The 6 Best “Lady” Versions of Male Comic Book Characters
We’re looking at a pretty weird topic today! I don’t think anybody needs to be told that female comic book characters and superheroes haven’t exactly had it easy over the past century. For every Wonder Woman, you’ve got half a dozen heroines who are just derivatives of male heroes. Marvel Comics, especially, doesn’t have many original female characters. Their first big female-led movie is about Captain Marvel, herself a derivative of the original male Captain Marvel.
I did a previous list trying to draw some attention to this idea by showing how few male derivative heroes there were. And now I’ve seized upon a new topic that seems just as silly! Sometimes, when comic writers want to make a new female character, they just make a female version of a previously male character and attach the word “Lady” in front of it. There are plenty of legitimate “Lady” characters like Lady Shiva or Lady Death.
But sometimes, I guess it’s just easier to do it this way. You’re not going to find any “Lad” male heroes anytime soon. But here are 6 “Lady” characters!
6. Lady Blackhawk
Most of this list is going to be from Marvel Comics, but DC does have one entry in this trope. Lady Blackhawk is Zinda Blake, a hot shot WWII pilot who longed to join the all-male team of aerial aces known as the Blackhawks. But no matter how good Zinda was at the stick, it was still the 1940s and the Blackhawks stuck to their “no girls allowed” code. She did eventually become an honorary member, only for comics to get all weird and have her rebooted into a modern day character. Lady Blackhawk was then an integral member of the Birds of Prey, which I would argue is a much better team.
5. Lady Deadpool
How do you make Deadpool more popular? Give him boobs! Lady Deadpool is mostly a joke character, but a fun one nonetheless. She joined Kidpool, Headpool and Dogpool as alternate reality versions of Deadpool in one storyline, but writers went even further by giving Wanda Wilson her own extensive backstory. Something about battling fascists in the U.S. Government, like her universe’s General America. I wasn’t really paying attention. Regardless, she’s essentially Deadpool with boobs, so have at it, everybody!
4. Lady Bullseye
Not content with regular Bullseye? In order to make Daredevil’s life even slightly more troublesome, Marvel brought in Lady Bullseye, who was both a costumed assassin and an attorney! That’s double the trouble! Maki Matsumoto had been kidnapped by the Yakuza as a kid, but when the regular Bullseye killed them all, she was forever infatuated. She eventually grew up, learned martial arts and joined the Hand, intent on taking control of that evil ninja organization. But Daredevil did his superhero thing and that didn’t come to pass, so Lady Bullseye gets to just be a general assassin-for-hire these days.
3. Lady Octopus
Lady Octopus is a personal favorite of mine. She came to power for a short period during Spider-Man’s Clone Saga in the 1990s, when the original Doctor Octopus was temporarily dead. Carolyn Trainer was a student of Otto Octavius, and took up his mantle after he died. She took on Spider-Man and his various clones and — in very ’90s fashion — was really big into virtual reality and cyberspace. And this was back when they called it the “Information Superhighway”. Remember that? Anyway, Lady Octopus faded into the background when the real Doc Ock returned, but she makes the occasional appearance nowadays, mostly as a joke.
2. Lady Mastermind
Here’s a weird one for you. The original Mastermind was a member of both Magneto’s Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Hellfire Club. He was a powerful telepath who mostly used his powers to create illusions for his victims. Mastermind was killed way back in the day, but Marvel apparently wasn’t done with the idea. They have since created two — count ’em, two! — separate daughters with the exact same powers. I’m pretty sure some writer or editor along the line forgot the other daughter existed and created the second one, and then Marvel just decided to roll with their being two of them. Of the two, the one that calls herself Lady Mastermind is the better known. She was even an X-Man for a short period!
1. Lady Stilt-Man
Lady Stilt-Man is the queen of this trope, seeing as how everybody writing her is in on the joke. Lady Stilt-Man? I’m pretty sure every new writer who uses her in their comic makes the same joke. But a mantle is a mantle. Lady Stilt-Man is a two-bit thug with crazy telescoping legs and arms, even wilder than regular Stilt-Man. She’s come up against the likes of Spider-Man, Daredevil and I think even the Black Panther at one point. When regular Stilt-Man isn’t funny enough for your story, Marvel made sure they could do you one better.
Just stop reminding her about her name!