Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week, Bennett looks at Super Dinosaur, Doctor Who, Marvel Rising, and why female superheroes are important.

Last November (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy - In Case You Missed It") I reported that Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead had been a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers.  During the interview, out of the blue Meyer asked Kirkman about one of his lesser known characters, Super Dinosaur.  After explaining that he created him specifically for his son, Kirkman said he “might have” an announcement concerning the character "in a week or two."

For those unfamiliar with Super Dinosaur; it involves10-year-old genius Derek Dynamo and his genetically altered T-Rex best friend and their fight against Max Maximus and his horde of evil dinos.  Basically, it was a smart, attractive animated action/adventure series in comic book form.  So predicting Kirkman's announcement would involve a Super Dinosaur animated series seemed a pretty safe bet.  But when weeks went by with no announcement I assumed I was once again wrong and quickly forgot about it.

Until a couple of days ago when a came across an episode of a Super Dinosaur animated series online. After a quick internet search, I discovered that at Comic-Con on July 20 (see "’The Walking Dead’ Creator Announces ‘Super Dinosaur’ Animated Series."  For a while I wondered how I could have possibly missed that; then I remembered.  Oh, yeah, that was just about when I was being admitted into the Intensive Care Unit (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy - In Full Recovery Mode").

The series debuted on September 8 on Canada's Teletoon but so far it isn't available in the United States, with no word on if and when it will be.  The episode I saw, "My Best Friend Is a Dinosaur," was a pretty solid adaptation of the comics, if skewed for a slightly younger audience.  While the CG animation is fine, being a bit of a dinosaur myself I must confess I would have much preferred if it had been done in cell animation.  Still, it's hard to find fault in a show I would have absolutely loved when I was actually the intended age for it.

"The Woman Who Fell To Earth," the first episode of Season 11 of Doctor Who, debuted last Sunday and as the piece on The A.V. Club website put it  "Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who debut hit a 10-year rating for the show."  That's 8.2 million viewers, nearly double the audience who watched the previous season, but equally of interest were the demographics. The UK’s Telegraph had the story "Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor Who draws more young,female viewers than ever," which featured this quote: "More girls under the age of 16 watched Doctor Who than boys, a considerable turnaround in the show’s viewing history."

Then there’s this quite timely piece on the Vibe website, "New Study Shows How Badly Girls Are Starved for Superheroes."  "Superpowering Girls" is a new study from Women’s Media Center and BBC America which deals with the importance of female leads to girls, superpowered ones in particular.  But it contained a couple of conclusions which suggests to me that the BBC also used the study to do a little market research before they agreed to go with a female doctor:

Eighty-one percent of girls said that having a female Doctor Who "makes them feel like they can become anything they want," and 73 percent felt it was "long overdue."

Two out of three boys said they enjoy watching female characters just as much as watching male ones. Seventy-one percent said that a female Doctor Who will be "just as exciting."

Which is why things like Marvel Rising: Secret Warriors is so important.  I’ve previously written about this project (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy - The ‘Most Unexpected Cartoon Character of Them All Returns"), which features a predominantly (but not exclusively) female cast including, among others,  Ms. Marvel, Squirrel Girl, and America Chavez.  Well, I finally saw the animated feature and was pleasantly surprised on a number of fronts.

First, by just how serious the tone is.  Disney XD Marvel shows have matured somewhat over the years, but they still tend to rely on a component of rapid-action and goofy humor.  It’s also considerably less "cute" than its brand rival DC Super Hero Girls, though Squirrel Girl (and her squirrel partner Tippy Toe) and Lockjaw do have their moments.  Ultimately, it gets the balance between serious and fun superhero action just about right.   And for anyone who was wondering just how the character would be depicted in animated form, yes, America Chavez is shown to have two moms.  And naturally, it’s no big deal.

For the record I have no emotional investment in the character of Batwoman, neither the original nor her current incarnation, and do not and will not watch the TV shows she’ll be appearing in.  So technically I shouldn't care anything about this but, fair’s fair, getting Ruby Rose for the role was an absolutely wonderful piece of casting.  And that is undoubtedly the best and most comic book accurate superhero costume I’ve ever seen (see "Batwoman First Look").

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of