In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new school in session. Super Hero High is a new line focusing on the DC Super Hero Girls, which reimagines the DC Comics Universe, focusing on the female characters across an entire platform of storytelling. Playing across multiple entertainment content platforms and product categories to create an immersive world, the DC Super Hero Girls help build character and confidence, and empowers girls to discover their true potential through such familiar icons as Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee, Poison Ivy, Katana and more.
One of the best use of these characters in this platform is in the novels written by Lisa Yee, who does an amazing job interjection emotion and humor to these beloved characters.
Lisa took some time to discuss her work while working on her latest book.
FOG!: Supergirl at Super Hero High is the second book in the series after the first volume which focused on Wonder Woman. What was the genesis of the series?
Lisa Yee: The series was created to introduce a new generation of young readers to the iconic female DC Superheroes. The Super Hero High novels take place in an alternate universe where everyone is the same age. Plus, even though we may know who becomes a superhero and a super-villain, the students aren’t aware of it yet.
Fans come into the superhero universe from different angles. Some through comics, others from TV and film.
This series of original novels gives readers an opportunity to get to know the superheroes so many of us have known and love though the pages of books.
And the wonderful thing about a novel is that it gives us the luxury of going deep into the psyche of the characters.
For example, Supergirl’s novel examines how she adjusts from being Kara on Krypton, to losing her planet and parents, to learning to cope with her powers as the new girl at Super Hero High.
She’s a bit of a klutz, so the first time she tests her laser eyesight over a field of corn, it rains popcorn!
However, there are also poignant moments like Parent’s Night at the high school, when her heart is broken because she misses her mom and dad.
Were you a fan of the characters prior to working on the series? Were there any particular stories or takes on the characters that informed how you interpreted them?
Though I read the comics, I was really drawn to the superheroes on television. When I was a kid I loved the Batman television series. I wanted to marry Robin! Then when I saw Wonder Woman, starring Lynda Carter . . . and I wanted to be Wonder Woman.
Before I wrote a word of the books, I examined who the characters were and how I would present them. I realized that I wasn’t writing a series about superheroes who happened to be teenagers, I was writing a series about teenagers who happened to be superheroes. They have the same insecurities and vulnerabilities, and have to deal with all the defines high school — and deal with powers that they haven’t mastered yet.
Wonder Woman is celebrating her 75th anniversary and Supergirl is celebrating her 57th. Why do you think these characters still resonate with readers after so many years
She looks great for 75, don’t you think? The thing is that Wonder Woman and Supergirl were early feminists, before that was even a word. They were and are strong woman who don’t need a man to rescue them. Over the years they have evolved along with the rest of society, and now they are great role models for young readers. Their time is now.
With the Super Hero High series was your focus on appealing strictly to girl readers or do you think that the series has found an audience with boy readers as well?
Though the series features DC Comic’s females like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and Harley Quinn, the school is co-ed. There’s plenty of The Flash, Green Lantern, Steve Trevor, Captain Cold and other male characters. The humor, action and adventure appeal to both boys and girls, however the focus is on the girls and their lives.
I’ve heard from lots of boys (and adults!) who are reading the books. Just recently, this 10-year old boy posted a review of Supergirl’s book on Montana Public Radio — http://mtpr.org/post/supergirl-super-hero-high-logan-reviews#stream/0
The series focuses on a large ensemble of heroes. Is there one character that you particularly identify with?
You are so right about the large ensemble! There are things about so many of the characters that I identify with . . . Wonder Woman trying fit in, Supergirl afraid to show vulnerability, Harley having fun. But I really identify with Katana. There aren’t a lot of Asian superheroes out there and I’m hoping she will really take off.
What’s next in the series?
Batgirl! I’m just finishing her novel now. You’ll find out how she got to Super Hero High and the challenges she has to face, plus who’s out to get her. The wonderful thing about Batgirl is that any of us can be her. Her superpower is that she’s smart and has figured out ways to battle evil using her brain!
What are you currently geeking out over?
I got the Comic-Con exclusive Katana doll that is so totally awesome. I had seen photos of it before it came out, and she’s even more gorgeous in person. Plus, all of her weapons are there and the display is so well done. I should have gotten two so I’d have one MIB and one to play with. I also just got a Malcolm Reynolds action figure that I’ve been coveting. Oh, Firefly!