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Fontana Plots Wonder Woman’s Future, DC Super Hero Girls’ Curriculum

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comic News Comment
Fontana Plots Wonder Woman’s Future, DC Super Hero Girls’ Curriculum

Fans will have a chance to meet “DC Super Hero Girls” writer Shea Fontana and artist Yancey Labat at Earth-2 Comics’ Northridge and Sherman Oaks locations on Saturday, May 6 as part of Free Comic Book Day. But if you can’t get to Los Angeles to see them, fear not — CBR connected with Fontana to discuss DC Comics’ FCBD offering, which includes a sneak peek of the “DC Super Hero Girls Summer Olympus” original graphic novel that is slated for June 27.

We didn’t need a Lasso of Truth to get Fontana to admit just how jazzed she is to not only be writing “DC Super Hero Girls,” but also “Wonder Woman.” DC Comics recently announced that the New York Times best-selling writer has taken over the Amazonian demigod’s DC Rebirth flagship series from Greg Rucka in July.

Fontana also shared her thoughts on the importance of Wonder Woman as an iconic superhero, as well why she believes the William Moulton Marston creation remains relevant today more than 75 years after she was introduced in “All Star Comics” #8.

CBR: As a creator and supporter of stories geared primarily for young female readers, how proud are you that DC Comics has chosen “DC Super Hero Girls” as a focus for its Free Comic Book Day offering this year?

Shea Fontana: I think that it’s really awesome that DC are using this title because it so inclusive. I think it really shows the direction that we’re going as a comic book industry. It’s not just a boys’ club anymore. It’s not just for guys that have been following comic books for the last 30 years. It’s really about getting new readers and showing that we are doing things for kids. And we really want to have this kids’ title out there that is bringing in these people who, for a lot of the time in the comic book industry, have been ignored as a group of readers.

It’s really fun to have “DC Super Hero Girls” represent DC at Free Comic Book Day. And it’s really going to be great to see the little girls coming in because they already know the characters. They’ve read the comic books before so I know they’ll be so excited for this Free Comic Book Day issue. It’s really cool that this year DC Comics is releasing “DC Super Hero Girls” and “Wonder Woman.” It’s such a strong focus on the females in superhero world.

You mentioned that young girls love these stories, but there are some old guys, myself included, who love these stories, too, and love reading them with their daughters.

super-hero-girls-fcbd

That’s right. Absolutely. From the beginning, we were focused on the idea that this could be a property that dads can share with their kids. There are all of these geek dads out there and every time I go to a comic convention, people ask me, “What can I give to my kids to read?” They’ve read the “DC Super Hero Girls” graphic novels but beyond that, it’s been really hard lately to find books that are specifically targeted to that age group of young readers and that are still interesting to parents too. We want moms and dads and their kids to be able to read together and both be entertained by it. You will find a lot of Easter eggs in every “DC Super Hero Girls” thing that we do that are definitely nods to the parents, who have been following comic books for their whole lives. There are certainly obscure little bits of DC history in every issue that I hope, at least every once in a while, is laughing at.

I can confirm that happens a lot! You mentioned your previous releases, the New York Times best-selling “Finals Crisis” and “Hits and Myths.” What can you share about “Summer Olympus,” which is coming out as a full-blown original graphic novel on June 21st but we’re getting a sneak preview in the FCBD issue?

It’s a really fun follow-up to “Finals Crisis” and “Hits and Myths,” which have been focused on Super Hero High, because this one is all about summer break. What are these characters doing over their summer vacation? The first thing that we see is that Wonder Woman gets invited by her dad, who just happens to be Zeus and living on Mount Olympus, to spend the summer with him. She and her best friend Bumblebee are going to head over to Mount Olympus while Supergirl, Big Barda and Lady Shiva are going to the Kent farm for the summer. Harley Quinn is going to theater camp. Ivy is staying at her green house to tale care of her garden and Flash has track practice. Batgirl, Katana and Beast Boy are doing a European tour. And Frost has a summer job at the Capes and Cowls Café. We have a lot of different stories going on. It’s really fun seeing these characters interact with other characters that they really haven’t spent a lot of time with before. It’s really funny to see Supergirl teach Big Barda and Lady Shiva about farm life.

