The L ady K ill ers

Bon­nie Bur­ton speaks up for fe­male bounty hunters

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Opinion - Bon­nie has a soft spot for the das­tardly Aurra Sing too.

For as long as there have been fugi­tives there have been bounty hunters. Bad guys don’t stand a chance of mak­ing a clean get­away if a tal­ented man or woman can track their ev­ery move, sling a pair of hand­cuffs on them and bring them in to face jus­tice. Bounty hunters seem to have made their mark even more pro­foundly in our favourite books, comics, videogames and movies than they have in the real world. In fact, some of the most beloved char­ac­ters in sci- fi hap­pen to be crim­i­nal chasers for hire. But for some rea­son, bounty hunters al­ways seem to be re­mem­bered as men, when there are ac­tu­ally some very im­pres­sive women in sci- fi who can bring in the bounty just as well as the lads. Per­son­ally, I’ve al­ways had a spe­cial ap­pre­ci­a­tion for women who can be­come suc­cess­ful in a ca­reer dom­i­nated by men. And be­ing a bounty hunter def­i­nitely qual­i­fies as a gig full of guys.

My first glimpse of what a job as a fe­male bounty hunter must be like is when I saw Jinx in the ’ 80s car­toon se­ries GI Joe. She dis­cov­ered she had fam­ily ties to a se­cret group of nin­jas called Arashik­age Clan that took her in and trained her in deadly mar­tial arts. She’s later re­cruited into the GI Joe team and from there goes on covert op­er­a­tions to keep Amer­ica safe from the evil Co­bra. After the team dis­man­tles, she’s a free agent bounty hunter.

I al­ways ad­mired Jinx be­cause she never let any­one treat her like she was sec­ond- rate com­pared to the men on her team. She was an equal, and quite frankly had bet­ter mar­tial arts fight­ing skills than all of the guys put to­gether. You don’t mess with a lady who knows how to ad­min­is­ter a move like “Eye That Pierces”.

Up next is Sa­mus Aran from the 1986 Nin­tendo videogame Metroid. As with many he­roes, her back­story is tragic. She’s or­phaned at a young age, but in­stead of play­ing the vic­tim de­cides to take her des­tiny into her own hands and train as a war­rior. Sa­mus doesn’t al­ways fol­low the rules but she isn’t afraid to fight the en­emy, now matter how dan­ger­ous.

Sa­mus be­comes an al­most in­de­struc­tible killer after be­ing in­fused with Chozo DNA. She’s also equipped with a deadly arm- can­non and ex­oskele­ton ar­mour called the Power Suit. As a for­mer Fed­er­a­tion Po­lice of­fi­cer, she now makes a liv­ing as a free­lance bounty hunter, track­ing space pi­rates and par­a­site Metroids.

Not all fe­male bounty hunters are work­ing for the good guys, though. One of the coolest Star Wars char­ac­ters, Asajj Ven­tress, hap­pens to be work­ing for the Dark Side. She may have started out with the Night­sis­ters – a group of women with mys­te­ri­ous pow­ers – but she was trained in the ways of the Force and has a ha­tred for the Jedi Or­der. This leads to be­com­ing a bounty hunter and assassin for Count Dooku all through­out the Clone Wars where she has been tasked with hunt­ing down Obi- Wan Kenobi and Anakin Sky­walker.

These are only a few of the amaz­ing fe­male bounty hunters who have made a deep im­pres­sion on those of us who want more than just a boys’ club in sci- fi. Hope­fully, they’ll in­spire the next wave of film­mak­ers, comic book writ­ers, nov­el­ists, game de­sign­ers and sto­ry­tellers to cre­ate even more fe­male bounty hunters who might just make us want to grab a lightsaber or arm can­non, and chase after crim­i­nals on the run.

“there are women in SF who bring in the bounty just as well as the lads”

Il­lus­tra­tion by Maria Colino

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