Robot 6

Girl who asked DC for more superheroines becomes one herself

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Eleven-year-old Rowan Hansen attracted a lot of attention online last month for her letter asking DC Entertainment to “please do something” about the lack of comics, movies and toys featuring female superheroes. The publisher responded, tweeting, “We agree, we’re working hard to create more superhero fun for girls!.”

However, DC didn’t leave it at that.

This morning, NBC’s Today featured a segment about Rowan’s letter, and the disparity between male and female superheroes, and presented the fifth-grader with a token of DC’s “commitment to fulfill their promise.” Accompanying the enormous basket of “surprises” was a framed drawing of Rowan as a superhero.

Rowan was thrilled by DC initial reply, and with the art, but she makes it clear her mission doesn’t end there. “It was really, really cool, ’cause they’re so big and important people,” she said, regarding DC’s tweets. “But I thought ‘I don’t want people to think, “Oh, yeah, OK, they responded to her. Now it’s over.’ I want people to keep trying to make this happen, ’cause it’s really important to me.”

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Comments

29 Comments

That’s cool. Its nice to see DC being responsive this way, and I’m glad she’s not going to stop there. This is cool all around.

This is pretty cool, but DC has plenty of female heroes. It’s just when you keep rehashing Batman and Superman movies and only include Wonder Woman in any merchandising, you don’t get to see them all.
Off the top of my head there’s Wonder Woman, Wondergirl, Hippolyta, Troia, Artemis, about 4 Super-Womans, and 4 Supergirls, Traci-13, Starlight, Starfire, Raven, Dove, Kole, 2 Aquagirls, Amathyst, Anima,Bumblebee, Elasti-girl, Negative Woman, Hawkgirl, 2 Hawk Womans, 2 Power Girls, Huntress, Bat Woman, Batgirl, Black Bat, Bluebird, Spoiler, 2 Black Canary’s, Speedy, Arrowette, another Artemis, Stargirl, Cyclone, Wildcat, Dr Light, Dr. Mid-night, Death, Cinnamon, Big Barda, Lil Barda, Knockout, Looker, Katana, Halo, Indigo, Jade, Anisia, Boodikka, Soranik Natu, Jessica Cruz, Star Sapphire, The Question, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Zealot, Voodoo, Swift, The Engineer, Lady Tron, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lass, Apparition, Triad, Umbra, Shrinking Violet, Sensor, Kinetix, Projectra, Dream Girl, Shikari, Night Girl, Gazelle, Jet, Dawnstar, Owl Woman, Gloss, Zatanna, Enchantress, and Madame Xanadu.
They’re out there already, you just have to publish/ merchandise them DC.

Glad she is intelligent and didn’t just accept the bone DC threw at her. DC has been talking diversity but not doing much about it for too long. I salute her!

Obviously this little girl hasn’t read too many comic books. There are a TON of female heroes in DC: Black Canary, Super Girl, Power Girl, Wonder Woman, Big Barda, Huntress, Zatanna, Mera, Dawnstar, Dove, Vixen, Starfire, and like a billion more. Just because not every single one of them is in some big movie doesn’t mean they aren’t huge mainstays in DC. This little girl has spent too much time on Tumblr looking up feminist posts.

Annoyed.

Well, a gift basket and a quick drawing certainly resolves decades of ignoring female heroes, Diana’s thong, Karen’s “window”…

It’s a cute story, but it still bothers me that she didn’t think there were many female superheroes – I don’t know how anyone could come to that conclusion, let alone her comments about female superheroes in pink costumes. . . I can’t think of ANY superheroines who wear pink costumes, so it all seems. . . . weird. Like maybe the Dad is the one behind all this or something.

Aaron: Her point is not that there aren’t any it’s they they are sidelined in favour of male characters in films, cartoons, movies and toys etc. I think you are being a little deliberately ignorant here.

It looks like she’s in Hyperion’s costume…

Why is DC responding to an eleven year old’s letter on Twitter?

@Charlie – It mentions comics specifically, in fact its the first one used in the list! Also, what’s the difference between films and movies??

I was referring to animated films.
How many of those characters you listed have a solo title ;)

@Emm “Like maybe the Dad is the one behind all this or something.”

Yep. This letter and this whole story was fabricated by the father and his blogger buddy and they still have the 11 year old girl going along with it.

She says in that video that she wrote the letter because “I’m upset that there aren’t many girl superhero’s or comics from DC.”

This is just flat out not true at all and I believe that her father told her to say these ludicrous things. DC has many female superheroes: Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Catwoman, Powergirl, the new (black) Powergirl, Huntress, Mera, Power Ring (A female in the JL!), Element Woman (former member of the JL), Katana, Zatanna, Starfire, Raven, Spoiler, Bluebird, and many many others. And that’s just heroes there are also many powerful female DC villains and many strong female supporting DC characters.

So really this whole story has received way too much attention.

