Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, October 2018 Solicits: 25 Creators on 23 Books

August 16, 2018

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Marvel has A LOT going on in October. A ton of new series and minis, an array of one-shots, a big “Spider-geddon” event, plus all of their usual fare. Their output is in the ballpark of 85 new comic books for the month, about 10 more than they usually release. The increase in production hasn’t come with an increase in representation, though. Female and non-binary creator numbers are set to hold steady at a level that, while better than their recent lows, remains well off their recent highs. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Amy Reeder: Spider-Girls #1 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #25 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #200 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #37 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #35 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #7 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #9 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #4 (writer), West Coast Avengers #3 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: What If? Magik #1 (writer), X-Men Black – Emma Frost #1 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #5 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #36 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #14 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #3 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (writer), X-Men Black: Mystique #1 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 (variant cover)
  • The Soska Sisters: Avengers Halloween Special #1 (co-writers)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #1 (cover), Spider-Girls #1 (cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 25 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different books at Marvel in October, 1 fewer creator than in September but 2 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. Now, holding steady in the mid-20s isn’t a terrible place for Marvel to be. We’ve seen terrible earlier this year, when the publisher’s numbers were in the low teens. But we’ve also seen them in the high 30s before, so Marvel is still pretty far behind the level they’re capable of hitting. Plus, with a slew of new books, you’d hope for a bit of a jump overall. None is a little disappointing.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some new names in the mix, though. We’ve got Seanan McGuire writing a new Spider-Gwen series and a Mystique one-shot, and the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia) co-penning a story in the Avengers Halloween Special. There are some returning favourites, too: I think it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Rosi Kampe, who’s doing interior art for the Spider-Gwen book, and Nnedi Okorafor is back with a new Shuri series that should be super cool.

Also, I should point out that the publisher is doing a bunch of Marvel Battle Lines variant covers in October, many of which feature Korean artists who seem to have little to no English web presence. While I did my best to track each of them down, I’ve still got a couple of question marks, and those folks could possibly be female or non-binary creators.

In terms of fictional characters, ladies are set to have a big month with this October bonanza. Spider-Geddon is set to feature Spider-Gwen and “every Spider-Woman ever,” plus we’ve got new minis like Spider-Force with Jessica Drew and Ashley Barton, Spider-Girls with Mayday, Spiderling, and two Spider-Girls, and the new Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider series. Elsewhere, Shuri has a new book, The Unstoppable Wasp is back, and we’ve got a What If? oneshot starring Magik and two X-Men Black oneshots that focus on Emma Frost and Mystique. It’s a busy month!

Overall, while there are some new names at Marvel and that’s always fun, the new names aren’t enough to counter the lack of holdovers from last month and the numbers are remaining relatively steady. Less than steady, frankly, when you consider how many new books there are in October, each of them an opportunity to introduce new creative teams. Marvel’s picked themselves up from their poor start to 2018, but now they’ve been treading water for a few months at a level far below what they’re capable of achieving, establishing given the breadth of talent from female and non-binary creators out there making comics right now.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, October 2018 Solicits: 21 Creators on 20 Books

August 15, 2018

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After a dismal round of solicits for September, female creator representation is on the rise at DC Comics this October. Not to any impressive levels, though. September’s numbers were terrible and thus does October look much better, but October’s numbers in and of themselves are nothing to crow about. DC remains well below their recent highs, continuing what has become a disappointing year for the publisher in terms of female and non-binary creators. Any potential for growth we saw in the winter months has fizzled out into a long stretch of under achievement. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this October:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #5 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Old Lady Harley #1 (variant cover), Supergirl #23 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #2 (interior art)
  • Cheryl Lynn Eaton: Batman Secret Files #1 (co-writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Batman Secret Files #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Superman/Top Cat Special #1 (variant cover), The Terrifics Annual #1 (cover), Wonder Woman #56 (interior art), Wonder Woman #57 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #5 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Hex Wives #1 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #56 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #57 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Hex Wives #1 (cover), Catwoman #4 (writer, cover)
  • Jordie Bellaire: Batman Secret Files #1 (co-writer)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #45 (co-writer)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #1 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #28 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #1 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #2 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #2 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Sideways Annual #1 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #45 (co-writer)
  • Tess Fowler: Plastic Man #5 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound Special #1 (variant cover), Red Hood and the Outlaws #27 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #56 (cover),Wonder Woman #57 (cover)

