Zoe was always on my list for inclusion. I love the dynamic between her and Captain Mal, but also the fact that when it comes to the crunch, she’ll choose her husband over him. I had intended to write my own entry, but Tea Drinker has said it all so well below, that I figure I can get away with being lazy and publishing her entry.
I love Gina Torres as Zoe in Joss Whedon’s Firefly. As a lesbian, I find Torres incredibly hot, but there’s a lot more to it than that, honest! There’s a serious dearth of good roles for black woman in science fiction, so it’s great to see such a strong character. Zoe is a tough, stoic, soldier; she’s certainly not a “magical black woman”, and nor is she a highly sexualised figure in the narrative. She balances out the childlike River and Kaylee and the highly feminine Inara, showing a different way of being a woman. She takes no shit whatsoever, is totally loyal to her friends and manages to maintain a happy marriage with the ship’s pilot, Wash.
Alliance Commander: “You fought with Captain Reynolds in the war?”
Zoe: “Fought with a lot of people in the war.”
Alliance Commander: “And your husband?”
Zoe: “Fight with him sometimes, too.”