6 Sci Fi Epics With Space Marines That Are NOT Warhammer
Games Workshop, creators of the Warhammer series of games, as well as TheHobbit and Lord of the Rings strategy games, is in the middle of suing author M.C.A. Hogarth over the title of her book, Spots the Space Marine. Amazon stopped selling her book after a complaint from the company that “Space Marine” was their registered trademark. After a hard-fought battle by Hogarth, other authors, and companies, Amazon finally began selling her novel again.
In celebration of Games Workshop being a bully, and the bully not winning for once, here are six other series that have space marine characters (who happen to be ladies!), and aren’t owned by GW.
Petra Arkanian is arguably Ender’s best friend, and definitely his most useful ally during his time at the Battle School and Command School. She rose from being the sole female student in Salamander army to Ender’s first lieutenant in the Bugger Wars. While Valentine and other females would take up author Orson Scott Card’s token female role, Arkanian is the first, fiercest, and most memorable.
Arkanian continues in Card’s Shadow series, and is portrayed in the Ender’s Game comics. Most recently, True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld has been cast as the recruit for the upcoming film adaptation, slotted for release November this year.
That franchise of games all the bros were playing with the sound all the way up in college- when they weren’t playing Call of Duty. Halo is the ultimate in Sci Fi marine culture: the journey of a civilization’s quest for survival, a man’s understanding of honor, and totally sweet noob headshots.
Perhaps surprisingly, Halo has a lot of female characters. If you don’t play through the story, however, you’ll never see them. From its inception, Halo was popular for its mix of great storyline and endless online play. While character choice was limited, the series’ story encompassed a more and more expansive universe, and its ladies evolved with it.
Veronica Dare, of Halo 3: ODST, was the series’ first playable female character. She fought in several key battles, and later takes command of an ODST Squad for a classified mission. When the mission falls apart, Dare attempts to complete it on her lonesome. Before Halo: Reach was released, Bungie failed to express the extent to which the controllable Spartan-B312 could be customized. However, for the first time, Halo players could complete a game as a female.
There have been several other female marines throughout the series, though its most famous lady remains the computer Cortana. It’s a mystery why a series with so many strong, military females would leave behind the legacy of a naked blue microchip.
Starship Troopers is a story of men during a time of war. Or it’s the story of how a high school kid’s efforts to impress a crush got him thrown into the path of death and destruction by giant arachnids. The book offers little in the way of female inspriation. While the films took the series in a different, more satirical direction, they also provided the audience with more than average fem space marine action.
Main character Rico enlists to fight bug aliens to impress his high school crush, Carmencita Ibanez, who goes on to become a pilot. The initial movie introduced a second love interest to the story, the high school quarterback and marine bad ass Dizzy Flores. Luckily, the female marine is more than just a token appointment. The Starship Troopers series contains a variety of female military personal, and expands on the female marine archetype. From boot camp in movie one, all the way through movie 3, we’re treated to military heroes and decidedly not-heroes, like the trigger happy Djana’D, the mommy hopeful Katrina McIntire, Private Lei Sahara, Sergeant Dede Rake, and other mobile infantry troopers.
Gears of War
Like Halo, Gears of War has expanded from video game series to comics and novels. As a story of survival, GoW hits the harsher areas of military culture that Halo missed. Less heroic, and more survivalist, it provides a gritty, ultraviolent picture of war.
Gears of War initially looks like the honor-shrouded male fantasy many military stories have become. However, from the beginning, the series empowers military daughter Lieutenant Anya Stroud . Plus, she’s the daughter of a war hero, Major Helena Stroud.
The female marines in this series aren’t just young gun-toting hotties. The series has created women of several age groups, and a varying level of martial experience. In the end, Gears of War is about humanity, and it doesn’t cut women out of the equation to tell it.
The betrayal of Sarah Kerrigan is one of the most emotionally poignant moment in all of StarCraft. While she is mainly used in combat for her psionic traits, a beautiful cinematic from StarCraft II shows her battle-readiness. Kerrigan is dutiful, ready for a fight, capable with a rifle. There are a couple other Ghost-class units that are clearly female through out the series. Unfortunately, this group of people would have been more fleshed out in StarCraft’s scrapped console project Ghost, starring character Nova Terra. The project never saw the light of a living room, but the opening cinematic and gameplay videos are available on Youtube. There is also a memorial to the game in World of Warcraft.
Ellen Ripley, as portrayed by Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3, will forever be the leading lady of science fiction. The series also kicked out action heroes like Aliens star, Jenette Vasquez, perhaps the most hardcore marine ever to grace the screen. Other lady space marines included Colette Ferro, and Cynthia Dietrich, as well as Jennifer Redding and Bella Clarison from the video game Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Editor’s Note: A big shout out to the author for not mentioning giant alien labias in her Starship Troopers write up. You’re a stronger woman than I.