Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment have announced the air date for Super Hero High, a one hour tie-in TV special to launch its DC Super Hero Girls brand to a TV audience.
Airing on 19th March 2016 on Boomerang, the show is the latest element of a new take on the female Super Heroes of the DC Comics universe launched last year, focusing on their formative high school years, prior to discovering their full super power potential, starring Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, Katana and many more.
DC Super Hero Girls comics launch in July
DC Super Hero Girls: Hits & Myths written by Shea Fontana and drawn by Yancey Labat will be the first graphic novel set in the new superhero universe for girls, on sale from 5th July in comic shops – and a sneak preview will be released on Free Comic Book Day in May.
“We get a chapter from the point of view of each of the main characters which allows us to really get to know them and their unique personalities,” Fontana said of the first story in an interview with Publishers Weekly last week.
The series depicts villainous characters like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, before they go bad. “Harley is still the wisecracking jokester and Ivy is still a genius biologist, but as teenagers, they’re just discovering how they want to use their powers in the world.”
A second volume, DC Super Hero Girls: Hits & Myths, the work of the same creative team, will be released on 2nd November and will build on the relationships established in the first book, and, says Fontana, “introduce new characters and go to a place that the DC Super Hero Girls have never explored before.”
While learning about The Odyssey in Mister Etrigan’s poetry class, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl and their friends go on their own Odyssey-inspired journey where they face off with a Cyclops, seek help from a Witch, and evade the Siren before journeying to the underworld. Can they help their teacher escape from Trigon’s prison and return home? Find out in DC Super Hero Girls: Hits & Myths.
The new line owes much to DC Entertainment Chief Diane Nelson, who has been looking to exploit the “untapped opportunity” offered by DC’s huge number of female costumed characters developed since the 1940s.
“There’s clearly demand in the marketplace to serve the young girl market,” she told the Los Angeles Times in February, arguing that until now, the young girls aged 6-12 this line is aimed at have been mostly excluded from the superhero action.
“I think this is one of the most important things that DC will do,” Geoff Johns, DC’s chief creative officer added. “It’s changing the culture of what superheroes are.”
DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. have collaborated with Mattel, Random House Children’s Books and LEGO to launch this DC Super Hero Girls line. It already has its own web presence at dcsuperherogirls.com and a toy line of action figures and fashion dolls on sale in US Target stores, featuring “strong, athletic bodies that stand on their own in heroic poses” is already on sale. Both six inch and 12″ figures have been announced.
DC Super Hero Girls digital animated shorts on the official web site and YouTube launched last October are also be available a dedicated a DC Super Hero Girls app and the Cartoon Network’s CN App – and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment’s series of DC Super Hero Girls made-for-videos will also release later this year, complementing new tie-in comics from DC Comics.
If DC Super Hero Girls is a success, Warner Bros. may develop a movie based on the characters, according to Diane Nelson, who has been at DC for six years and is a veteran Warner Bros. executive, who played a key role in shepherding the Harry Potter franchise.
Super Hero High
Boomerang’s Super Hero High 44-minute special centres upon new student, Supergirl. When she crash lands into the cafeteria, it’s evident that though she has incredible power, she has a long way to go before she becomes a Super Hero.
Too intimidated by the other supers to ask them for assistance, Supergirl turns to helpful I.T. girl, Barbara Gordon. Barbara takes Supergirl under her wing and introduces her to the sweet, old librarian, Granny Goodness. As Barbara helps Supergirl learn to harness her powers, Wonder Woman joins them and becomes a mentor and friend to Supergirl.
Meanwhile, the Junior Detective Club (The Flash, Bumblebee and Hawkgirl) investigates a mysterious rash of security breaches centered around the teleportation “Boom Tubes.” Could it all be because of reformed Super-Villain and Super Hero High Vice-Principal Gorilla Grodd – or something far worse?
The Super Hero High television special stars Anais Fairweather as Supergirl, Mae Margaret Whitman as Barbara Gordon and features an all-star voice cast of DC Comics universe veterans, including Greg Cipes, Tara Strong, Ashley Eckstein, John DiMaggio, Tom Kenny, Helen Slater and Dean Cain. Jennifer Coyle (Bob’s Burgers) is the television special’s producer and director. Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) serves as executive producer. Shea Fontana (DC Super Hero Girls) serves as writer of the television special and animated shorts, as well as the DC Comics graphic novel.
“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,” says DC of the DC Super Hero Girls brand.
DC Super Hero Girls merchandise
Random House Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, is the publishing partner for the franchise, and has begun releasing a series of books about the DC Super Hero Girls with Wonder Woman, written and illustrated by Lisa Yee, out now.
LEGO will produce building sets based in the DC Super Hero Girls world.
DC Super Hero Girls merchandise also includes dress up, apparel and accessories as well as publishing.
“It’s time for girls to get their capes on and envision themselves as strong, powerful and connected beings at the centre of their own superhero story, and DC Super Hero Girls provides a brand-new, robust universe to do just that,” Diane Nelson, President of DC Entertainment, President of Warner Bros. Consumer Products and President & Chief Content Officer of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment said on the line’s launch back in February.
“The toys, dolls, action figures and books that are rolling out at Target, combined with the fun animated series currently online, feature stories of empowerment, inspiration and optimism that are relatable to girls. This program is changing the face of superhero culture, and we are really proud of that.”
The new line – revealed at last year’s New York Comic Con – has gone through a huge amount of development, the LA Times noting the toys remain true to the graphic novels, eschewing the pinks, teals and pastel hues typical of most girls toys. Cumbersome dresses were out. A pink jumpsuit in an early version of Catwoman didn’t pass muster. Neither did a necklace for Wonder Woman or high heels for Poison Ivy, said Tanya Missad, director of consumer insights for Mattel.
“She has to look strong and cute,” Missad said. “But first and foremost she has to be a superhero.”
• For a sneak peek of DC Super Hero Girls: Finals Crisis, pick up a copy of the first two chapters at your local comic book shop on Free Comic Book Day on 7th May 2016
• Super Hero High will air on Boomerang on Saturday 19th March. Official web site: www.dcsuperherogirls.com
• Yancy Labat: www.yanceylabat.com
• Lisa Yee: www.lisayee.com
News Stories Elsewhere
• Kotaku (March 2016): DC Super Hero Girls Bring Comic Book Toys To A Brand New Audience (video review of figure line)