‘Shezow’: Animation’s First Transvestite Superhero

Senior Contributor
05.30.13 10 Comments
Yes, that’s a dude. Hey, we told you so in the headline.

Australians and Canadians are already likely familiar with Shezow, which began airing there last year. But Americans won’t get to experience it until this Saturday, and it promises to be… interesting. Not least because this really is just a show aimed at kids.

The central conceit of Shezow is actually genuinely funny. Guy Hamdon, a twelve-year-old, discovers his aunt’s power ring and puts it on. One problem: The ring was never intended for a man, and it’s not about to change a damn thing because one is wearing it. As a result, Guy is now an involuntary superhero transvestite with a ring bonded to his finger for life.

It’s a silly show aimed squarely at kids: It can’t go thirty seconds without a groaner of a pun or a worse rhyme. I know because I timed it. But if you watch an episode, which you can do right here, you realize the show admirably doesn’t get preachy about its conceit. It’s not shy about needling the ridiculousness of “girly” superheroes, with gags like Guy trying to run in high heels, but that’s as far as it goes. Any conclusions you might draw about the nature of media using these tropes seriously is left entirely to the viewer.

And really, that’s the way it should be. I wouldn’t recommend this for an adult: Although the subtext is amusing, and the writing staff knows their comics, it really is aimed at grade schoolers. But kudos to the Hub for taking a risk and, if nothing else, giving Tumblr something else to go insane over.

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