With 'The Avengers' on the way, we look at the best portrayals of the subgenre
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6. Michelle Pfeiffer, "Batman Returns" (1992)
Michelle Pfeiffer's icy blonde take on Selina Kyle/Catwoman -- who'll be reimagined by Anne Hathaway in this year's "The Dark Knight Rises" -- is regrettably the only female on the list. (Though I should say she was very nearly joined by Maria Bello in "A History of Violence"). Pfeiffer's frisky feline is one of a few things that really works in Tim Burton's overt follow-up to his 1989 original. It's a thin-line balance of mind-splitting lunacy, crystal clear resolve, girlish romance and embittered vengeance, and the actress tip-toes the razor's edge throughout, having fun while exuding torment. It'll be interesting to see where the character goes next.