Cartoon Network’s “DC Super Hero Girls” Save the Day at SDCC!

by Ari Bard
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DC Super Hero Girls is getting bigger and better than ever by adding a cartoon on Cartoon Network and many more graphic novels.  Executive producer Lauren Faust, DC Group editor Marie Javins, and other members of the DC Super Hero Girls team held a panel at Comic Con International to give us the scoop on these new additions.

The panel started by highlighting the some of DC Super Hero Girls’previous successes with clips of some of the most powerful female superheros in the DC Universe “leaping from the pages of comics.”  Some of the line’s best moments included their merchandise and girls talking about who their favorite superheroes are.

Marie Javins then switched gears to talk about the large number of new books coming out in the future.  When asked if she was surprised at the initial response, she said, “No, girls have always read comics, women have always read comics […] I knew that the audience for this was out there. It was absolutely delightful to have everyone on board so quickly.”

Search for Atlantis is a new comic coming out in October, and follows Mera, a new student in school, and Brainiac has shrunk Atlantis.

The panel then began to talk about the DC Super Hero Girls Cartoon Network show that will feature famous female superheroes like Supergirl, Batgirl, and Wonder Woman as they save the say and find their way in high school.  The clip played by the panel was called “The Late Batsby” and featured a drowsy Batgirl trying to stay awake studying, but when Wonder Woman calls her about Mr. Freeze, Batgirl has a hard time getting around her dad, who hasn’t fallen asleep yet.  After trying everything from sewers, to rooptops, to other apartments, Batgirl finally arrives at the scene to learn she was the first one!  Lauren Faust talked more about the cartoon below.

“The short is quite a bit different from the series previously … it’s the next step, the next evolution. Balancing your teenage life with your super life … is the crux of the series. We’re reintroducing the idea of secret identities. Who are these heroes who regular girls who go to regular schools?  The funnest part is we have a lot of women on our team, and it’s been a lot of fun to dive into our own teenage experiences and bring those feelings and coming of age stories to the table and putting a super spin on it.”

Faust went further with the secret identities by describing how the girls have different personalities as heroes than in their everyday lives.  For example, she describes Batgirl as a sleuth but Barbara Gordon as a fangirl.  Green Lantern is a protector, but Jessica Cruz is an activist.  Zatanna is a magician, but also a showoff.

Some of the show’s actors were on the panel as well and elaborated on their own characters.  Wonder Woman voice Grey Griffin said, “Wonder Woman is kind of a fish out of water […] she has to deal with superhero stuff and adolescent stuff like crushes. And she gets to have an accent!”  Supergirl voice Nicole Sullivan said, “The stories that we’ve done are under lock and key but all very reminiscent of stuff girls go through in high school. What’s so fascinating is you’re seeing these girls do regular stuff, but the stakes are different, not just higher […] That’s what speaks to me. When you’re in high school, everything is drama. This is just big for real.”

There was another clip the showed Wonder Woman meeting the others in detention that got the audience very excited.  Faust was happy about the reactions, but had more to say about the show, especially its intended audience saying:

“We want the show to speak for itself. I’m a believer in all-ages entertainment. […] We just feel like if it’s good, anybody will watch it. No pun intended: we’re not pulling any punches […] I want to entertain and inspire.”

The panel then answered questions ranging from previous “Super Best Friends” shorts where Griffin said, “Those shorts were so popular that I printed out a picture of that Wonder Woman (for different cons) […] And now I’m on the Comic-Con bag! I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and now I’m on the bag!” to favorite superheroes where Griffin answered, “Wonder Woman! I grew up with Linda and watching that, I loved how strong she was!”

Faust had a few more details to review about the show saying,

“Supergirl and Superman have a pretty strong storyline that will be featured on the show […] We’ve got a thing with Wonder Woman and her mom, and Batgirl with her dad.” and “Spoiler alert: so in our show, we’re going to show that Barbara Gordon and Harley Quinzel are best friends that grew up together in Gotham, and they have no idea that they’re beating each other up at night.  Here’s the thing with Harley. She loves very hard. She loves her friend Barbara, and she makes bad choices for love.”

One thing is for sure, this project is being run with a lot of passion, and many new fans seem to be coming along for the ride.

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