Thursday, March 17, 2016

DC Super Hero Girls

I didn't think this thing would honestly make it, but since the official premier of DC Superhero Girls is showing at Fan X in a couple weeks, I think it's time we take a look at the latest Monster High knock-off.

As an outspoken fan of Monster High, DC Comics and particularly Harley Quinn, I should be all over this show. So then why after watching the clips already on YouTube am I not all that impressed?

Well... Okay kinda impressed.... I did buy a Harley Quinn doll...

I have to say that I do like how the super heroes in the show do have more conservative outfits than any of their comic book counterparts. I'd rather see little kids cosplaying as a Wonder Woman with pants than Frankie Stein in a miniskirt. The characters themselves are pretty well rounded as well, so far no chasing after boys but focusing on their schoolwork and their friendships, which I see as a major plus. We haven't even seen a shopping montage at the mall, so there is some hope.

Okay so here's the real problem: Consistency. I know comics rarely worry about making a lot of sense, but this one takes the prize.

DC Superhero Girls is about a private high school to teach heroes how to be heroes. The stories are mainly focused on the girls going to class and trying to learn how to be real heroes by learning how to fly, fight, and rescue people.

The word "Hero" is thrown around pretty loosely though, as the main characters include Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. These aren't even the children or sidekicks of our favorite heroes, they're just the heroes all in some weird high school with dorms learning how to be heroes. This worked with Monster High and Ever After High because we were talking about the weird offspring of our favorite monsters and fairy tale folks. And Disney's Descendants line has the same concept only focusing on villains. But here it's just a nonsensical mess.

Some might say that this is just another way to sell toys to kids and to not over-analyze it, but frankly I can't let this one go. One of the reasons I like Monster High so much is that it's empowering. While occasionally delving into boys fashion and Facebook, the show also teaches individuality, acceptance and how to deal with bullies, while still having a clever premise. DC could've made the premise make sense, since all female super hero teams exist in cannon like the Gotham City Sirens or the Birds of Prey, or they could've made up their own team of super hero women teamed up to take on crime, so why use this clunky high school setting? Why dispose of 80 some odd years of canon?

Frankly I find it insulting. young girls can understand other situations besides high school. There's an unhealthy fixation in media to try and glamorize the high school setting into some sort of perfect Saved By The Bell-High School Musical-everything's perfect and fun and easy concept. It's story writer short hand for "We don't know how to write for women so we're going to do what's always been done instead".

I still have hope for this. Like I said, I like the characters in general, even enough to add Harley Quinn to my doll collection, but the actual episodes will have to do a lot to impress.

What do you think?


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