Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy.

Roberta Warren Is Why You Should Watch Z Nation


Roberta Warren (Kellita Smith) is the woman in charge of Team Bite Mark, the group dedicated to getting Murphy, the only known survivor of a zombie bite, to the CDC. 

For the first part of season 1 she’s the second in command and her input is always valued by the leader. Once she takes over, both the group and outsiders defer to her authority without question.

Once a member of the National Guard, she has all the training needed to guide the team on their mission, but she’s more than just a warrior in the guise of a beautiful woman.

She has all the hallmarks of a kick ass leader.

  She’s Tough


She can make any possible weapon work for her, but she’s usually wielding her machete or a pistol.

She’s Compassionate


She’s cautious, but she gives strangers a chance to prove themselves. When she sees those in needs, she will step in to help out.

She’s a Strategist 


She knows the strength and weaknesses of her group. She takes in all the information needed to make the right, yet sometimes very tough decisions. Though she’ll listen to the input from her group, she makes the final call. She always makes sure there is a plan to keep everyone as safe as possible.

She’s No Nonsense


Warren doesn’t suffer fools. She is dedicated to the mission and isn’t about to let herself get bogged down. When dealing with Murphy, this is not always easy.

She’s Honest


Warren understands how hard it is to keep going sometimes, and she’ll encourage her team the best she can. Even Murphy. They’ve all suffered losses and she understands that, but in the end of the day they’re trying to save humanity. She may be compassionate, but she’s also honest. She’s not going to lie about the tribulations on the road ahead.

She’s Human


Warren is not a super-human emotionless killing machine. She’s not the sidekick or love interest female propping up a male hero. She’s a fully realized character. Roberta feels the pain of loss just like everyone else. Even at her darkest moment, when she closed herself off in despair, she found a way to push through the pain and keep going with the help of her friends.

Huge kudos to the writers for avoiding the strong black woman trope that would have denied her humanity. 

She’s Sexy


Roberta is a beautiful, sexy woman and she owns it completely. Lately she’s been sharing smoldering looks with Vasquez. This doesn’t diminish her role as the leader. She keeps things in perspective, but that doesn’t prevent her from being attracted to someone.

She’s Loved 


Roberta has found love in the apocalypse before. She will again. It’s obvious that she’s attractive and men are drawn to her. Though the mission is what’s important, she’s had moments where she was truly loved.

She’s a Friend


Even when things are tough, she enjoys the good moments in life with her friends. She sincerely cares about those she’s on the mission with and let’s them know it.

Her 2nd In Command is another woman


Addy and Warren have suffered similar losses and have a strong understanding of each others strengths and weaknesses. Roberta depends on Addy to help with the complications of restoring tech for communication with Citizen Z. 

On several recent lists of television shows with women of color in the leads, Roberta Warren (Kellita Smith) has been left off. This is such a shame because she’s one of the best representations of female leadership on television in a very long time.

She’s one of the many reasons you should watch Z Nation.

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  • ToolorDie

    This character makes absolutely no sense. I think it was episode 13
    in season 2, the one where you get a glimpse at the background of the characters. Roberta was in the National Guard.

    What is up with her uniform? Blouse is undone, undershirt is digital camo like the uniform, no rank or MOS insignia. Wanna know why?

    Because someone who was in the Army/Guard would be able to
    identify that there is no WAY this woman would have the weapon knowledge this show arbitrarily gives her. Not being sexist here, but as we all know, there are no women in infantry or any direct combat MOS. So why the hell was she giving Citizen Z instructions on how to use weaponry she would have never been exposed too?

    If she was in some kind of aviation field, that would explain how
    she spotted jets and immediately knew they weren’t from the US. A look at her work space gives no indication she is in aviation. It gives no indication what she does in the Guard at all!

    What kind of Lieutenant, or any commissioned officer, would just
    stroll around the work space with their uniform in such horrible

    I have no problem with a strong female lead. I DO have a problem
    with a female lead that is not actually strong, and I have to force
    suspension of disbelief to accept that this dainty thing can smack grown men around and never seems to even have her hair fall out of place.

    The internet seems to really support this character, I found her to be the worst in the show.

  • Rhiannon Frater

    My response:

  • ToolorDie

    A meme and an E yawn. I don’t get it. Two responses, yet you’re expressing lack of interest….?

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