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.


downtown guy said...

Okay, suggest for me: what superhero stuff should I put on my netflix? (Especially animated series, etc.)

EDP said...

Ooooooh. Where do I begin?

I highly recommend Cartoon Network's Teen Titans animated series. There are six seasons, so there's plenty to enjoy. Fun, zippy and just plain enjoyable.

I'd also get the CN's Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series. I enjoyed every single season. Batman Beyond was good, too, though I tend to like ensemble pieces.

Non-animated: If you haven't seen Iron Man, that is a must. It's just the right mix of fine acting (RDJ, Gwyneth) and mindless blockbuster fun. Start with those, and save me some popcorn! :-)

EDP said...

It wouldn't hurt to get JLA: The New Frontier, though I think it wasn't nearly as compelling as the graphic novel it's based on.

downtown guy said...

I was a huge Teen Titans fan for a little while there, actually. Watched it nearly every day. My friends started making fun of me for it, but whatevah. Okay, I added all the JL stuff - I'll let you know what I think.

Iron Man was awesome. I like that the current crop of hero movies are focusing so well on the person behind the mask, not just the muscles under the costume.

EDP said...

I totally agree! I definitely want to know what you think of the JL stuff. I think you will really enjoy it.