Update 7/19/18: Original She-Ra co-creator, J. Michael Straczynski, weighs in on the new She-Ra designs. Read his full comments below.
Thanks to a character designer on the upcoming She-Ra reboot, we’ve got our first glimpse at the new look of the show. Rae Geiger shared their drawing of the new She-Ra character, and we couldn’t be more excited. But, because we can’t have nice things, straight men starting coming out of the woodwork immediately to decry that she wasn’t “sexy” enough.
Though Rae Geiger made the image, which you can see above, they’re very clear to give credit where credit is due. Geiger wrote, “She-Ra was not designed by me! Preliminary design was done by Keiko Murayama, and the style was solidified by Jisoo Kim. This is also the case for Adora, Glimmer, Bow, Catra, Angella and Shadow Weaver (and maybe more I don’t remember off the top of my head.) I’ll let you know more as more designs release.”
Technically, though Geiger works on the show, their drawing is fanart because they drew it on their own time. And yet since they work on the show, we’re going to assume it’s pretty legit.
After all, it matches the previously-released poster, even though on that, the new She-Ra was covered in shadow. (Another image of the new She-Ra design was released in an Entertainment Weekly profile on show’s creator Noelle Stevenson.)
While Geiger’s drawing drew a lot of respect on Twitter — as well it should — not everyone was excited. In a case similar to the upcoming Thundercats reboot, some men were upset that the new She-Ra wasn’t sexy enough.
One of our “favorite” responses came from the “Diversity and Comics” Twitter (hint, it’s against diversity in comics). It wrote, “Boyish lesbian re-imagines SHE-RA as a boyish lesbian. The utter selfishness and egotism of this is astounding.”
Unlike, you know, a straight white male creator being upset that everything isn’t made to appeal to them.
There’s one person who’s notably enjoying the new She-Ra designs — original series co-creator J. Michael Straczynski. In addition to She-Ra, Straczynski also created Babylon 5 and co-created Sense8 with the Wachowskis. In a Twitter thread on July 18, Straczynski wrote:
“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).
“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.
“To the whole ‘idealized person’ discussion, I would add that there is a significant distinction to be made in terms of how a character like She-Ra is discussed or seen versus how male characters are seen both in shows like this and in super-hero books in general.
“Yes, male characters tend to be idealized in form and proportion; but female characters tend to be objectified. There is a profound difference between those two, and failing to perceive that distinction is pernicious. That’s why you’ll rarely see a male superhero without pants. By that I don’t mean naked, I mean without leggings of some kind. But that’s absolutely the rule for female characters (I say this as the guy who put Wonder Woman in pants during his run because seriously it’s hard to fight otherwise). No leg hair for guy heroes.
“Anyway, just wanted to add some possible clarity to the discussion. If you’re looking for writers to create your ‘ideal woman’ that wasn’t the intent, this ain’t it, and we don’t know you well enough to guess and be aware that idealization does not equal objectification.
“That perspective is something I’ve always tried to bring to bear in my work, from co-creating She-Ra’s personality to Delenn, Ivanova, Lyta and others on Babylon 5, all the way to Riley, Sun, Kala, Nomi and Amanita on Sense8. It’s all about strength, smarts and wit.”
The cast for the new She-Ra includes Aimee Carrero as Adora/She-Ra, Jordan Fisher as Seahawk and Sandra Oh as Castaspella. The She-Ra reboot is set to debut later this year — though there’s no official date yet, Nov. 16, 2018 has been rumored.
What do you think of the new She-Ra?
Featured image by Rae Geiger via Twitter