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Dark Action Girl

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"I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe."
Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, StarCraft: Brood War

Those stupid boys and their ridiculous little games. What's a girl to do? Well, if you're this girl, most likely beat them up.

She may like to dress in black and keep her nails particularly long and sharp, unless the story cares about practicality. A popular combination with The Baroness, but usually not The Vamp or the Femme Fatale, since she prefers to pummel The Hero to a bloody pulp instead of seducing him, but there are certainly exceptions. Can this wild woman be tamed? Go on, keep thinking that way. We'll see how long you live.

If she is brought over to the side of good, even if only for an episode, expect her to be reluctant about it at best. Typically, the DAG still falls prey to that old saw about women being wiser than men,note  and is more likely to lock horns with males in her camp. She typically acts as the Evil Counterpart to an Action Girl, and the two will often get into a Designated Girl Fight.

Faux Dark Action Girls are not unheard of, but very rare. This is probably because the standards the decade or culture sets for women usually don't apply to villains, and also because, regardless of gender, a villain who needs to be rescued by other villains would be utterly pointless from a narrative perspective, and being evil she doesn't earn her sympathy points for being captured.

Do not confuse with Dark Magical Girl, who is more likely to be an Anti-Villain and thus more sympathetic. They are also supposed to be foils to a heroic Magical Girl and possibly her friend after being defeated; neither of which is the case with this trope. A Dark Magical Girl really just wants to be loved, while the typical Dark Action Girl would much rather be feared.

Example subpages:


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    Comic Books 

    Comic Strips 
  • Princess Aura in the original Flash Gordon comic strips. She was the daughter of the Evil Overlord Ming, and had a complicated relationship with Flash that made her help him several times, but literally torture him at others. Either way, she was competent and dangerous in a fight.

    Fan Works 
  • Action Pack: The only villains to appear as of now are women, Joystick, Iron Maiden, Snapdragon, and Quake. Both Joystick and Iron Maiden actually get one over on Spider-Man and they both get Black Fox to let them go, and coincidentally it takes both of them to take them down. And though she only has one actual appearance, Quake still goes head to head with Kira and can hold her own. The only real let down, the 'Faux Dark Action Girl' is Snapdragon.
  • The Prowler in Amazing Fantasy is Hell-Bent for Leather, badass enough to go toe-to-toe with Spider-Man, and has eluded all of Japan's greatest Heroes, including All Might, for years.
  • Becoming a True Invader: Tak is The Dragon, and a skilled enough fighter to match Gaz, who is the best fighter on the heroes' side of things.
  • Kyoka Suigetsu, the (apparent) Big Bad of the Bleach fanfic Chasing the Moon.
  • V in A Cure for Love. She is an assassin trained by Wammy's House and the Big Bad.
  • A Force of Four has Wonder Woman's enemy Badra. Cunning, murderous and ruthless, Badra is a Hatorian alien, which means she's powerful enough to fight Diana hand-to-hand, and is perfectly able to survive and fly across space on her own.
  • A Growing Affection has the Reaper of Shinobi, and Kohaku.
  • Harmony Theory:
    • Charisma is a pegasus pony born with a "Killer Mark", which makes her a natural born Blood Knight, who is instantly told the best ways to kill everypony in her immediate vicinity (Whether she wants to or not.) as well as a former member of the Solar Kingdom Special Forces. This has lead to becoming an infamous and feared Psycho for Hire and chief enforcers to one of the Big Bads, who a said to be invincible in a fair fight.
    • One of the two main villains of the story is Nightmare Umbra, a nigh unstoppable Physical God, believed by many to be the living embodiment of war itself and wielding a vast arsenal of magic from simple Super-Strength and Super-Speed to being able to create armies of undead.
  • In Supergirl story Hellsister Trilogy, Satan Girl is Kara's dark side embodied and non-fettered by a conscience or human compassion and empathy. She's inhumanly powerful and lives to destroy.
  • Kaiju Revolution: Kamacuras, Kumonga and the Vagnosaurus matriarch are all very powerful fighters, but are more malevolent than the other female kaiju.
  • Kara of Rokyn: Faora Hur-Ul is the most lethal Kryptonian woman alive. In addition to her Kryptonian powerset she is a powerful martial artist as well as a telepath and fulgurkinetic.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race:
    • Dr. Wily brainwashes a cosmetics robot to attack and humiliate Roll, and sics Doris the maid on Dr. Light.
    • Nomad would have been this if she had stayed with Wily.
    • Splash Woman is also this; in addition to her brainwashing powers, she packs a plasma staff.
  • Mortal Kombat vs Marvel Universe:
    • Cassie is the most prominent example from the heroes' side, being this in the main story and the omakes, due to being the host of the dark half of the Phoenix Force.
    • Kitana is also this, stemming from being an assassin and former revenant.
  • Olga Discordia (pre-Heel–Face Turn) from The Night Unfurls is the Arc Villain of the Assault of the Black Fortress Arc, as well as the second belligerent of the centuries-old war against Eostia due to a burning hatred of the human race. Aside from wearing dark-coloured clothing, she once offered the Always Chaotic Evil orcs a city of her own kind, the dark elves, for their entertainment in order to have them join her ranks. Olga is the most powerful among her forces due to her magical prowess capable of rivalling Celestine's own, so powerful that at least one of the battles between the two caused much devastation to the lands (which leads to the both of them wordlessly agreeing not to directly face each other in battle). The remastered version buffs her up a bit, allowing her to hold her own against the world's strongest Lightning Bruiser Kyril for a while.
  • C'ren Bieber of One Less Lonely Gurl is this and a Villain Protagonist, despite being a Girly Girl who refuses to wear black.
  • Iva Kann from A Prize for Three Empires is a Kree warrior groomed since her childhood into becoming a killing machine.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen of All Oni, Jade is trying to fit this trope, with magic mixed in with physical ability, but has been weakened in a recent chapter, and is planning on recovering and taking a Level In Badass or two before entering the fight directly again.
  • Tiffany Stevens in The Secret Life of the Backyard Kids.
  • Amber Sheen in the The Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning.
  • Victoria Kati Ahart starts out as one in the Star Trek (2009) fanfic Safe and Sound, being one of Khan's followers and all, but she gets better as the story goes on. By extension the other woman follower, Cleopatra Suzette Ling, is most likely one too, but doesn't get the chance to show off her skills like Victoria does.
  • "Cinder" from Vale's Underground, while preferring to work from the shadows, is more then capable of taking on anyone who challenges her. When Adam Taurus attempts to take her place as the top mob boss, she beats him down.
  • Crimson Flame in the Eventide Verse My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic A Moonlit Storm is a member of the villainous group called the Thunderstrikes. She's a kirin, but unlike canon kirin, she embraces her fiery nature and fights by wreathing her hooves in flame before striking out with them a la Shego. She's also vicious, bad-tempered, racist, and ultimately proves to be treacherous toward her allies once she gets her hooves on a source of additional power.

