FREE COMIC BOOK DAY: DC SUPER HERO GIRLS
Written by Shea Fontana
Art by Yancey Labat & Monica Kubina
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: May 7, 2016
Super-strength and invulnerability don’t make finals any less scary.
Superhero final exams are looming and Supergirl is less than confident about her ability to deliver. She nearly quits school, but finds the strength to conquer her fears with the help of Ma and Pa Kent. However, someone skulking in the bushes is determined to put a damper on the Girl of Steel’s plans.
DC Super Hero Girls is definitely written for a younger audience. There’s less dialogue and complexity throughout the story, though the emotions are delivered in a way that are no less impactful. As an adult, I find the prologue to the OGN rather straightforward and simple when it comes to the feelings. Children and adolescents reading this, however, may find a more relatable and raw emotional experience.
This series is wonderful for young readers, as it gives them a point of connection more grounded in their experiences. Beyond these aspects, the FCBD introduction to the larger story gives more than enough to stay invested, focused, and entertained.
Shea Fontana’s characterization of Supergirl is one that is both realistic and reminiscent of the experiences of many children and adolescents. While I know where the story is likely to head thematically, it does not take away from the lived experience of insecurity, fear, and isolation. Supergirl reacts to a situation in a way many people would, and Fontana uses such a development as an opportunity to create a moment of catharsis for the character and readers, as well as offering a turning point which addresses autonomy and the ability to confront fear.
Yancey Labat’s style casts each of the characters as young but without undue or improper emphasis on their bodies. They all look like they’re in high school dealing with typical high school issues. The bright and bubbly appearance of the characters means that even the most serious issues will still appear relatively optimistic, but this artistic choice is perfect for the target audience.
Monica Kubina on colors adds to the levity of the story with light hues, giving the characters a more fun and engaging appearance. Kubina’s work gives the DC Super Hero Girls world a fresh and inviting feel while keeping each character an individual entity.
All in all, DC Super Hero Girls is a great pick for FCBD. It’s a great read for kids, as it approaches them on their level, while also giving adults a useful tool in reaching out to youngsters as they manage their own issues. Stories like this and the eventual OGN are important for diversifying the landscape of comics and having accessible media for people of all ages. I’d like to see diverse characters like Katana and Bumblebee take center stage in the future, but on the whole this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend to anyone.