Friday, December 12, 2008
Barbie + Comics = Almost Perfect
Mattel's new line of DC-inspired Barbie dolls combines two of my favorite things: Comic book super-heroines and Barbie Millicent Rogers. When I saw the Black Canary doll in a Toys R Us recently, I had to admire it on the shelf and just walk away. I was shopping for the kids at the time, and $49 is a lot of money when you're paying preschool tuition, soccer fees, etc.
But what bummed me out more than my financial limitations was the realization that DC doesn't have any major African-American female characters. Vixen doesn't count. A fashion model who channels animal powers from a magic totem? Seriously? I tried to get into the current six-part "Return of the Lion" series and almost fell asleep. It's cool that DC tapped ex-cop Renee Montoya, a gay Latina, as The Question, but that isn't exactly a marquee character. Besides, she doesn't have a Barbie doll modeled after her!
While I stand by my opinion that Beyonce should not play Wonder Woman on the big screen, she made a good point about it being time for a major, nonwhite superheroine. I wish that Halle Berry had made a stronger impression as Storm, because she might have gotten more mileage out of the role.
Maybe I'll buy the Supergirl doll and put the outfit on one of my daughter's brown Barbies. They must have had some black and biracial people on Krypton.