We have taken advantage of the release of Birds of Prey and the phantasmorgorical rebirth of Harley Quinn at the cinema to create an overview of the women who have made a name for themselves for their malice or madness in Marvel and DC comics and films. Beautiful, lethal and intelligent, here is the list of villains who for us have well and truly entered into the collective imagination.
Harley Quinn: beautiful and eccentric
Let’s start with Harley Quinn. Created by Paul Dimi and Bruce Timm for the Batman television series, she managed to achieve a prominent position in the comics and then on the big screen. Inextricably linked to the Joker, the character of Harley Francis Quincel starts as a psychiatrist at the Gotham asylum where she meets the Joker and falls in love with him. She will become his partner in crime until, once abandoned, she realises that it is now too late to escape the dark side. On the big screen the character is somewhat changed, but what does not change is her indisputable madness.
Catwoman: complex and obscure
Catwoman’s character is extremely complex. It would be too restrictive to simply deem her either good or bad. On several occasions we have seen the character switch from baddie to heroine, depending on the situation she finds herself in. Selina Kyle’s story begins as a young thief on the run from her orphanage, and evolves into the fascinating and controversial character that everyone recognises as Batman’s female foe.
Mystique: mysterious and lethal
Not much is known about Mystique‘s backstory, which has been shrouded in mystery since she first appeared. The character, whose superpower is precisely that of being able to change her identity, makes her appearance in the Marvel world as the new leader of the mutant brotherhood and remains a permanent member of the X-Men. Mysterious, deadly and ambiguous: Mystique has all the features that any self-respecting villain should have.
Batman seems to have got used to dealing with the fairer sex.
According to the comic (which, as often happens, differs from the film version), the story of Poison Ivy is that of a girl, Pamela Lillian Isley, who grew up in a cold and loveless family. After finding her only comfort in plants and becoming a brilliant student of botany, she is seduced by a criminal professor who uses her as a guinea pig for his crazy experiments with poisons. The experiments will make her mentally unstable, but they will also create a being immune to poisons and able to control minds, in short, a perfect criminal capable of giving a hard time to the forces of good.
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