Women and comic books have had a long, strange relationship. For many years, we were unwelcome guests, forcing ourselves into a seat at the table. Still today, many readers follow the antiquated sexist notion that comics are, for some reason, exclusively for men. Luckily, although the past few years have been tumultuous for everyone, we can look back and at least agree that women have finally been invited to the once-Boys Club of graphic novels. We have been consistently, increasingly thriving in the comic book world, both as characters and creators. The results of this can be seen on any local comic shop shelf; tons and tons of highly successful stories written, illustrated, created by, or featuring women can be found in the hodgepodge of issues and paperback trades.
One massively fun element of seeing more women in comics is watching feminine style *finally* evolve past long dark hair, bare lower midriff, and skin tight, plunging V-neck costumes. We’re entering a much more fun era when character designs for girls in comics are varied, spunky, and full of originality. Although it’s exciting to see such progress in regard to wardrobe, I, personally, have been thoroughly enjoying the creative direction many are taking with their character’s hair. In reality, tons of women use their hair as a way to express their individuality– why should it be any different in comic books? Here are a few of my personal favorite manes that you can probably find on shelves right now:
Domino Swift – Motor Crush
Immersed in a funky, futuristic world where narcotics designed for motorcycles are the hot item (trust me, you want to read this book), you find Domino Swift. Domino is a complete and total motorcycle racing badass, and her hair reflects that perfectly. A tight fade with just a light fluff on top is the perfect ‘do to keep stored under a helmet for long periods of time. Which is good, because if anyone needs a helmet, it’s definitely someone who races in illegal street races for motorcycle drugs.
Captain Telsa – Descender
Oh captain, my captain. I’m only 2 trades into Descender, and the seemingly-stony Captain Telsa has rapidly become my favorite inter-galactic redhead. Her blue alien skin perfectly complements the intense red hue of her jagged bob, and that’s a sentence you can expect to hear at the Oscars in like, 2097 or something. Telsa’s angled bob with majorly short bangs feels more like something out of a Rihanna video than a sci-if comic, but then again are the two really that different? Either way I’m really into short bangs right now and Telsa’s cherry red style has perfected them.
Gwendolyn – Saga
Gwendolyn, a character introduced in vol. 3 of Saga (my favorite series currently on shelves), is a spurned ex-lover of one of the series’ main characters. Not only that- she’s also a deadly bounty hunter vixen with super dope horns and a thirst for revenge. Her voluminous afro highlights everything we love about her, and encapsulates her rebellious spirit perfectly. Lets just hope we never piss her off enough to warrant her combing all of space just to find us and rip us a new one.
Erin – Paper Girls
The fluffy upright bangs. The slightly frizzed out curly back and sides. It’s all too good to be true. It’s like she somehow took a mullet and added 10 pounds of 80’s feminine charm. Just wait- if this series gets popular enough I can already see spunky, Erin inspired mullets erupting into a trend. If it does, my future article ideas include “How To Fight Darkness Monsters While Maintaining Your Mullet” and “How To Keep Your Bangs Completely Vertical At All Times Without Using Actual Witchcraft.”
Gemini – Zodiac Starforce
Glory be to Paulina Ganucheau in the highest for this enormous, overwhelmingly glamorous pink style. Seriously. This series is jaw-droppingly gorgeous as is, but when Emma transforms into Gemini and her hair turns into this phenomenal cotton candy explosion? It’s almost too beautiful for my measly mortal eyes to bear. This series is very reminiscent of Sailor Moon, and I can’t help but wonder if this huge powder-puff look was an intentional homage to Mini-Moon. Nothing screams “Magical Girl” like a massive mop of brightly colored hair, and this series is the epitome of a fantastic Magical Girl story.
Hannah – Rat Queens
I’m not sure if there are enough words in the English or Elven language to describe my fondness for this series. Crude, hilarious, ass-kicking women taking on some majorly medieval enemies? Count me 100% in. The hair and fashion are amazing as well, and although it was difficult to pick exactly which Rat Queen had my favorite style, Hannah came out as the clear winner. Giant double buns are always a good choice, but they are a particularly good choice for a woman that would like to hide two tiny horns protruding from the top of her head. Who knew?! Hannah’s strong bangs and battle-induced frizz make her a style icon for me, as I live with endless frizz and a desperate thirst for perfect bangs.
Jennifer Walters – Hulk
Due to unfortunate casualties resulting from Civil War pt. 2, Jennifer Walters has shed her former “She-Hulk” title and transitioned into her cousin’s role as Hulk. While she may have (for now) shed the lime-green skin and replaced it with a strange grey complexion, that shiny trademark She-Hulk mane is alive and better than ever. Her wispy, seemingly never ending locks are a perfect frame for the face of someone ready to whoop you into next week. Something about that gorgeously voluminous mop flowing wildly around a woman who’s getting ready to chemically transform into a terrifying beast just feels right to me.
Lottie Person – Snotgirl
The creator of Scott Pilgrim is back at it again with a pointed comedy revolving around the life of a fashion blogger, Lottie Person. Her life seems perfect to her followers, but as a reader, you’ll soon find out she’s constantly living with unbearable allergies, causing her to produce lots of gross bodily fluids; mostly tears and snot. And here you thought the title was named after her perfect green tresses! Yes, when the bright, shiny days of She-Hulk’s deep green mane have come to a mysterious close, Snotgirl swoops in to fill that booger-ific void in our lives.
Thor – The Mighty Thor
Perhaps the most powerful mane in all the galaxy. Thor’s 2011 makeover wouldn’t have been complete without some intense, mystical, swirling blonde locks that seem to be channeling the powers of Zeus at all times. The bright blonde contrast to the silver mask and classic red cape is just too perfect, and brings a jolt of life to every page. Asgard has always originated some mighty hairstyles, especially in regards to facial hair, but nothing sticks out quite like Thor’s. In a sea of dirty, medieval dudes, there’s Thor and her spectacular golden mane, outshining every attempt to bring her down.
Scott Summers – X Men: Age of Apocalypse
I originally intended this list to be all women, I know. But if we’re going to start a conversation about hair in comics, Scott Summers circa Age of Apocalypse is a requirement. Seriously, the best hair of the entire X-Men legacy. Strong opinion? Maybe. But just look at that. Scott Summers, usually a beefy idiot, gets bestowed this 80’s hair metal, rock god hairstyle, and boy does he work it. In the convoluted, time-travel ridden 90’s crossover series, Age of Apocalypse, Scott Summers shines as a character, and it’s not just because of his bulging muscles and excessively tight spandex leggings. In my opinion, the hair drawn onto Scott’s head in this series really took the character to a new level and made him a memorable part of the series rather than just some yammering frat guy. If you can believe it, this hair actually made me gain some respect the character. I actually felt respect. For Cyclops. That’s some powerful hair magic right there.