All together, there are 21 different female creators set to work on 20 different comic books at DC in October, 6 more creators and 6 more books than in September. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled for this month. The gains are good, of course. Being in the teens in this day and age is just embarrassing, what with the scores of talented women and non-binary creators working in comics now. But DC is barely out of the teens now, and that’s not a great look either. Creators lost in a string of recent cancellations have yet to come back elsewhere, and no new creators have taken their place. Thus this current unimpressive run.

Speaking of, we don’t have much in the way of new faces scheduled for October, but there are a few notable additions. Cheryl Lynn Eaton is brand new to DC, and she’s writing a story in the Batman Secret Files oneshot. Jordie Bellaire, who is a colorist by trade, is also penning a tale for the book, so that’s exciting to see. And Kat Howard is starting her Books of Magic series for the “Sandman Universe” line, and thus we should be seeing her for a while. In terms of returning favourites, we haven’t seen Tess Fowler in a while, or Elena Casagrande, and both are back this month with a cover and art for a short story respectively.

While representation for real women is somewhat lacking this month, fictional women have some things going on. Wonder Woman is the star of a crossover event that will see her regular series tie into Justice League Dark and a couple of special issues. We’ve also got the debut of Old Lady Harley, which I presume is a humorous take on Marvel’s Old Man Logan, and the debut of the new Vertigo series Hex Wives. There’s also a sort of Halloween special with Cursed Comics Cavalcade that will feature stories about Wonder Woman and Zatanna.

So there are two ways to look at DC’s October. First, it’s a lot better than September, so hooray for that. But second, it’s well below what the publisher is capable of achieving. If DC is trying to bring in female and non-binary creators, then they’re really struggling at it. And if they’re not trying, well that’s an even bigger problem. Whatever the case, the numbers remain weak.

Wonder Woman #52 Review: A Terrific Team Up to Take On Tezcatlipoca

August 8, 2018

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Wonder Woman teaming up with other women to have adventures and fight villains and whatnot is exactly what I want out of Wonder Woman, and with this week’s issue Steve Orlando, ACO, and David Lorenzo have delivered that in spades. What starts as a fun partnership turns into a trio and then ultimately a quartet as Diana and her friends, new and old, battle the evil plans of the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca. It’s an enjoyable start to a new arc, as well as a modern update of some classic tales from across the DC universe. Orlando’s definitely done his research with this one, with very entertaining results. Let’s dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to discuss all of the things that happen in this comic!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

And seriously, go read it! Wonder Woman is good again!

The book starts with something I always enjoy: Wonder Woman meeting someone new and immediately making a friend. In this case it’s Aztek, a new version of the 1990s hero that Orlando recently introduced in his Justice League of America run. Aztek is a woman named Nayeli Constant now, and she’s inherited her predecessor’s spiky costume and divine powers. When she gets a message that an Amazon is locked in battle with Tezcatlipoca, she immediately seeks out the world’s most famous Amazon, Wonder Woman. And Diana is on board straight away, of course. A new friend and an Amazon in need of help? Diana is up for that adventure any day of the week.

And she brings in a second friend, too. Well, sort of a friend. They tolerate each other. It’s Artemis, famed usurper of Wonder Woman’s mantle in the pre-New 52 days and a warrior of the Bana-Mighdall, a splinter Amazon group. To be honest with you, I have no idea what Artemis is like now. I’m familiar with the old version, but it’s a whole new universe now and I haven’t been keeping up with Red Hood and the Outlaws, Artemis’ primary series. Based on this issue, she does seem like her old self, aggressive and arrogant and generally disdainful of Diana. But Diana seems to respect her, and once she realizes that the trapped Amazon is Atalanta, hero of the Bana-Mighdall, she knows she should bring Artemis with them.

