No question about it. Marvel, as a whole, has some of the most beautiful, smart, kickass female characters around.

We looked through all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and TV shows and came up with a combination of trained fighters, assassins, super spies, scientists, cops, nurses, CEOs, private investigators, assistants and more. Some of them have superhuman powers, some of them rely on their intellect, and some of them are just civilians who have the requisite badassery.

Many of these women depicted in the comics have a certain sexuality, whether it be their superhero costumes or sensual style, but when translated into the MCU, these women become more than just a drawing – and that’s one of the things MCU has done the best. Casting for these hot women has been nothing short of brilliant, not only in selecting beautiful actresses, but in recognizing diversity and thinking outside the comic book frame.

Check out our rankings of some of the 10 Hottest Girls From Marvel Movies

10CLAIRE TEMPLE

Claire Temple, aka Night Nurse, is one of the many tough, independent women who dominate the MCU. She doesn’t have to have any powers – or even be a love interest – to be cool. She just is, and that has a lot to do with the gorgeous Rosario Dawson, who plays the character on the hit Netflix series Daredevil. Dawson certainly understands Claire’s appeal, once describing her as someone you definitely want around in a dire situation.

As a nurse at the Metro-General Hospital, she tends to a badly beaten Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox), and while the two clearly are attracted to each other, they decide it might be in Claire’s best interest if they refrain from a relationship. She ends up helping out others, too, like Jessica Jones – and Luke Cage (Mike Colter), whom she might end up having a romance with. Claire is also seen taking lessons from martial arts expert Colleen Wing, so we can’t wait to see how Claire evolves in the next Marvel Netflix show, The Defenders.

9DARCY LEWIS

The quirky Darcy Lewis is definitely someone you want in your corner if you’re in a fight with otherworldly beings. You know, just so she can throw in those great one liners to break up all that tension. Actress Kat Dennings excels at bringing the character to life – and adds her own snarky sexiness to it.

Darcy was created specifically for the MCU (she’s not in the comics) as Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and Jane Foster’s assistant, a political science student who has an affinity for computers and noticing things her colleagues seem to miss. Darcy’s always there to support Jane when she laments the fact Thor doesn’t spend enough time with her. Darcy even gets her own love interest with intern Ian Boothby in the thunder god’s sequel, The Dark World.

It’s doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Darcy in the cosmic third installment, Thor: Ragnarok (in theaters November 3), but we probably have not seen the last of her.

8MARIA HILL

If we’re talking about tough and sexy, these next two highly trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agents on our list totally fit the bill. First, we’ve got no-nonsense Agent Maria Hill, played by Cobie Smulders. As director Nick Fury’s (Samuel L. Jackson) right-hand woman, she’s smart, resourceful, and she tends to show up right when she’s needed. Just ask any of The Avengers.

Her loyalty and dedication also make her stand out. Smulders said she thinks of Hill as “a woman in a man’s world,” but knows she can question Fury’s orders when she feels they are too risky, which inevitably they can be. Ultimately, Hill knows what it takes to get the job done, and there’s something inherently alluring about that. She’s rumored to be appearing in the next Avengers movie, Avengers: Infinity Wars, and we look forward to seeing Agent Hill again in the near future.

7MELINDA MAY

Then there’s Agent Melinda May. It’s hinted that Hill and May may have been friends and most likely came up in the ranks together, which makes complete sense since the pragmatic May, played by Ming-Na Wen, is also all about the job in Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

May’s appeal could be her quiet but fierce demeanor, or maybe the way she’s able and willing to take down any foe with her mad fighting skills. Plus, no one looks better as a badass in a black leather pantsuit than her – or in lingerie, for that matter. The actress talked to Comic Vine about that one fight scene she had to do in her silky underwear. “That was definitely a big…gulp moment for me. But then after a while, I became so comfortable in it. ‘This is just a dress.’” Nice.

And don’t get us started on how cute she is with Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), as it looks like their friendship is turning into something more. We’ve seen May pretend to be seductive for the job – and even have a fling with one of her colleagues – but a May in love? That’ll be fun to watch.

6JANE FOSTER

Moving on from the ass-kickers to the sexy nerdy types, these next two ladies on our MCU hot list are some of the most alluring scientists around. First up is Thor‘s Natalie Portman as Dr. Jane Foster, one of the world’s leading astrophysicists and foremost authorities on Asgard. That’s how Portman likes it. The actress told The Telegraph, “Jane’s got a mission. She’s looking for something for herself, gravitational anomalies, scientific exploration,” and hopes the character inspires other girls to pursue science as well.

