We’re resurrecting an old beloved feature: Screen Sirens! If you’re not familiar with it, what we do is take a female role in any field of entertainment, be it a television show, film, or even a book, and cast a Diva or Knockout in the role based on her personality, looks, and some good old-fashioned imagination. Oscars may not be in their future but the women of wrestling, in all their shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds are surely diverse and interesting enough to make the speculation nearly as fun as seeing them on the big screen.
This edition conveniently coincides with the week of Comic-Con, the massive convention that brings together fans of genre television, movies, and literature. It has become the place to be for casts and crews of major movies and television shows to build hype for their upcoming projects and reveal exclusive clips and news to fans from around the world. It’s no longer merely a haven for so-called “geeks” – it’s become a pop culture phenomenon. Click here to learn more about Comic-Con.
To celebrate this weekend’s event, I’ve decided to take some of the more popular and interesting women from comic book history and profile them, assigning one Knockout or Diva to each. I’ll give my reasoning, and provide a poll at the end for you to vote for your favorite. This will take place in two parts, as it’s a pretty massive list. Now that we’ve completed part one, we’ve made it to part two. Got it ? Good. All that’s left is to open your minds and use your imagination. Let’s begin!
Character: Mary Jane Watson, former wife of Peter Parker, AKA Spider-Man. She is considered by many to be Parker’s “true love”, and is one of the most recognizable of all the superhero “significant others”. She’s more casually known as MJ, and coined the phrase “Go get ‘em, tiger” which has become her catch phrase and a pop culture star all in itself.
Trademark: Fiery red hair, feisty attitude, partial to the word “tiger”
Played Previously By: Kirsten Dunst in 2002’s Spider-Man, 2004’s Spider-Man 2, 2007’s Spider-Man 3, and 2011’s Spider-Man 4.
Diva: Mickie James
Why?: Mickie could be described as “happy go lucky” in most situations, and Mary Jane’s spunky personality certainly lends to a happy disposition more often than not. Even though she’s portrayed in the movies as more level-headed, Kirsten’s MJ has still got a bit of spark to her. Arguably, Mickie’s got more spark than any Diva, and if anyone could capture MJ’s spirit, it’d be her. The similar “MJ” initials are a funny coincidence, but it’s not why I chose her – she’s easily the WWE’s most peppy Diva (dressing in bright colors, hopping to the ring), and if you want to be Spidey’s love, you’ve got to be able to keep up with his wisecracking. Oh, and the ability to hang on as he swings from building to building does hurt either, and let’s just say Mickie’s got experience flying around in the air.
Alternatives: Christy Hemme, Trish Stratus, or Taylor Wilde.
Character: Betty Ross, a research scientist and girlfriend of Dr. Bruce Banner, AKA the incredible Hulk. She is the daughter of General Ross, the short-tempered pursuer of Banner who is constantly seeking to leech the Hulk’s power for his own use. Betty is the only one who can reason with the Hulk, connecting to Bruce inside of the beast. She is usually calm and collected, in sharp contrast to the rage-fueled Hulk. Intelligent, kind, and matter-of-fact, Betty is the only person in Bruce’s life that he can trust and count on.
Trademark: Dark hair, extensive medical knowledge, calming presence
Played Previously By: Jennifer Connelly in 2003’s Hulk and 2008’s The Incredible Hulk.
Diva: Molly Holly
Why?: Molly’s arguably one of wrestling’s most understated and “formal” Divas, never getting far into the T&A side of the business, and becoming a big participator in charities and fundraisers. Many have said that she’s too “nice” for wrestling, and if Betty Ross is anything, she’s a contrast to her environment. Her father is a tyrant, she’s caught up in military conspiracy, and her boyfriend’s alter ego is an terrifyingly unrestrained gamma-irradiated monster that could level an entire city in a matter of minutes. As a babyface, Molly was the epitome of sweet and innocent, almost to the point of appearing to be a “country bumpkin”. Even as a heel, Molly had a sense of purpose to her – she was adamantly against the objectification of women in the WWE, and spoke out regularly against the likes of Trish Stratus and Torrie Wilson playing to the crowd using their good looks. With that, she had a deep sense of morality to her, even as a lying, cheating heel. She wasn’t shallow, as many heels tend to be. With that unique quality of innocence, Molly mirrors Betty – both women show that not everyone is a product of their environment.
