Today I Read…My First Book of Girl Power and Batman’s Hero Files

my-first-book-of-girl-powerToday I read My First Book of Girl Power and DC Super Friends: Batman’s Hero Files by Billy Wrecks, illustrated by Erik Doescher.

Girls are strong and smart and brave and kind. They can be heroes! Come and learn about some of the DC Super Heroines.

And: Batman likes to know everything. He keeps files on all of the Super Friends and their special Super Powers. Let’s read his files together!

Tiny Niece has started to like Superman and Batman, and as her Nerdy Auntie I feel it is my duty to encourage this. Especially Superman, who is better than Batman. But as her Feminist Nerdy Auntie, I really want her to know some of the female super heroes–Batgirl and Supergirl and Wonder Woman, who don’t have the same overwhelming amount of merchandise as the boys do. I deliberately went looking for some books featuring the female super heroes (and maybe bought some of the DC Super Hero Girls dolls, which are pretty cute and bend better than Barbie). But books with the girl heroes are actually pretty hard to find. There was one book I looked at that had 4 stories about Marvel’s Avengers, and in those 4 stories the only female character mentioned by name was Pepper Potts. And she had to be rescued. And there was one drawing of a random female bystander who also had to be rescued. Now, there have been tons of female Avengers over the years, and even the movies have Black Widow (although not my Black Widow movie, I wants it, I wants it, where is my Black Widow movie?!?) But there is nary a girl to be found in the board books and early readers I was looking at, at Chapters and the independent comic store. And as much as I enjoy the DC Super Hero Girls, it’s really aimed at an older age group than my Tiny Niece, who is just turning 4. The rare books that do include a girl hero, the ratio is usually about 1 girl character for every 5-6 boy characters. I wanted a book with a fair ratio of girl to boy characters. I ended up getting this book, which is only about girl heroes, and an early reader DC Super Friends: Batman’s Hero Files. That one has Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman, with Wonder Woman and Batgirl (Supergirl not included). And there are at least pictures of Catwoman and Cheetah, though none of the villains are named.


They’re both good books, which describe the various hero’s powers. Girl Power is a board book, and it only has a maximum of about 3 sentences per page. The language is fairly advanced, and it’s more for an adult to read to a child. Batman’s Hero Files is a reader, intended for children who are learning to read on their own, so it uses basic vocabulary and short sentences, although I’m not sure who decided ‘indestructible’ is basic vocabulary. And I do like that Girl Power emphasizes that being smart and brave and kind are qualities as worthy of praise as being strong. Hawkgirl is posed with her mace, but her description talks about her healing abilities. Batgirl likes to read books and program computers. Mera likes to explore new places. It would be nice if they included some heroines of colour–at least Batman’s Hero Files feature a black Green Lantern and Cyborg, but I guess I’ll have to be happy with baby steps of representation.

So yes, I absolutely have an agenda regarding promoting super heroes to Tiny Niece. I love superheroes. I love stories about people who try to save the world. But I want Tiny Niece to grow up to realize that she can be a superhero too, and not have to always be rescued.



Today I Read…Comics!

I’m in a bit of a hurry to pack, so I’m just going to list the graphic novels I read recently so I can put them in boxes.

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon vol. 8 by Naoko Takeuchi

  • The Sailor Scouts continue their battle against the dark planet and Master Pharaoh 90, and discover the Holy Grail and Super Sailor Chibi Moon. Chibi-Usa tries to go home, and the Dead Moon Circus is introduced.

The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror: Fun-Filled  Frightfest created by Matt Groening.

  • Tales of terror featuring the denizens of Springfield.

Green Lantern: Brother’s Keeper written by Judd Winick

  • The Green Lantern Kyle Rayner fights against the villain Brainwave, who is driving the citizens of New York crazy, takes his girlfriend to his high school reunion, and watches helplessly over his friend Terry in the hospital after Terry is the victim of a severe gaybashing attack.

The Spectacular Spider-Man: Sins Remembered written by Sara Barnes

  • Peter Parker travels to Paris to help Sarah and Gabriel, the superhuman children of Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn the Green Goblin, and upsets his wife MJ

Emma Frost: Bloom written by Karl Bollers

  • Emma uses her telepathic powers to cheat her way through university, until she meets Astrid Bloom, a fellow telepath who uses her own abilities to control everyone in Emma’s life

Formerly Known as the Justice League written by Keith Giffen and JM Dematteis

  • Maxwell Lord recruits heroes for his new Superbuddies group, meant to be more accessible to the people, with full merchandizing rights of course. Too bad Roulette captures them all with the plan of making them fight to the death in The House, a casino and area for criminals. And then Manga Khan, Supreme Commander of the Cluster and President Emeritus of the Manga Khan School of Melodrama, comes looking for his robot L-Ron