New Member of the Powerpuff Girls Will Be Black

Townsville can sleep a bit better at night now knowing that it has not a trio protecting it, but now a quartet, in the new Powerpuff Girls five-part special event, “The Power of Four”.

South African musician Toya Delazy confirmed rumors last week by announcing that she will be voicing the newest member of the crime-fighting squad. Though the character has yet to be named, Black culture website Afropunk, shared a leaked photo of all four girls together.

“I have always dreamed of being the voice of a cartoon character. Never did I think I would be recording a voice-over as the new Powerpuff Girl for Cartoon Network, though!” Delazy said in a statement to Animation Magazine. “In a nutshell, Cartoon Network was my childhood. The shows were always quirky, expressive, creative and cool! I have always appreciated how creative the channel is, even to this day.”

This isn’t Delazy’s first taste of the Powerpuff Girl world. Previously, she’d worked with Turner to create a theme song for Powerpuff Girls specifically for the African market.

The Powerpuff Girls “The Power of Four” and the big reveal of our newest crimefighter is set for September 17, 2017 on Cartoon Network at 5:30 p.m.


Two Female Entrepreneurs Invent Silent Partner “Keith Mann” to Be Taken Seriously

The sad thing is that it worked.

The next time someone tries to say that women and men have the same level of opportunity and are equally judged when it comes to business and entrepreneurship, tell them the story of Witchsy co-founders Penelope Gazin and Kate Dwyer.

The pair made headlines this week when it was revealed that the third founder of the quirky online art store, Keith Mann, was completely fictional.

“I think because we’re young women, a lot of people looked at what we were doing like, ‘What a cute hobby!’ or ‘That’s a cute idea.’” Dwyer told Fast Company.

“It was like night and day,” she said. “It would take me days to get a response, but Keith could not only get a response and a status update, but also be asked if he wanted anything else or if there was anything else that Keith needed help with.”

It’s clear that the two have much to be proud of–regardless of their fake male counterpart–just by looking at Witchsy’s numbers from last year alone. They grossed over $200,000 which largely goes back to the creators that contribute to the site, but Gazin and Dwyer still make a profit.

When giant online art megastore Etsy banned the selling of witch spells two years ago, Dwyer and Gazin took inspiration and opened Witchsy. It’s known for its dark, off-color humor, and has quickly become a haven for art consumers that need to stray off the beaten path.

None of this success is thanks to Keith Mann, despite what Witchsy’s investors may have been made to believe. But when all’s said and done, if there’s any lesson here, it’s that the battle for gender equality, particularly in the man’s world of American start-ups, is far from over.

Writer Roxane Gay on ‘World of Wakanda,’ Feminism and Comic Books

Earlier this summer, Marvel announced that feminist writer Roxane Gay will team up with poet Yona Harvey to write World of Wakanda, a spin-off of Ta-Nahisi Coates’ Black Panther.

The series revolves around ‘Dora Milaje’ warriors Ayo and Aneka, who rebel together and fall in love. Gay, a best-selling author known for works such as Bad Feminist, An Untamed State and Hunger, is Marvel’s first black female lead writer. An acclaimed writer,  Gay was kind enough to share some insights with Heroic Girls about transitioning from feminist novels to the world of comics and superheroes.

black-panther-world-of-wakanda1Heroic Girls: Ta-Nahisi Coates told The New York Times that he recruited you and Yona Harvey personally to write Ayo and Aneka in an effort to “have diversity both on the page and on the payroll.” With Coates’ backing in the Marvel world, how much creative freedom are you given with these already established characters in the Wakandan universe?

Roxane Gay: Yona is actually writing a comic based on the character Zenzi, while I am writing Ayo and Aneka. I have been given pretty much all the creative freedom to write these characters and their story. The primary constraint is keeping in line with Marvel continuity which is a new writing challenge for me — but nothing that affects what I am trying to do with these women.

HG: Comics are a very collaborative medium compared to novels. How has it been working with so many people on a creative project?

RG: The most challenging part is keeping track of all the moving parts. There is my writing and the artist and the letterer and the colorist and my editors and the continuity and it’s overwhelming to be in the middle of it all. Deadlines have new meaning, that’s for sure. 

HG: As a champion for representation and inclusiveness in terms of feminism, how do you plan on incorporating this mission into the story and characters?