Alternatives: Tori (she tamed the monster Kane, after all), Lilian Garcia (Viscera, anyone?), or Melina.
Character: Sif, Asgardian warrior and lover of thunder god Thor. She is unshakably faithful to Thor, even when he was banished to Earth. She is considered to be the greatest female warrior in Asgard, outclassing many men as well.
Trademark: Dark hair (naturally blonde, but enchanted and turned dark by a jealous Loki), extremely tall and well built, highly skilled warrior
Played Previously By: No one yet, but it has been rumored that Jessica Biel will play her in 2011’s Thor.
Why?: Who’s more ferocious than Natalya? She’s always screaming, laughing manically, or tossing her opponents around like rag dolls. She certainly has the heart of a warrior, even if she’s nowhere near tall enough to be an Asgardian (Hollywood magic could fix that). She has looks that mirror Sif’s – intense eyes, muscle-bound body, confident stance – and is the WWE’s most explosive Diva by a longshot. If I had to choose a Diva to lead me into battle, I’d choose Natalya in a heartbeat.
Alternatives: Chyna, Beth Phoenix, or Victoria.
Character: She-Hulk, AKA Jennifer Walters, defense lawyer and cousin of Bruce Banner, AKA the Hulk. After Jennifer finds herself in a life-threatening situation, Banner uses some of his blood for a blood transfusion, and thus creates She-Hulk. She took on a decidedly Amazonian appearance, and her mutated form was originally explained as being molded by her subconscious desire to look like the ideal woman. At first, anger would trigger her transformation into her green alter ago, but she eventually gained control of it, and was even healed of her blood disorder. Later, she decided to stay permanently in her She-Hulk form, preferring the freedom, confidence, and assertiveness that it gave her compared to her more fragile “normal” form.
Trademark: Amazonian frame, green skin, wears various types of purple attire
Played Previously By: No one yet, but during the planning stages for a She-Hulk movie that was eventually scrapped,Brigitte Nielsen posed for promo pictures as She-Hulk and Jennifer Walters in the studio’s attempt to attract interest to making the movie.
Why?: She’s no Amazon, but ODB has all the attitude and guts to play someone as eye-catching as She-Hulk. It takes a certain level of gusto to play a 7 foot tall green-skinned woman, and a woman famed for taking swigs from a flask on the way to the ring is certainly not shy. For a role as over-the-top as She-Hulk, ODB would undoubtedly fit the bill – she’s loud, confident, and can definitely kick ass. Playing frail Jennifer Walters would be a bit of a stretch, but paint her green, Lou Ferrigno style, and you’re on your way.
Alternatives: Chyna, Natalya, or Melina.
Character: Storm, the reigning queen of Wakanda and major teammate of the X-Men. Storm possesses the psionic ability to control all forms of weather over vast areas. She can control the temperature of the environment, control all forms of precipitation, humidity and moisture, generate lightning and other electromagnetic atmospheric phenomena. She can incite all forms of meteorological tempests, such as tornadoes, thunderstorms, blizzards, and is capable of summoning a hurricane, as well as mist. She can dissipate such weather to form clear skies as well.
Trademark: White hair, Kenyan accent, power over all forms of weather
Played Previously By: Halle Berry in 2000’s X-Men, 2003’s X2, and 2006’s X3: The Last Stand.
Why?: Who better to play a queen than a queen herself? Sharmell was all too happy to don a crown and evening gown to accompany Booker T during his “King Booker” phase, exhibiting a regal appearance and demeanor that was pretty convincing, even for a heel gimmick. Storm’s power of weather control rests highly on eye expression (her eye turn solid white when utilizing her powers), and Sharmell undoubtedly has an intimidating glare that could summon storm clouds and foster tornadoes. Although not a regular wrestler, Sharmell exhibited a fighting spirit, going after people at ringside and needing to be literally torn away from her unlucky foe.