I really like the juxtaposition of the two relationships in this issue. Wonder Woman and Aztek don’t know each other well at all, but they find common ground early on through their similarly divine heritages and become friends almost immediately. Wonder Woman and Artemis do know each other, but their situation is much more fraught. Artemis sneers at Wonder Woman throughout the issue, and joins their group only for the sake of Atalanta. And not only does Wonder Woman invite Artemis along, knowing full well how she’ll behave, but she finds a way to make it all work. She’s able to balance establishing trust with a new friend and working productively with an old adversary, all while battling mythological hounds in an ominously elaborate labyrinth. The issue showcases Wonder Woman’s strengths in a multitude of ways.

The women ultimately find Atalanta, and the issue ends with the four of them as the last line of defense against an invading horde of evil beasts. It should make for another rad outing in two weeks time, but here’s the really fun thing: While this issue sets up Atalanta as Diana’s great-aunt, an earlier version of Wonder Woman already encountered Atalanta more than thirty years ago, and Tezcatlipoca was involved in that as well.

In Wonder Woman #316 from June 1984, written by Dan Mishkin with art by Don Heck, Wonder Woman defeated Tezcatlipoca and freed a group of Amazons the fiendish god had enslaved. In the following issue, they took Diana back to their home on the Amazon river, and introduced her to their queen, Atalanta:

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Much like the Bana-Mighdall a decade later, the Amazonian Amazons were a splinter group. After Hippolyta secluded the Amazons on Paradise Island, Atalanta and her followers grew tired of the isolation, and more specifically the lack of men, so they set out on their own and ended up in South America.

This new Atalanta has a different origin. Instead of being hot for dudes and frustrated at not having any nearby, she is now a travelling warrior who left her royal position millennia ago to impart truth, balance, and justice to the world. Which is a much awesomer origin, in my opinion. I love that Orlando’s dug into the archives and found a deep cut character to revitalize in such a cool way. Now that Wonder Woman’s found her, it will be interesting to see how the two get along in the issues to come, and whether any of the old Atalanta’s frustrations with Hippolyta carry on in this new incarnation of the character.

As much as I enjoyed this story and it’s fresh take on some classic yarns, I must admit that the art didn’t do a lot for me. It wasn’t bad in any way, but the style and layouts left me underwhelmed. ACO and Lorenzo seem better at designs than characters. Their labyrinth was gorgeous and complex, and they did some interesting things with Aztec designs in their page structures, but their depictions of the women fell flat. The characters lacked the details that were so well shown in the settings, and I just didn’t feel like there was a lot of life to them. This combined with their penchant for silhouettes made me think they were less interested in the women than in the fantastical scenes that surrounded them. And the simplicity of their characters didn’t give Romulo Fajardo Jr. a lot to work with when it came to colours. When the line art is this simple, coming in strong with texture and shading just looks weird and so he had to match their simplicity. Fajardo did hit it out of the park with the Aztec imagery and fancy backgrounds, though. Those really shone, for all of the artists involved.

Despite my art quibbles, this was a very fun issue with team ups on top of team ups on top of team ups. A bunch of warrior ladies working together to fight against the evil machinations of a nefarious god is always a good time, and I’m excited to see where this story goes in the weeks to come!

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel: Spring 2018 in Review

August 6, 2018

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My latest “Gendercrunching” article covering April through June of this year went up over at Bleeding Cool more than two weeks ago, but I have been super busy and remiss in posting it here. Until now! This is that post! And there were some interesting numbers over the course of the spring.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators slipped down slightly from their winter totals to land at 16.4%. While a drop is never ideal, it was minor shifting more than anything else and the publisher remains well within their recent levels. DC’s been pretty steady for a while now, and not a whole lot changed by category. The summer could bring some changes thanks to some notable cancellations and new launches, but for now the numbers are holding relatively steady.

Marvel, meanwhile, appears to be pulling themselves out of the deep hole they’ve dug for themselves over the past half year or so. The publisher’s overall percentage of female creators rose each month to land at a 15.5% average overall, still noticeably behind their past highs but better than we’ve seen from them in a while. Their distribution remains uneven, with big numbers in only a few categories, assistant editors specifically, and embarrassingly low numbers elsewhere. They remain firm at zero female letterers, and their female penciller and inker numbers were at a paltry 3%. If Marvel could shore up some stronger representation across the board, their numbers would skyrocket.