    Film — Animated 
  • Helga Sinclair from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, as she can hold up a nasty, especially towards her former boss Rourke for betraying her for his greed.
  • In Barbie in Princess Power, Kara's cousin Dark Sparkle is Super Sparkle's rival and they quickly try to outdo each other.
  • Batman and Harley Quinn has Poison Ivy as one of the film's main villains and is pretty good in a fight. Harley Quinn was one before she retired.
  • Andrea Beaumont from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm combines this trope with being a Femme Fatale Broken Bird. Averted in most of the movie, considering that nobody is even aware the Phantasm is female until the final act.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings has Karasu and Washi, Kubo's aunts who serve as Co-Dragons to the Moon King. The two are extremely formidable opponents to Kubo as they pursue him relentlessly throughout the film. While Karasu is taken out of the film midway through, Washi sticks to near the end and manages to singlehandedly kill both Monkey and Beetle (the former of whom performs a Heroic Sacrifice to take out the both of them), forcing Kubo to face the actual Big Bad alone.
  • Shenzi, Zira, and Vitani are nonhuman ones from The Lion King films. Shenzi is a hyena and one of Scar's henchmen (and it's implied that she's the leader of her entire clan). Zira is Scar's former mate, and tries to avenge his death by leading the Outlanders into war with the Pride Lands. Vitani loves to fight, does the most damage to Simba during the ambush, and holds her own against Nala.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) has The Storm King's main enforcer Tempest Shadow, a unicorn mare that abandoned Equestria and turned evil, after her horn was broken in half as a child, making her magic dangerously unstable and ostracizing her from the other ponies. Throughout the film, she's shown easily defeating pretty much any thing in her way do to a mix of being surprisingly strong, a skilled fighter, and the fact that while her damaged horn can't cast most spells, it can unleash explosive blasts of energy.
  • Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty is the formidable Big Bad and ultimately the One-Winged Angel opponent to Prince Phillip in his final battle to save Aurora.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: Doc Ock is a lethal fighter who almost beats several versions of Spider-Man in combat.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 300: Rise of an Empire: has Artemisia, the leader of the Persian Fleet and their most skilled warrior, who has a vendetta against the Greeks. During the finale battle of the film she personally enters the fray while Dual Wielding a pair of swords, easily cutting down any Greek warrior in her way until she finally gets to Themistocles.
  • Selina Kyle aka Catwoman in Batman Returns after suffering a psychotic breakdown. She has no qualms about winning by cheating, jumps rope while she destroys a department store, and survives fatal situations multiple times.
  • Blade Runner 2049 has Luv, Wallace's top Replicant enforcer, who is shown to be a very skilled and sadistic fighter, at one point destroying K's virtual girlfriend in front of him, after she got the drop on the heroes.
  • BloodRayne: Katarin becomes this after her Face–Heel Turn, while a couple female minor vampire characters are also fighters.
  • Leilah, the elf terrorist and Big Bad in Bright. Imagine if Legolas used modern-day weaponry instead of bow and arrow, was a girl and evil, and you'd get her.
  • Bumblebee introduces us to Shatter, the first female Decipticon to brought to film and the Big Bad of the film's plot. While she generally prefers to be the brains of the operation, and leave her partner Dropkick to be the brawn, she is no less of a sadist than he and is shown to be more skilled dealing with the titular Bumblebee .
  • The Picts in Centurion have two. The first is also an archer though she can more than hold her own in hand-to-hand combat. The second is Etain who is described as more like an animal than a human.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011): Marique is a good fighter using her Wolverine Claws, and fights alongside her father Khalar Zym.
  • Crimes of the Future (2022): Berst and Dani are young women who masquerade as technicians. It turns out they're really both assassins, who kill their targets with power drills.
  • Cut to the Chase: Nola immediately shows she's one by deftly fighting off Max when he tries to stop her, thinking he's been sent after her by the Man. It turns out she's a hitwoman who worked for the Man, and is very capable.
  • The Big Bad of Cry of the Werewolf is Celeste, a Werewolf who murders a museum curator to prevent him from publishing a book about her family's secrets. She also has minions including a museum janitor and the protagonist's love interest, whom she hypnotizes into giving a false confession, and also plans on turning into another Werewolf, but she mainly uses her minions for spying on her enemies or sabotaging their investigations, preferring to do all the violent murdering herself with her Werewolf powers (including executing said janitor after he got his fingerprints on a crime scene).
  • Cut to the Chase: Nola is a hitwoman who has murdered multiple people in the past for her boss The Man. She had beaten up and kidnapped Izzy, her girlfriend, too when the latter tried to leave her. Then later once Max comes to rescue Izzy, she fights him before he kills her.
  • The Die Hard series has Katja in Die Hard with a Vengeance and Mai Linh in Live Free or Die Hard. Both of them are martial artists and the girlfriend of a more cerebral Big Bad, serving as his Dragon.