Alternatives: Alicia Fox, Sojourner Bolt, or Layla.
Character: Pepper Potts, personal assistant to Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. She pretty much runs Stark Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of military-grade weapons. Her duties largely include scheduling Stark’s duties and getting him to meetings in one piece, despite his ever-procrastinating style. In more recent comic books, she has become a superhero herself after surviving an accident. She needed an arc reactor placed into her chest, much like Stark’s, and adopted an iron suit, the Mark 1616, designed for â€œheavy rescue and recovery.â€
Trademark: Red hair, designer professional attire, immaculately organized and prepared
Played Previously By: Gwyneth Paltrow in 2008’s Iron Man and 2010’s Iron Man 2.
Diva: Stacy Keibler
Why?: Despite being largely what you’d call a “T&A Diva”, Stacy always has a certain poise about her. She’d rarely lose her cool, and knew just how to use a man to her advantage – having ridiculously long legs didn’t hurt, I’d think. She was mostly a manager, helping the likes of The Dudley Boyz, Test, and Scott Steiner. Doing that, she displayed management skills that Pepper herself uses, whether it be in saving Tony’s life (like at the end of Iron Man) or finally getting him to a meeting he’s 3 hour late for. And, let us not forget Miss Hancock, which was largely a caricature of a personal assistant. Stacy pranced around in a skirt and heels, wearing glasses she clearly didn’t need. Even though this was a pretty goofy gimmick, she mirrored Pepper’s style, if in a more risque way. The ever-present clipboard looks like something that would be glued to Pepper’s forearm, that’s for sure. Stacy exhibited a strange quality that despite all the shenanigans she took part in in WCW and the WWE, she managed to maintain a sense of collectedness, not relegating herself to the ranks of dumb blondes and bimbo Divas.
Alternatives: Trish Stratus, Tiffany, or Michelle McCool.
Character: Harley Quinn, obsessive would-be girlfriend of the Joker and accomplice of Poison Ivy. She was an Arkham Asylum psychiatrist who falls in love with the Joker and becomes his accomplice, losing her mind in the process. Her origin stemmed from a character created for a televised Batman cartoon, and proved to be so popular that they wrote her into the comic book continuity.
Trademark: Traditional harlequin jester garb, manic personality, high-pitched voice
Played Previously By: No one yet, but there is an ever-present fanboy movement for Kristen Bell to play her in a future Batman movie.
Diva: Taylor Wilde
Why?: Taylor’s got a bit of spunk to her, and it doesn’t hurt that she reminds me a bit of Kristen Bell, the fanboy golden girl when it comes to Harley Quinn casting suggestions. Taylor’s short and tiny, like Quinn, and it’s almost too easy to picture her in the white and black face paint and the harlequin costume. The high, squeaky voice would probably take some work, but who is born with that type of voice? Whoever they are, I don’t envy them. Also, I can easily picture Taylor as a respected psychiatrist (she has a sense of gravitas to her), which Harley is before she treats the Joker and subsequently loses her mind in obsession for him.
Alternatives: Jillian, Mickie James, Velvet Sky.
Character: Sue Storm, AKA the Invisible Woman, member of the Fantastic Four, wife of Reed Richards, and sister of Johnny Storm. She has the ability to turn invisible at will, as well as mentally generate and project force fields of tremendous strength, which she manipulates for a variety of effects. The fields are able to repel solid objects, even those of great mass and momentum, and can repel all but the very strongest energy attacks. She is also a loyal mother to two children, Franklin and Val.
