Geek Culture Features

Damsel in Distress? Who? Me? Oh Please!

I wonder if James Brown had a chance to come across these women, would he still have the guts to sing his famous song “This is a man’s world”

For the longest time, women were portrayed as the sensitive one. In every fairytale and folklore stories women were always damsels in distress or princesses awaiting the arrival of their prince and live happily ever after. In other stories, they would simply be normal girls taking care of the household, singing, playing an instrument, painting, sowing, the whole shebang. They were soft, caring and sentimental creatures… Oh so we thought!

Some women are  capable of great evil.  Between you and me, I’ve always been more afraid of an evil woman than an evil man. Both sexes may have similar goals but the methods used to come about is entirely different. Women are more cunning and sneaky using their seductive silhouettes to persuade their prey and giving them a false sense of comfort before destroying them.

The traditional melodramas characterized most villains as strong mustache-bearing males. Has the idea of evil been misguided? Or just plain confusing, since female villains have always been around – ranging from mischievous witches and wicked stepmothers to enchanting sirens (mermaids) to man-hating feminists i.e. Amazon Warriors.

“The female of the species is more deadly than the male”                                      The Female of the Species Rudyard Kipling

In classical stories, witches often desired power and eternal beauty. Sacrifices and rituals were needed to accomplish their mission. Mermaids on the other hand were mythical creatures of great beauty and mystery enchanting human sailors to follow them in the depth of the ocean, drowning in the process. Very basic aspirations right?  The women i will introduce take evil to a whole new level. Here are my top 5 most Bad-ass female villains (not in a specific order):



Harley Quinn:

Dc Comics’s supervillain and Batman’s foe Harley Quinn first appeared on Batman: The Animated Series in September 1992. She meets the Joker while on duty as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. After much time spent with him, she became fascinated by this individual and decided to volunteer and analyse him. During their sessions, she develops strong feelings for him. Talking about making bad choices!

Her love for the Joker is what led to his escape. As it appears, Quinn helped him more than once. After seeing her precious love injured from his encounter with the Batman, Harley Quinn broke a fuse and went completely insane resulting to her resignation from her psychiatrist duties and to put on this amazing costume as the Joker’s sidekick. She also meets Poison Ivy, who injects her with an antitoxin, giving her more agility and immunity to poison and other toxins.

Harley Quinn may seem like your typical dumb blonde but don’t get it twisted, this devilish maniac is actually a college graduate and has her Masters and Doctorate in Criminal Psychology. Not only did she graduate, she was on top of her class. She may pretend to be stupid, but behind this facade she is quite the genius.

Suffering from multiple conflicting persona, she lives a life roaming around town and randomly blowing up children simply because her lover said so. Now if this is not crazy I don’t know what is! Following the Joker’s instruction is like an escape for Harley Quinn, despite the fact that he abuses of her and does not remotely care for her. This obsession of keeping her mind busy is what defines her as a character, because without instruction, she is once again conflicted about her identity.

Harley Quinn possesses above-average agility and fighting skills for she is also an Olympic-level gymnast and acrobat. Her weapon of choice: Oversized wooden mallet that she wields with surprising grace and skill despite it’s unwieldy appearance. She also has an arsenal of clown-themed tools and carries an oversized revolver with a cork in the barrel which contains ropes or knock-out gas.

Quinn’s insanity and brilliance is what makes her such a great female villain.



Sarah Kerrigan:

Starcraft franchise’s Sarah Louise Kerrigan a.k.a the Primal Queen of Blades is quite the woman herself. She didn’t always have this infested appearance. Yes, she was once a beautiful normal human being. In her early form, she was a very successful  spy agent and assassin highly trained physically and mentally.

She was second-in-command of Sons of Korhal, a revolutionary movement against the oppression of Confederacy of Man. While on duty, she is captured by the insectoid Zerg. Instead of killing her, he had a greater plan and infected Sarah turning her into an hybrid. Under Zerg Overmind’s control, she becomes one of his most powerful agents. She later on breaks free from his control leading to the Overmind’s destruction and becomes ruler of the Zerg with a bloodthirsty aspiration to dominate over the galaxy.

