KIM NEWMAN’S VIDEO DUNGEON
The Dungeon Master’s column turns 200. Happy birthday, Kim
A ZEITGEISTY SUPERHEROINE comedy, Electra Woman & Dyna Girl is a reboot of a 1976 kids’ TV show which was a less camp but eye-abusingly colourful genderswitch version of the Adam West Batman.
In a world where ‘the Shadow War’ has defeated all the villains, superheroes have been reduced to self-involved celebrities hawking energy drinks or courting attention with publicity stunts. Lori, aka Electra Woman (grace Helbig), and Judy, aka Dyna girl (Hannah Hart), are D-list slackers, until a clip of them foiling a robbery goes viral, landing the team a contract with Creative Masked Management. Torn between embarrassment at playing the game and the lure of nifty uniforms, the team try to get along — but the marginally less self-involved Judy quits, to fall into the clutches of an actual supervillain, the team’s teenage neighbour Bernice (Matreya Fedor). Originally a series of net-friendly episodes, this is fairly seamlessly edited into a short feature — though the story dawdles to allow for sketch routines and guest turns. Helbig and Hart, US comedians cast for their youtube followings, actually play characters rather than redoing schtick — Helbig is funny as a no-hoper who gets what she wants while trying to ignore the awful things that come with it, while Hart shows some depth as she tries not to feel let down by her best friend. given the pair were already a female take on Batman and Robin, this hasn’t excited men’s rights idiots the way 2016’s Ghostbusters did — and, for what it’s worth, it takes the time to focus on the engaging relationship between its heroes (and villain) in a smarter way than that allwomen reboot did. Extra points for making Dyna girl gay but just leaving it there.
The Break-out: Electra Woman & Dyna Girl