I jokingly titled my last article about Netflix’s ‘She-Ra and the Princesses of Power’, “Netflix Unveils The First Images Of ‘She-Ra’– Will You Hate Them As Much As ‘Thundercats Roar’?” Like I said, “jokingly.” I should know by now, that when it comes to toxic fandom, the answer is “of f**cking course they do.” Social media exploded with complaints that the new She-Ra was too flat-chested and that She-Ra (at least the original) was supposed to be the embodiment of the perfect woman.
That complaint drew a reaction from J. Michael Straczynski, who, with Larry DiTillio, co-created the original TV series for Filmation, based on toys by Mattel. He attested that at no point was there any intention of her being the idealized version of a woman. (And for that matter, the new version isn’t really a “woman” at all, but a teenage girl.) Straczynski took to Twitter to defend the new designs, spearheaded by cartoonist Noelle Stevenson, saying:
1/ As the guy who co-created the character of She-Ra and her universe alongside Larry DiTillio (though Mattel named her), a few thoughts. (Note: I am in no way connected with the current show, so I’m speaking both as an outsider to what is and an insider to what was intended). https://t.co/NVm3vqOoXQ
— J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) July 19, 2018
“We never considered or wrote for She-Ra as “the ideal woman.” I don’t think that phrase appeared anywhere in the bible we wrote, and certainly never in our discussions. We spoke, and wrote of, and considered her a warrior, first and foremost.
“So I think anyone who is looking back at She-Ra (or Adora) as the “ideal woman” is doing so through the lens of prepubescent (since it was aimed at kids) interest and kind of, understandably, imprinted on her like baby ducks. I get it. But that wasn’t the creative *intent*.”
The hardest pill for most to swallow is, “This isn’t FOR you.” Adults had their ‘She-Ra’ and she’s available to stream right now on Netflix. In 2002, Cartoon Network and Mattel teamed up for a bad-ass new ‘He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ which was a modernized, sophisticated take and the toys were incredible. Adults who loved ‘He-Man’ as kids went nuts over it! The problem is their kids didn’t and it died quickly.
Kids don’t want their parents’ stuff, so hopefully, this can be their ‘She-Ra’.