Dear DC Comics,
Since you are my favorite comic book publisher, I am so excited that your risky decision to reboot 52 of your comic book titles seems to be paying off.
I haven't been in a comic-book store in a while—and not just because I have been told "the nail salon is next door" once too often, or because DC Entertainment agreed to replace a super guy from Iowa with one from Britain to play my favorite character. I haven't been to one in a while because, well, let's face it: your medium has been hit-or-miss for some time.

However, I applauded your initiative to simplify your storytelling, and hoped it might re-center on the moral drama of priority-setting, the often competitive brute and moral strength, choice, and consequence. After all, those qualities got me hooked on superhero stories in the first place, and it's those kinds of character dilemmas that I have most enjoyed dissecting with other fans.
For this, I would celebrate your success wholeheartedly—if it weren't for a controversy triggered by the reboot of several of your female characters, in particular, the alien Starfire.

Fantasy author Michele Lee asked her 7-year-old daughter how she felt about the revamped Starfire. Here's a snippet of their conversation, one you've apparently caught wind of:
Daughter: "Well, she's not fighting anyone. And not talking to anyone really. She's just almost naked and posing."

Lee: "Do you think this Starfire is a good hero?"

Daughter: "Not really."

Lee: "Do you think the Starfire from the Teen Titans cartoon is a good role model?"

Daughter: immediately "Oh yes. She's a great role model. She tells people they can be good friends and super powerful and fight for good."

Lee: "Do you think the Starfire in the Teen Titans comic book is a good role model?"

Daughter: "Yes, too. She's still a good guy. Pretty, but she's helping others all the time and saving people."

Lee: "What about this new Starfire?"

Daughter: "No, I don't think so."

Lee: "Why not?"

Daughter: "Because she's not doing anything."

This conversation hits close to home. I have a 6-year-old niece who is far more interested than me in combining "pretty" dress-up outfits with saving the day. So I was interested to see the official response on your Twitter feed:

We've heard what's being said about Starfire today and we appreciate the dialogue on this topic. We encourage people to pay attention to the ratings when picking out any books to read themselves or for their children.

Unfortunately, I find your defense flawed on multiple fronts. First, Starfire is a major character in an animated series targeted to a pre-teen audience (Teen Titans). The sunshine-y version of the character in the cartoon is barely recognizable to those of us who've read her adult saga, but it's the same character and the same brand, and a new generation of little girls is getting hooked on the idea of her.
Also, you expressed that the goal of your new reboot "was to expand the market by appealing to new/lapsed readers." I'm not sure what comic book audience is more readymade than the kids who are already watching the cartoon version.

But deep in my superhero-loving heart, I find your answer dissatisfying because you seem to have forgotten that your characters are meant to be aspirational. Yes, for years I have accepted the fact that male superheroes are more inspiring than female. The men are marked by moral dilemmas, tough choices, and strength of character that goes hand-in-hand with their superstrengths. Those are qualities I'm happy to have fill my niece's imagination.

But like Lee's daughter, my niece likes that Starfire is pretty as well as (at least in the cartoon) courageous and funny. It's important to me, passing down this character, that the "pretty" have substance, something with life lessons beyond what Barbie offers.

That's why I am uncomfortable that my niece asks me to help her roll up her shirt to look more like Starfire. Sharing comic books with my family and friends no longer seems edifying, and—perhaps more relevant to you—it feels like a waste of money to pick up an issue of Catwoman, for instance, that includes more faceless body shots than plot.

This is not a good habit to take up following your already well-documented, very unfortunate history of using female characters as victims, girlfriends, witches, or a ready-made (usually tragic) motive to spur male superheroes onto greatness.

A reboot is your chance to change all that. Let the girl superheroes be pretty and inspiring. There is nothing wrong with your hyper-male and hyper-female heroes (though it'd be nice if you allowed the ladies to be more practical in their clothing choices), but the qualities that actually make them admirable are not gendered.

Superheroes are enduring and iconic precisely because of the characteristics they demonstrate, qualities that happen to parallel those characteristics celebrated by great Bible heroes, too, such as Esther, who displayed courage and strategy, and Ruth, who displayed loyalty and innovation.

By the way: Apparently Esther was notably attractive, so you see it does happen. Feel free to use your imagination.

Your fan,