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The badass weaponry of our favorite female heroes

Contributed by
Mar 5, 2019

In the world of genre, weapons aren’t just tools; they get to be like sidekicks, familiars, or even family. Some are heirlooms, some are destined weapons, and others are just something dope a character finds and makes their own. Regardless of the origin, a signature weapon becomes a part of why we love and root for characters. And when that weapon is in the hands of our favorite female heroes, you’ve got one exciting combination. 

From low-tech to high-tech to future-tech, we’ve rounded up the best weapons wielded by our favorite female characters. We’re talking swords, guns, chakrams, and even ribbons — because who says weapons can’t be femme AF?

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Shuri's vibranium gauntlets (Black Panther)

There is so much to love about Shuri. She’s whip-smart, she has a terrific sense of humor, she loves her family, and she is quite the scientist. Shuri uses her technological savvy to arm her brother with the best weapons and suits, but when push comes to shove, Shuri hops into the fray with her own weaponry: a pair of vibranium gauntlets.

These beautiful weapons, shaped like the heads of panthers, are elegant and stunning, literally and figuratively. They can shoot sonic wave bursts and continuous sonic beams that can incapacitate opponents — they’re even still somewhat effective if Shuri’s opponent is wearing a Black Panther suit, as she used the gauntlets to temporarily slow Killmonger. While that may not seem like enough, it’s just the opening T’Challa needs to be able to get Killmonger alone. Shuri’s gauntlets are also used in the battle against Thanos’s children — here’s hoping they’ll return to the MCU when she does.

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Aeryn Sun's pulse rifle (Farscape)

Aeryn Sun is one tough Peacekeeper, born and raised in the military life. When she’s “irreversibly contaminated” and condemned to death alongside a human, she escapes Peacekeeper control and slowly learns that she might want more from life than regimented rules. Being an exceptional military mind and combatant, Aeryn is adept at the use of many weapons, which definitely endears her to her new community aboard Moya, the living ship slash city where Aeryn settles. Her most impressive weapon, however, has to be the pulse rifle.

The bulky weapon is standard-issue for Peacekeepers, but there are several cool variations that Aeryn gets to enjoy. This rifle isn’t for the weak, though, and many a Peacekeeper isn’t up to the task. Aeryn loves hers and it’s easy to see why. Would you want to get a firefight with this badass and her beast weapon? 

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Kiera Cameron's CPS Suit (Continuum)

When a City Protective Services Protector named Kiera Cameron from the year 2077 is thrown back through time to 2012, she brings with her high-tech implants, an out-of-this time multi-tool, a gun that will only allow her to use it, and a kickass CPS suit. It might sound silly to have a suit on this list of exceptional weapons, but you haven’t heard what it can do.

Kiera’s suit is like a database, body armor, an arsenal, and a bunch of cool other stuff rolled into one. With her suit on, Kiera can make herself camouflaged or invisible entirely. She can take a bullet or be set on fire to no effect. The suit provides Kiera with a visual overlay of everything she sees, which pops up with important information as she solves cases, fights baddies, and saves time itself. Her suit is nearly indestructible and yet still fits perfectly underneath her 2017 street clothes. Talk about functional and versatile!

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Katana's Soultaker sword (DC)

Tatsu Yamashiro gained Soultaker and took the alias Katana when her brother-in-law killed her husband and her children. (He wants to “win” Tatsu from his brother and becomes a big Yakuza baddie to do so.) She disarmed her assailant and took his sword, a mystically-enchanted weapon, as her own. When she raised it, she heard her husband’s voice, finding that his soul was trapped in the katana.

Katana goes on to kill and trap many a soul during her vigilante hero and black ops days. Souls trapped in the sword can communicate with the wielder, even helping Katana out of a sticky situation by directing the person holding the sword to her aid. Now, that’s a loyal partner in crime.

