Superhero Self-Help – Ladies Edition

My Superhero Self-Help blog (male edition) was so well received ( that I felt it only right to allow their female counterparts to represent as well. I know female superheroes (or superheroines) are not equally represented in pop culture, but their stories are just as pointed and important. Narrowing my list down to ten was a bit of a challenge, but I avoided those that were female counterparts to male superheroes (i.e., Supergirl to Superman or Batgirl to Batman). I did think it interesting they were always called “girl” to their partner’s “man”. That is a discussion for another day.

Here are the amazing self-help books these amazing female superheroes would have to offer:

  1. Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman was born as warrior princess of the Amazons who took on the secret identity of Diana Prince when she came to live in the “Man’s World”. She has a number of superpowers and abilities as well as an arsenal of weapons at her disposal (i.e, lasso of truth and an invisible airplane). She fought against the bad guys, while also often working together with other women to battle injustice. She was a woman who demonstrated her own strengths while supporting other’s successes. Title: It’s a (Wo)Man’s World
  1. Storm: Ororo Munroe was born in Kenya after her tribal princess mother fell in love with an American photojournalist. She was orphaned at age 6 after her parents were killed in a botched aircraft attack. Ororo suffered lifelong claustrophobia after having been buried in rubble during the attack. Ororo is classified as a mutant and was recruited with the X-Men due to her special abilities – complete and total control of all things weather-related. Title: Digging Out: Finding the Strength to Survive the Storm
  1. Rogue: Anne Marie grew up in Mississippi and had a relatively traditional upbringing until her latent mutant abilities kicked in injuring her boyfriend. Rogue’s ability includes absorbing the life force (and any special abilities) of any person with whom she has skin to skin contact. Rogue learned of this ability the hard way when she kissed her boyfriend leaving him in a coma. Rogue ran away from home ultimately ending up joining up with the X-Men. Title: Developing a Loving Touch
  1. Phoenix: (also known as Marvel Girl and Dark Phoenix) Jean Grey is a mutant with telekinetic and telepathic powers that manifested when she saw a childhood friend hit by a car. She is often found to be warm, loving and nurturing, but (despite all of her powers) is typically best remembered for her marriage to Cyclops, training with Charles Xavier, friendship/romance with Wolverine, and relationships with other X-Men. Title: More than Just a Plus One
  1. Black Canary: Dinah Laurel Lance is the child of the original Black Canary (also named Dinah) and private investigator, Larry Lance. The younger Dinah grew up with her parents and a number of disbanded Justice League members as her aunts and uncles. Young Dinah wants to be a costumed superhero like her mother, but her mother feels the world is too unsafe. Young Dinah became the Black Canary against her mother’s wishes demonstrating advanced fighting skills and reflexes as well as the “Canary Cry” which can damage or stun foes or objects. Title: Following in My Mother’s Footsteps – A Cry in the Dark


  1. Huntress: Helena Rosa Bertinelli was born in Gotham – the daughter of a prominent mafia family. She was kidnapped and raped at 6-years-old by another mafia don to torture her father. She was sent to boarding school (with a bodyguard) and was combat-trained. At 19, she witnessed the mob-ordered murder of her whole family and vowed to end the world of the mafia with her special battle skills. Title: Turning Your Pain into Purpose


  1. Elektra: Elektra Natchios was raised in Greece, living a privileged life with her tycoon father after her mother passed in childbirth. Elektra and her father were held hostage when she was 20-years-old and her father was killed. Elektra vowed revenge, dropped out of college and moved to Asia to study martial arts. She was eventually corrupted by her own impulses and became an assassin. Title: Revenge: Giving in to my Anger


  1. Invisible Woman: Susan Storm Richards was raised in Long Island, NY, with her parents and brother, Johnny. Their childhood was not without tragedy and Sue ultimately became a mother figure to her younger brother. When her boyfriend was about to lose funding on his research project, Susan and Johnny decided to accompany the boyfriend (Reed) and his pilot on an experimental test flight. They encountered cosmic radiation which endowed them each with special abilities. Susan can make herself invisible and control invisible force fields in combat. Title: Seeing the Real Me.


  1. Scarlet Witch: Wanda Maximoff is the mutant offspring of X-Men villain Magneto (discussed in a later blog) and his wife, Magda. Magda ran away with the twin when she realized Magneto had mutant powers. Magda ultimately went crazy and died. Wanda and her twin brother, Pietro, were bounced around as orphan children and suffered a number of tragedies. Because Wanda was raised near a mystical mountain, she developed the ability to use magic as her mutant powers. She can manipulate reality, is an expert combatant and is a sorceress. She briefly joined her father’s band of villains before becoming an Avenger and fighting for good. Title: Not My Father’s Daughter.


  1. Black Widow: Natasha Romanova was born in Russia during World War I (she looks really good for her age, right?). The Nazis set her apartment on fire and her mother threw her out the window to a Russian soldier before perishing in the fire. Her backstory is a bit sketchy after that – she was either trained with a group of female orphans to be spies or was later kidnapped and trained. She was a master assassin until she was able to break away (or be rescued) and began to fight on the side of good. Title: Your Life is Your Own: No One Can Decide For You


I must say I am amazed at the number of these women who had some sort of sexual abuse, molestation and/or rape trauma in their lives. My guess is the creators of these characters felt it would give them more depth and some sort of rage/unpredictability. Is there someone great that I left out? Did I screw up someone’s backstory? Let me have it! I can take it!

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