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3 Girl Power Books for the She-Ra and the Princesses of Power Fan in All of Us

by  | April 26

Unlike many viewers who tuned into Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, I was wholly unfamiliar with the world of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe that the original She-Ra spun from. What drew me in was showrunner Noelle Stevenson. I knew of Noelle’s work from her comics Nimona and Lumberjanes. Both of those stories are filled with strong female characters and emphasize the importance of friendship, love, and found family. Based on that alone, I knew I would LOVE this She-Ra reboot.

Here’s a quick rundown of She-Ra’s origin story in case you were like me and knew nothing about it! She-Ra is actually a girl named Adora who, along with her best friend, Catra, was brainwashed into fighting on the side of the evil Horde. Adora comes upon a magic sword and learns that her destiny is to fight on the side of the Rebellion. She helps the Rebellion rebuild the Princess Alliance, but in doing so, is forced to go up against her (now) former best friend, Catra. Throughout this adventure, Adora is joined by Glimmer, Princess of Bright Moon, and Bow, an archer who’s one of the OG members of the Rebellion.

Stevenson injects so much heart into this reboot, but besides that, she gives us and, frankly, other showrunners a lesson in How to Do Representation Without Becoming an After-School Special. Almost all the characters are coded queer, or at the very least, not heterosexual. And it’s not a Thing™! They just exist, the same way we all just…exist. The relationships between these characters are complex and deep, and range from intense friendships to a friendship-turned-frenemy-turned-crush (I’ll let you watch and figure out who’s who). Season 1 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power was a love letter to anyone who has ever felt “othered” or who is going through any kind of transformation.

If you loved She-Ra, check out these books with similar themes!

Lumberjanes Vol. 1

Lumberjanes Vol. 1

by Noelle Stevenson

This is the one that started it all for me! The first volume of Lumberjanes introduces you to five best friends (Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley), who spend their summer at Lumberjane scout camp. They deal with your average summer camp shenanigans (rivalry with the boys camp across the lake, an overbearing Trunchbull-esque counselor) and the not so average (fighting yetis, wolves, and other supernatural critters). Much like in She-Ra, the Lumberjanes represent a diverse group of girls with different personalities, traits, and body types. The girls’ catchphrase is “Friendship to the max!”, which is the most Noelle Stevenson phrase I’ve ever heard!

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Nimona

Nimona

by Noelle Stevenson

Another Noelle Stevenson original (I told you, I stan), Nimona is about a young shapeshifter who acts as a sidekick to a supervillain named Lord Ballister Blackheart. The ole underestimated-female-sidekick-saves-the-male-protagonist theme is alive and well here, but Stevenson manages to keep it fresh and interesting. This story is filled with as much mystery and unpredictability as Nimona herself. She actually reminds me of Catra in a lot of ways.

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Giant Days Vol. 1

Giant Days Vol. 1

by John Allison

Giant Days tells the story of three girls who meet and quickly become friends at university. Much like She-Ra, Giant Days focuses on the friendship between the girls and how it helps each of them to deal with and overcome the challenges that come with being away from home for the first time. In addition to friendship, themes of feminism, inclusion, and personal growth run through this entire series. It’s fun and cute and hilarious, and everything a She-Ra fan could want in a comic series.

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Photo Credit // Netflix

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