Although the DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High graphic novel features villainous adversaries for the heroic team, one of the biggest challenges for the girls is trying new after-school activities - and finding one in which they can thrive.
Featuring Supergirl, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Bumblebee, and Zatanna, At Metropolis High is the latest publication featuring the team from Cartoon Network’s animated DC Super Hero Girls.
The concept takes classic DC superheroes and aims their stories at teenagers, putting the characters in relatable situations while also showcasing their ability to overcome challenges with - and without - their superpowers.
Written by Amy Wolfram with art by longtime DC Super Hero Girls artist Yancy Labat, At Metropolis High was announced as the first in a new line of DC Super Hero Girls graphic novels penned by Wolfram. Newsarama talked to the writer to find out more about her perception of the female superheroes she’s writing, and what kind of problems the girls face in DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High, which is out now in comic stores and on October 9 elsewhere.
Newsarama: Amy, the concept of the DC Super Hero Girls has really caught on, and you’ll be writing more than one story about their adventures. When you first got involved with the concept, what did you think really made it stand out from other projects you’ve worked on?
Amy Wolfram: Yeah! I think it’s really exciting. I love the fact that there are six really unique girls, and I think it’s a chance for everybody to find somebody who’s like them. A lot of times, I work on shows where there might be one girl. So it’s a lot of fun to be working on something that there are six.
I had done one of the shorts earlier, which was based on the previous incarnation of the Super Hero Girls. I was asked if it was something I was interested in doing, and I was like, yeah!
Nrama: So this book is titled DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High. How does the focus on their school life fit with the story you’re telling about them?
Wolfram: It’s a good introduction to the characters. We get to learn about who they are at school and their daytime life and their regular activities. And then we also get to learn about how that impacts them being superheroes - how being busy as a superhero also affects your school life, and how your school life affects being a superhero.
Because I was adapting the existing show into the book series, their school life and their secrets identities were a big part of this story, since it’s a big part of the Super Hero Girls series. So I wanted that to be reflected in the books.
Nrama: It’s an interesting intersection of real-life teenage problems with superhero problems. Did you pull from any real-life experience for this?
Wolfram: I think we all try to balance various aspects of our lives, so certainly, when you’re busy trying to do a lot of things, it’s hard to make everything work.
I think for me, though, the main part of this that I drew from my life was, I think everybody finds this thing that they’re really good at. You might be good at music. You might be good at art. You might be good at math. And we tend to think that’s the only thing we’re good at.
For Supergirl, in this story, she knows she’s good at being a superhero, and she knows she’s good at kicking butt. But school might not be her best thing. So for them to be trying different clubs, and to be trying different things out - that, for her, she realizes, OK, maybe I can do something different. It might be scary; it might be overwhelming. But maybe I’m not just this one thing.
I think that, to me, was very relatable - just to try new things and say, hey, yes, I’m good at this, but maybe I’m not good at that.
Nrama: It sounds like Supergirl emerges as a key character.
Wolfram: I think it does focus a lot on her this time. If there was a main character in the book, it would be her.
But we also have a lot of great fun with the other five. All of them are challenged by new things at school and out when they’re superheroes as well.
Nrama: They do run into some challenges as superheroes.
Wolfram: Yes, there are killer rubber duckies! [Laughs]
And yes, there is another team out there. There are not only six super heroes that are girls, there are also six super villains that are girls. And that’s really exciting.
And finding new and different ways to tackle villains is something they’re going to come up against.
Nrama: Even though this is about high school, the target audience is younger. How did that influence how you wrote it?
Wolfram: I don’t know that it really does. You want to tell a good story, and I think younger kids - even though they’re not in high school can still understand the challenges of trying new things.
Maybe your friends are better at something than you are, or something seems easier for them. So I approach it just as a good story, and I hope that it appeals to all ages.