Obviously Joss Whedon is legendary for his work in television as well as he newly huge success in the Avengers. He is also known for being a huge feminist and creating some of the strongest and most wonderful women to ever hit the small screen. Here is a list of the best 20 (in my opinion) female characters he brought to life in any of his five amazing TV shows.
20) Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/ Angel
Faith was a pretty strong chick. Even though she annoyed some of us throughout her time on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she eventually turned out to be quite mature and a strong ally of Buffy in the end. We’ll just try to forget that whole torturing Wesley scene.
19) Sierra from Dollhouse
Sierra was one of the dolls in Joss Whedon’s dollhouse and one that I thought was far less annoying that Echo. Sorry, Echo did not make this list. Her backstory was very depressing and her beautiful love story with Victor made her a quick fan favorite.
18) Joyce Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
For the first few seasons of Buffy, you may view Joyce as a clueless and very naïve mom that seemed to just get in the slayer’s way but as the seasons went on, we discovered what a loving and beautiful woman she really was. She became a role model to all of the scoobies and her death is one of the most powerful one’s in TV history.
17) Harmony Kendall from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
Harmony was a perfect example of a sorority girl gone wrong. Though she never made it to college (seeing as she was bitten during her high school graduation), that didn’t stop her from becoming a much needed comic relief in both Buffy and later in Angel. She’s evil, she’s blonde and you never know what she’s going to do next.
16) Adele DeWitt from Dollhouse
Half of the time when you’re watching Dollhouse, you are convinced that Adelle is in fact an evil monster of woman but at the end of it all, we learn she is actually one of the strongest characters in the show keeping her doll’s best interests at heart. Her developing relationship with everyone in the cast (especially Topher) gave the supposed woman with a black heart a true identity as being loving and caring.
15) Cordelia Chase from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
I must admit I love Cordelia a whole lot more on Buffy than when she got super soft on Angel. She did seem to lose her comedic edge but at the end of it all, she was Angel’s confidante through the entire show…even after she went into a coma. Cordelia represented what could actually happen to a very superficial person when the pain of others is at stake.
14) Winifred “Fred” Burkle from Angel
Fred was the sweetest little scientist woman who didn’t seem to have a mean bone in her body. Throughout Angel, she represented an innocence and a purity that the show seemed to be severely lacking. Her innocence was so powerful that A Hole in the World goes down in TV history as one of the toughest hours to get through without crying…..her final words to Wesley as she dies is “Why can’t I stay?”. Go on, tell me you didn’t cry your eyes out.
13) Inara Serra from Firefly
All of the characters from Firefly are on point and Inara is no different. She’s a beautiful companion who is also exceedingly wise and unbelievably stoic. She definitely brought a certain amount of class and restraint to an otherwise pretty wild and crazy ship of outlaws. And let’s be honest, we are all furious the show got cancelled before Mal and her finally admitted their feelings for one another.
12) Tara Maclay from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If you were like me, it took a while for you to get used to Tara being in the picture. She’s the woman who broke up Willow and Oz. That’s nearly impossible to come back from but her caring personality and quiet funny remarks made it impossible to dislike her. She always put Willow first until her dying day and she was one of the most missed characters after her death scene in season six.
11) Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I can’t help but loving a good bad guy and in Glory’s case; the best bad guy. Out of all of the big bads in Buffy, Glory was not only a really threat to the group but she was actually a God. Of course that didn’t stop her from being the most hilarious character in season five. Her obsession with fashion and cluelessness on how humans operate made her a villain we loved to watch throughout the whole season.
10) River Tam from Firefly
At the heart of the show of Firefly lies River Tam. She is kind of the reason they all get into so much trouble with the alliance and she is quite crazy. But in the best way possible. River was literally a genius/trained super assassin that always made episodes more interesting with her in the mix. Her love for her brother and eventually the entire crew helped her realize there is good in the universe and if the show lasted, she would become everyone’s favorite superhero.
9) Anya Jenkins from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Her sarcasm and utter unintentional cruelty is what made us all fall in love with Anya even before she became a main cast member but her love for Xander and her inherent humanity coming through is what made her even better. Anya always said the wrong thing at the wrong time but also served as a voice of reason whenever anyone else was getting out of hand. Also she was terrified of bunnies. How hilarious is that.
8) Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
All aboard the crazy train, next stop: wherever Drusilla is. Drusilla is insane but also so likable and hilarious for such an evil character. Her backstory with both Angel and Spike are wonderful and she is just perfectly creepy. Whenever she made an appearance on Buffy or Angel, you knew that the episode would be ten times better. I’d like to think Drusilla is still wandering around the Buffyverse causing insance havoc wherever she goes.
7) Melinda May from Agents of SHIELD
Now, this is a badass b*tch. She is the f*cking cavalry. She is the best agent that Coulson has and she doesn’t take anyone’s crap. But at the end of it all, she cares so much for her fellow agents (especially Coulson…..wink wink nudge nudge) and will do anything to keep them safe. Now all we need to know is what happened in Bahrain…..whatever is it, we all know it’s an amazingly badass story with her in the heart of it.
6) Zoe Washburne from Firefly
Zoe was completely the best second in command in any sci fi ship in history. Period. Come at me, Star Trek fans. She was tough and supported Mal in any way that she could. She had no problem putting people (especially Jayne) in their place and always fought like a champ. She also had the best marriage ever to Wash…….sorry, I need to take a break to cry uncontrollably.
5) Jemma Simmons from Agents of SHIELD
Jemma is perfection. Yes May is kickass and I guess there are some people around that actually like Skye but Simmons is such a strong woman for a character with minimal fighting ability. She is insanely smart and was able to successfully go undercover inside Hydra. But let’s be honest, the real reason she is the best is Fitz. Their relationship is a perfect example of the Whedon relationships we’ve all grown to know and love; they are quirky, loving and perfect for each other. They both just need to realize it.
4) Kaylee Frye from Firefly
The sweetest soul in the Firefly universe is the mechanic of the ship. Kaylee is the cutest and most precious character in the whole show. Her heart is so big that everyone wants to protect her at all costs even the people you may not expect (Jayne). Her beautiful brother/sister relationship with Mal made our hearts melt and her insane romantic tension with Simon drove us crazy.
3) Lilah Morgan from Angel
Being evil never looked so good. Lilah is not only evil but she doesn’t try to hide it. She does whatever she can to take down Angel and anyone else in his group at whatever cost. She is smarter than most of her Wolfram and Hart counterparts and was able cause trouble for Angel for years before her untimely death…..and that didn’t even stop her. Obviously her relationship with Wesley is a high point giving a human face to an otherwise delightfully horrible character.
2) Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
I mean, come on, Buffy literally embodies Joss Whedon. She’s a woman that most people would think as a weak link…but then he gave her superpowers. Not only was Buffy the strongest character Joss had ever written but she was vulnerable. When you watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you go on this journey of life with her….feeling her pain all along the way. This obviously made it even sweeter when she got her victories at the end of it all. Buffy was a role model for all girls to learn that it’s okay to be feminine and be strong. Being a woman doesn’t make you weak. It makes you powerful.
1) Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Willow is probably one of the most complex characters that Joss Whedon has ever written. She is quirky and cute but also the most powerful witch in the world. For most of the show, she can’t even comprehend her own strength and power. She did end up saving the world at the end of the series but not before she tried to end it a year later. Just like Buffy, we watched Willow go through the many stages of her life and see a strong and powerful woman come out at the end of it all.