For Your Consideration

Ladies rule in comics and animation; plus, pop culture rap battles

TV | Cartoon Network's STEVEN UNIVERSE series offers plenty of depth to draw in audiences of all ages. Premiering in 2013, the show's cast of characters are now entering their third season. The show follows the coming-of-age adventures of Steven, a goofy kid who lives under the guardianship of the three magical humanoids called the Crystal Gems: Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl. In each 11-minute episode, Steven (who's also a half-Gem) and the Gems set out to save the world from dangerous monsters, with each short containing enough humor and meaningful life lessons to keep kids and adults glued to the screen. Notably, Steven Universe is the first Cartoon Network show created by a woman, and has received widespread acclaim for its world-building, characterization and art design.

COMIC | It's Halloween night 1988 when a group of newspaper delivery girls come into contact with a band of futuristic (or alien) time travelers. That's the general premise of PAPER GIRLS, a new comic book series by the acclaimed Brian K. Vaughan (Saga) with art by Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman). A sincere ode to both '80s kid nostalgia and kick-ass female characters, the title's 12-year-old paper girls are smart, sassy and strong, heading out on their predawn paper routes armed with a hockey stick, walkie-talkies and some legit street cred.

YOUTUBE | I thought I was way behind the times after recently discovering the amazingly hilarious video series EPIC RAP BATTLES OF HISTORY, but as it turns out (at least in my peer group), there are plenty who also haven't been introduced. Now entering its fifth season, the series pitting figures — historical and pop culture, fictional and real — against each other in fully produced, over-the-top rap battles is the 20th most-subscribed-to channel on YouTube. Major names have guest starred on the channel, including Snoop Dogg (as Moses) and the comedy duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.). ♦