  • Viper from Doomsday, although her most memorable scene was not fighting but lighting a man on fire in order to cook him for the hungry crowd.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Sofina is the main villain of the story, who's a very skilled Red Wizard who fights off the heroes on her own, stabbing Holga with a knife as well. They only defeat her with guile.
  • The Family Plan: Gwen turns out to be a trained assassin like Dan, his former colleague and girlfriend. Another of the assassins whom Dan kills is also a young black woman.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: Vinda Rosier, Gellert Grindelwald's loyal lieutenant, who murders a Muggle family in cold blood, and expresses a desire to kill every single Muggle.
  • Gisele starts off as this in Fast & Furious, before her Heel–Face Turn. Though disappointingly, the only action she really gets to do in the film is very briefly firing at some SWAT team members at one point.
  • Leather-clad Tatiana - The Dragon in Final Score - uses a submachine gun, kickboxing skills and a combat knife during a prolonged battle with the hero.
  • Ni Chang from The Forbidden Kingdom, the "White-Haired Witch" and a minion of the Jade Warlord who nearly kills Lu Yan and easily outmatches Jason.
  • Captain Phasma from The Force Awakens is a subversion. As the leader of the stormtroopers you'd expect her to be a formidable opponent for the heroes, but she never fights and gets captured easily. She has better luck showing off her skills in the expanded universe and in The Last Jedi, she gets into a fight with Finn and proves to be fair match albeit, only for a little while.
  • The Baroness from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Slick leather outfit, tall boots, and two guns, she is a crossover with the Femme Fatale, as she seduces quite a few characters, but her usual MO is kicking butt. Counterpart to GI Joe operative Scarlett. Disappointingly, she turns out to be Brainwashed and Ax-Crazy and not doing it purely For the Evulz.
  • The Gingerweed Man: One of the villains in the movie, is Smokahontas, a girl in black who works for F.U. Tech, trying to get buddy. She has no qualms abut killing people with hatchets and her arm-mounted crossbow.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series, who is just as much of a Hero Killer as her book counterpart and even more Ax-Crazy.
  • Many, many bad Bond girls, but particularly the gleefully murderous Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) in GoldenEye, Mayday (Grace Jones) in A View to a Kill and Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) in Thunderball.
  • Dr. Ilsa Hayden in Judge Dredd. She has a Cat Fight with Action Girl Judge Hershey.
  • The John Wick series has a few examples, among the many different assassins that appear in the series:
  • Most of the predatory dinosaurs in the Jurassic Park franchise could count, due to the scientist only creating females to help control their population. These include the iconic T-Rex and Velociraptors and the I-Rex.
  • Kick-Ass 2 has Mother Russia, a super strong One-Woman Army and The Dragon, who is shown taking out ten police officers by herself and Hit Girl. The two fight in the climax, as they are the only ones in the film that are shown to be capable of taking the other on.
  • Kill Bill: O-Ren Ishii, Elle Driver, and Vernita Green were all part of The Deadly Vipers Assassins, the same team our heroine was on and are all shown to be at least on par with her.
  • A fast and ruthless combatant, Gazelle from Kingsman: The Secret Service is a very capable fighter. Of her opponents only Eggsy is even able to land a scratch on her. Good thing a scratch was all he needed.
  • Lady Macbeth: Katherine. She ends up poisoning her father-in-law, bludgeoning her husband to death and smothering her ward with a pillow.
  • Man of Steel has Sub-Commander Faora-Ul, Generals Zod's second in command and one the Kryptonian Invaders' most skilled combatants.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martian Girl is the only known female troop in the Martian army. She's one of the more competent soldiers.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Ms. Clinton in Momentum is a skilled (and rather sadistic) member of a Cleanup Crew whose first action is to kickbox a man into submission. It's not until the climax when she really gets to shine, though. After she survives a bomb blast, the bloody-faced killer takes on and defeats multiple security guards armed with truncheons and sidearms. And she starts the fight without a weapon. This toughie only goes down when a Combat Pragmatist shoots her in the head.
  • The Mummy Trilogy:
  • Princess Ahmanet from The Mummy (2017) is shown to be a skilled combatant, even before she became an undead mystical creature, managing to win a sparring match back in Ancient Egypt against a larger opponent.
  • Nighthawks: Shakka is a Moroccan woman who serves as Wolfgar's assistant and accomplice in his terrorism. She's cold and ruthless like him, murdering Hartman while later holding people hostage with Wolfgar. He warns them not to expect mercy from her or underestimate Shakka because she's a woman.
  • Pistolera blasts her way through a drug cartel on a murderous Roaring Rampage of Revenge. As a Villain Protagonist, she straddles the line between being a straight Action Girl and this trope.
  • The Princess: Moira, Julius' mistress, is equally skilled to the princess and Linh with use of her long whip. She's The Baroness and wears dark clothing, giving both of them a very hard fight.
  • The Russian gangster, Mona Demarkov, in Romeo is Bleeding is a particularly ruthless and sadistic example, without the benefit of magic powers or Waif-Fu.
  • Rush Hour 2 has Hu Li, the female enforcer for The Triads, who manages to quickly defeat and injure Isabella in their Designated Girl Fight, before almost killing Detective Carter with a sword, and at the end of the movie tries to take the heroes out with her, using a bomb.
