DC Super Hero Girls and the Super Power of Failure

DC Super Hero Girls and the Super Power of Failure

By Kelly Knox Monday, September 13th, 2021

Not even Wonder Woman is perfect. And that’s okay!

The DC Super Hero Girls are back in a sensational new adventure! In DC Super Hero Girls: Ghosting by Amanda Deibert and Yancey Labat, the girls are celebrating the addition of a new hero and friend on the team. Katana fits right in, and they work together like a well-oiled machine. But when the team’s problems start multiplying out of control, Wonder Woman’s faith in herself as a leader begins to falter. Can superheroes mess up and still save the day in time?

Spoiler: Of course they can.

Tatsu Yamashiro, a.k.a. Katana, is a skilled swordfighter and dedicated do-gooder. She and Wonder Woman are kindred spirits and quickly bond as sisters-in-arms. They’re both athletic, competitive and determined to be the best.

When Cheetah gets the best of Wonder Woman for the first time and escapes, the Amazon Princess starts doubting her own abilities. As Diana pushes herself and the rest of the team to train harder, residents of the city begin mysteriously vanishing, including Zatanna’s father. Thrown into the mix are dates gone awry, lessons in proper burrito folding, Irish dancing and a whole lot of Cheetahs—in other words, everything is a big mess.

(Did you know a group of cheetahs is called a coalition? We really want to share that cheetah fact we learned from Batgirl.)

Wonder Woman’s disappointment and self-doubt are a side of the Amazon Princess that we don’t often get to experience in many stories. It’s super important for young readers to see it for themselves. Yes, we all stumble and fall, even superheroes as iconic as Wonder Woman. As the wise Alfred Pennyworth has been known to say, what’s important is that we always get back up again.

More useful advice comes from the young superheroes themselves. Bumblebee reminds Diana that even an accident can sometimes have an unexpected benefit. Katana also has an incredibly valuable mindset that’s worthy of printing out and hanging on the wall.

“Failure just means that you have tried something and can cross it off the list of possible solutions,” she tells Diana.

“Let us be failures!” Diana responds in one of the best panels in the book.

Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Bumblebee, Batgirl, Supergirl and Katana pull together to face their challenges. But the answers don’t come easy for the Super Hero Girls in this adventure. As part of learning about the significance of failure, it’s just as valuable seeing Wonder Woman and her friends research, hypothesize, test and cross ideas off their lists. When Diana finds her confidence again while they hunt for answers, readers of any age will no doubt find inspiration in her persistence.

Naturally, a super-villain is the culprit behind their problems, and the Super Hero Girls face off against her in a dazzling display of teamwork. Each girl shines as they swing, blast, punch and dazzle across gloriously colorful page spreads and panels. The vibrant artwork leaps off every page like a Cheetah. (Or a coalition of Cheetahs.) Together they solve the mystery and save the day in true Super Hero Girl style.

If you have a young reader in your life whose confidence might be shaken due to the new school year or just plain growing up, DC Super Hero Girls: Ghosting might give them the boost they need to look at failure from a new point of view. It’s a good reminder for all of us from a super endearing team.
 

DC Super Hero Girls: Ghosting is now available at bookstores, libraries, comic shops and digital retailers everywhere.

Kelly Knox writes about all-ages comics and animation for DCComics.com and her writing can also be seen on IGN, Nerdist and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk superheroes, comics and pop culture.