Dear DC Comics,

*Just a note. Thanks for the link to Felica Day and io9.com and everyone else. I’m stunned by the response. Also I’m approving comments as I can and will approve any comment that isn’t spam or hateful.threatening or outright insulting of myself, my daughter or any commentor here. I adhere to the John Scalzi commenting policy. Please feel free to disagree with our opinion, because that’s what reader feedback is all about. And thanks!

 

I’m not going to rant like Comics Alliance (though you need to read it), or this one by Andrew Wheeler (also an excellent read), Ms. Snarky says it really well too (Go, read, DC editors. Take notes.)

Instead I’m going to hand over my forum and let someone else speak for me. Pay attention, DC. This is my 7 year old daughter.

And for good measure this is my 7 year old daughter as she falls asleep most nights, reading.

They’re both your books, DC. And furthermore she bought them both with HER money. Her allowance, her birthday and Christmas money. She gets at least one graphic novel and one book for major holidays. She buys superhero movies (we’ve managed to see all the major releases this year except Green Lantern and she’s loved them all.) She has a full-sized cardboard cut out of Spiderman guarding her bookshelf.

Most importantly? Starfire is her favorite hero.

So today I showed her your rebooted Catwoman and Starfire. She is not happy with you DC.

“Why do you like Starfire?”

“She’s like me. She’s an alien new to the planet and maybe she doesn’t always say the right thing, or know the right thing to do. But she’s a good friend, and she helps people. She’s strong enough to fight the bad guys, even when they hurt her. Even her sister tried to kill her, but Starfire still fights for the good side. And she helps the other heroes, like Superboy and Robin and Raven.

“She’s smart too. And sometimes she gets mad, but that’s okay because it’s okay to get mad when people are being mean. And she’s pretty.”

“What do you think about her costume?” (Referring to the outfit on the right)

“Well, she’s a grown up in that picture, not like in the Teen Titans cartoon, so if you’re a grown up and you want to wear something like that you can. It’s okay.”

“Tell me about that Starfire.”

“That’s where she’s starting the Teen Titans again. She’s helping the kids learn how to use their power and not be as sad because their friends died. She even protects them from grownups who want to tell them what to do.”

“Does that outfit make her pretty?”

“Well, no. It shows lots of her boobs though.”

“What does make her pretty?”

“Her long, pretty hair.”

“What about this Starfire? What do you think about her?” (Referring to image on the left from DC’s reboot Red Hood and the Outsiders)

“I can see almost all of her boobs.”

“And?”

“Well she is on the beach in her bikini. But…”

“But?”

“But, she’s not relaxing or swimming. She’s just posing a lot.” *my daughter appears uncomfortable*

“Anything else?”

“Well, she’s not fighting anyone. And not talking to anyone really. She’s just almost naked and posing.”

“Do you think this Starfire is a good hero?”

“Not really.”

“Do you think the Starfire from the Teen Titans cartoon is a good role model?”

*immediately* “Oh yes. She’s a great role model. She tells people they can be good friends and super powerful and fight for good.”

“Do you think the Starfire in the Teen Titans comic book is a good role model?”

“Yes, too. She’s still a good guy. Pretty, but she’s helping others all the time and saving people.”

“What about this new Starfire?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Why not?”

“Because she’s not doing anything.”

“Is this new Starfire someone you’d want to be when you grow up?”

*she gets uncomfortable again*”Not really. I mean, grown ups can wear what they want, but…she’s not doing anything but wearing a tiny bikini to get attention.”

“So, you know I’m going to put this on my blog right? (she nods) Is there anything else you want to say?”

“I want her to be a hero, fighting things and be strong and helping people.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because she’s what inspires me to be good.”

See, it’s not about what they’re wearing, though that can influence things. What makes a hero is WHO they are, the choices they make and the things they do. If my 7 year old can tell what you’ve done from looking at the pictures (there is no way I’m going to let her in on the whole emotionless random, amnesiac sex plot line) why can’t you see the problem here?

If this is your attempt at being edgy and reaching out the huge female comic audience out here then I look forward to when this crap collapses around you so someone who gets it can take your place. We’re looking for good stories and great heroes. This just isn’t it.

This entry was posted in Family, Girly Stuff, Personal, rants and rage. Bookmark the permalink.

279 Responses to Dear DC Comics,

  1. Pingback:Starfire y sus tremendas… polémicas | Los Eternautas

  2. Zachary Imbriaco says:

    You see, I don’t agree with this at all. The Gutters, a webcomic that pokes fun at DC and Marvel, has some points I believe you should all check out. It’s page…196 or 197. Do yourselves a favor, go to the-gutters.com.

    • Imam Baksh says:

      You and the Gutters missed the point. Ms Lee never claims that the portrayal is inappropriate for kids. The sex never even enters into it.

      Michelle says right there in the second to last paragraph that even her seven-year-old can see that Kory has been made into a pose-able model and not a hero because heroes do things while all Kory does in this comic is stand around.

      This was never about age-appropriateness so you an Gutters are on a Straw Man/ Red Herring tangent. This was about turning a hero into an object because she’s female.

      (It was also a little bit at the beginning about how it was bad business to make Kory into a T rated character when her current fan base is far below that age, but AGAIN, not making the claim that kids should be reading the New 52 Kory)

      • Guest says:

        Since the Gutters cartoon can’t even get the daughter’s appearance anywhere near the photos prominently featured at the top of this page, it’s unlikely they went so far as reading the original post before firing off their out-of-context response.

  3. Pingback:Sexed-Up Starfire Doesn’t Sit Well with 7 Year Old : Ms Magazine Blog

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  5. Faewren says:

    I think the point is not that it was a comic book rated T. I think it’s about the examples that we need to set for girls. And with more and more geek girls out there, we need better examples. Bikinis and posing is not a good example. (Unless you wanna play with wrinkly old Heff.)

    Go Geek Girl Power!

  6. BDS says:

    I am catching up on my commenting on each book. I thought the overall story had promise, BUT the way they recreated Starfire and exactly what the feelings your daughter expressed made me not add it to a regular reading list. I have been thinking how the aim at new readers would have maybe some of the Teen Titans Go kids that are older now buying this book because of Starfire and getting this horrible version for there money.

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  8. Heidi says:

    Its been started! Your daughter is the hero DC needs! So we’ve made her one: http://drawmicheleleesdaughter.blogspot.com/

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  14. Steve Cleff says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  15. The Ferret says:

    Thank you for writing this and I truly wish and hope Dc listens to people like you and your daughter and Comicon’s Batgirl and others who truly want things to improve.

    I’m sorry to say I learned about you through the gutters comic which surprisingly (for them) sidestepped the issue in favour of taking the air out of the problem.

    Here’s hoping they start to listen soon.

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  17. Ella W. says:

    Can I say that your daughter is extremely amazing and a diamond amongst stones? Because she is. Only seven, and already she knows what a good role model is, and she can articulate it wonderfully. She’s a very smart young girl, and she gives me hope for the upcoming generation. :)

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