Does “Summer Olympus” follow all of these storylines are just Wonder Woman’s summer vacation on Mount Olympus?

It follows all of the storylines and then all of the characters end up back together in Metropolis for a big battle against one of Wonder Woman’s siblings, who isn’t too happy with sister’s actions as a superhero. It will be a lot of fun.

Wonder Woman is a character that has been around for 75-plus years now. What is it about her, and especially this iteration of the character, that continues to allow her to drive big stories?

Wonder Woman is the original female superhero and I think that she’s just awesome. She is so iconic and she has really paved the way as a character for all of these other superheroes who have come after her. She has 75 years of feminist history and women have always rallied behind her as this iconic leader of the female superhero movement. In these stories, it’s cool to have her as the character who basically leads the other female characters as they make their way at Super Hero High. She is the strategist for all of their battles and she is really the leader pumping up and bringing them in.

And I love her from the perspective of a writer. I love her Lasso of Truth because I think, as writers, we’re really always on a journey to tell the truth and communicate these emotional truths in what we’re writing. I think that’s a very important to Wonder Woman’s character because you can’t really serve justice unless you know what truth is. And you can’t have empathy for people unless you know what the truth is. She’s a really amazing character that, in the 75-plus years that she’s been around, is constantly inspiring new generations of young Super Hero Girls.

And you will get to be writing her even more now that you have been named the new writer of the “Wonder Woman” DC Rebirth series.

I don’t want to sound like the cliché that everybody says, but it’s a dream come true to be able to write the main “Wonder Woman” title. She is such an important character and the world that she has been set up in the Rebirth storyline is so rich and fun and it’s a great foundation for what we’re going to do next with Wonder Woman. And I’m really excited that Mirka Andolfo is doing the art for the first two issues because the life and vibrancy that she brings to these characters is really fun. It’s amazing. I couldn’t believe that they were asking me to do it. I was blindsided. I asked, “Are you sure? Did you send this email to the right person?” [Laughs] It’s completely amazing and I am really happy to be on it and I hope that the fans like what we’re going to do with the story.

And what a time to be taking over the title, as we’re also getting a “Wonder Woman,” which if the trailers are any indication, is going to be awesome.

I agree. The trailers do look awesome. I haven’t seen it. I know a few people have seen the screeners, but I haven’t yet. Gal Gadot is such a cool Wonder Woman. She’s really bad ass, and she’s strong and she’s fierce. I think it’s going to be a really fun movie.

Finally, you’re doing a comic book signing this weekend for Free Comic Book Day with Yancey Labat, the artist on “DC Super Hero Girls” graphic novels, right?

That’s right. Yancey is incredible. We’re doing some signings in L.A. And this is actually the first time that Yancey and I are going to meet in person. It’s one of those bizarre Hollywood stories where we email back-and-forth a lot and I see everything that he’s doing on the title but we’ve actually never met so it’s going to be fun to finally after all of this time to meet.

Yancey brings such a great spirit to the book. He really envelops these characters with a really fun feeling. It’s hard for comic book artists to change their style from doing the older comic book stuff to younger characters because you are drawing completely different moves and teenage sensibilities. It’s unlike what you see in the different comic books that are aimed at older people. He brings such life to the characters and every time that I get the pages back from him, they are so much better than what I had imagined. It’s always better on paper than it was in my mind. I am very happy to be working with Yancey again on this title and we have a lot more coming up in the future.

“DC Super Hero Girls” Free Comic Book Day issue, which includes a sneak peek of “Summer Olympus” slated for June 27, is available on Saturday, May 6.

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