Are you a fan of Girl Power?
Of course you are. Well, it looks like Detective Comics is jumping aboard the Girl Power train. Introducing the DC Super Hero Girls initiative.
Warner Bros. And DC Entertainment In Partnership With Mattel Launch DC Super Hero Girls, A New Super Hero Universe Designed Just For Girls, Slated For Fall 2015
Mattel to Launch Company’s First Action Figures for Girls
Unprecedented Initiative to Include Digital Content, TV Specials, Made-For-Videos, Publishing, Toys, Apparel and Other Products
Random House Children’s Books to be Master Publishing Partner The LEGO Group to be Exclusive Construction Partner
Beginning in Fall 2015, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel join forces to launch DC Super Hero Girls, an exciting new universe of Super Heroic storytelling that helps build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential. Featuring DC Comics’ most powerful and diverse line-up of female characters as relatable teens, DC Super Hero Girls will play out across multiple entertainment content platforms and product categories to create an immersive world.
Developed for girls aged 6-12, DC Super Hero Girls centers on the female Super Heroes and Super-Villains of the DC Comics universe during their formative years – prior to discovering their full super power potential. Featuring a completely new artistic style and aesthetic, DC Comics’ icons such as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumble Bee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more make their unprecedented teenaged introduction. Each character has her own storyline that explores what teen life is like as a Super Hero, including discovering her unique abilities, nurturing her remarkable powers and mastering the fundamentals of being a hero.
“DC Entertainment is home to the most iconic and well-known Super Heroes including Wonder Woman, Supergirl and Batgirl,” said Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment. “DC Super Hero Girls represents the embodiment of our long-term strategy to harness the power of our diverse female characters. I am so pleased that we are able to offer relatable and strong role models in a unique way, just for girls.”
The initial launch of DC Super Hero Girls in Fall 2015 will include an immersive digital experience, original digital content and digital publishing – providing opportunities for girls to interact with characters, learn about the storylines, and engage in customizable play. TV specials, made-for-videos, toys, apparel, books and other product categories will begin to rollout in 2016.
“Developing a Super Hero franchise exclusively for girls that includes all of the key components of a comprehensive entertainment experience – from content to consumer products – is something we are excited to be doing in conjunction with our great partners,” said Brad Globe, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “It’s really an honor to be part of this cultural moment and to be delivering a concept so rooted in a relatable and empowered theme that the characters of DC Comics are uniquely able to present.”
As master toy licensee, Mattel is collaborating with DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation and Warner Bros. Consumer Products on DC Super Hero Girls‘ narrative creation, interactive digital activations and ultimately a toy line launching in 2016. Mattel category-leading firsts include a line of characters for the action figure category, an area of the industry that has been primarily developed with boys in mind, and fashion dolls featuring strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses.
“Partnering with the best and being the best partner is of paramount importance,” said Richard Dickson, President, Chief Operating Officer, Mattel. “Together with Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, the DC Super Hero Girls franchise will further expand our already powerful girls portfolio. We know Super Hero is a culturally relevant theme and the DC Super Hero Girls franchise will engage and inspire girls, providing cues to explore heroic acts through play and into real life.”
The Random House Books for Young Readers imprint of Random House Children’s Books has been appointed the master publishing partner for the franchise and will be creating a portfolio of books that will bring the DC Super Hero Girls world to life, beginning in Spring 2016. Random House’s publishing program will be complemented by a series of original graphic novels from DC Entertainment. The LEGO Group will also be key to building the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, leveraging their experience and success engaging girls in creative construction play to bolster this universe through an array of LEGO building sets designed to inspire girls’ imaginations. Additionally, consumer products partners around the world will be engaged in creating a merchandise line dedicated to DC Super Hero Girls across all key categories.
Thanks to James Harvey at World’s Finest for the info.