RG: I don’t have a specific plan for that. My feminism is as much a part of who I am and my writing so it will be a part of how I write the story. If I do my job well, you will see it without being overwhelmed by it.

HG: Which comics would you say are your biggest influences as you write this story?

RG: I am new fan of comics so I don’t have any influences yet. I have enjoyed the Saga series very much and certainly, I take a lot of guidance from Ta-Nehisi’s Black Panther run. Most of my influence comes from my favorite books.

HG: You’ve got a few months of experience working on comics under your belt now. If you could create your own comic, what would the hero be like?

RG: Heh, more like a few weeks. I just turned in my first script and am now working on the second. My hero would be a woman who is crafty and dark and full of heart if you know her well enough. She would be able to fly and wouldn’t wear a costume. She’d be someone I’d want to be friends or lovers with, I’m not quite sure which.

World of Wakanda is set to release this November. You can find Roxane Gay on Twitter @rgay.

Margot Robbie to Produce Harley Quinn Standalone Film

Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, the stand-out star from this summer’s Suicide Squad, is getting her own solo movie in a deal announced just yesterday.

Margot Robbie’s terrifyingly beautiful rendition of Quinn will be making its way to the big screen in a standalone movie, says The Hollywood Reporter.

Robbie is “signing a first-look deal with the studio behind her summer hit Suicide Squad to develop and produce feature films through her LuckyChap Entertainment banner.” She will also be the executive producer of the film.

The twenty-six year-old Aussie actress has been championing the Harley solo film since before Suicide Squad made its summer release. “I’m trying to make it happen,” Robbie said in an interview with Tipsy Talk, “there’s just so much more to do.”

If it were up to Robbie, she’d play the Clown Queen of Crime forever.

“There’s so much you can do,” she told, “They’re the sort of characters that you could keep exploring and find so many more, so much more to do.”

Here’s to hoping that the film will fare better than the critically mauled Suicide Squad — which director David Ayer reportedly only had six weeks to rewrite after Warner Bros. made various large cuts to his first go at the film.  

While the DC Extended Universe has fared poorly from with the critics, it has been making money for Warner Bros., and the female heroes have been bright spots in otherwise poorly reviewed films. Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was considered by many to be the best thing in Batman vs. Superman, and director Patty Jenkins. is finishing up post production on the Amazonian princess’s solo movie right now.

Wonder Woman will be the first female-led superhero movie set in the modern DC or Marvel universes, but she won’t be alone for long. Captain Marvel starring Brie Larson will be Marvel Studio’s first female led superhero film, and now Harley Quinn is joining the fun.

The buzz on all of these movies is good so far, But female superhero fans are crossing their fingers. After high-profile failures such as Catwoman and Elektra 20 years ago, Hollywood gave up on female-led superhero movies for two decades. If Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman and Captain Marvel are anything short of spectacular, we might not see another female superhero film for a generation.

Luckily, these kick-butt ladies — powered by female writers, actors and directors — are more than up to the task

Supergirl meets Miss Martian, Superman and more this fall

If you’ve been keeping up with television news recently, chances are you’ve been hearing about all of the buzz surrounding Supergirl. The series, which returns for its second season on Monday, Oct. 10, continues to make headlines as it settles into its new home at The CW.

Melissa Benoist as Supergirl in the promotional poster for The CW.

With many anticipated guest appearances like Superman, played by Teen Wolf star Tyler Hoechlin, and a crossover musical with the Flash, 2016 is shaping up to be the year of Kara Danvers.

According to, the summer press tour for the Television Critics Association’s CW panel announced that Miss Martian, played by Sharon Leal, will join Martian Manhunter in the series’ sophomore season. There have been no statements made about whether or not she will be a series regular.

Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg also spoke at the Television Critics Association summer press tour at the Supergirl panel and revealed that the mysterious pod that crash-landed on earth belonged to Mon-El, who will be played by Containment’s Chris Wood.

Supergirl joins The CW’s impressive lineup of DC shows, including Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash. For those that didn’t keep up with the series in its first season on CBS, don’t fret. Netflix is set to stream the season starting Saturday, Sept. 10.

The CW is also airing two episodes of the show’s first season every Monday night from 8 to 10 p.m. The reruns started on Aug. 1 and will end on Oct. 3, according to an article on International Business Times.

Dust off that red cape, Supergirl fans. With a lineup like this ahead of her, Kara is in for an exciting, entertaining debut season on her new network.

