- An Action Girl protagonist.
- She usually (though not always) has some kind of occult connection, be it her powers or her backstory or the enemies she fights.
- She's got a cynical antiheroic or outright villainous attitude, or is simply beyond good and evil.
- She is usually driven by personal motives (e.g. revenge), rather than any kind of altruistic ideals.
- She (and most other female characters) is depicted with an idealized body and skimpy outfits, to maximize sex appeal. It wasn't treated as occasional Fanservice but rather as a staple of the genre.
- She never shies away from excessive violence to achieve her goals — and her enemies use the same brutal methods, as well.
open/close all folders
Comic book examples:
Chaos! Comics is usually considered the flagship Bad Girl Comic publisher.
- Lady Death: One of the pioneers of the genre's popularity. She was initially conceived as a mortal brought to Hell against her will, where she managed to defeat the Devil who cursed her to never be able to leave Hell as long as there's life on Earth — which she decided to circumvent the obvious way. There are other (later) versions of the character, published by CrossGen Comics and Avatar Press, which reinvent the character in different ways, while keeping to the Bad Girl Comic genre.
- Purgatori: A demon-like vampire goddess who started as Lady Death's enemy, and then got her own spin-off series.
- Lady Demon: Another spin-off character from Lady Death's comics. She was Lady Death's powerful evil side, created by Lucifer. She later escaped to Earth, possessed the body of a deceased mortal woman, and went on a murderous rampage.
- Chastity: A vampire punk/goth girl who worked as an assassin for a council of vampires to kill other vampires.
- Jade: A Chinese vampire-sorceress who controlled a powerful crime family for centuries, and then decided to spread her rule to the other Triad families, and then all of China.
- Bad Kitty: An ex-cop who uncovered corruption within the police force, had her boyfriend turned into a zombie, and devoted herself to fighting supernatural threats.
Avatar Press is another indie publisher that made its name specializing in Bad Girl Comics, although its current product is more general genre horror, along with the odd famous comics writer doing something too weird or nasty for any other company to print.
- Pandora: She's the Pandora from Greek Mythology, fighting against the evil that she once released.
- Hellina: A woman who got magic powers from Lucifer to fight his enemy, and wields a magic dagger that will either purify you of all evil or kill you.
Top Cow Productions
An imprint of Image Comics.
- One of the most successful examples of this genre. It even spawned an eponymous Anime set in the same world but with different characters (and later a Manga unrelated to the anime). The main character of the comic series, Sara Pezzini, is more of a heroine than an antihero — however, she wields a powerful magical artifact which doubles as a skimpy outfit, uses it to dispatch of her enemies, and has a rather dark backstory.
- A spin-off out-of-continuity comic called Switch by longtime Witchblade artist Stjepan Sejic is stated to be published in 2015. However, as it features a teenage heroine and is intended for an all-ages audience, most Bad Girl Comic elements will be obviously absent, so it won't be an example of this genre but rather a traditional teen superhero story.
- Aphrodite IX: About an amnesiac android assassin.
- The Darkness could be considered a rare male version: its protagonist is a Mafia hitman who became a wielder of the primordial mystical power of chaos and darkness, seized control over the mob and created his own drug cartel, while wearing a rather skintight magical armor over his toned body. However, his series also features "bad girls" like The Angelus and The Magdalena.
- Madame Mirage is a mid-00s homage to Bad Girl Comics as well as to the pulp vigilante genre (e.g. The Shadow), created by Paul Dini. It features a Femme Fatale vigilante with mysterious superpowers on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against an equally mysterious evil corporation. Madame Mirage wears a quite flattering outfit, and her appearance is said to be based on the creator's wife.
A short-lived indie publisher created by the infamous Rob Liefeld. Though Liefeld is better known for his '90s Anti-Hero characters, he has created a couple Bad Girl Comics as well.
- Avengelyne: Co-created by Liefeld and model Cathy Christian, this character was a fallen angel who fought demons.
- Glory: During Liefeld's original run she was a blatant Expy of Wonder Woman with a couple added Bad Girl Comic elements, e.g. she was a half-demon who tried to overcome her evil side. When Alan Moore came on board, he toned down most of those and turned her into a mix of a cheerful Deconstruction of Wonder Woman comics and a prototype for Promethea.
- Satana, the Devil's Daughter, was one of the earliest example of this genre. She was created in The '70s, but wasn't used much for decades. She later appeared in all her "bad girl" glory in the mid-00s Witches miniseries where she played the token evil teammate, and as a Boxed Crook in Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers.
- Elektra, created by Frank Miller in The '80s, is usually considered to be another early example of this genre, despite the occult element being low-key (some of her stories have involved dark versions of ninja mysticism, and after dying in her establishing Daredevil arc she was magically resurrected in rather sinister circumstances).
- Magik from the X-Men started as Colossus' little sister. After some convoluted events, she manifested a dark Alter Ego called Darkchilde/Darkchylde, who had a monstrous demonic form at the time. Later, she got killed off, and was resurrected in the mid-00s, as Darkchilde. Her new design and persona were heavily influenced by Bad Girl Comics. She later became Magik again, but retained parts of her Darkchilde personality.
