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Top 10 Female Characters, Ranked By Hand-To-Hand Combat


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When Black Widow made her first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Iron Man 2, fans had no idea what they were in store for in terms of strong female characters. With the foundation of The Avengers built on male leads, it appeared that the females had to take a backseat. Not true. Black Widow set the stage for some of the most action-packed scenes in the MCU and from there, the floodgates were open.

Related: MCU: 10 Things About The Infinity Saga Ending That Still Make No Sense

Besides Black Widow, there were other female characters who proved they were worth the price of admission. The male characters had their moments on the battlefield, however, the women more than held their own. It didn’t matter if it was the big screen or the small, the women in the MCU were no slackers when it came to hand-to-hand combat.

10 The Wasp

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While Ant-Man takes top billing, it’s The Wasp who has earned the respect of true fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hope has brains but provides the action as well. While Ant-Man is not as action-heavy as the Black Panther or Captain America movies, Hope was still was able to show off her hand-to-hand combat skills.

Like most of the women in the MCU, The Wasp didn’t shy away from a fight. She ran towards it while Scott did most of the running and joke-telling.

9 Ancient One

Ancient One in the MCU

One movie was all it took for the Ancient One to be placed on this list. While others have had more screentime, there is no denying that she is more than capable of defending herself in a fight. The Ancient One was more than mystical powers, she was a skilled fighter.

The one mistake that Marvel made here was not giving her more time to showcase her hand-to-hand skills. An Endgame pairing with the rest of the heroes would have been beneficial, not only to them but the viewers as well.

8 Bobbi

Bobbi in the MCU

Bobbi was not to be trusted in the early goings of Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Sent in to infiltrate the Phil Coulson-led team, Bobbi soon learned that Coulson and the team were actually the good guys. Now a full member, Bobbi proved to be just as valuable as May when it came to combat missions.

A highly-trained spy, Bobbi did have her baggage in the form of an ex-husband Lance Hunter. Dealing with Lance was the only time that Bobbi was ever knocked out of her zone.

7 Valkyrie

Name a woman strong enough to not just survive the Thanos snap but lead her remaining people to safety and help establish order when Thor was down in the dumps. Her true claim to fame came in Thor: Ragnarok when she helped not only Thor but Hulk as well. As strong as they are, it was Valkyrie they relied on to escape.

Related: Marvel: 10 Most Empowering Moments For Women, Ranked

This is a woman who has taken on all. Valkyrie didn’t back down from Thor, Hulk, Loki, or even Thanos. She’s as strong as they come and now holds the crown as the new leader of Asgard. Valkyrie has become a fan favorite among Marvel fans for her tactics.

6 Daisy

Daisy in the MCU

Daisy Johnson entered Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD as a hacker and left as a trained warrior. Despite her gifted powers, Daisy trained under Malinda May and toned her skills in hand-to-hand combat. No matter the foe, the outcome of any battle was never in doubt. Daisy deserves to be on this list.

Many Marvel fans wanted to see Daisy in the Infinity Saga and that right there goes to show how important her gifts were in the MCU. Will Quake make a return to the MCU before it’s all over?

5 Agent May

Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May in Agents of SHIELD

The “Calvary” is how people refer to Agent Malinda May during her time on Marvel’s Agents of Shield. Much like Black Widow, many will overlook May due to her lack of powers. However, May often saved her team and proved that she belongs in the elite class of fighters?

Highly trained and skilled in hand-to-hand combat, May, even at her worst, has been better than most characters, male or female in the MCU.

4 Gamora

Avengers Endgame Gamora Deleted Scene

What else would anyone expect from the daughter of Thanos? Gamora was raised to kill and hate. A trained assassin, Gomara is labeled as the deadliest woman in the Galaxy, and rightfully so. Her time with the Guardians appeared to have changed her stance on what she was taught. But the anger inside of her just would not vanish.

Related: Gamora And Nebula’s 10 Greatest Moments In The MCU

While the Guardians were more on the comedic side of the MCU, there was nothing humorous when it came to Gamora. She lived for revenge and in doing so, made a huge error in judgment with Thanos that cost her more than she could imagine.

3 Black Widow

A trained assassin. Natasha has a gun at her disposal. But the majority of her time on-screen in compact has been all hand-to-hand. Black Widow has shown growth over the years but there is still a past that viewers have yet to see. She’s skilled, shows no fear, and understands the bigger picture of it all.

Without the use of weapons, there are not many in the MCU who could stand a chance against her. Easily one of the best female characters in the Universe, Black Widow was a force to be reckoned with.

2 Elektra

Elektra in the MCU

Gamora was raised to kill and Elektra was just a tortured soul searching for meaning. Her presence in Season 2 of Daredevil and The Defenders put her on the map as one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the MCU. What makes Elektra so special is that she’s still a mystery. Her past is tainted but there is more to her that viewers never got a chance to see.

Either fighting Daredevil or The Defenders, Elektra is as skilled as any male or female. She handles Katana’s as if their chopsticks and is as fearless as Captian America.

1 Okoye

Okoye Danai Gurira

Black Panther is a King. However, even Kings need protection. Okoye has been labeled as one of the fiercest women in the MCU when it comes to hand-to-hand combat by more than a few. And while others will look to Black Widow or Gamora, Okoye has backed up the claims from her fanbase.

While Okoye has not made as many appearances in the MCU as some others, in her short time, she has shown what it takes to be added to this list. Okoye is super fearless and loyal. Remember, she protects the fearless T’Challa.

Next: 10 Milestones For Women In The MCU

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Updated: November 15, 2020 — 9:30 pm

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