She perfectly fits the description of a good girl gone bad. Her personality changed during her infestation procedure. This self-proclaimed Queen of Blades possesses great intelligence. She is very manipulative and calculates her every move. Her transformation made her more physically aggressive and a bit psycho as she began to absent-mindedly licking the blood of her victims leaking down her fingers.

Now please tell me this would not freak you out if you encountered one such creature. Her lack of identity is her weakness making it easy for others to manipulate her. This is due to her childhood. Well I should probably say due to her lack of childhood. Having been unwillingly placed into the Confederate Ghost program as a child due to her psychic potential, Kerrigan never had a joyful memories of her youth. Ongoing meticulous training and the use of neural implants to control her mental abilities, drove to her withdrawal and introversion. She was never granted the possibility to explore and discover herself.

In her human form, Sarah uses amor, a combat knife and other weapons. In her Queen of Blades appearance, her mottled green skin is covered in a glossy protective carapace. Her fingers contain expendable claws and also possesses skeletal wings which she uses as a melee weapon by tearing her enemies apart. I would not want to find myself crossing paths with Sarah Kerrigan.



Alma Wade:

Little miss Wade is the perfect description of an experiment gone wrong. Main antagonist of the F.E.A.R series, she is a powerful psionic seeking revenge against Armacham Technology Corporation. I guess they had it coming! Heck, I too would be revengeful if I was a corporation’s lab rat. I am entitled to my human rites so why shouldn’t she.

This poor severely troubled child, although gifted with immense psychic powers, was suffering  from horrible nightmares and was somewhat accommodated to her surroundings negative emotions. At three years old, she was ongoing several tests at the Armacham Tech. Corp and guess what, she succeeded in all of them. Is it a good thing? Why don’t you be the judge of that?

Her own father was working day and night making sure she was able to focus her powers and complete the objective. They wanted to discover the source of her powers. Growing tired of the endless experiments, at the age of 5 she purposefully began to fail each tests in the hopes of the discontinuation of the experiments. Who wouldn’t? 

She managed to set one of their laboratories to flames later on. Scientists also were beginning to have intense nightmares, drastic mood changes and delusions, concluding that it was Alma Wade’s doing.  Putting all psychological experiments aside, it gets worse. At the age of 15, she gave birth to the First Prototype, the Point Man, due to more experiments and to a second one, Paxton Fettle, a year after. She got impregnated twice with clone embryos consisted of her own DNA mixed with genetic contributions from various staff members including Harlan Wade, her father. Gross!

Wade’s psychic powers were tremendous. Whispering “Kill them. Kill them all” , she uses Paxton, freeing him from his cell in order to seek revenge. She is also able to use her psychic attack liquefying her enemies flesh leaving only bloody skeletons on the crime scene. She is able to summon monsters and create horrifying hallucinations. 

Alma Wade may be just a child, but she is still a troubled, psychic power possessing child nonetheless. Like every little girl, maybe all she needed was love, hugs and kisses.




GLaDOS stands for “ Genetic Lifeforms and Disk Operating System. She is an artificially intelligent computer system from the video game franchise Portal. In both titles, GLaDOS is responsible for testing and maintenance in the Aperture Science Research Facility. When we first encounter this A.I computer system, she was nothing but a guiding voice for Chell (main character). As the game progresses, her words and actions take more of a malicious turn making her intentions clearer. She was in fact leading Chell to her death. Throughout the game, Chell manages to break free from GLaDOS control, and as a result, her announcements got more personal and preposterous.

When she was first powered, she almost instantly tried to kill everyone in the research facility. After ongoing several modifications in order to change her personality and making her safe for the human kind, she simply claimed that she was uninterested in hostility. Yet, she wished to carry out experiments and requested neurotoxins. Now let me pause for a second. An A.I asking a staff member for neurotoxins. Wouldn’t that be a red flag?

