Have you ever heard of Tiana, the first African-American princess? She was the only Disney princess with dimples, aside from Mulan. The famous princess is based on the Hua Mulan legend from ancient China. She was a female warrior immortalized in the poem “The Ballad of Mulan.” Most of history’s or mythology’s bravest women’s stories have been adapted into the comic universe, to tell those sagas in a colorful way to children and even adult readers.
Even the gaming industry has adopted some of history’s most famous female characters. These stories are about the historical significance of the princesses featured in colored comic book pages; princesses who are mythically, historically, or socially linked to real-life scenarios but have since been forgotten. Here is a list of the Top 10 forgotten princesses adapted in comics.
10. Corn Maiden
The Corn Maiden, also known as the Corn Mother, is a mythological figure believed to be responsible for the origin of corn or maize among North American indigenous agricultural tribes. According to local legend, when she was around, the corn storehouse was overflowing.
To get rid of her, the Arapaho tied her up and drowned her in the river, whereas the Zuni were terrified by the erotic gyrations of the male dancers. In the Tepecano version of this story, her first night after marriage is spent in a private room in her husband’s family house, which is full of corn in the morning. Other local legends claim that she secretly produced corn grains by rubbing her body, or by literally popping corns out and filling bucket after bucket.
9. Shajar Al-Durr
Shajar al-Durr is Arabic for “Tree of Pearls.” After Sultan As-Salih Ayyub’s death, he played a critical role in the Seventh Crusade against Egypt, where the Battle of Fariskur took place and King Louis IX was captured. Shajar, described as a beauty with a brain by historians, began her life as a Turkish servant purchased for the Sultan of Egypt. Shajar al-Durr solidified the Mamluk dynasty while in a relationship with Aybak.
Shajar al-Durr negotiated a treaty to return the captured King Louis IX to his country for a ransom of 400,000 in the currency used in France during the middle ages, which was roughly 30 percent of France’s total annual revenue. She was later caught in the act of murdering Aybek and imprisoned by Aybek’s first wife, who executed her by beating her to death with wooden clogs, and her naked corpse was later dumped over the city wall.
Pasipha was the Greek queen and the Sun’s daughter, according to Greek mythology. She married King Minos of Crete and was known for giving birth to Asterion, also known as the Minotaur by the Greeks. She was famous for her uncontrollable sexual desire for a bull given to King Minos by Poseidon.
King Minos, who was also, ironically, Zeus’ son, took the form of a bull and mated with his mother Europa. When Pasipha discovered that her husband was cheating on her, she made a charm that if he slept with anyone, he would ejaculate serpents and insects. However, Procris, the daughter of Athens’ ruler, laid with Minos using a protective herb.
Queen Anna Nzinga was the 17th-century queen of the Mbundu kingdoms of Ndongo and Matamba in Angola. She was named Njinga, the daughter of King Kiluanji, after the Kimbundu verb Kujinga, which means to twist or turn, because her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck.
When her brother was kidnapped by the Portuguese, she paid a visit and demanded her brother’s release in exchange for a promise to leave Ndongo. As a sign of disrespect, the Portuguese offered her a floor mat to sit on during their meeting.
Nzinga responded by ordering one of her servants and sitting on the servant as a chair. She established a new country after moving south by defeating the cannibal tribe known as the Jaga. According to local legend, Nzinga possessed a large group of 60 male harems. Her men fought to the death to spend the night with her, but they were executed after only one night. Nzinga is also said to have forced her male servants to dress as women.
Hatshepsut, which means “The Most Noble Lady,” was the fifth Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty, and her mother gave birth to her in a lion’s den. She was one of Egypt’s greatest pharaohs, alongside King Tut and Nefertiti.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has an entire room dedicated to her. She ruled her land for twenty-two years fifteen hundred years before the birth of Jesus. She ruled Egypt while dressed as a man, complete with the pharaoh’s false beard.
According to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted, she is the first great woman about whom we know anything. She built the Temple of Karnak and restored Mut’s original Precinct. In Karnak, nine golden cartouches bearing the names of both Hatshepsut and Thutmose III were discovered.