  • The Scorpion King: From the second movie onwards, every entry includes an evil female warrior to have a Designated Girl Fight with the Love Interest:
    • Astarte in Rise of a Warrior as an evil goddess of love and war that actually serves as the movie's Greater-Scope Villain due to Sargon being her worshiper. She does fight against Layla briefly.
    • Tsukai in Search for Redemption is a undead summoned by the Book of the Dead to kill Mathayus and trades blows with Princess Silda.
    • Chancara in Quest for Power is a fierce cage fighter whom Valina is forced to fight against in order for her and her allies proceed into their quest.
    • Khensa in Book of Souls is arguably the darkest and most brutal example in the series, being a crazed Jackal Warrior with no reservations about killing children just because she felt like it. Unusually, she doesn't fight the love interest (since she is a non-fighter) and Tala is The Lancer instead. And it's Mathayus who kills her instead for personal reasons.
  • Whenever it's a woman beneath the Ghostface mask in a Scream film, she's inevitably this on account of her being able to brutally kill multiple people.
    • Scream 2: Nancy Loomis, despite being a middle-aged woman who doesn't look like an imposing killer, manages to drag a man into a news van and stab him to death. Furthermore, while she scored far fewer confirmed kills than her accomplice, she was the ringleader of the entire murder spree.
    • Scream 4: Jill Roberts is, like the last female killer, the mastermind of the plan despite killing fewer people than her accomplice. During the climax, she also puts herself through hell to pull off a convincing Wounded Gazelle Gambit and get people to think she was the Final Girl, and then, upon finding out that Sidney is still alive, gets out of her hospital bed to finish the job like a true Determinator.
    • Scream (2022): Sam Carpenter is a heroic example, a dark, troubled counterpart to the Action Survivor Sidney who's the daughter of the first film's lead killer Billy Loomis and has a deeply bloodthirsty streak to her, most notably when she kills the Big Bad in an exceptionally violent manner before wiping her blade in true Ghostface fashion. As for the killers, Amber Freeman is a Pint-Sized Powerhouse who acts as the main muscle of the duo with the most confirmed kills, the most brutal one being when she stabs a man in the front and back with two knives that she then pulls up his torso to gut him.
  • Skyscraper has Botha's female lieutenant Xia. She kills numerous police officers and security guards throughout the movie (including two at the control facility she effortlessly demolishes with a mixture of martial arts and gunfire), callously murders the team's hacker after he did his job and was afterwards more of a liability, and she would have strangled Sarah to death near the end of the film, if not for Inspector Wu's intervention.
  • Special Female Force: One of the Big Bad's lieutenants is a female gangster called Tung Zi, who stands out due to her exotic looks in a Hong Kong film, wearing dark leather clothing, being covered in tattoos and having long dreadlocks.
  • Stiletto: Penny is on the bad guys' side, and fairly good at fighting. She brutally attacks Raina near the end, with the latter managing to take her down.
  • Suicide Squad (2016):
    • Harley Quinn is the right-hand girl of The Joker and according to Amanda Waller, may be just as crazy and even more dangerous than him. In the film, she's able to keep up and fight on even terms with the rest of the team, despite having no powers, being significantly smaller than most of them, and presumably not having any formal combat training, and only being armed with a .357 revolver, a mallet and a baseball bat.
    • There's also the Big Bad of the film, The Enchantress, a Physical Goddess capable of easily decimating a city and posing a huge threat to the world, and even without using her powers, is able to fend off the whole squad on her own.
  • The T-X (Terminatrix) from Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is the first "female" Terminator robot of the saga. She was designed by Skynet to combat reprogrammed Terminator units. To wit, she is much stronger, much tougher, and capable of overriding the reprogramming done by the Resistance, and John Connor even calls her an "Anti-Terminator-Terminator". In terms of technology, she's a composite of the T-800 and the T-1000 — she's liquid metal over an endoskeleton, making her more stable than the T-1000, as well as being able to carry on-board weapons, and is still able to shift her appearance to impersonate other people, making her a Lightning Bruiser. Her thighs are capable of crushing bones with pressure greater than an industrial hydraulic press. And she wears a red leather catsuit in her default form.
  • Lola from the Transporter 2, could also double as Psycho for Hire.
  • Selene from Underworld (2003) fits this trope quite nicely until she realizes that she's been fighting the wrong war.
  • Dracula's three brides become this in Van Helsing. Marishka is killed off pretty early but Verona and Aleera really prove to be quite the thorn in the protagonist's side.
  • Werewolves Within: Cecily turns out to be the werewolf, who's a cunning, fierce enemy as well who takes a lot of killing at the end before she's killed.
  • Wolf Warrior II: Athena is one of the villainous Private Military Contractors. Handy with a pistol and a sniper rifle and middling in a fist fight, but her most actiony moment is ramping a motor bike up onto the roofs of some shanties and then jumping from the bike onto a speeding 4x4 and trying to smash her way in. Probably the girlfriend of Great Bear, The Brute of the bunch.
  • X-Men Film Series:

