After a solid autumn, DC is set to continue their recent, decent numbers for female creators into the New Year. January doesn’t look particularly great for female characters in new books, however, despite a sizeable slate of new titles. Let’s go through the solicits:
- For writers in the New 52, Gail Simone is on Batgirl #27 and The Movement #8, Ann Nocenti is on Catwoman #27 (it looks like Katana was cancelled), Christy Marx pens Birds of Prey #27, Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #2, and Marguerite Bennett writes Talon #15.
- For New 52 art, Nicola Scott pencils Earth 2 #19, Emanuela Lupacchino is doing the cover for Worlds’ Finest #19 and Worlds’ Finest Annual #1, Amanda Conner is on cover duty for Harley Quinn #2, and Rachel Dodson is inking the cover of Catwoman #27.
- Outside of the New 52, Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Alien #2 and the cover and interior art for Smallville Season 11 Special #4, while Colleen Doran is writing the all-new The Vampire Diaries #1, a spinoff of the CW TV show.
- Over at Vertigo, Caitlin Kittredge writes Coffin Hill #4, while our old pal Yuko Shimizu is back from hiatus doing the cover for The Unwritten Volume 2: Apocalypse #1.
- For new titles, Injustice Year Two #1 and Scribblenauts Unmasked: A Crisis of Imagination #1 feature all-male creators and large casts that seem to be predominantly male. The Unwritten has some female characters, but the lead is male, while the three leads of The Vampire Diaries appear to include one female.
- DC is also releasing a special 96-page issue of Detective Comics #27, a Bat-stravaganza in celebration of Batman’s first appearance in the original Detective Comics #27 way back in 1939. There are 14 different creators solicited for the book’s 96 pages, and none of them are female.
All together, there are 12 different female creators set to work on 14 different books in January, a nice increase from December’s 9 and 11. It’s good to see DC starting off the year in double digits, and doing so with some permanent gigs. Yuko Shimizu is back, while Colleen Doran is part of a rotating team on The Vampire Diaries which will also feature Leah Moore, so look for her in future solicits. Marguerite Bennett’s Talon gig appears to be a one-shot, so I’m not sure if she, or even the series itself, will be back next month or not.
Of course, as nice as it is to have 12 different female creators working at DC in January, we need to remember that this is just a drop in the bucket. There’s another 200 or so men in the solicits as well, vastly outnumbering the female creators. So yes, 12 is good relative to what we’re used to seeing, but it’s still a very small amount.
It’s also a bad month for female characters, starting with the cancellation of Katana and continuing with a lack of female characters in the new books that were announced. There are a few female characters across these titles, but not at the fore for the most part. For example, there are five superheroes featured on the cover of Scribblenauts Unmasked, and only one of them, Wonder Woman, is a woman. Hopefully we’ll see some more ladies on the fictional side of things in February.
Overall, it’s not a bad start to the New Year, and certainly good for female creators. A fresh year is always a nice line of demarcation, so we’ll be expecting things to only get better from here as 2014 progresses. This expectation will most likely lead to disappointment, but so it goes. Hope springs eternal and all of that.