Trademark: Blonde hair, blue “Fantastic Four” suit, power of invisibility
Played Previously By: Jessica Alba in 2005’s Fantastic Four and 2007’s Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Diva: Torrie Wilson
Why?: For someone as family-oriented as Sue, a Diva must be proven to be a loyal friend and confident. Torrie has seen her share of bust-ups, but she has rarely been the one to initiate it. Her “Vince’s Devil” teammates turned on her, leaving her in the dust, and her father Al Wilson turned his back on her in favor of Dawn Marie. She has been burned plenty of times, but has never been outright malicious, adopting a sweet persona. She’s always been a fan favorite, winning countless bikini contests and other forms of popularity contests. As for Sue’s motherly affections, Torrie hasn’t had the chance to enact those yet, but her ever-present smile and bouncy personality make it clear that she has to potential to be a terrific mother. Sue’s powers at times seem pretty passive, not requiring much hand-to-hand combat, but Torrie was never a full-blown competitor in the ring, whether that be to her wishes or not. Torrie’s regrettable lack of ring time mirrors Sue’s overshadowing by her more powerful teammates. Still, with all that, both women show that in times of pressure, they can pull out some truly stunning moves and get the job done like no one else.
Alternatives: Trish Stratus (remember those casting rumors?), Kelly Kelly, or Stacy Keibler.
Character: Lois Lane, wife of Clark Kent, AKA Superman, and a tough-as-nails journalist. She has a quick wit, and is considered to be an intellectual equal to Superman. She has almost always been portrayed as a determined, strong-willed person, being viewed by many as being the archetypal superhero love interest.
Trademark: Dark hair, quick wit, superior investigative journalism skills
Played Previously By: Margot Kidder in 1978’s Superman, 1980’s Superman II, 1983’s Superman III and 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace She was also played by Terri Hatcher in the 1990s television series Lois and Clark, Kate Bosworth in 2006’s Superman Returns, and by Erica Durance in the 2000s television series Smallville.
Diva: Trish Stratus
Why?: Whether a heel or a babyface, Trish has always demenstrated a witty personality. She’s outsmarted foes and spat insults on the microphone, comparative to Lois’s trademark wit. Her determination and drive in the ring is similar to Lois when chasing a lead or competing for a story – no one can get in her way. Both women are funny and beautiful – a combination that makes them two of the most highly desired women in their respective fields – wrestling and comic books. It takes a lot of smarts to be an intellectual equal to Superman, but Trish certainly packs enough mental heat to make it an even match. and hey, she’s a brunette now! That makes the comparison even easier to visualize.
Alternatives: Ivory, Stacy Keibler, or Melina.
Character: Wonder Woman, Amazonian woman and arguably the most famous female superhero of all time. Her powers include super strength, super speed and stamina, and flight. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses an animal-like cunning and a natural rapport with animals, which has in the past been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She also makes use of her Lasso of Truth (which forces those bound by it to tell the truth), a pair of indestructible bracelets, and an invisible plane.
Trademark: Long jet black hair, red/yellow/blue attire, unmatched poise
Played Previously By: Lynda Carter in the 1970s Wonder Woman television series.
Why?: Her height, strength, and dark hair certainly call to mind the look of Wonder Woman, and Victoria’s poise (when not her psycho persona) easily reflects the regal hero. Wonder Woman is seen by many to be pretty campy (hence the ever-stalled movie adaptation), but Victoria is pretty goofy, and isn’t afraid to go all-out in the name of a character (pulling out hair, licking faces, dancing her way to the ring, befriending a tarantula), and there’s no doubt in my mind that she could pull off such crazy character aspects as the Lasso of Truth, the spinning teleportation, and the invisible plane. She slightly resembles Lynda Carter too, even if that corset would never fit a woman as muscle-bound as Victoria. But hey, Victoria’s more of an Amazon than Lynda could ever be!
Alternatives: Beth Phoenix, Trish Stratus (Halloween costume, anyone?), or Chyna.
Which casting did you most agree with? Vote below and sound off in the comments!
That’s it for our Comic-Con-themed feature. I hope you enjoyed it! Stayed tuned for more Screen Sirens goodness, coming soon to Diva Dirt!