@Charlie2 @Aaron There are only seven DC comic books focusing on women and 9 DC comic books made up of teams that have at least one woman on them, and even then the males tend to take up more pages and there are a total of 40 titles from DC at the moment. So, any book, whether it’s a solo or a team book, with a female member is less than half of the current line from DC.

It’s interesting that you say it’s her ‘father’ not a female relative.
Kind of shows your hand somewhat.

@Brione The problem is that there are so few solo female titles and that the rest are in team books with a dominant male cast. And as for others,they may be in certain books, but the book is still ultimately about the main male hero of that book. Yes, many are around, but they do not get enough time for them personally.

@Eric

The problem is that comics should written well by good writers without them having to worry about diversification.

Comics are made for the people who buy them and the majority of comic book sales are still to males whether you like that or not. Comics should not be 50/50 male and female heroes. That just wouldn’t make sense on any level. I enjoy strong female characters and DC does a good job of it.

Here’s a question for you; what about Harley Quinn? Does she count in your book as a female hero? She out sells every other female comic.

@Brione I do count her book among the female solo titles, though she is difficult to class. Something more along the lines of an anti-hero/anti-villain. But, it’s as you said, good writing helps and Harley has reached her audience that way. But other female characters should get that too. Just look at Starfire when the New 52 started out. I hope her solo title in June redeems her. And yes, males may be the majority when it comes to buying comics, but the point of creating new characters and comics is to attract new readers. Perhaps if there are more female heroes and comics that are represented and written well, more girls will also buy comics. Just because there is a standard we live in now doesn’t mean we can’t work to achieving something more. It can be done. Just look at Marvel comics!

Man, you almost had me until you said, “Just look at Marvel comics!”

That statement proves who you are.

Marvel is definitely NOT ahead of DC in the woman equality department. At worse they are equal.

Marvel fans will look for any excuse to try to hate on DC. It’s almost comical in a sad way.

For the record, Brione, Rowan wrote the letter herself. I’m friends with the family and have known Rowan ever since she was born. She is just that smart and eloquent.

And the Today piece distorts her views with its editing: she knows about the great many female heroes at DC. She’s read tons of DC Comics and has religiously watched JLU, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Dini Batman, Young Justice, and so on. She’s also quite the Marvel buff even if she prefers DC.

But her letter was precisely about DC’s failure to leverage their pool of female characters into media and merchandising opportunities.

Same for the line about pink. That’s her responding to a gift she received of Justice League chibis, where only Wonder Woman and Supergirl show up at all in the line and are apparently packaged in pink and purple–all stuff mentioned in her letter and in the initial coverage.

Rowan can’t be blamed for how the piece got edited.

I’m always surprised they haven’t been pushing Stargirl in the same fasion as Batgirl. She’s perfect gir little girls like her. Can perfectly become DC’s Ms. Marvel with that kind of family dynamic.

In response to this girl DC cancels Supergirl :\

@Aaron,

why is this always the response to concerns about gender equality in comics?

there are a lot of female superheroes. yet there is still ongoing concerns about lack of female superhero representation.

what should that tell you?

it should tell you that there is next to zero visibility for these great characters. it should tell you that marvel and dc aren’t really trying all that hard to raise awareness of their great superhero characters, either through their publishing lines or merchandising lines.

and most importantly it should tell you that the responsibility for the general female public not knowing about these characters lies not with the female public, but with the publishing houses and their executives.

Not the real David Bowie

February 20, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Look at these people threatened by a 11 year old girl, and can’t even understand what criticism she was making, or purposely misrepresenting it.

The chauvinistic racist and omni-phobic dinosaurs can keep complaining about stuff like this, while, comic book companies will continue diversifying their line and catering to wider audiences like this girl.

Poor dinosaurs, can’t let go of their antiquated views and keep up with the world.

Honestly, if people are complaining about a lack of female heroes I’d bet they don’t read comics.

As for merchandising, there’s no end to DC heroine merchandise. Even for children. I constantly pick up stuff with Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Catwoman etc for my daughter. Also, just to add, none of it is “girly pink”. These include books, figures (the scribblenauts ones are adorable) and clothing.

@ Brione Dude, you proved who you were with that statement. I love both DC and Marvel comics. In fact, I got into superhero comics because of DC comics. My very first one was the Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes). In fact, I have more DC comics than I do Marvel.

Angelina Elisabeth McKnight

February 20, 2015 at 10:52 pm

@ John. Very good point! I still can’t understand the logic behind cancelling Supergirl when she’s about to become a higher profile character thanks to the upcoming tv series.

@Angelina Elisabeth McKnight
Upcoming relaunch coinciding with the series premiere?

@Angelina – Yeah, it’s all about the timing. expect Supergirl #1 closer to the launch of the series, probably after it, to extend on the press cycle.

I agree with Mr. Biscuit, Stargirl could be huge, if DC knew how handle the character, (A super hero version of Buffy the Vampire Slayer maybe?)

There’s a certain irony in having older DC diehards school an 11-year old girl on what she should read from the company.

SHE’S 11 YEARS OLD.

But that’s comics fanboyism for you, Kirby bless ‘em…

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