DC Super Hero Girls

Tagged: TV

US animated tv series (2019-current). Warner Bros. Animation, DC Entertainment. Based on the DC Comics characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. Developed by Lauren Faust. Executive producers: Lauren Faust and Sam Register. Directors include Noëlle Raffaele, John Sanford and Steve Stefanelli. Writers include Lauren Faust and M A Larson. Voice cast includes Kimberly Brooks, Will Friedle, Grey Griffin, Cassandra Lee Morris, Tara Strong, Nicole Sullivan, Myrna Velasco and Kari Wahlgren. Thirteen eleven-minute episodes and 24 online shorts to date. Colour.

Prior to this iteration, DC Super Hero Girls had been a webseries of 112 episodes released on YouTube 2015-2018, plus the Television special DC Super Hero Girls: Super Hero High (2016) and five direct-to-video films, DC Super Hero Girls: Hero of the Year (2016), DC Super Hero Girls: Intergalactic Games (2017), Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Brain Drain (2017), Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High (2018) and DC Super Hero Girls: Legends of Atlantis (2018), as well as novels, Graphic Novels and Comics. Apart from the novels, most of the above-cited productions were written by Shea Fontana.

In 2017 DC (see DC Comics) announced the series would be rebooted, with Lauren Faust in charge: her five shorts, collectively titled Super Best Friends Forever (2012) – part of the tv series DC Nation Shorts (2011-2014) – would provide the template. Faust had previously created the successful television series My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010-current), known for fostering positive messages for young girls, as well as for its varied Fandom.

Barbara Gordon (Strong), aka Batgirl, starts attending Metropolis High, having moved from Gotham City to Metropolis with her father, Commissioner Gordon (see Batman). Missing her old friends, she corrals some of the school's Superhero pupils into forming a new team, the Super Hero Girls. The members are herself, an intelligent, enthusiastic and talented gadgeteer; Wonder Woman (Griffin), their leader, who agrees to train the others if they teach her how to blend into society; the stroppy, rebellious but ultimately good-hearted Supergirl (Sullivan); new age pacifist Green Lantern (Velasco); show-off magician Zatanna (Wahlgren); and Bumblebee (Brooks) who like Batgirl has no Superpowers and so creates Inventions – but very much unlike Batgirl, is painfully shy and without confidence.

They learn to work together and have adventures, often fighting teenaged DC super-Villains. Young Lex Luthor's (Friedle) company dominates the city, though it is his sister Lena (Morris), a child, who becomes their first antagonist: hijacking her brother's Robots to destroy teenage hangouts because "you teenagers think you're so smart, with your staying up late and your driving cars" and reprogramming their VR (see Virtual Reality) glasses so they're hooked on watching sneezing puppies.

Batgirl's vim and pep is the most engaging part of the show, but Supergirl's bloody-mindedness and Wonder Woman as a stranger in a strange land are entertaining too; the show's main emotional lessons come from Bumblebee's struggles to overcome her insecurities. The 2015-2018 show had been fairly pedestrian: the 2019 version is a large step up, the animation style being more interesting and the Humour frequently amusing. [SP]

see also: Gotham Girls.

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