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Americans: Elizabeth Jennings, undercover KGB agent and one of the two protagonists of the show. While masquerading as a travel agent and ordinary suburban mother of two children in the US, she is willing to kill in cold blood, poison a woman's son to force her to work for the KGB, and lie to her own children about what her and her husband Phillip actually do for a living, among other morally dark acts.
  • Sarah Corvis in Bionic Woman is a prime example. She teaches the Action Girl protagonist just so that she can fight her later. Sarah also seems to like to drop hints, though it's been shown she does have a motivating romantic interest.
  • Birds of Prey (2002):
    • Harley Quinn is the Big Bad and she's skilled in combat.
    • Shiva is a female thief turned assassin who's in one episode as the villain.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Faith is half this, half Dark Magical Girl. Her abilities are action-based, not magical, and the fights between Buffy and Faith are adrenaline-spiked highlights among the series' many action sequences. Directors, stunt directors, actresses, and stunt doubles always seemed to go all out whenever one of these scenes came up. At the same time, her issues are much more of the DMG vein, and she is eventually redeemed DMG-style in a two-part episode of Angel. However, even after Faith returns and joins up with Buffy, the two constantly butt heads, often violently.
    • Darla. While in flashbacks, she's less action-y and more just plain evil, during the first season, she was The Master's Dragon. That is, until she died.
    • God of Evil Glory should be mentioned, seeing as she was the Big Bad of a season.
    • Wishverse Buffy, to the point where Faith is Lighter and Softer.
    • Dark Willow can counts as well though it was temporary. She was able to confront Buffy in a close-ranged fight using her powers in addition.
  • Criminal Minds: UnSub Miranda Jakar from "Outfoxed" was a survivor of the Srebrenica massacre who turned Child Soldier and later "family annihilator"-style Serial Killer. Cornered by the BAU she engaged Morgan in a fistfight and was overpowering him when he managed to shoot her with her own gun.
  • Deputy: "10-8 Do No Harm" features a female villain named Rose, who impersonates a deputy sheriff, murders an actual deputy on being spotted and takes hostages along with her prisoner boyfriend in a jail infirmary to get him released after he gets life-saving surgery. She's quite ruthless and not hesitant about shooting people or threatening them in the least.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Planet of the Dead": Lady Christina de Souza is a Classy Cat-Burglar who's much more morally ambiguous than most companions. The Doctor doesn't seem to mind too much.
    • Melody Pond was one of these, since she was a psychopathic Tyke Bomb raised to kill the Doctor. She does perform a Heel–Face Turn and becomes River Song, though.
  • Dracula (2013): Lady Jayne singlehandedly kills two vampires in the London Underground and decapitates a third later on. She's a high-ranking member of the Order of the Dragon, a secret society that has been covertly manipulating Western civilization for centuries.
  • Game of Thrones: Ramsay's companion Myranda is shown to be highly proficient with a bow when she hunts with him.
  • In From the Cold: Gaia, who Svetlana replaced Jenny with, shows great combat skill like her. She's her Evil Counterpart basically.
  • Sqn Ldr Knox from Invasion: Earth, who has no qualms about employing the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on a man in a hospital bed.
  • Kung Fu (2021): Zhilan is a very evil Chinese woman who's after the artifacts. She is a deadly martial artist who killed Pei-Ling and goes toe to toe with Nicky, Pei-Ling's later student, without difficulty. Zhilan wears black in her first appearance too, fittingly.
  • Cold-blooded Israeli assassin Mikel Dayan in Leverage. She's more of a Punch-Clock Villain than anything else though.
  • Vlad from season 4 of Lexx. Most of her scenes with Kai involved her beating the snot out of him.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • The three priestesses from Rhun. Do not get fool by them dressing up in white gowns, they belong to a dangerous cult worshipping Sauron. Two of them are specialized in weapon wielding, while their leader is a powerful Lady of Black Magic. The fight one of the Istari, and get temporary defeated by him.
    • The female warg slaver kept by Orcs is a mad beast that gets several people killed when they try to escape.
    • Presumably, some of the Orcs are females, but they are probably so deformed that is impossible to distinguish them from the males.
  • Starting with season 3 of Merlin (2008), Morgana Pendragon goes from a Princess Classic to an Evil Sorcerer. After learning that king Uther is her father, having to hide her own magic, feeling extremely isolated in Camelot for years, being poisoned by Merlin, and after being taken away by Morgause for a year, she returns as a vengeful and resentful black magic wielder. She becomes the main villain for the rest of the show and is powerful enough to go toe to toe with Merlin.
  • The Night Agent: Ellen, oh so much. A skilled, ruthless assassin, her pure black hair and Slasher Smile cement the trope.
  • October Faction: Alice, the main antagonist of the series, is a female warlock who's skilled in combat (though she uses magic mostly). She takes down multiple armed male opponents with relative ease when they hunt her.
  • Pandora: Tierney, whose good with both guns and unarmed combat, while being part of the criminal Hypatia Syndicate. She's basically Jax's evil counterpart.
  • Power Rangers has quite a few of these: Scorpina, Archerina, Astronema, Trakeena, Vypra, and Tenaya 7, just to name some of the most prominent.
  • Princess Silver: Hen Xiang, whose actions include almost murdering Zhao Yun and fighting a duel with Fu Chou.
  • Smallville:
  • Star Trek: Picard: Narissa, a Zhat Vash operative and The Dragon in Season 1, is a competent combatant, but she's outclassed by Elnor's Super-Reflexes and Seven of Nine's superior strength.
  • Super Sentai has had plenty throughout its run.
    • Salome in Battle Fever J is a covert agent and assassin for Secret Society Egos. She's powerful enough she can take on every single member of Team Battle Fever.
    • Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan has the Zero Girls, an all-female quarter of spies who act as enforcers for Black Magma. Later on they're joined by Amazon Killer, who's powerful enough to take on all three members of Sun Vulcan at once.
    • Dr. Mazenda in Choujuu Sentai Liveman, particularly after she upgraded herself into "Machine Mazenda". She was strong enough to overwhelm Red Falcon initially, to the point where he resorted to tricking her into using up all her ammo to give himself a fighting chance.
    • Space Ninjas Furabiijo and Wendinu in Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger. One episode shows Wendinu gets much stronger and grows giant whenever she's angry or stressed, to the point where she's able to decimate both the Hurricanegers and Gouraigers in their Humongous Mecha.
  • Swarm: Dre is a female serial killer who's pretty skilled at killing people. Mostly she ambushes them.
  • Tidelands (Netflix): Leandra murders Zach Maney in her very first scene, displaying unusual strength while doing so as she picks up Maney by his neck. She also later beats up Action Girl heroine Cal. Leandra appears to be Adrielle's main enforcer and bodyguard.
  • Utopia (US): Colleen, Mike's wife]], turns out to be a sleeper agent for the Harvest, and she beats Jessica in their fight before being shot by someone else.
  • Willow: Scorpia, leader of the Bone Reavers, is skilled with a knife and unarmed combat. Downplayed however as it turns out she's more of an Anti-Villain.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess:
    • Callisto, Xena's Evil Counterpart. She does pull a Heel–Face Turn later in the show's run, actually. It takes divine intervention, though. It requires Xena — who, at this point, had died and become an Archangel — to take on all of Callisto's sins and suffering, thus damning herself to Hell for all eternity. This removes all of Callisto's memories of being evil, which, not coincidentally, leaves her with more or less no memory of her life after turning twelve. Then when Callisto is reincarnated, it happens to her all over again, including the Heel–Face Turn, as Livia/Eve, except she doesn't lose her memories.
    • And, of course, Xena was one herself prior to her Heel–Face Turn.

