We at AfterEllen.com like to provide you with quality commentary on the issues that are of central importance to lesbians and bisexual women. But sometimes we like to just look at pretty pictures of chicks who kick ass. This is one of those days. Here are my top 10 female action heroes — take a look and tell me who yours are.
10. Sydney Bristow in Alias (Jennifer Garner): In the five seasons of this television show, secret agent Sydney Bristow got to be a redhead, a brunette, a blonde, a lounge singer, a geisha girl, a cowgirl and a dominatrix, among other numerous disguises. Yeah, you could say she saw some action.
9. Sarah Connor in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Linda Hamilton): Who can forget Linda Hamilton’s chiseled shoulders in T2? Not I. Sarah Connor is one of the most kick-ass moms ever to grace the silver screen. (Remember, she had that kid who supposedly was going to save the world? Yeah, I kinda forgot about him too.)
8. Dana Scully in The X-Files (Gillian Anderson): Special Agent Dana Scully survived being abducted by aliens as well as a sometimes infuriating working relationship with Fox Mulder — and she never dropped her gun.
7. Trinity in The Matrix (Carrie-Anne Moss): Shiny black vinyl, sunglasses and high-tech genius.
6. Lara Croft in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Angelina Jolie): Unnaturally inflated bosom aside, Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft is one of the very few female action heroes to have led a film to box office success — to the tune of $252 million worldwide.
5. Ripley in Alien (Sigourney Weaver): Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror smash, Alien, premiered in 1979 and made Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley a feminist icon. In 2003, the American Film Institute named Ripley the No. 8 greatest hero in American cinema history.
4. Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar): In seven television seasons, Buffy dealt with countless vampire villains, a couple of vampire lovers, the complex dance between life and death, and perfected the art of the stake, often while wearing stylish yet affordable boots.
3. Foxy Brown in Foxy Brown (Pam Grier): In the immortal words of the 1974 film’s trailer, Foxy Brown is “A chick with drive who don’t take no jive.” I couldn’t have said it better.
2. Michelle Yeoh: This veteran kung fu star has kicked her way to the top in films including The Heroic Trio (in which she is one of three female martial arts heroes), the legendary Wing Chung (directed by kung fu choreographer extraordinaire Yuen Woo-Ping) and, of course, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Yeoh was a hero long before Hollywood figured out women could bring down the house.
1. Xena in Xena Warrior Princess (Lucy Lawless): Who else would be No. 1? That leather bustier that has scant chance of deflecting any serious weapons, that round flying thingie that whooshes so accurately wherever she tosses it, that blood-curdling battle cry, those baths with Gabrielle … Xena just plain wins.