The first time I had heard of Noelle Stevenson was back in 2012, shortly after she had began posting pages of her then webcomic, Nimona. Aside from hearing about her spectacular Lumberjanes series, she faded out of my realm of knowledge for a good while. And then there was a minor miracle.
She-Ra was getting rebooted. The characters all looked soft and pastel and wonderful. The women looked strong and no body type was identical from what I could tell. In the original show, the character models were identical so that more dolls and toys could be easily produced, but the reboot seemed to be intentionally avoiding that. Each character was unique in their color scheme and style. And somehow, the images seemed familiar. Who else could have been behind it but Stevenson.
And then the content was even better. For the first time, I was able to experience a show without any hetero-normativity. Characters were fluid in how they presented themselves in gender and personality. Women were able to be softhearted and deadly at the same time. Men were able to love unconditionally and not be seen as just a goofball. And the talk of the town has been the relationship between Adora and Catra as former best friends with all of the romantic undertones a fanfic author could dream.
The first season primarily focused on introducing characters and setting up relationships between them. Season two is going to be where the shit hits the fan and everything goes sideways. But one thing that I have absolutely loved about it is how very clearly this is a children’s show. From the brightness to the drama of the villains to Seahawk’s constant destroying his own ships, everything about it is childlike wonder. I look forward to seeing where the show goes and having a new version of She-Ra for the current and incoming generation of kids.