(Los Angeles Times) Most kids want to see more female superheroes and superheroes that look like them.
I'm long ago not a kid, but... IMHO, there are, on contrary, the unnatural excess of "heroic" female characters. Look at "Game of Thrones", for example: there was a lot of strong and comlex male characters in early seasons, and now the whole thing was reduced to two main (good and evil) female protagonists plus bunch on insignificant male servants without own personalities or goals. Even the few survived "tough guys" from early seasons evolved into rugs under the feet of the Goddesses.
You only think there is an unnatural excess of female heroes because there have never been as many as this before. If you actually look at the raw demographics, heroic female characters are still in the vast minority.
IIRC, it's a psychological phenomena where men and women alike think that women are more equal in a population than they actually are. I believe there was even a study done that proved that if a woman talks just 30% of the time, the men in the room will think she actually dominated the discussion. This can be scaled up. IIRC, even in movies where women had the lead role, they often had a tenth of the lines in the movie as a whole.
It's like all those incels who whinge about the "forced diversity in video games" and that "every single game released in the past ten years has you playing as a woman".
If that's what "diversity" and "unnatural excess" looks like, I'd hate to imagine what the "norm" is supposed to be.
IMO, the far bigger problem is that what few 'heroic female characters' there are generally are designed by people confused by gender roles, identity, and what 'subversion' is supposed to mean.
One of the biggest sources of cringe I feel these days is when there's yet another unflappably badass heroine who is effortlessly better, stronger, faster, and more brutal than all the boys, but she's designed as some absolute sexpot who always wears skin-tight clothing and has few, if any muscles. She can take down larger foes with ballet-esque feats of strength and if any perv tries to hit on her, she'll hit on them— through the wall. And this is explained by "she is in charge of her sexuality."
I didn't understand this until recently, and now I realize that it's because many creators are terrified of even one fictional female not being traditionally physically attractive in some way on top of the fact it seems the only way some are able to write 'strong' female characters is by making them physically strong. They grew up in a time when women were pigeonholed into one of five roles: "mother"; "innocence"; "seductress"; "queen"; and "old hag" while men were written with the complexity of galaxies. We basically still have these roles, but since "masculinity = competence", we've decided to cross those former five roles into "X, but strong and badass" and thought "they're as interesting as males now!" Despite the fact they're basically men with boobs and vulvas in this case but without any real character complexity.
And the fundamental problem with that is that in order to make females coming from one of these five roots as competent as males, you have to make the males worse. All you get are worse characters all around.
And even though most Strong Female Characters™ are just "men with boobs and vulvas", they almost never look the part. As I said earlier, it's all ropy arms and flat-if-toned abs and high-cheekbones-but-no-deformities.
It's bad writing that's glossed over because it's currently considered 'progressive'. It seems like acknowledging femininity in any way is considered "sexist" or "misogynist" (as had happened in Avengers: Age of Ultron when Black Widow lamented that she couldn't have children and mulled if it was ironic that someone who could create life mainly takes it, and then progressive media tore the movie apart as being 'sexist').