Say Goodbye to Gender-Specific “Toys of the Year”

A consumer walking into any toy store in America is guaranteed to notice two things.

First, the boys and girls sections are completely divided, sometimes even in opposite corners of the store. Second, one is smattered with dark blues and greens, holding sets of legos and remote-control cars on its shelves, while the other is blindingly pink and purple, stocked full of dresses and makeup kits and My Little Ponies.

The part that’s disconcerting about this scenario is that this is the norm for this consumer; they’ve walked into dozens of toy shops throughout many years and have always known that blue means boy and pink means girl.

And there’s no one person or organization to place blame for the unequivocal separation of the toys. The problem has been looking us straight in the face for years, but it is so entrenched in our society that it failed to be acknowledged. Until now.

Earlier this month, the Toy IndustryAssociation (TIA) announced the categories for the 2016 Toy of the Year Awards. The difference between 2016 and 2015? They’ve finally done away with the gender specific categories. Instead of “Girl Toy of the Year” and “Boy Toy of the Year” being separate awards, they’ve dropped the gender and renamed the category “Toy of the Year”.

They’re a bit behind the curve, considering Target stopped separating toys and bedding into girls’ and boys’ sections in August of 2015. President Obama also notably sorted traditionally male toys into the girls’ boxes and the traditionally female toys into boys’ boxes, stating “I’m just trying to break down gender stereotypes.” This was at a Toys for Tots event…in 2014.

The fact that the TIA finally pulled its head out of the clouds and followed suit is thanks in large part to two websites that advocated ceaselessly for gender-neutral categories. DadDoes and Let Toys Be Toys both demanded a change from the TIA. DadDoes posted a petition for the change in January, asking questions such as “Shouldn’t the awards be based on the merit of the toys, not who the TIA thinks should play with them?

Let Toys be Toys offered a resolution to the issue, stating on its campaignwe’re asking retailers, booksellers and manufacturers to sort and label toys and books by theme or function, rather than by gender, and let the children decide which toys they enjoy best.”

Their voices, along with hundreds of supporters, were finally heard and acknowledged by the TIA. With questions like “Do we have awards for Best Car for Women and Best Car for Men? How about Best Smartphone for Women and Best Smartphone for Men? making it loud and clear that if we aren’t going to separate the products used daily by adults, it would be wise to stop making the separation for our impressionable youth.

Thankfully, the TIA decided to stand on the right side of history and do away with past protocol. And good riddance, because girls like Legos and boys like Easy Bake Ovens and it’s well past time to stop telling them that they shouldn’t.

Agent Carter

Saving Agent Carter

It’s looking impossible at the moment, but Agent Carter will return if the producer, the star and the fans have anything to say about it.

It was a sad morning in May when fans of ABC’s Agent Carter learned that the show would not be returning for a third season.

The news came as a shock to many, including Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel television. On August 8, he told Business Insider that “there were no conversations” between Marvel and ABC, Marvel’s sister company under Disney. They just pulled the plug.

The show, which was hailed by critics, ended its second season on a cliffhanger, so the news of its cancellation was not an easy pill for Carter fans to swallow. Minutes, maybe even seconds, after the announcement was made, a petition was posted on for Netflix to pick up the series.

Sadly, they passed. The big cheese at Netflix, Ted Sarandos, told Entertainment Weekly that Netflix is “looking for truly original brands to own.” With successes like Daredevil and Jessica Jones under its belt and a long line of highly anticipated series on the horizon, they want to stick with what’s making them money: creating their own original Marvel productions.

A deal like this also gets complicated when a network as large as ABC passes on a show’s next season, because its viewership stretches past the United States. Sarandos explained that those international networks, also known as “output partners” would still have the show on air and would “argue it’s covered by their output.”

With these two major factors at play, Sarandos declared that it had been “a business decision more than a creative one.”

This hasn’t discouraged the fans, who have gathered 128,750 signatures on their petition, so far. Though Carter’s ratings were the reason for its downfall, it’s clear that there is a large enough fanbase to garner some attention.

At the August 4th Conviction panel for the Television Critics Association press tour, Hayley Atwell spoke about a revival, saying “I hound [Marvel Studios co-president] Louis D’Esposito on a regular basis saying, ‘Give me a movie.’”