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Xena's chakram (Xena: Warrior Princess)

Xena’s fate and that of her chakram are interconnected. Though the origin of the weapon is unknown, it is gifted to Xena by Ares. It’s also a weapon Callisto, Xena’s enemy, yearns for, even stooping to help Julius Caesar in his pursuit of Xena in the hopes that the weapon would be given to her. But, Callisto can be a hothead and when she’s furious with Xena, she throws the chakram into Xena’s spine, breaking both her back and the chakram.

Though Xena is resurrected post-crucifixion, she’s not the same, seeming not to remember her old lives. With the help of her friends, Xena sets out to re-forge the chakram, but decides to beef it up by melding it with its twin, the chakram of light, a much-disputed weapon of interest to the gods of war themselves. She fuses them so that neither god can have it, settling the battle for supremacy as last. The cool new chakram can become two when thrown, lending Xena an upper hand in battle.

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Angela's psychic ribbons (Asgard’s Assassin)

As the long-lost daughter of Asgard, you might think Angela would like to return to her home realm and join the family business of bossing all the other realms around, but you’d be wrong. Having been raised by the Angels of the Tenth Realm, Angela just wants to do her angelic duty, hang out with her cool girlfriend, Sera, and pay her debts. But, when one side of her family wants to bring her home and make her an Asgardian, a type of person she’s been raised to hate, and the other part wants her to live a lie, Angela breaks out on her own with Sera.

Luckily, Angela is quite the badass when it comes to fighting, as is Sera, though Sera’s fighting tends to be more magical in nature. Angela wields a legendary sword and a bifurcated, double-edged scimitar but the real showstopper is Angela’s ribbons. 

Angela’s ribbons are beautiful, flowing pieces of fabric (metal? A combo?) that float around her. She can control them psychically and use them to cut, strangle, or detain her opponents. While their origins are unknown (Seriously, where in the Tenth Realm did she get them?), Angela’s ribbons have been an important defensive and offensive advantage as she’s fought her way through Heven, Hel, Asgard, Earth, and beyond.

And, when Angela the Witch Hunter (from the Battleworld timeline) dons her ribbons, it’s time to get Faustian, but, like, make it fashion.

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Psylocke's psionic sword, aka telekinetic katana (Marvel)

Psylocke’s whole origin story is a weird, convoluted tale that involves multiple bodies, a battery of psionic abilities, and a couple cool weapons, most notably her psionic sword-slash-telekinetic katana. From short-circuiting people’s nervous systems to cutting through any material to breaking down telepathic shields, the katana she carries is one serious weapon. Psylocke’s control of the intensity of the katana varies, but at times she’s been able to cut through someone’s armor while only stunning her victim.

While there are many cool versions of Psylocke and her katana, it’s hard to beat Olivia Munn, particularly given the actor’s considerable sword training in preparation for the role.

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Buffy, Faith, Fray and the Potentials' Slayer scythe (Buffyverse)

When things are at their darkest and the First threatens to destroy not just Buffy and Faith, not just all the Potential Slayers and the Scoobies, but the entirety of life on Earth, Team Slayer finally catches a break. After fighting the creepy cleric himself, Caleb, Buffy finds and pulls a red weapon from a stone. (Excalibur, much?) It’s the Scythe, once wielded by the First Slayer, created by the Guardians. On one end it has a hyper-durable stake and on the other an ax with silver lining on the head.

When Faith holds the recently-released weapon, she can feel that it is ancient, it is powerful, and it is hers. Well, hers and Buffy’s. And, in Willow’s hands, the Scythe becomes the key to activating all of the Potentials around the world, changing the Slayer line forever.

Though Slayers may live and die, the Scythe’s journey seems near unending as it makes it all the way 23rd Century, where Melaka Fray, the Slayer of that time uses it to battle all kinds of bad vampires, including her demented brother. (And, Willow eventually travels to Fray’s time to use the Scythe to return magic to the world in her own time.) Now, that’s a weapon I’d like to hang on my key chain.

