May looks to be a definite step down for female creators at DC after a few very solid months, and an uneventful month for characters of any kind, male or female, with not many new books launching. The decline for female creators isn’t catastrophic, but it’s certainly bigger than a slight fluctuation and is doubly annoying because we know DC can do better. Let’s go through the solicits:
- For New 52 writers, Gail Simone pens Batgirl #31 and The Movement #12, which will be the latter’s final issue. Ann Nocenti writes Catwoman #31, Christy Marx is on Birds of Prey #31, and Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #6.
- For New 52 artists, Nicola Scott is penciling Earth 2 #23, Emanuela Lupacchino is doing the cover and interior art for Supergirl #31, Rachel Dodson is inking the cover of Catwoman #31, and Amanda Conner is drawing the cover for Harley Quinn #6.
- Outside of the New 52, Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Lantern #2, while Bobbie Chase and Leah Moore are both writing The Vampire Diaries #5.
- Finally, over at Vertigo, Yuko Shimizu is doing the cover for The Unwritten: Apocalypse #5. I’m not sure where Coffin Hill, and thus Caitlin Kittredge, is in May, though the first collection comes out then so maybe they’ve built in a skip month for the series around the trade’s release in May.
- There’s not much in the way of new books. The new weekly The New 52: Future’s End launches, but seems to feature mostly guys. Grifter, Firestorm, and Batman Beyond appear to be the primary characters, though Lois Lane does get a mention in the solicit for the second issue. Secret Origins continues with origin stories for Batman, Aquaman, and Starfire; Scott Lobdell is writing the Starfire origin, though, so don’t get your hopes up.
All together, 11 different women are working on 10 different books this May, a big drop from April’s 15 women on 16 books. It’s not great to have the number of female creators drop by about a third when there are so few to begin with. Plus next month, barring an announcement of a new series, Gail Simone will be down to just one book now that The Movement has been cancelled, so the future’s not looking terribly bright right now either.
In a busier month, the lack of new female characters would be distressing, but in such a slow month it’s more mildly annoying. I’d have liked to see more women front and center in The New 52: Future’s End, though; there are a lot of dudes in those solicits, and only one woman. As a positive update, though, Batman: Eternal looks to be featuring several female characters, including Harper Row and Spoiler, so that’s a plus. At least one weekly book will have some ladies in it. I highly recommend checking out Batman #28, which serves as a sort of preview for Batman: Eternal. It’s a really great issue with another fun female character in the mix as well; I ruin the surprise.
Ultimately, May looks to be a pretty subpar month for women at DC. Female creators are still in double digits, but just barely and at rates far lower than what we’ve seen lately. Female characters in new books are few and far between, and what we do have is Starfire penned by the writer who’s written her in a rather exploitive way in the past. Let’s hope May was a momentary dip and June will be better!