Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Why She-Ra Matters

Today marks the re-entry of She-Ra into the Masters of the Universe world. Well, for the main line of comics, anyway. Well, Adora has been *in* them, but not as She-Ra yet. 

Well, she's on the cover, transforming, at a point in the story line where it would make sense that she becomes She-Ra. In comic book time, that means it'll happen within three to six issues. I hope.

The He-Man line has been on and off since the 80s, but She-Ra hadn't made it back save for a teaser SDCC figure that signaled her eventual appearance to the latest He-Man cartoon. The cartoon went defunct before we got there in the story, however, and I was left to mourn (I was left disappointed, anyway).

"Let me out of this package and I'm gonna kick Horde ass!"
When I was growing up, mostly on French cartoons, there were lots of guy superheroes. A bunch of 'em. The girls tended to be orphans and trying to become nurses or find romance. Neither of those were particularly high on my list of "to-dos" (even as a kid), so I never really related with them.

Then came She-Ra.

"Don't get distracted by the shinies. Don't get distracted by the shinies..."
Adora became She-Ra and, unlike He-Man's "real persona" Adam, she was still cool pre-transformation.  She lead a freaking rebellion (of mostly incompetent people) against the biggest force of evil in the known universe. And that was after being kidnapped at birth, conveniently erased from her people's memories for the "sake of her brother," made to do evil things AND had the world's freakiest adoptive parents.

"Shhh. Don't tell her she's adopted. Just tell her you had blonde hair when you were her age."
Best of all, she had her own storyline. Her own life. Her own show. And it was cooler than her brother's, because she had a purpose in both her incarnations.

"Awesome outfit: Check. High heels: check. Perfect hair and lips: check! All right, let's go kick some evil butt!"
I watched Adora become She-Ra time and time again as a kid. She saved people, she was kind, she believed in good and HER SWORD COULD TURN INTO ANYTHING! I would totally take advantage of that, but she's good, so she never did.

"Sword to rope? Screw that! Sword to one million billion dollars!"
Her storyline is different, now. It's much darker, as things not in the 80's tend to be.  She kills old action figures, for example.
"You guys could totally use better fighting techniques. Are you always this disorganized? No more action figure for you!"
Okay, her outfit sucked there, but she's Horde and stuff like that.  It gets better. 

But, all that to say, She-Ra mattered when I was growing up, and I think she matters now, still.  Having twins with similar fates and two completely different lives stand on their own two feet and in their individual TV shows gave me a chance, as a kid, to see how awesome a woman could be. How she could fight and screw up but get back up. How she could be kind or harsh, how she could lead, how she could follow, too.  How she could at times call for help when she needed it, and fight on if no help was available.

"Adam is unavailable to help you fight evil right now. Please leave a short message that I'll ignore as I keep sleeping. Royal decree and all."
As Adora she lead the Great Rebellion (they weren't really all that great), and as She-Ra she fought their greatest battles. 
"Okay, everyone, heroic shot before I go down there and kick everyone's ass by myself. Wait, who brought the Twigget? They're even less useful than the rest of you. That's pretty damn useless.  And Bow, stop staring at my ass. You're not fooling anyone and you're not my brother's type."
"Oh, really? I beg to differ."

I'm hoping DC treats her right. I fear she'll just be a foil for the now King He-Man, but I'll keep on trusting until I'm proven wrong. In the meantime, I at least still have the 80's cartoons. Not to mention a bunch of figures. 

I also have a bunch of He-Men and rebellion folk. Plus some bad guys to give them something to do. I'm very considerate.
Stories have a way of staying with us. Of informing who we choose to become and how we move forward in life.  Not every story needs to be based in reality to inspire growth and change.  When I watched Adora turn into She-Ra, a part of me believed that I could become anything, because she'd been cast aside and raised to be evil, but she'd found her own way and now made a difference.  Choices mattered and destiny wasn't set in stone.

I liked that.  I like it still. 
"No, really, you stay here honey and be useful as our heir. We'll send your napping, useless, eternally disappearing, joke-cracking brother to Etheria. It's fine. Really."

Plus, she's still way cooler than He-Man.
"No, I won't get a tan so we match. It's a stupid disguise. And does melanoma not exist on Eternia? No "By the Power of Grayskull" is gonna treat that."

Thanks to DC for bringing her back and to MattyCollector for including her in their awesome collector's line.  I don't know where She-Ra will go from here, but I know where she's been, and it's freaking awesome.

Also: Flying unicorn.  *Freaking flying unicorn.* There are no good arguments against this.