Ever since I was a young girl, galavanting around with flaming red locks, I have sought out role models with a similar genetic mutation as my own. Smitten by red-haired superheroes (and villains), I have a bit of favoritism when it comes to my own comics collection and artwork and action figures … and cosplay.
Not too long ago, I was washing my hands in a public restroom and an old woman stepped out from a stall and stopped to stare at me. “You’re a dying breed y’know!”
I tilted my head and furrowed my brows. I was completely lost. So I just stared back at her, waiting for an explanation.
“Your hair! My grandkids have red hair! I heard on the news that you all are a dying breed. Going extinct.”
Red hair is the rarest hair color among humans and occurs in about three percent of the entire human population. A study from 2007 spread like wildfire on the internet claiming that red hair would no longer exist by 2060. Luckily, this study has since been debunked.
So, in honor of the survival of all Gingers everywhere, here is–
My Top Ten List of Kick-Ass Superheroes and Villains with glorious red (and orange) locks!
10. Black Cat (1946)
“Hollywood’s glamorous detective star,” Linda Turner, becomes the Black Cat after she suspects a movie director is a Nazi spy. Using charm and fisticuffs, Black Cat fights for freedom in a super-rad outfit and becomes the “darling of comics.” Classic ginger.
9. Woman in Red (1941)
Frustrated by working within the system, police officer Peggy Allen is one of the first female superheroes. A masked vigilante, she exacts justice in red heels and a red trench coat. Classy and badass.
She is adversary to Lady Mechanika in the steampunk series by Joe Benitez and Peter Steigerwald. Commander Winter, or Katherine de Winter, works for Lord Blackpool and commands his soldiers. Also on my top ten list of villains to Cosplay!
7. Poison Ivy
A classic red-haired villain of DC, Poison Ivy is sensually divine. Surrounded by and exacting great power over plants and the natural world, she is a force to be reckoned with. And, redheads always look good in green.
I appreciate early Batgirl’s choice to enter into crime-fighting as totally her own. She was (and still is) fierce and independent. I’m loving how Gail Simone is writing her character; she is a character who resonates with in many ways.
Anytime anyone asks me “if you could be any animal, what you would be?” I reply with “large cat species. I imagine, or would like to imagine, if this were to happen, I would look a bit like Tigra. Me-ow.
Delightfully manipulative and fearless, Mystique’s slicked back red locks and bare footed acrobatics are captivating. Her presence on the page and in the films is glorious.
Ex-military and tough as hell, New 52 Batwoman has changed a lot since the beginning of her vigilante shenanigans when she used lipstick and foundation compacts as her weapons of choice.
2. Red Sonja
Warrior Ginger! Known as one of the sexiest women in comics, Red Sonja hacks and slashes her way through the panels in her iconic scale mail bikini. How she manages to do all this while keeping everything in place is miraculous.
1. Dark Phoenix
The ultimate red haired force in comics. I am very attached to Jean’s identity as Dark Phoenix, as she was one of my first comic idols as a young girl. As a bit of an angsty teen/young adult, I reveled in her pain and power. My love for Dark Phoenix never left.
Sorry, Doctor. You didn’t quite make the list.