5. Wu Zelian
Wu Zelian, also known as Wu Zhao, was China’s only female emperor in over 4,000 years of history, reigning during the Tang dynasty. Wu was married to Emperor Taizong, and after his death, she married Emperor Gaozong, his successor and ninth son. She ruled China until 705 AD after Gaozong died of cardiac disease in 690.
She had a vast network of secret police intelligence agents stationed throughout China, and she was also famous for her “human-pig” torture, in which all limbs and the tongue were severed. She married twice and had an affair with a Buddhist monk named Huaiyi around 685. Her political and military leadership includes the Chinese empire’s major expansion beyond its previous territory, deep into Central Asia, and the upper Korean Peninsula.
Khutulun was the most famous daughter of Kaidu, Central Asia’s most powerful ruler, and the niece of Kublai Khan. Her name was first mentioned in the writings of Marco Polo and Rashid al-Din. According to Marco Polo, Khutulun was a superb warrior who fought alongside her father in many battles.
When Emperor Kaidu was desperate to see his daughter, Khutulun’s, married, she refused unless she could find a suitable man who could defeat her in wrestling. She set up an offer for all the men in the dynasty to beat her in wrestling and marry her, with his father’s approval. However, if someone lost a battle with her, he was required to present her with 100 horses. But no one could beat her, and she gained 10,000 horses. Khutulun is thought to be one of the last great nomadic warrior princesses.
3. La Maupin
Born in 1673, Mademoiselle Maupin, or La Maupin, was an amazing swordswoman and opera singer from the 17th-century.
She used to dress like a man when she was younger and learning to dance and fence. This bisexual celebrity dressed as a man and attended a royal ball hosted by Louis XIV or his brother. She was well-known for her operatic voice and made her debut as Pallas Athena in Jean-Baptiste Lully’s Cadmus et Hermione.
She had to interrupt her career and leave Paris after kissing a young woman at a society ball and being challenged to duels by three different noblemen. Théophile Gautier based the title character, Madeleine de Maupin, on her in his novel Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835)
2. Mai Bhago
She was inspired by the real historical character Mai Bhago, whose name was changed to Mai Bhag Kaur after converting to Khalsa, as Kaur was a surname shared by all female Khalsas.
This Sikh warrior-saint from the 18th century was the only survivor of the Battle of Khidrana to save Gobind Singh Ji, the founder of the Khalsa. Mai Bhago was born in her ancestral village of Jhabal Kalan, which is now part of Amritsar.
She was born a Sikh and later married Nidhan Singh Waraich. The Mughals ruled India at the time, and Aurangzeb was the emperor when he dispatched an imperial army to pursue Guru Gobind Singh. Mai Bhago, with her forty Sikh warriors who died in this battle, stopped and challenged them near the pool of Khidrana. Guru Gobind Singh Ji took Mai Bhago into his care, and she later became known as one of his male bodyguards.
1. Noor Inayat Khan – legend of Forgotten Princesses Adapted in Comics
During WWII, Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan served as an Allied Special Operations agent and was later awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian award of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth nations.
She was born in Moscow to Indian parents and began working as the only radio operator in occupied Paris. Whereas the average life span of that job was around a month due to heavy World War II chaos and constant Nazi attack, she lasted nearly 5 months with her amazing skills and bravery.
Hazrat Inayat Khan, her father, was a noble Muslim Sufi and personal friend of Mahatma Gandhi. She also served as a 2nd Class Aircraftwoman in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She was eventually apprehended when a double agent betrayed her to the Nazis, and she was transferred to the Dachau Concentration Camp and killed.
There are many more females throughout history and mythology whose stories should be adapted into recent films or comic books. We always hope to see them in those mediums so that we can learn about their historical significance.
Local legends are always fascinating and, at times, more thrilling than fairy tales, and they also include many female characters who were brave, beautiful, and completely deserving of becoming the central characters of any productive media. With this dream, we conclude this list and salute all the brave warrior-princesses who were famous in their own right.