)

Via Marie Claire
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