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Alex Danvers' kryptonite-powered exosuit (Supergirl)

When you’re a bag of meat in a multiverse full of metahumans and superior alien beings, it’s hard not to feel like a casualty waiting to happen. Alex Danvers, DEO agent and sister of Supergirl herself, understands this better than most, having come toe-to-toe with her fair share of super-powered baddies. Throughout her run on Supergirl, Alex utilizes a wide array of weapons, but the coolest might be the one she actually never chooses. When she’s under Myriad’s control, she gets her hands on a Kryptonite-powered Exosuit and uses it to battle those who would usually be out of her weight-class. It’s pretty epic to see Alex throw down with the likes of Supergirl and Metallo, even if short-lived.

Though the Exosuit doesn’t become a regular part of Alex’s arsenal (it was provided by the Bad Guys, remember), it’s a pretty useful and cool-looking weapon we’d love to get our hands on. In case of emergency, obviously. Emergencies like jumping over traffic!

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Michonne's katana (The Walking Dead)

In the world of The Walking Dead, the kind of weapon you carry means the difference between life and death. And, Michonne has survived the impossible, having found her child dead with her boyfriend and his friend turned into zombies. To punish them for their ways, she makes them her camouflage against being spotted by other zombies. Michonne wields a katana that she has used to sharpen her survival skills.

Michonne’s katana serves her well, allowing her to slice and dice her way through the undead and the living, resulting in one of the highest kill rates on the show. Though Michonne’s origins are tragic (Whose aren’t in a zombie apocalypse?), she rises to the occasion, even dispatching one of the worst human villains, The Governor.

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Obsidian's obsidian greatsword (Steven Universe)

It’s hard to decide which Gem weapon from Steven Universe to put on this list. Garnet’s Gauntlets are iconic. Smoky Quartz’s yo-yo is out of this world adorable. And, Rainbow Quartz 2.0’s parasail is just dumbfoundingly sweet. But, if we’re talking most badass weapons, it’s hard to beat Obsidian’s obsidian greatsword. Obsidian is a fusion of all four of the core Crystal Gems: Steven, Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl. They are a giant, multi-armed being with three mouths.

As with each fusion, Obsidian forms their weapon by combining Steven’s shield, Garnet’s gauntlets, Amethyst’s whip, and Pearl’s spear, smelting the sword together by opening their lava-mouth (Obsidian is so cool) and sticking the hilt in. What do they pull back out of their mouth but a red-hot sword capable of eviscerating Homeworld Gem ships and technology? Obsidian is everything and so is their obsidian greatsword.

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Wynonna Earp's gun Peacemaker (Wynonna Earp)

Originally owned by Wyatt Earp, Peacemaker is the gun wielded by each of the heirs to the Earp Curse. When Wynonna turns 27, she becomes the heir and inherits the mystical weapon that can send Revenants back to hell and keeps them contained to the Ghost River Triangle. At various points, both Wynonna’s sisters, Willa and Waverly, are able to use Peacemaker (though it’s clear the weapon generally prefers Wynonna).

Peacemaker becomes so important to Wynonna that she sometimes talks to it or thanks it when it saves her life, like when it woke her while everyone else was stuck in Hypnos’s dream trap. The gun is almost sentient, sometimes stalling when the bearer tries to use it, and burning blue instead of yellow when the person wielding the gun feels conflicted, or compassionate, toward the person they’re about to shoot.

Wynonna learns that Peacemaker was not actually a gun when it was first given to Wyatt by angels, but rather, a flaming sword that is used both to protect the entrance to the Garden of Eden and a key to the gate. Peacemaker returns to its original form when Wynonna faces off with the Serpent, making her one cool mama with a fiery sword and her eyes set on retribution.

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Bo Dennis' sex appeal (Lost Girl)

Have you seen Bo? Yeah, that beautiful, buxom, bisexual succubus’s sex appeal is the greatest weapon in her arsenal, but if we had to name the focal point, we’d have to go with her boobs.

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