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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

DC Heroes For Girls….WTF?

Statistics say that 45% of comic fans are women. And it’s a smart move for any business to target that audience with comic related products such as toys.But Mattel’s DC Heroes for Girls is a step in the WRONG direction towards making superheroes appealing to young girls.

On the surface, DC Heroes for Girls follows the same model that made Monster High successful. It takes place in a high school just like Monster High, there are no good guys or bad guys, and the school is run by headmistress Amanda Waller.

It’s cute fluffy and sugary enough to make any comic fan man or woman boy or girl sick to their stomach.

When you just take a closer look at the toys for the DC Heroes for Girls line it’s just one big insult to the intelligence of the audience of girls Mattel is targeting. Dumbed down heroes dressed in frilly feminine costumes that look absolutely ridiculous. Along with a premise that just treats girls like they’re stupid. Girl heroes are so DUMB they have to go to high school? WTF?

 Why can’t they go out and fight crime like the boys like Robin, Superboy, Kid Flash and Static do?

Why do I HATE the DC Heroes Girls?  The whole concept is just paternalistic. Listen to the title: DC Heroes for GIRLS. What? Superheroes aren’t for guys either?

And it presents the retarded notion that superheroes for girls have to be STUPID. Usually, superheroes for boys focus on crime fighting, problem solving, and taking down the bad guy. But according to Mattel and DC superheroes for girls are about high school, frilly costumes that look like clothes, “girl power” and making girls feel good about themselves. WTF?

So making superheroes for girls is about making a toy line where the female characters aren’t presented as equals to the guys. Even though superhero women like Wonder Woman, Batgirl and Supergirl in the comics make every effort to show themselves as equals to their male counterparts in terms of intelligence and skill.

Good Gravy. I thought this line of ridiculous reasoning went out in 1990 with Wonder Woman and the Star Riders.

You know what really would have been cool toy line for girls? Something focused around an awesome concept like Oh, DC’s Birds of Prey. Birds of Prey featured superheroines like Oracle Black Canary, and the Huntress going on adventures on their own. If Mattel wanted to make this accessible to tween and teen girls they could just Barbara Batgirl again if you want to sell Batgirl toys and have her with an interest in IT. Dinah could be into Martial arts and Helena could be into science. If Mattel and DC wanted to make it like a ladies’ version of Justice League they could toss Supergirl and Wonder Woman in the mix along with other heroes like Hawkgirl, Mera, Vixen and Katana. And on the bad guys side you could have Cheetah, Harley Quinn, Amanda Waller, Catwoman, Star Sapphire, and Giganta. Let everyone wore their “real” costumes, take on the bad guys and make the series focus on girls fighting crime and problem solving.

Toss in a clock tower playset and I’d definitely spend a few dollars on this toy line.

Most comic readers male and female loved Birds of Prey loved Birds of Prey because that comic because it never insulted their intelligence. I’m sure they’d have the same enthusiasm for the toy line.

As a comic fan for over 38 years I know quite a few female comic fans. And you know what they want: They want to buy the “Real” versions of their favorite superheroines. They want to buy figures of the “real” Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl wearing the “real” or “classic” costumes they wear in the comics.

And they want to put them side by side with the guys in their “real” costumes. Why? Because they want the female characters to be the on the same level as the guys.

If Mattel and DC made “action dolls” of the “Real” or “Classic” Supergirl, Wonder Woman and Batgirl and DC’s heroines, in a toy line similar to Monster High with they’d probably be bought by boys and girls alike. Heck, they could even re-use that giant body that was released in Monster High this year for bigger characters like Giganta and Elasti Girl.

And if they created a simplified cartoon true to the spirit of the DC Universe, that’s just as fun as Monster High fans young and old would enjoy them.

As a guy who has written strong heroines in Young Adult fiction for the last 20 years I know that girls it’s possible to create and write female characters that aren’t dumbed down. And it’s possible to make a toy line where action figures appeal to all those female comic fans without insulting their intelligence.

An intelligent story with female characters!
 The best way to get girls into comics and superheorines is to show the ladies doing the same cool stuff the guys do in their stories and having the same kinds of adventures the guys have. In stories I write in the Isis series I’ve often made an effort in my stories to show Isis and E’steem having the same intelligence and skills as my male characters like John Haynes. And I’ve often showed them doing incredible feats like thunderclaps and epic fights to show how far they’re willing to go to stand for their ideals.

 To that end, I’ve always wondered why we’ve never seen Wonder Woman or Supergirl do something cool like a thunderclap or having a epic fight against an archenemy in their comics after all these years of reading comics. I believe if readers did see them doing things like that there’d be a lot more fans of superheroines than right now.

When it comes to superhero toys girls want figures that allow them to have the same kinds of adventure that the boys do. If Mattel were to make a toy line filled with DC characters focused around that premise they’d be bought by both boys and girls alike.


  1. I'm under the impression that Entertainment (as a whole entity) believes that the global level of intelligence and common sense gets lower and lower every generation.

  2. One look at Twitter and one would be inclined to agree. Just ask Ultron.

  3. The film deals in a subtle and moving way with grief and teenage anxiety while serving up all the thrills of a big-budget animated movie with superhero protagonists.