Atwell is no stranger to the Marvel Cinematic and Television Universe, and said “Marvel is still such a big part of my career and I suppose my professional family that I would absolutely not rule out the idea of going back to Peggy at some point.”

It should also be noted that Hulu, which recently announced a series based on Marvel’s Runaways and also picked up The Mindy Project when it was dropped from Fox after its third season, could make a move for this much-loved series.

Don’t hang up your bright red hats just yet, Agent Carter fans. With Hayley Atwell and a hefty petition on your side, there may be hope for Peggy and co. in the near future.

Ghostbusters: A Post Mortem

With sky-high expectations and an even higher budget, the rebooted Ghostbusters never stood a ghost of a chance.

Anyone that ventured out to see Sony’s summer reboot of Ghostbusters can tell you that there’s one thing the movie wasn’t lacking: ghosts.

Ghosts of all shapes, colors and sizes shared the screen in a spectacular fashion, glowing neon green and blue as they vomited ectoplasm all over the streets of New York. Even within the first few moments of the film, it was obvious that there was no expense spared when it came to the CGI.

One year ago, the fan base, the crew and the cast were celebrating this no-holds-barred budget. According to an article from CinemaBlend last year, Paul Feig even had to make changes to the script in order to reduce the budget to the workable $154 million, which was brought down from the $169 million budget he’d brought to Sony initially.

The film was set up and catapulted into the box office, holding all of Sony’s summer eggs in its basket. It was supposed to be the big hit of the season, reigning in millions of dollars domestically, without a care in the world about making back what was spent, much less breaking even.

And then the movie premiered and made just $46 million in its opening weekend. A dark, ominous cloud started to roll in over Sony’s head as the numbers came in, and the money men began to get undoubtedly concerned. Domestically, the movie has made (as of 8/14) $121.6 million, which would put it in the category movie folks call a flop.

But the question that remains is: Did the movie fail in the box office because it was a bad movie? Did the internet trolls and Men’s Rights Activists who boycotted the gender-swapped reboot cause audiences to stay away?

Not quite. First off, the movie wasn’t bad–at least not in every respect. Critically, it was rated well, earning a solid 74-percent Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. And as for the whining, keyboard-warrior, haters well, if anything, they brought more attention to the film and likely caused more people to go out and buy tickets to see what all the fuss was about.

Ghostbusters is a film that was, sadly, dead on arrival.

When you take a movie like Ghostbusters, which is already packed full of ambition and risk (it doesn’t get much riskier than reviving a cult classic from the ‘80s), and then slap on a $144 million budget on it, while also labeling it as your-summer-hit, things tend to get slightly “high-risk.”  For comparison, the original Ghostbusters only cost $30 million to make in 1984 — ($69 million in 2016 dollars.

The budget-shredding CGI animation is present in the film from start to finish. Couple that with the larger than life sets that you’d expect from a Ghostbusters film and you start talking about coughing up some serious dough. Also, Melissa McCarthy’s salary was $15 million. Just saying.

Before this movie was even shipped out to the theater, it was drowning. Paul Feig and Sony thought extremely highly of themselves, which isn’t unwarranted, considering Paul Feig’s other projects with McCarthy, i.e. Bridesmaids and The Heat all brought in a ton of cash, however both projects were made for under $50 million. What they didn’t take into consideration was that relying so heavily on the special effects not only detracts from your comedy (which is historically Feig’s strength in the box office), but it starts to add up hefty deficits on your budget.

There was too much frill, too much of the fantastic, and too much weight attached to this big movie that just couldn’t. They wanted so badly for the audience to know how 2016 would reshape the look and feel of Ghostbusters that everything else in the film was caught in the crossfire.

It was good, but it wasn’t good enough to bring in enough to balance out the cost of animation. It was funny, but it wasn’t funny enough to make up for the millions of dollars spent on titanic set designs and props. Variety estimated that after factoring in marketing, Ghostbusters needed to make $300 million just to break even — an insane amount for the first entry in a new franchise.

But let it be known that this movie, despite being a bit too big for its britches, was entertaining and full of smart-girl-power. It may not have been a wave that Sony rode to all the bank, but it’s not like they’re really hurting for cash.

At the end of the day, the film set out to do what, hopefully, it meant to do in the first place. And when little girls are jumping up and down in their seats because women that look like them and talk like them are taking down fifty-feet-tall ghosts and saving the world, it’s safe to say that it was a job done well.