25 most kick-ass TV heroines

Fighting the good fight on the small screen

This week marks the release of Marvel's second Netflix series, Jessica Jones. The troubled private investigator attempts to retire her superheroic ways, but can't resist the abilities they afford her when it comes to taking out the bad guys. To celebrate her small screen debut we've listed 25 of her contemporaries who share the same credentials. From cops to clairvoyants, survivors to slayers, this bunch know what it means to kick ass and take names.

25. Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood)

Waitressing is a tough enough gig as it is, without a revolving door of supernatural patrons sauntering in and out of your life once you've tossed the apron aside for the night. For Bon Temps' Southern Belle Sookie Stackhouse, however, that's just another day in the life. A faerie who reclaims the dainty association of her kind by standing up against werepanthers, vampires, clawed demons, and shapeshifters, Sookie's fighting resolve is unmatched. And no doubt soothed by her go-to salve: a glass of Southern Comfort on the rocks.

24. Vanessa Ives (Penny Dreadful)

The mysterious allure surrounding Vanessa Ives is in part down to her Jekyll and Hyde persona. A seductive, polished beauty whose strong command of her unique talents casts her as both enchanting and fearful. What first presented to the world as an aptitude for clairvoyance is in fact her true self; a witch. While she's no stranger to the darker sides of humanity -- her past is littered with tragedy -- those instances have only given her strength to rise up against her enemies.

23. Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife)

How do you bounce back from a personal embarrassment that explodes into public view? Alicia Florrick handled her husband's infidelity with poise and grace, now at the head of a successful Chicago law firm which she co-founded. Seldom rattled by emotional manipulation, Alicia's a rare breed of attorney whose smarts guide her into making solid personal and professional choices. And she's got a wicked sense of humor when she finally does cut loose.

22. Peggy Carter (Agent Carter)

Peggy Carter -- aka Steve Rogers' one-time potential love interest -- rises above the challenges set out before her: yeah, she's a woman in a male-dominated world who dupes men with her beauty, but Agent Carter's best asset is much more than simply being a feminist flag waver. She's innovative and quick-thinking. In an era where the ease of smart tech isn't an option, Peggy kicks butt old school.

21. Melinda May (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Not everyone lands a pluralised nickname like "The Cavalry", but then again, most badasses don't boast the skill set and fortitude of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Melinda May. Forget your standard issue Berettas and your office politics: May's best equipped to get the job done, no questions asked with her improvisational smarts. Her training as a pilot and hand-to-hand combat prowess are why S.H.I.E.L.D. turns to her when no-one else can wrangle the baddies.

20. Kima Greggs (The Wire)

The tough streets of Baltimore is where you'll find Kima Greggs, a narcotics detective who doesn't pander to wheel-greasin' like her male counterparts. A kind heart and strong work ethic are at the core of what she does, taking down dealers, hustlers, and keeping her informants safe. How she manages to juggle personal relationships with the pressures of a job that requires her utmost dedication is a truly commendable feat.

19. Echo (Dollhouse)

Unique in comparison to the rest of the "dolls" Echo retains certain characteristics from each downloaded personality. When combined those imprints gift her with an impressive arsenal of combat and social skills, moulding her from a blank canvas into a fully-fledged person of her own volition. She's basically in possession of a superhero-esque barrage of talent without all the troublesome lycra.

18. Kate Austen (Lost)

Way before Oceanic Flight 815 crashed onto the island, Kate Austen endured a hellish series of events that imbued her with a relentless survival instinct. Lucky for her, as her fate on that idyllic rock puts her in harm's way at every opportunity: she's kidnapped, held at gunpoint, imprisoned, and that's just the start of it. She's always willing to put her own life at risk to help others.

17. Olivia Benson (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)

Detective Benson rose through the ranks of the NYPD to serve as lieutenant for the Manhattan division's sex crimes unit. Over the years she's witnessed unspeakable horrors. From those plaguing her personal life to the scumbags she's tackled on the streets, Benson won't back down thanks to her relentless pursuit of justice and complete dedication to her victims' wellbeing. Taking bullets and getting kidnapped is all part of the deal for Benson.