Since she was able to take control of half of the facility’s features, GLaDOS became hostile once again shutting down the entire facility within picoseconds, trapping all scientists inside and submerging them into neurotoxin. Survivors of this attacks chose to add a morality core to the components of GLaDOS. It worked for most part, meaning she stopped making use of the neurotoxins but it failed to shut her murderous intentions completely.

Aren’t computers and technology suppose to help human beings? In this case i guess not! Having a mind of her own, GLaDOS has been called on several occasions ,by gamers and critics, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, cynical, sinister and witty. She is a maniacal rogue AI that is particularly known for her antipathy for humans and for her humorous nature although not intentional.

An emotional sadist and a  psychological abuser, after imprisoning Chell in her tests she continues to bluntly mock her with dry cutting insults, and much more. As the game progresses, she increasingly becomes more and more vicious; trying to kill Chell on several occasions by means of a fire pit and trapping her in a “live fire course, designed for military androids” because the current testing room was going through “maintenance.”

Her amusing lack of understanding of the human mind is what makes her such an amazing villain.  Is technology advancement a good thing or a bad one? My opinion revolves more around the negative side. But that is just me.  One word… “Terminator”. Moving on!



Jacqueline Natla:

Ah Jacqueline! Madam Natla is the main antagonist in the Tomb Raider , Tomb Raider Anniversary and Underworld.

She is also the owner and CEO of Natla Technologies , one of the largest electronics companies. Although very little is known about her private life and rarely makes public appearances, her colleagues and business rivals say she is very intelligent and is a very big perfectionist.

Ironically enough, she was Lara Croft former employer who hired her to retrieve the four missing pieces of an ancient artifact called Scion. This mysterious object contained a bunch of information on the forever lost continent of Atlantis. Natla being one of the three rulers of Atlantis, imprisoned in a cryogenic device for having betrayed the other two rulers and then freed from her prison by an atomic bomb thousands of years later, intended on rebuilding the city and cloning Atlans. She needed the artifact in order to accomplish her goal.

So far we have an insane smart bimbo (Harley), an infested revengeful hybrid (Sarah), a psychic revengeful child (Alma) , a female AI (GLaDOS), and now and Atlantean ruler that is thousands of years old. (Jacqueline).

You might be wondering why I decided to put her on the list. If you follow her courses of action, you come to realize that Jacqueline is quite devilish. She is a genocidal lunatic. She longs for the rebirth of Atlantis despite it’s costs. Even if it means killing millions of children. Being a ruler gave her a certain grace and  sense of Monarchy and authority.

Natal possesses bat-like wings, giving her the ability to fly at incredible speed. Her main attack is shooting fireballs.  The given fact that she is Atlantean has made her invulnerable to certain things that would kill most such as lava, which instead  has only given her a fiery demonic appearance or being crushed by heavy objects.

Like Kryptonite for Superman, the only things capable of putting her to her eternal sleep is Thor’s Hammer and Eitr, a poisonous liquid substance in Norse mythology being the origin of all living things. As if you had a chance to come across these items on a daily basis. Her evil plot, her meticulous ways and her strength is what made Jacqueline Natla deserve a spot as one of the most badass female villain.

Still not convinced? Please feel free to share who would your top 5 female villains be.  I obviously did not touch on the Mortal Kombat characters because it would’ve been too easy since all female fighters in that game are all crazy in their own special way, ranging from their abilities to their brutalities and finally their FATALITIES.

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English writer and editor for IMGMR. My heart is and will forever be in Hyrule. A Zumba Instructor by day and A Gamer Chick by night. I enjoy competitive and strategic gameplay like League of Legends, RPGs and much more. Behind this girly facade lies a inner geek with a big appetite not just for food but also for new gaming experiences.
One Comment
  • Andy
    3 February 2016 at 7:21 pm
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    Interesting list. I would never taught of Jacqueline Natla, and I love Tomb Raider!

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