SDCC 2018: ‘DC Super Hero Girls’ Creators & Cast Preview New Series

At San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, we had the pleasure to meet with some of the talent behind one of our favorite animated DC shows: DC Super Hero Girls. Originally a YouTube series, the show’s been picked up by Cartoon Network. Because of that it’s going to start over, once again telling the story of Wonder Woman arriving from Themyscira to enroll in Super Hero High. The animation style – and, sadly, the super catchy theme song, *sniff* – will all change, but at its core, the show will remain the same. We love its steadfast focus on the sometimes-overlooked female superheroes of the DC canon, and its dedication to presenting them with humor and heart intertwined.

Another big change we’ll see to the new DC Super Hero Girls is length, as episodes will increase from 2-3 minutes to 11 minutes. We spoke to Executive Producer Lauren Faust about the change, and she’s excited about how they can delve deeper into the characters: “That’s one thing that’s great about the longer formats,” she says, “is that we can have each of these characters have a personal trajectory through the course of the series…Every character’s going to experience some growth, so we want to keep going back to each of those characters.”

Just like on the YouTube series, we’ll see a plethora of DC’s leading ladies, but there will be a core group getting the primary focus that Faust mentioned: Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Jessica Cruz/Green Lantern, Bumblebee, and Zatanna. One thing we wanted to see more of in the series was diversity; the show featured many of DC’s characters, but not all got the same level of focus. Faust promises that, particularly among the core group, “We have six girls, and I can honestly say it’s about all six of them. It’s not about one and her friends, or three and the other three that hang out sometimes: it’s really all six of them.”

From the old lineup…

When looking for inspiration in adapting these characters, Faust says she dove into the Silver Age. She looked there because she wanted to get down to the iconic foundation of the characters, while preserving the tone of the show: “It’s a comedy. It’s character, it’s heart, it’s action…we’re expressing a lot of genuine emotion, but in a lighthearted, comedic sort of way.” Jenn Kluska, DC Super Hero Girls’ director, agrees. They want to present the characters in ways that are “new and exciting, but also true to who they are.”

One way that they’re exploring that, and finding ways to create real stakes for the show without having it veer too dark, is to really dive into the age of the characters. Says Kluska:

“Real stakes don’t necessarily have to be superhuman stakes. When you’re a teenager, possibly losing your after school job, or failing a test, there can be big stakes for that…they’re not dark, but they’re very meaningful when you’re that age. Your life is your friends and your school, and your world is kind of small…They’re these young girls who have these amazing abilities, but they’re also on the cusp of stepping out into this big world. And it’s a big world that they also have to protect.”

Obviously there’s a huge amount of characters to choose from to include. So when deciding which characters make appearances, the team kept the above idea in mind. Unlike the YouTube series, the super girls will have secret identities, and Kluska discussed how a big theme of the show is “having a super life and a teen life.” Thus, the characters they pulled from comics canon are those whose stories and characteristics lend themselves well to that tension. We shared our idea of Lois Lane – who will be on the series – having a journalist friend named Iris West. Faust seemed to love the idea, so fingers crossed we might see it someday!

…to the new.

One similarity with the YouTube series is that we’ll see a variety of team ups between different characters. Kluska talked about the excitement in seeing how the dynamics shift when different characters team up, and Faust said, “We really come at it from a place of: what is the story we want to tell, and which personality is the best character to express that idea with.”

We also talked with Nicole Sullivan and Grey Griffin, who voice Supergirl and Wonder Woman, respectively. Both of them emphasized that one of the great things about DC Super Hero Girls is getting to explore all the dimensions to their characters. Sullivan discussed how the girls are “so silly one second, just little high school girls giggling, and the next minute they’re just taking out the town. And by town I mean literally buildings.”

Sullivan adds that for Supergirl, her emotional journey throughout the series is growing from her annoyance at living in the shadow of her older cousin. She confirmed that DC Super Hero Girls’ Supergirl shares a similar origin story to the one on the CW show, in that she was older than Kal-El and babysat him on Krypton. But now that she’s come to Earth after him she “needs to be noticed, needs to be seen. She’s trying to fight her way up. And that’s where a lot of her chip-on-the-shoulderness comes from.”

As for Wonder Woman, Griffin reveals that she starts from the same place as in the YouTube series. She’s come to the school from Themyscira, which we won’t really see on the show, and is now struggling with the culture shock of it. According to Griffin, this Diana has “more of an exchange student feeling; she’s already kind of an awkward person because she’s so earnest.” So much of the fun of the character for Griffin this time came from playing with all of those layers of Diana’s awkwardness.

Hearing all of this, we can’t wait until it’s time for the new series of DC Super Hero Girls to start. Unfortunately it doesn’t have an air date yet, but it will be on Cartoon Network soon. Stay tuned here for more information about its premiere, and for the release of our full video interviews with the creators and cast.

What are your thoughts about the new DC Super Hero Girls? Excited? Have some concerns about any changes from the YouTube series? Let us know in the comments below!