Dark Horse Comics
- Comics' Greatest World
- Barb Wire, who also was The Protagonist of her own arc, which has Cyberpunk influence. Nowadays, she's mostly remembered for its poorly received movie adaptation starring Pamela Anderson.
- Ghost also was part of this series, but in the first arc and seen as an Action Girl for X, but later she receives her own solo series. Like her first appearance, all about her was written and drawn by her creator, noneless than Adam Hughes.
- The Mask Returns starred Stanley Ipkiss' ex-girlfriend and murderer Kathy as the new carrier of the Evil Mask, being the only female Mask of the series (and causing much more madness and carnage than Ipkiss' version).
- Vampirella is considered the Ur-Example. Created in 1969 by sci-fi and horror fan Forrest J. Ackerman and designed by feminist underground comix creator Trina Robbins, she later enjoyed a revival during the Bad Girl Comic craze of The '90s, and remains relatively popular ever since.
- Dawn, created by Creator/Joseph Michael Linsner. Initially she was just a random cheesecake girl appearing on the covers of the horror comic anthology Cry for Dawn. After some time, she was "promoted" to the role of the Horror Host, and then started appearing in some stories, getting long overdue Character Development. Dawn is an immortal goddess of birth and rebirth, with complicated relations to witches, other gods, and Lucifer. She wields a sword and has a lot of supernatural powers.
- Razor by London Night Studios. A violent vigilante on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, she wields blades that extend from her arms causing her pain.
- Shi by Crusade Comics. A brutal half-Japanese warrior on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Darkchylde by Creator/Maximum Press: Not to be confused with the demonic Alter Ego of Marvel Comics' Magik. A girl who is cursed to transform into monstrous creatures of her nightmares.
- Widow by Creator/Ground Zero Comics. A woman with mutant genes of a black widow spider, who constantly struggles against her dark animal (insect?) urges of mating with men and killing them, and fights various enemies.
- Lady Rawhide: Originally appearing in a 90s Zorro comic series as Zorro's sometimes enemy, sometimes ally, this masked vigilante quickly got her own spin-off series.
- Painkiller Jane by Event Comics. A vigilante who got regenerative powers through mysterious means, she was created by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti.
- Warrior Nun Areala by Antarctic Press is often considered one. However, her creator Ben Dunn argued against classifying his comic as this trope, noting that the protagonist has good and altruistic motives, and never resorted to violence.
- Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose by Blacksword Comics, created by Jim Balent and his wife Holly Golightly.
- Grimm Fairy Tales by Creator/Zenescope Entertainment, and its various spin-offs. A mid-00s series paying homage to Bad Girl Comics, with settings based on Fractured Fairy Tale. Among the general comic fandom they're mostly known for two things: their erotic cover art, and their sizeable female readerbase.
- Bomb Queen by Image Comics proper. A rather infamous mid-00s homage to the genre, about a sociopathic supervillainess who has taken over her hometown.
- Fearless Dawn by Asylum Press is a mid-00s tongue-in-cheek homage to both "bad girl art" of The '90s and "good girl art" of The '40s (with a bit of Tank Girl sprinkled on top). It's a cartoonish comic about a heroine in a skimpy costume who fights Nazis and demons.
- Dynamite Comics, who currently owns the rights to a lot of various IP (including most Chaos! Comics characters) created a Massive Multiplayer Crossover event called Swords of Sorrow in 2015, bringing together female characters from different genres, including Bad Girl Comics (e.g. Vampirella and Purgatori). It's also something of a "crossover" on a meta level, being written by a supergroup of the industry's most popular female writers. The publisher did not bag the rights to Lady Death, however, and so introduced its very own Bad Girl as a stand-in: Lady Hel.
- Hack/Slash, by Tim Seeley with various artists, published initially by Devil's Due and later Image, is basically a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Bad Girl tradition. Cassie Hack is a scantily-clad, very cynical anti-hero who is often drawn for extreme fanservice, but in contrary to the usual tropes of the genre she is a Badass Normal fighting supernatural monsters, and she has much more angst, guilt, and self-doubt than is usual for a Bad Girl protagonist, most of whom tend to be cheerfully sociopathic.
- Crimson Plague, a short-lived Image title by George Perez, that was chiefly notorious for the sheer jaw-dropping squickiness of its anti-hero's Lovecraftian Superpower. Her menstrual fluids make people dissolve into goo.
Non-comic book examples:
- Bayonetta can be considered a textbook example of this trope: a kick-ass female antihero protagonist with occult powers that come from demons, who wears a sexy risque outfit (a lovely dominatrix-style catsuit made out of her own hair), and dispatches her angelic enemies without mercy.
- The Dark Queen in Battletoads was designed closely around this aesthetic.
- Velvet Crowe from Tales of Berseria is a downplayed example. She's a '90s Anti-Hero with a Stripperiffic outfit and demonic powers hell-bent on revenge against the man who murdered her brother, and has the melancholy attitude to match. The downplay comes from the fact that Velvet's sexuality is never emphasized as much as one would expect from her archetype, and the aesthetic of the rest of the game is as colourful as any other game in the Tales franchise.