Saturday, July 16, 2016

Who are the hottest redheads in comic books? — Besides Barbara Gordon and Jean Grey

Anyone who knows me knows redheads are my kryptonite.

There's something about an attractive woman with fiery hair and pale complexion that sparks my sexual appetite.

Recently I posted a three-part series about the 15 hottest hotties from DC and Marvel — both superheroes and villains.

Lois Lane by artist Gary Frank
(Part 1 covers the first third and goes alphabetically through the letter "E." Barbara Gordon/Batgirl — my favorite fictional redhead — is in there while Jean Grey makes the list in the second installment. CCC covers Rogue through Zatanna in the conclusion.)

There's no doubt some of my Cary's Comics Craze readers thought I left out quite a few obvious choices, so for what it's worth I have posted an addendum with three honorable mentions.

And then I got to thinking — I realized I left out two big categories of comic book babes: Civilians and of course, redheads.

My selections for the hottest civilian babes in DC and Marvel would be brief indeed: Lois Lane, Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson. 'Nuff said there, to paraphrase the legendary Stan Lee.

Besides MJ, there are three other redhead hotties who need to be honored …


Batwoman by J.H. Williams III
A redhead in the Batman family? Niiiice. Who cares if she's a lesbian.

Kate Kane makes up for her butch haircut when she puts on her wig of long, wavy hair. Once the disgraced veteran gets her body into her black, skintight costume and Batwoman is one smokin' hot superhero.

Artist/writer J.H. Williams III doesn't just draw a foxy Batwoman, he has an ingenious approach to panel placement. With his vaguely psychedelic art that reminds of me of independent comics, his artwork is a treat for the eyes.

Williams has created an intriguing background story for Kane, complete with complex relationships with her militant father (also an ex-soldier), her sister (who was presumed dead and then turned up as the first supervillain Batwoman faced) and her two lovers, both of whom have been detectives with the Gotham City Police Department.

His run in the original DETECTIVE COMICS, which introduced this version of Batwoman to DC, is an intriguing must-read — as are the first 24 issues of the BATWOMAN series. There's a smoothness transition in the quality of stories when writer Marc Andreyko took over the title.

Batwoman by Bruce Timm
Animation guru Bruce Timm also draws a fantastic Batwoman. The incarnation in the fairly recent animated movie "Batman: Bad Blood" is also quite memorable — and sexy.

Black Widow 

Common sense would have told you that super spy Natasha Romanoff would have been a shoe-in for my 15 hottest comic book babes.

But just as I ranted in Part 3 during my take on Spider-Woman, my issues with Black Widow aren't with the character so much as they are with the artists who draw her.

Don't get me wrong; I love seeing a sexy woman and can appreciate one just as much as the next red-blooded guy, but there are way too many artists who overdo the way they draw this Russian beauty. Too many pencilers give Romanoff overly large boobs and then add insult to injury by unzipping the front of her black catsuit down to "there." That's not sexy in my opinion; it's ridiculous.

Black Widow by George Perez, circa 1982
In the comics, I enjoy Black Widow when she's with Matt Murdock — both in DAREDEVIL when she shared the title with DD (Nos. 81 through 124, November 1971 through August 1975) and especially the must-read GUARDIAN DEVIL storyline by Kevin Smith.

Writer Ed Brubaker made BW an integral part of Captain America's supporting cast (Falcon, Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes, Sharon Carter and Nick Fury) during his unforgettable seven-year run in the CAPTAIN AMERICA series (2005-2012).

Black Widow has never looked as good — much less hot or sexy — as when George Perez (a master among masters when it comes to drawing gorgeous women) or Joe Quesada draw her.

Actress Scarlet Johannson has done nothing less than define the Black Widow character for her generation and made it her own in "Iron Man 2," the "Avengers" movies and "Captain America" trilogy. In fact, I have to say I find ScarJo's incarnation more intriguing than the comic book one.

What I enjoy the most about the cinematic Black Widow is the way she is written, characterized and portrayed. And that makes her smokin' hot! Of course, ScarJo's perfectly shaped ass in that catsuit helps …!

Just as in her original, published form, Black Widow is at her best in a team setting. ScarJo has a fun ying-and-yang with both Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark/Iron Man and Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton/Hawkeye.

And while Black Widow's history with Barton and his family (who knew?! — not the Avengers!) is fascinating, BW truly shines whenever Johannsen is onscreen with her longtime good friend, Chris Evans. This gives the Black Widow-Captain America working relationship a dynamic amount of depth (especially as seen in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier").

This is a mild spoiler alert, but given her devotion to Steve Rogers — not to mention their work together in S.H.I.E.L.D., their mutual love for the military lifestyle and certainly Evans and ScarJo's great friendship — it's no surprise at all that Romanoff starts off on Team Stark in "Captain America: Civil War," but her loyalty and heart is all Team Cap.

Another great incarnation of Black Widow is in "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" animated series. 

And finally, another redhead comic-book babe …

Red Sonja 

It's a simple equation: Gorgeous woman + killer curves + badass warrior + her great body in a chain mail bikini = mega-babe. To quote the immortal Stan Lee (again!), 'Nuff said!

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