This Iranian-American marine is now one of NASA's newest astronauts.
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The godmother of rock and roll, this black bisexual singer fused gospel and pop to blaze her own way across the Jim Crow-era south.
Mexico's infamous "weeping ghost" has many incarnations: a jilted widow, a slave princess, a milk addict, a coffee bag, and a pair of panties.
When enemies invaded her town while her husband was on lunch break, she grabbed a nearby pestle and saved the day by achieving the high score in soldier whack-a-mole.
When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.
Rose from dire poverty and violence to become the greatest black entertainer of all time - Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie all rolled into one.
Turned into a revolutionary in middle age, this mother became one of the Philippines most heralded women.
When China invaded her native land, this would-be monk put down her pacifist dreams and took up arms.
When this princess had her life ruined by an unstoppable warrior, she: became a fervent ascetic for years and got a divine boon; killed herself to reincarnate faster; came back as a man; and killed the man who'd wronged her, in the stunning climax of the world's longest epic poem.
Headed a squadron of 80,000 pirates, ruled the Chinese seas for two decades, and actually retired happily - but not before extorting a nice pension from the Chinese government.
When a firebreathing shapeshifting hippo menaced her people, this shaman faced it down in a magic battle - and then hurled it into space.