  • Slymenstra Hymen, Estrogina Lugubrious, and Vulvatron of GWAR.
  • Megadeth's eponymous "She-Wolf", a vicious beast woman and wicked seductress.
    One look in her lusting eyes!
    Savage fear in you will rise!
    Teeth of terror sinking in!
    The bite of the She-Wolf!

    Mythology & Religion 
  • The lion goddess Sekhmet in Egyptian Mythology. She also was given titles such as the "(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles", "Mistress of Dread", "Lady of Slaughter" and "She Who Mauls". In a myth about the end of Ra's rule on the earth, Ra sends Sekhmet to destroy mortals who conspired against him. Sekhmet's blood-lust was not quelled at the end of battle and led to her destroying almost all of humanity, so Ra poured out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite so that it resembled blood. Mistaking the beer for blood, she became so drunk that she gave up the slaughter and returned peacefully to Ra.
  • The Morrigan of Celtic Mythology was known for being a war and death goddess. She's certainly on humanity's side as Dark Is Not Evil for the Celts, but she was also a Blood Knight who loved to throw a wrench in human wars by fighting for whoever was winning...and then fucking something up so the other side would start winning. Her name meant either "Great Queen" or "Great Terror", and her most infamous moment was being responsible for the death of Ireland's greatest hero because he was too tired for a one-night stand.
  • "The Black Goddess" Kali of Hindu Mythology has shades of this. She comes out when Durga loses her composure and is a Blood Knight. An example of this would be whenever she devoured a demon who could regenerate From a Single Cell and the following bloodlust caused her to do a victory dance that caused earthquakes throughout several worlds, but she still calmed down in the end. However she's firmly in Dark Is Not Evil territory as she usually only comes out to play whenever the gods have to kick the asses of especially evil beings.
  • The Keres of Greek Mythology are goddesses of violent death who feed on the blood of sick, dying and traumatized men they find on the battlefield. They'll even fight over their prey if there isn't enough to go around. It's been noted by scholars that they're the Evil Counterpart to Valkyries.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Miss Texas continued to beat up men in USWA after her Face–Heel Turn, although she proved to be more effective as a face, as the story changed from her being tough enough to take offense from men and give it right back to them being reluctant to fight her until she attacked enough.
  • Among the evil foreigners of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, there was Chyna, who was notable for working in a region with a much stricter male-female divide than say, The International Wrestling Federation or World Wrestling Federation in the North East United States. She was about the same size as later breakout star Prince Devitt, possibly stronger than him, almost as agile and easily as evil.
  • The six foot, 200 pound vampire Rio Storm in California's Ultimate Pro Wrestling, though she ended up subverting this trope by turning face and teaming up with Gangrel. Before that though, they had tried to bring Melissa Coates and the aforementioned Chyna to deal with her and she was frequently considered a de facto heavyweight title contender (for reference, John Cena held that belt).
  • La Tigresa after her infamous arrest, resulting Face–Heel Turn and the end of WWC's women's division saw her harass the male baby faces as a manager. Not many managers till then would keep interfering in matches even after the faces struck them with metal objects, nor could many managers choke slam the opposition of their clientele.
  • MsChif started out in Gateway Championship Wrestling as a manager but when she started wrestling she ended up going on an undefeated streak, mostly at the expense of men, through use of deceptive strength, speed, flexibility and agility, though she was more remembered for continuing to attack after victories. But in the event a man could come up with a sound strategy in a match up, she was perfectly willing to break rules. And if that didn't work Tag Team partner Delirious would usually run in on her behalf. In these ways she was built up to face one of the main faces, Billy McNeil.
  • While the Triple Tails' entry into SMASH was to ultimately result in a showdown between The World Famous Kana and her self described Arch-Enemy Syuri, the first targets of the Tails were Makoto and Yusuke Kodama, demonstrating no member of the roster was safe. After Yoshihiro Tajiri ran off the assailants, Kana and The Sexy Purple Sisters made their mission the elimination of him and any other old men like him they could find. Triple Tails endured after the SMASH promotion folded, spreading across the Japanese circuit, adding Ayumi Kurihara, Mika Iida, and Shu Shibutani to their ranks in the process.
  • Celtic Championship Wrestling in Ireland has the appropriately named Raven Creed - who just loves to attack and antagonise everyone in sight. She also has a very 'dark' appearance, wrestling mostly in black. She's so violent she's able to be a Heel in intergender matches - when women are usually Faces.
  • In CHIKARA, rivals Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze had both beaten all the other regular and semi-regular female wrestlers on the CHIKARA roster, and were frustrated that their careers weren't advancing while they faced each other repeatedly. So when Claudio Castagnoli formed Die Bruderschaft des Kreuzes, Del Rey and Haze both joined up with it and proceeded to take their frustrations out on the male CHIKARA roster. Del Rey in particular, being as big and strong as the male wrestlersnote , was a force to be reckoned with. This led to the Bruderschaft's downfall, as Castagnoli became intimidated by Del Rey and worked to make sure she didn't overshadow him. In the end Del Rey and Haze were kicked out of the Bruderschaft. Haze suffered a career ending injurynote  and Del Rey proceeded to turn face and run Castagnoli out of CHIKARA.
  • Recently, numerous WWE female wrestlers (particularly Rhea Ripley and Shotzi Blackhart) have broken the clean-cut mold of the WWE Women's Division with edgier and darker looks as well as tattoos and piercings.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has several, from the Pyhrexian general and Hero Killer Tsabo Tavoc to the Anti-Hero necromancer Liliana Vess, to the Cult of Rakdos' Maze Champion Exava.
  • Pathfinder has Szuriel, Seraph of Devastation, and Horseman of War. Once a fallen paladin, she now represents all of war's worst aspects, and of all the evil female deities is the one who most frequently gets physical.
  • From the Dark Eldar of Warhammer 40,000, comes the wyches, each one a leather bound gladiatrix with a well-earned penchant for murder. The greatest of them and the absolute queen of this trope (to her fans at least) is Lelith Hesperax, who can murder an enemy squad before they can even fight back. She's so badass, an in-joke is that her hair counts as a power weapon.
    • There's also Lady Malys, also of the Dark Eldar, who goes for more of the "Dark Lady of War" approach. She's been compared to a Magical Girl anime villain, razor-edged steel fan and all.
    • Also, while wyches are not exclusively female, a majority of them are. The Dark Eldar value skill and potential above all else, so there are virtually no gender barriers. That also means that the Dark Eldar can hold this trope to every career path, from Haemonculus to Incubus to Archon.
    • Their fantasy counterparts are just as hardcore - only they replace the Blood Sport aspect with a Blood Cult; they're referred to as the "Brides of Khaine" (he's the elven god of murder).

