DC Super Hero Girls is an American media franchise developed by Mattel in partnership with DC Comics and Warner Bros. Entertainment. The brand is focused on getting girls aged 6 to 12 interested in the world of superheroes by using some of the universe's most well known superheroes and supervillains and turning them into teenagers. DC Super Hero Girls is also the third in a line of franchises that include Monster High and Ever After High. The franchise was rebooted into a second generation in 2019.
The franchise was first announced on April 23rd, 2015, by Mattel and DC Comics who had decided to work together for this franchise. The aim they set was to get girls aged 6-12 interested in comics, and have used teenage versions of well known heroines and villainesses to accomplish that. With the announcement the seven main characters for the franchise were revealed, these being: Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Bumblebee, and Katana. Promotional art for the franchise was also revealed, showing the main characters. There was also a range of products announced as well including the two main toy lines of dolls and action figures, as well as TV specials and a series of shorts all of which would roll out in the fall of 2015 and into spring of 2016. The premise of the series involved teenage versions of well-known DC Superheroines and villains attending Super Hero High School, a high school in Metropolis, staffed by heroic versions of other DC characters to teach them to become Super Heroes. The series was promoted by a webseries that ran on YouTube.
On July 7th, 2015, the franchise's official website was activated by Mattel and DC. The site showed off stats and general descriptions for the main characters. It was also revealed at San Diego comic con that Shea Fontana would be writing for the webisode series and a graphic novel that's going to be released in July of next year.
On September 30th, 2015, the site was fully updated in prep for the launch of the franchise, with games, pictures, character descriptions, toy pages, and video pages being uploaded, as well as more detailed character profiles and new characters. The next day on October 1st the first webisode was released: Welcome to Super Hero High.
When New York comic con hit around October 8th and 9th, a music video was released on the site, revealing the theme song for the franchise, as well as two more webisodes featuring Wonder Woman. The dolls were also first seen on October 8th, with dolls of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Bumblebee and Poison Ivy being revealed for launch next spring.
Coinciding with the beginning of the second season of the web series, a television special, Super Hero High aired on April 30, 2016 on Cartoon Network, which introduced Batgirl and Supergirl into the continuity of the webseries. The continuity of the webseries was expanded on in different media; such as a direct-to-video film series that began with Hero of the Year, which followed the end of the second season, and was released on August 9, 2016. A graphic novel series also began in 2016, beginning with Finals Crisis. A series of children's novels published by Lisa Yee each focusing on the experiences of a main character as a Super Hero High student also began in 2016.
Three more seasons of the web series aired, along with two more direct-to-video films, Intergalactic Games and Legends of Atlantis. A partnership with LEGO in 2017 resulted in the LEGO DC Super Hero Girls toy-line, shorts and movies during the third season of the regular web series. The LEGO franchise published a total of six shorts, all in April 2017. The LEGO franchise also published a total of two direct-to-video films along with the 22-minute web special, Galactic Wonder between 2017 and 2018.
The sixth and final children's novel by Lisa Yee was published on July 18, 2018; Poison Ivy was the only main character from the first generation who did not get a novel focusing on her. The webseries published its final episode, My So-Called Anti-Life on December 27, 2018. The eighth and final graphic novel, Spaced Out was published in 2019, effectively ending the first generation of the franchise.
In 2017, DC announced that the DC Super Hero Girls would be getting a TV series. Instead of this being an expansion of the webseries, it would serve as a complete reboot of the franchise, with Lauren Faust being the head show runner.
A short titled The Late Batsby premiered in theaters in 2018, before every showing of Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. It served as not only an early promotion for the upcoming TV series, but also as its test pilot in general.
The online Super Shorts premiered on the official DCSHG YouTube channel (which was rebranded for the second generation) on January 17, 2019 with Super Sleeper. The Late Batsby theatrical short was also uploaded. The TV series finally premiered on March 8, 2019 - International Women's Day - with the four-part special Sweet Justice. The franchise now primarily follows Barbara Gordon, an average teenager who has a secret double life as the superheroine Batgirl. Alongside others such as Diana Prince and Kara Danvers, who also have superhero lives, they attend exciting classes and deal with the awkwardness of growing up. The series takes heavy inspiration from Faust's Super Best Friends Forever shorts for DC Nation, and the series serves as the final iteration of those shorts. Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl and Bumblebee remain as main characters, however, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy and Katana are replaced by the Jessica Cruz Green Lantern and Zatanna. Harley and Ivy are back to their villainous roots, whereas Katana has a much minor role. Also that year, Teenage Crisis, a bonus chapter to Spaced Out featuring the second generation characters was published, establishing that both the first and the second generation of the series are set in the same multiverse.
A graphic novel series based on the TV show began with DC Super Hero Girls: At Metropolis High, which was released on 15 October 2019, and later a book series began with Winner Takes All! on 19 November 2019. The first season ended with The Fresh Princess of Ren Faire on December 27, 2020, which is coincidentally two years after the webseries premiered its last episode.