Here’s a first look:
The designs look very doll-like, almost Disney-esque, but Mattel, the company that gave us Barbie and Monster High, is behind this; clearly the plan is to sell dolls, hence the toyetic look. Some of the designs are pretty decent: I like how Supergirl seems to be a mix of her 90’s Superman: The Animated Series look with the Sakura-style sneaks, and her early 2000’s look with the blue costume. The collar gives her a schoolgirl like appearance. (No bare midriff, but oh well.) Kind of odd that they opted to go with Wonder Woman instead of Wonder Girl here, given that the emphasis is supposed to be on youth; why not use the teen Wondy when you have one? I guess DC figured that more people would be familiar with Wonder Woman, but that didn’t stop Lauren Faust from using Wonder Girl in Super Best Friends Forever. Either way, she looks good, I like the blue hair and star-studded pants. The shield seems kind of unnecessary since WW can block projectiles with her bracelets, though. Lets be real here: the main (if not only) reason Bumblebee and Katana are here is so there will be some non-white faces in the bunch. I honestly don’t know much about Katana and my only exposure to Bumblebee is the TV shows Teen Titans and Young Justice, so I’m a bit murky on their histories, so forgive me if I say that they’re kind of obscure characters to include. That said, I personally would’ve chosen Vixen over Bee in a Tantu Talisman rubbing split second, but that’s just me. I’m kind of sorry Miss Martian didn’t make the cut, but maybe she’ll show up in the second wave. To play both sides of the fence (or perhaps just to include more characters) we also get some villains, namely Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy; but I can go along with that I suppose; given that the goal is to make these characters attractive to girl consumers, the villain characters will likely be more annoying pranksters than out-and-out evil doers; their designs are OK, especially Harley’s. Bit o’ historical trivia: when Haley Quinn first made her debut on Batman: The Animated Series, I thought Harley was kind of lame, but to update that story, I think she’s kind of cool now. I actually think Harley’s more interesting and fun when she’s not mooning over the Joker, plus I like her skill set; I’ve always been a sucker for flippy gymnasts. I like the combination of black, gold and dark blue on Batgirl’s costume, and of course, Barbara’s front and center, and the only 2 villains depicted here are Gotham villains. Why?
The article mentioned TV specials, which, if successful, could lead to a DC Super Hero Girls series, but where would such a show air?
If this were to become a series, under current circumstances said show would likely be an online exclusive. I don’t see Cartoon Network being interested in a DC cartoon unless it was going to be Teen Titans GO! goofy, not to mention that DC and CN are kind of on the outs right now after what happened with DC Nation and the boy-skewing CN likely wouldn’t be all that keen on acquiring a girl-centric show. No way in Helsinki is Disney going to air a DC show, and I just don’t see Discovery Family having any interest; the only animated shows they have are the leftovers from Hasbro’s reign, and they don’t seem to be in a hurry to pick up any more cartoons.
The only one of the Big 3 kids’ networks I could see showing any interest in airing this would be Nickelodeon, since the toys are made by Mattel and Nick has aired some specials based on Mattel properties before such as Monster High and some Barbie specials. I can definitely see DCSHG going to Nick before the boy-skewing Cartoon Network. Mattel has been putting adaptations of a lot of their products on the web (Monster High, Ever After High, Barbie, Polly Pocket, etc.), so overall, I’d say the internet would be the most likely outlet for this should Mattel and DC decide to turn this into a series.
Speaking of TV shows, the announcement of this project, some folks on the interwebz have begun assuming (and who knows where they got this idea) that the launch of DC Super Hero Girls will somehow mean that we’ll finally be getting a series version of Super Best Friends Forever, the 1-minute shorts which aired as filler segments between shows on DC Nation, depicting Supergirl (Nicole Sullivan), Wonder Girl (Grey Delisle) and Batgirl (Tara Strong) as MLP-esque besties rendered by none another than Lauren Faust herself.
Uh, no. Why would the announcement of this mean that SBFF is coming back? There’s not going to be a Super Best Friends Forever show. That ship has sailed. The time to have jumped on that would’ve been back in 2013, when DC Nation was still relevant and Lauren Faust was still available (she’s working on a feature film currently). If anything, this project only decreases the chances of that happening. Why would DC need or want to resurrect some shorts from like 2 years ago when they now have this new property initiative with multiple platforms to mack on? That would be like if Warner Brothers Animation launched a new property called HB Racers or something like that, with popular Hanna-Barbera characters such as Fred Flintstone, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear, and other HB stars in global races in stylized vehicles, and they had all the bells and whistles planned for it: toys, T-shirts, video games, DTVs, the whole 9 yards, and somebody said, “Hey, maybe now that they’re doing this we’ll finally get that Wacky Races Forever series that was a failed pilot that CN didn’t want back in 2004!”. The latter makes the former redundant, and there’d be no point in doing both ’cause it’s the exact same idea. For all intents and purposes, DC Super Hero Girls IS Super Best Friends Forever: The Series, in spirit if not in name.
I’m all for giving girls the spotlight once in a while, goodness knows it’s overdue (though I find it a tad annoying how in the wake of Powerpuff Girls, nowadays it seems that producers seem to think that the only way to make girl protagonists interesting is to make them superheroes or crime fighters–I’d like to see more girl-centric comedies myself), so I’m curious to see how DC Super Hero Girls plays out. This should be interesting.
On a final note: going back to DC Nation for a minute, one reason why Cartoon Network dropped the ax on Young Justice was because it was garnering greater viewership among girls than boys. Just pointing that out.