  • Lynette Fromme and Sara Jane More in Assassins. The title of the play makes it rather obvious as to why these two ladies fit the trope, even if Fromme is the most incompetant assassin on the stage.
  • The Witch from Into the Woods placed a curse on The Hero and his wife before the events of the show, practically abused her daughter, Rapunzel, by locking her in a tower for years, and cut off Rapunzel's hair and banished her into the desert. While the Witch had to work with the heroes for a time, she was the first cast member to start taking initiative when the true Big Bad started killing everyone, and was dead set on sacrificing Jack to the Giantess. Then, towards the end of the show, she curses the heroes when they all confront her, throws away her magical beans, and vanishes, possibly committing suicide. And on top of all that, she's got attitude. She is, however, one of the more sympathetic versions of this trope: She apparently really did care for Rapunzel, despite having no idea how to properly raise her, and is devastated (and sees her attempts to keep her away from the prince confirmed as correct) when Rapunzel is trampled on by the giant's wife, killing her.

    Theme Parks 


    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Tex in is not only the only woman in blood gulch (until much later), but also the only capable soldier. She's technically on the side of the Blue Team, which doesn't stop her from abusing and scaring the shit out of her allies. She is also the one character who wears black armor.
    • Every female Freelancer counts on one level or another, especially South, who shoots her own brother in the back in a jealous rage.
    • There were also at least a couple female troops among The Insurrection's Elite Mooks, who managed to hold their own against the Freelancers just as well as their male counterparts.
  • RWBY:
    • Cinder Fall is a ruthless and cruel villainess. She is one of the most powerful fighters in the series due to absorbing the Fall Maiden's powers. When she's not carrying out her plans to endanger the world and spread chaos, she's defeating enemies with relative ease using fire Dust, dual blades, or her bow and arrow. She solidifies her status as a Dark Action Girl when she personally murders Amber and Pyrrha.
    • Emerald is Cinder's underling and a stealthy thief and assassin who isn't above using under-handed tactics or her illusory powers to defeat foes with her kusarigama-like weapon.
    • Neo is an associate of Roman Torchwick and, despite standing at 4'9", has the finesse to completely avoid the attacks of and curb-stomp Ruby and Yang with elegance and style. And both time she's about to deliver the killing blow to them she has an obvious glee on her face.
    • Yang's trailer (Yellow) featured the elegantly dressed Tag Team Twins, Melanie & Miltia(des) Malachite, among Junior's mooks at his club. After Yang attacks and wipes the floor with all the other henchmen, they gang up on and manage to hold their own significantly better than Junior's more other more generically dressed men.

