Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Top 5 Cartoon Vixens and Villainesses

You know them and love them, or at least love to see them defeat some meddling do-gooders. Eye-candy? No sir! Let that tongue loll out and they'll take it, staple it to the wall and play darts with what remains as a target. These are those downright evil, or at least maniacal women of animation fame, the ones that you cheer on, despite knowing that after 25 minutes of success, the heroes of the show will pull something off through sheer luck and turn it all around, much to your dismay. Anyways, here are my 5 top favorite vixens and villainesses of cartoons(anime deserves its own category, and is a bit too vast to address here).

5. Harley Quinn

"Face it, Harl, this stinks - yer a certified nutso wanted by the law in over a dozen states - and hopelessly in love with a murderous,psychopathic clown"

Originally appearing in Batman: The Animated Series before crossing over into the comic books, Dr. Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatrist at Arkham before falling in love with the one and only Joker. Deeply devoted despite disastrous and sometimes deadly abuses to her "puddin'" and wielding her psychoses like a weapon, she's that dangerous dame that you can't resist, the moll to the diabolical and dastardly Clown Prince of Crime.....okay, okay, enough alliteration. In addition to her abusive codependent relationship with the Joker, she's got a near legendary relationship with Ivy, or "Red" which not only titillates, but brings out the soft spot in viewers and readers. Harley is the puppy dog that won't go away after being kicked, and whether her true love is the Joker or Red, you hate to see her trounced by the Bats, week after week. Either way, we give Harley some mad love!

4. Azula

"Maybe you should worry less about the tides, who've already made up their mind about killing you, and worry more about me, who's still mulling it over... "

The newcomer on the scene. What can you say, but EVIL. EVIL! Delighting in fear, retribution, and long walks on the beach while her enemies burn, she's one of the prime antagonists in Avatar: The Last Airbender. Sister to Zuko, she's demonstrated time and again that she's one of the best firebenders(save perhaps her father), and actually has beaten the protagonists most of the time that they meet head to head. She's the girl that pushed you around on the playground and laughed about it, the one who ripped heads off of dolls, and then set them on fire. Cruel, sadistic, and downright mean, but with a surprising insecurity as revealed in a recent episode. She realizes her own social ineptitude, and in the end, scathing and malevolent are all she knows. It makes you want to hug her....if you enjoy hugging electric eels that is. But in the end, Azula is evil incarnate, and doesn't give a damn if you don't like it, her ambition is set to burn anything in her path, and we're okay with that.

3. Shego

"I am EVIL! Have I made myself clear?"

She's green, she's evil, she's snarky, she's Shego. But for all that, she's still rational, something we haven't seen yet. Evil is a job for her, but when your hands sprout green plasma fires, it's also a calling. Shego started out as a hero, but by the time we see her on Kim Possible, she'd already taken up as henchman(or henchwoman) for Dr. Drakken. Along with kickass moves and snarky comments, this dark counterpart to Kim Possible's action girl is definitely genre savvy. And is probably the most well adjusted of all of these, she just enjoys villainy. Despite the bad hours, inept boss, and crazy schemes, she knows her job and does it well, despite her bumbling boss. Shego is an equal at hand to hand combat with the heroine, and can hold her own against the best of them. In fact, in the alternate dystopian future episode, not only has evil won over good, but she's the one that pulled it off and rules as Empress.

2. Baroness

"All's fair in love and war!"

Slinky black leather catsuit, glasses, evil, she's every nerd's wet dream. Well, perhaps not the evil part(or perhaps so, you never know), but anyways, anyone who's ever seen a GI Joe comic or cartoon will be able to recall the Baroness. COBRA Commander and Destro may have been in command, but you knew it was the Baroness who was getting things done. EEEVVVILLL things, like impersonating Joes, or torturing Joes, or shooting Joes, or...well, you get the picture. Not only that, but despite being evil, her loyalty and devotion to Destro are legendary. Head of COBRA Intelligence and Second in Command, she knew how to kick arse and take names(usually ones associated with the character's specialty). While she was originally motivated by vengeance for her brother's death, we know the truth, she's evil and proud of it.

1. Carmen Sandiego

"It's not whether you win or lose the game, Player, but how much fun you can make it for me while we play."

Is it the red trench coat and fedora? Is it the legion of punning minions she employs? Is it her encyclopedic knowledge of history, geography, and art? Is it the air of mystery? Is it the fact that she's unattainable(literally)? She first appeared in the series of educational games bearing her name, and did more to teach me about history than years of grade school, if only because of my burning need to FIND HER! This master thief is desired, and knows it, she pounded into our little kiddie brains that smart is sexy, and you don't have to strip down to a skintight suit to be sought after...Just steal a national monument. And by the clues she leaves behind for you, it's clear that not only does she love the chase, but that she knows that she's the best. Though I have to say, it was the TV show version that brought out the wow factor. Self-confident, mysterious, and brilliant, what more could you ask for?(Aside from perhaps, not being a kleptomaniac, which is part of the charm) Not to mention of course, being one of the very few that can claim leading lady status. No position of sidekick, henchwoman, or ensemble villainess for this lady in red, she was the primary antagonist, and that gets her extra credit all around.

Either way, this bad girl of the screen tops our list of Cartoon vixens, showing you that evil pays!

Do you have a different opinion? A favorite evil dame from your childhood Saturday mornings? Well go ahead and post it up in the comment section, I'll be glad to hear from you.

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