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Supergirl, Catwoman and more superwomen who battled at the box office

Jennifer Garner wielded the weaponry in 2005's

Jennifer Garner wielded the weaponry in 2005's "Elektra." Credit: Twentieth Century Fox / Marvel / Doane Gregory

Superhero movies have been primarily a man’s world, but “Wonder Woman,” opening today, could be a game changer. The movie’s early buzz could make audiences forget about these previous female-centric flicks inspired by comic books that were anything but super.

SUPERGIRL (1984) — Helen Slater starred as the Man of Steel’s cousin, who battled a zealous sorceress (Faye Dunaway) while attempting to retrieve an orb to save a city of Krypton survivors. Poor ticket sales were the movie’s kryptonite.

BARB WIRE (1996) — Pamela Anderson played the title role of a nightclub owner / bounty hunter in this film version of the Dark Horse comic that put a post-apocalyptic spin on “Casablanca.” A critical and box-office dud, it was not the beginning of a beautiful franchise.

CATWOMAN (2004) — The femme fatale from the Batman comics was more of a pussycat in this movie that had Halle Berry using her superpowers to take down a cosmetics company and save the world. Universally panned, there was no chance of the movie spawning a series with nine lives.

ELEKTRA (2005) — The Marvel Comics warrior got the big-screen treatment with Jennifer Garner in full, butt-kicking mode. The movie’s less-than-electrifying gross failed to establish Garner as an action-movie star.

— Daniel Bubbeo


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