  • Hortense in The Adventures of Dr. least, so far as we know. Not to mention the good doctor's mother, Mitzi.
  • In Blade of Toshubi, Lamika, aka Lady Snow Blood, kind of falls into this trope.
  • Saturday in Cucumber Quest is a thief and a gunslinger (well, star-shooter-slinger). She isn't as evil as some of the other villains, but she definitely causes a lot of problems for the heroes.
  • Kria, the demon mare of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, is a Dark Action Mom. But given the comic, her appearances are Villains Out Shopping.
  • Amazi-Girl was mostly a Batman joke in her Dumbing of Age incarnation, until she started car-surfing, using bolt-cutters as a zipwire and beating up Danny's and Becky's fathers...
  • Empowered has Ninjette, who deals out some pretty graphic violence on occasion.
  • Heel Combagals in Furry Fight Chronicles invoke this image when fighting. Their fighting outfits are more provocative and with darker colors, and they fight more violently.
  • Girl Genius: Everyone on this list is sympathetically portrayed, and usually are more-or-less on the side of good. Girl Genius is Black-and-Gray Morality Played for Laughs, because that allows for far more awesome Mad Scientists.
    • Jenka was doing pretty well holding her own against guards and Othar.
    • Gkika, being one of the Jager Generals, probably falls somewhere between this and Lady of War.
    • Von Pinn is just Ax-Crazy, and can tear Jagers apart with her bare hands.
    • Dupree, who's axe CRAZIER. She routinely attempts to murder entire towns (and, it's implied, only fails because her commanders won't let her) and actively taunts Von Pinn.
    • Zola, the false Hererodyne heir, isn't a bad example of this trope, either.
  • Reng-Lo from Harkovast, who is notable for being a skilled warrior and complete psycho.
  • In Homestuck, thirteen year old Vriska Serket is a murdering egomaniac- the most violent, sadistic, and remorseless of all the trolls and is considered evil even by the standards of her barbaric planet. She is responsible for the deaths of thousands of trolls, as well as a teammate, and for seriously crippling two of her "friends" (and later killing one). She also purposefully facilitated a chain of events that led to an indestructible demon to be created and kill many, many more people- just because she wanted to have the glory of killing said demon. She's also among the most powerful characters in the comic. Later, however, she begins to realize that her upbringing was what caused her to become like this, as she was forced to hunt other trolls to sate the hunger of her spider-monster custodian, under threat of death. For the first time, she also feels true remorse after killing one of her friends. Her contact with and romantic interest in John also helps her see the error in many of the things that she's done. However, just as she comes to the conclusion that she doesn't want to kill or hurt people anymore, she is killed by Terezi in order to save the remaining trolls, as her plan to fight Jack Noir would have resulted in their deaths. As a consequence she has become one of the most controversial characters in the fandom. Later, we encounter Vriska in a dream bubble two years after her death. She's changed quite a bit.
    • Meenah Peixes is the Dark Action Girl for the pre-scratch trolls. She greets people by trying to kill them and is indirectly responsible for a few deaths in her team (even though she had no intention of causing them). She also idolizes her post-scratch counterpart, who is a genocidal tyrant. She's not anywhere near as bloodthirsty as Vriska was, although just as egotistical and belligerent, and a lot more mischievous. Needless to say, when the two meet, sparks fly.
    • Because almost every female cast member of Homestuck is an Action Girl in some sense, essentially all female antagonists in Homestuck count as this.
    • After the RetJohn, Vriska returns to being this, along with Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work, with her presence almost single-handedly solving a majority of the issues the people on the meteor faced, from stopping Rose's alcoholism in its tracks to preventing Terezi from becoming Gamzee's kismesis. She also prevents a repeat of [S] Game Over by using her Mind Manipulation to knock out Jane and Jade before going to confront Lord English.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper: Scarlet walking the lines between anti-hero and anti-villain makes her this. After all, she is a grim reaper. While she does kill sinners, the overall morality of killing in general is explored.
  • It's Walky!: Sal Walters tends to weave in and out of the "dark" portion of Action Girl. She wasn't above opening a can of whupass on her own brother, though.
  • Lifolei (which is on the 'good' guys side!) and Thlassa of Juathuur.
  • Given the nature of the RPG World, The Order of the Stick has multiple: Sabine, Crystal, Tsukiko (she mostly creates undead Mooks but can fight very well if she has to), as well as Samantha, Laurin, and Oona.
  • Sakido from Slightly Damned certainly had a history as one of these. She was one of hell's most elite warriors in The Great War before retiring to the ring of the slightly damned. She shows us what she's made of when she takes down the guardian of hell and then single handedly fights her way through the legions of demons to get her little brother and his friend Rhea to the mortal world, even though she knows she'll die in the process.
    • Lazuli plays the role much straighter, and is pretty terrifying.
  • Kusari from Sluggy Freelance - a masked assassin with superhuman powers who unfailingly follows the orders of the villainous Hereti-Corp executives. Her perhaps even more dangerous "sister", Oasis, is too nuts to count, especially as she imagines she's actually good.

    Western Animation 


Yuriko Omega

Vengeful survivor-graduate of a secret paramilitary telekinetic research program.

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