15 Kick-Ass Women Taking Over Primetime TV (PHOTOS)

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Kick-Ass Women

Lethal Ladies

Who doesn't love a wonder woman? "She saved the world. A lot," a premature Buffy the Vampire Slayer tombstone once read, and the stakes are just as high for the dynamic wave of fearless femme fatales dominating TV. Flying high and taking aim, they uphold a proud TV tradition of subverting gender expectations. Cross these damsels, and you'll know distress. —Matt Roush

Priyanka Chopra as Alex Parrish in Quantico
Phillipe Bosse/ABC

Alex Parrish, Quantico

Played by: Priyanka Chopra

Why She’s Kick-Ass: As a rookie FBI agent, Alex was number one in her class at Quantico, excelling at all the rigorous physical and mental training. When she becomes the prime suspect in a terrorist attack, she still trusts her gut instincts and stays focused on figuring out who framed her.

READ MORE: The indefatigable Priyanka Chopra on the physicality of kicking ass as Alex Parrish

Paul Sarkis/NBC

Jane Doe, Blindspot

Played by: Jaimie Alexander

Why She's Kick-Ass: Like a female Jason Bourne, Jane Doe is a lethal human weapon who can go head-to-head with any adversary and still come out on top. She may not have all her memories, but in working with the FBI, she discovers incredible skills, like a deadly aim and a knowledge of different languages.
READ MORE: In Jane Doe, Jaimie Alexander finally finds the role she's been looking for
Darren Michaels/CBS

Kara Danvers, Supergirl

Played by: Melissa Benoist

Why She's Kick-Ass: Similar to her famous cousin Superman, Kara has superhuman strength, speed and flying and healing abilities. And with great power comes great responsibility, which she decides to use for good by keeping the city safe from dangerous criminals who escaped from the Phantom Zone.
READ MORE: Melissa Benoist tells us what it feels like to fly
Jeff Neira/CBS

Rebecca Harris, Limitless

Played by: Jennifer Carpenter

Why She's Kick-Ass: Brian Finch may be the one with enhanced abilities after taking NZT-48, but this female FBI agent can more than hold her own when working with him. Capable and cool-headed, Harris knows the smartest and fastest way to catch criminals is to partner with Finch.
READ MORE: Jennifer Carpenter explains what it's like playing a fearless FBI agent who isn't driven by anger or angst
Eddy Chen/ABC

Melinda May and Bobbi Morse, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Played by: Ming-Na Wen and Adrianne Palicki

Why They're Kick-Ass: As far as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents go, May and Bobbi are two of the best. After taking down an Inhuman by herself, in Bahrain, May even earned the nickname "The Cavalry." Both women can take down men twice their size with bare knuckles or batons, but they're also incredible for supporting fellow teammates, with May training Daisy to be a better agent and Bobbi helping Fitz search for Simmons.
The Walking Dead - Michonne - Danai Gurira - Season 3, Episode 1
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Michonne, The Walking Dead

Played by: Danai Gurira

Why She’s Kick-Ass: This katana-wielding zombie killer has not only gone solo and lived to tell the tale (twice!), she also “trained” two walkers as a means of camouflage. The mysterious and resilient road warrior has also been the voice of reason, either helping dispatch the dreadful Governor or slapping some sense into a dictatorial Rick.

The Walking Dead - Carol - Melissa Suzanne McBride
Gene Page/AMC

Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead

Played by: Melissa McBride

Why She’s Kick-Ass: Carol was a survivor long before the zombie apocalypse, having been an abuse victim under her controlling husband, Ed. After his death, she gradually transformed into an independent, empowered and resourceful survivor who was willing to manipulate and kill others to protect the core Atlanta group.

The Americans - Elizabeth Jennings - Keri Russell
Patrick Harbon/FX

Elizabeth Jennings, The Americans

Played by: Keri Russell

Why She’s Kick-Ass: No ordinary soccer mom here. This KGB sleeper agent’s true goal is to steal U.S. secrets during the height of the Cold War, and she’s managed to carry out various missions (in different disguises) while maintaining her cover, keeping a low profile and raising a family.

Hawaii Five-0 - Kono - Grace Park

Kono, Hawaii Five-0

Played by: Grace Park

Why She’s Kick-Ass: Sure, a little nepotism got Kono her spot on Hawaii’s highly elite Five-0 crime fighting team (her cousin is fellow member Chin Ho Kelly, played by Daniel Dae Kim), but this former pro-surfer also has superior sniper skills (her rifle of choice: the Knight’s Armament SR-25) and a mean karate kick. In the field, she’s as good as any man—which the character also was in the original late 1960s series.

Arrow - Katie Cassidy - Black Canary
Katie Yu /The CW

Black Canary, Arrow

Played by: Katie Cassidy

Why She's Kick-Ass: After the death of her sister, Sara, the original Black Canary, Laurel took on the alter ego. An assistant district attorney by day, Laurel is a vigilante at night who makes Starling City a safer place. As the daughter of a policeman, Laurel already had strong defensive and shooting skills, but intensive training gave her advanced fighting abilities.
Sleepy Hollow - Abbie - Nicole Beharie
Tina Rowden/FOX

Abbie Mills, Sleepy Hollow

Played by: Nicole Beharie

Why She's Kick-Ass: Helping Ichabod Crane adjust to a new era is already a difficult task, but Abbie is also constantly stopping Hell from taking over Earth. As an FBI agent and as one of two witnesses to the biblical apocalypse, Abbie always manages to keep a level head fighting supernatural beings (from Moloch to the Four Horseman to Pandora).
iZombie - Rose McIver
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Liv Moore, iZombie

Played by: Rose McIver

Why She's Kick-Ass: Once an overachieving medical student, Liv's life changed after becoming a zombie. Not only does she help solve crimes but using the visions she gets from eating brains, but she's also fierce and fearsome when in full-on zombie-mode. Once her eyes go red, she gains abnormal strength and doesn't flinch at bullets. Plus, anyone who eats creative brain cuisine with hot sauce is truly badass.
Game of Thrones - Brienne of Tarth
Helen Sloan/HBO

Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

Played by: Gwendoline Christie

Why She's Kick-Ass: There are plenty of fierce women on GOT, but Brienne stands out for being a noblewoman who would prefer to be a knight. She eschews a comfortable life in a quest to find and help Sansa and Arya Stark, and she's ferociously loyal to her own values (defeating a suitor in combat to avoid marriage) and to those she cares about, like Jaime Lannister and the late King Renly.
Killjoys - Season 1
Ken Woroner/Temple Street Releasing Limited/Syfy

Dutch, Killjoys

Played by: Hannah John-Kamen

Why She's Kick-Ass: This space bounty hunter—or “killjoy"—is equally at home in high-speed space chases and fast flying gun battles as she is undercover. And with a childhood spent training to be an assassin, Dutch is definitely one deadly dame.
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