In a genre dominated by male counterparts, female sidekicks are nothing new. But after the decades we’ve seen them change and morph into strong-willed, intelligent, capable characters that can stand on their own two feet. When your female sidekick is doing most of the work, it begs the question – why aren’t they the lead? More than the super-smart hacker behind the muscle, more than the damsel in distress for the dashing hero to save, here’s a list of 5 ladies who could take over for their mentors without skipping a single beat.

Saved by Green Arrow from a life of prostitution, the latest sidekick to use the name Speedy, Mia Dearden has proven to be a character with staying power. Trained by the Green Arrow and a strong part of the Arrow Family, Mia has had few times to shine on her own. Mia’s status as HIV-positive would bring extra drama, having that hang over her head as well as representation for people who live with the virus and a vehicle for education for those who don’t. Taking over the Green Arrow mantle and leading her own series, carrying on Oliver’s proud and strong ‘social justice warrior’ stance could make Mia a Green Arrow for a new generation.

Few of Batman’s sidekicks could fill his shoes like Cassandra Cain. Trained from a young age as an assassin to read body language in the same way others would understand speech, Cassandra’s life has been harsher than the majority of the Batfamily’s. Trained by Merlyn, White Tiger, Alpha, her father David Cain, as well as her time with Batman, there’s no doubt that Cassandra could hold her own. Of all of Batman’s sidekicks and certainly of all the Batgirls, Cassandra has the brooding part down right. If anyone could take up the cowl and continue on with the mission as Batman, Cassandra Cain could do so without the need to change the name.

While not strictly a sidekick, Jennifer Walters is every bit of a hero as her cousin, Bruce Banner. Jennifer has been on multiple teams, from A-Force, Defenders, Fantastic Four, to the Avengers themselves. When she’s not smacking around bad guys, Jennifer is also a lawyer of some renown, having even defended Captain America himself from during a murder trial. Drop the “She”. Jennifer is more than enough Hulk to take over for Bruce on a more permanent basis. If anyone deserves retirement for the superhero biz, it’s that guy.

Kate Bishop already shares the name with Clint Barton. Having frequented teams like A-Force, Avengers, and Young Avengers, Kate Bishop has proven time and again that she’s the archer for the job. If Clint Barton decided to hang up his bow for good, Kate could pick up the slack as the sole Hawkeye and not even break a sweat.

Laura Kinney only makes the list because of the Return of Wolverine event, as Laura has proven she’s every bit the Wolverine as the man she was cloned after was. Laura’s come into her own since the death of Logan, taking up his name and protecting those he’d left behind, including more clones. Laura established her own set of side characters while dealing with Logan’s past, all while never feeling like she really lived in his shadow. She filled the boots and then some. While still widely known as X-23, there are plenty of fans who wish Marvel would let Logan lie, and let Laura keep the name Wolverine.

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Suggestions on other female sidekicks or supporting characters that could replace traditional characters? Tantrums to throw because someone suggested a female character should replace a male character? Leave us a comment below or hit us up on FB!

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