Oh, and she’s also Thor’s main squeeze. It’s pretty obvious from the start why she would attract the Asgardian god. Her braininess to his brawn just make for the perfect couple. Of course, the long distance thing takes a toll on the relationship, but when Jane makes it to Asgard, she finally gets to see the mysteries of the Nine Realms – and look amazing in Asgardian garb. Rumor has it that Portman’s Foster is done with the MCU, but we won’t rule out the possibility that she might pop up again until Nat does.

5PEGGY CARTER

As one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D, Peggy Carter is also the original strong, independent woman in the MCU. Played by the elegant Hayley Atwell, Peggy’s classy appearance and cool and collected demeanor makes her a perfect secret agent. Even though she looked fabulous in the 1940s clothes, Atwell admitted that her threads weren’t all that comfortable. “I had to walk in pencil skirts and high heels all the time,” but she said the tailored suits helped her find the character.

Peggy also has a soft spot, particularly when it pertains to Steve Rogers, aka Captain America (Chris Evans), and it’s this vulnerability that makes Peggy even more endearing. Of course, Cap totally falls for her, too, because who wouldn’t? If only he wasn’t frozen in time before they could really get things going. Their final scene together in Captain America: The Winter Soldier breaks our hearts, as a 95-year-old Peggy says goodbye to the love of her life, who is still in his 30s. *Sob*

4TRISH WALKER

Trish Walker could have been just another throwaway sidekick character, but Jessica Jones’ adoptive sister and BFF became much more than that. Played by Rachael Taylor, Trish is very ambitious and headstrong, a gal who reinvented herself after a difficult childhood with an abusive stage mom. She’s also gorgeous, has killer fight moves, and she can pour on the sexuality when it is warranted (just ask Will Simpson).

Trish also wishes Jessica would use her superpowers to fight crime, because if she had them, she’d totally use them. But wait, what about Hellcat, Trish’s alter ego (based on the comics’ Patsy Walker storyline)? As Taylor said to CBR, “I mean, it’s already a privilege to play a history that has so much lineage within the Marvel Universe. And to take it that one step further is something that, yeah, I’d love to get my teeth stuck into whatever happens to the character.” We do, too. Here’s hoping Hellcat appears in Jessica Jones‘ second season.

3JESSICA JONES

Just like the bad boys, the bad girl persona is hard to resist, and Krysten Ritter‘s performance as Jessica Jones has it in spades. Even in her all black, tough girl attire and heavy dose of black eyeliner, Jessica’s (and Ritter’s) beauty is undeniable, but seriously, her disdain clouds it. Granted, Jessica has a lot to be mad at in the world. She lost her entire family in a car crash, but also gained superhuman strength, which ended up being a cross to bear when her mind is taken over by the villainous Kilgrave.

Now, haunted by her devious past, Jessica works as a private investigator, just keeping her head down until her adoptive sister Trish Walker urges her to use her superpowers for good. It doesn’t always work out, but when Jessica joins The Defenders, she may finally be in her element. At the very least, she could get hot and heavy with Luke Cage again.

2GAMORA

In this case, it is easy being green, and also damn sexy. Hailed as the “deadliest woman in the galaxy,” Gamora strikes a formidable pose as a former lethal assassin who joins the Guardians of the Galaxy once she realizes just far her adoptive father, Thanos, will go to achieve his goals. She’s incredibly resilient, merciless, and pretty much scares the hell out of you with one look. We love it.

Zoe Saldana‘s stoic but kickass portrayal of Gamora also succinctly captures her disconnect with Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his jokes, taking everything he says quite literally. But as Saldana explained, “I think she still is having a hard time channeling her emotions and talking about her feelings.” If and when Quill, aka Star-Lord, does finally break through with Gamora, we’ll be right there with him. It’ll certainly make for an interesting odd couple – unless Gamora somehow bonds with The Hulk over their skin color.

1BLACK WIDOW

Honestly, could there be any other choice for hottest woman in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Scarlett Johansson‘s take on the super spy Black Widow, aka Natasha Romanoff, hands down takes the prize for most alluring asskicker. The character is also just as mysterious as she is deadly, with a complicated and torturous past that continues to haunt her – and that all just makes her even more attractive.

It does seem a little odd that out of all the Avengers, she falls for Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), but maybe that’s because he never wants to be that other green guy. He just wants to live quietly as a brilliant scientist, a simple life which seems appealing to Black Widow, who’s only ever known chaos and war.

Will Banner and Romanoff be reunited in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Wars? Short answer: yes. But apparently, it’s not necessarily a happy reunion. In a recent interview on Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio (via CBR), Johansson admitted, “My character has this ongoing relationship with Mark Ruffalo’s character. I had such devastation that day. I don’t know why. I was so devastated… this is something that should feel so solid and suddenly doesn’t.” Well, those who thought that relationship was too forced should be thrilled.

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