Head over to Bleeding Cool for the full report and all of the charts. Hooray for statistics and industry trends! There’s lots of cool info to dig into.

Wonder Woman #51 Review: Capturing the Compassionate Heart of Diana

July 27, 2018

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A new creative team can be a tricky thing, especially with a long running character. Fans have such specific ideas about who a character is and what they stand for, and it must be difficult to try to bring a fresh approach to a book while honouring a character’s lengthy past. All sorts of creators, from new folks to established pros, have been tripped up by this, especially with Wonder Woman. But sometimes, a new team comes on board and they get it right from the very start.

That is what we’ve got with Wonder Woman #51. Steve Orlando and Laura Braga have put together a spectacular standalone issue that showcases the kindness that’s at the core of what I love most about Diana. A lot of people see her as a warrior first and foremost, and I agree that’s part of who she is, but for me the defining characteristic of Wonder Woman is her compassion. She genuinely cares about people, even the villains. Fighting is a last resort. She’ll end a dangerous situation, to be sure, but she’ll always look for a peaceful way out first and try to understand and help her foe after. Diana believes in redemption, in transformation, and she has since her earliest days in the 1940s with William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter. It’s integral to the character. And by exploring this theme, Orlando and Braga have put together an issue that could go down as one of the best single issues of Wonder Woman ever. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you all of the excellent things that happen in this issue!

Go read it first!

It’s very, very, very good!

The issue picks up on a moment from Wonder Woman #28, when our favourite heroine battled Mayfly (among several other would-be assassins). I love this. Shea Fontana and an array of fine artists did a fantastic five issue arc that I think got lost in the shuffle a bit between the big runs that came before and after, and I’m so glad that they’re referencing it here. It was super good, all about Diana and Etta teaming up together for friendship and adventure, and you all should go read it if you haven’t.

Now, months later, Mayfly, a.k.a. Moon Robinson, is in a prison for superpowered villains in Antarctica, and Diana has stopped by to visit. She saw something in Moon, a hidden pain, and she wants to help, if she can. Moon is not interested, but Diana keeps coming back, even when several of their early visits end with Moon trying to kill her. The issue spans years of Diana visiting Moon and developing a deep friendship, fifty-two visits in all, and ends with Diana waiting outside the prison with her invisible jet when Moon is finally released.

It’s all so dang good. From Wonder Woman’s warm insistence to Moon’s reluctance and evolution, every beat is compelling. Of course Diana would visit a supervillain fifty-two times to try to empower her and help her sort herself out. That is a quintessentially Wonder Woman thing to do. She’s not the kind to hold a grudge when someone tries to kill her. She’s the kind who understands that something unfortunate in the villain’s past must have led them to this point. Her side of the conversation in this issue is patient and authentically compassionate, despite Moon’s initial volatility, and the friendship that develops between them is beautifully woven.

There are also warranted moments of pushback. At one point, Diana compliments Moon for being “open to bettering yourself,” and Moon is justifiably upset. It can be a patronizing term, and I think that Moon is right to react angrily. But Diana explains that she has come to respect Moon. Diana isn’t a superpowered Dr. Phil doing some superficial psychological evaluation. She’s gotten to know and understand Moon, and as her friend she sees her deep potential. Diana’s respect for Moon allows her to see the potential in herself, and their friendship grows even stronger from then on.

On top of this issue being an excellent encapsulation of who Wonder Woman is, it’s also filled with great references to Wonder Woman’s history. The entire thing is set in Antarctica, but there are subtle flashbacks to iconic elements like Paradise Island’s purple ray and kangas, among several other glimpses of Diana’s youth. The Amazons can’t really be a part of Wonder Woman right now, but I’m always glad when they show up somehow, and are well illustrated. Braga captures them perfectly, and also showcases a variety of different outfits for Diana over the course of her fifty two visits. On top of her standard costume, we get a casual white wrap dress, what looks like a take on her Gotham City Garage outfit, her Kingdom Come armour (known among fans as the chicken armour), and more.

Braga does a great job with the art throughout the issue. She’s familiar with Wonder Woman from her time on DC Comics Bombshells, and slips into her modern incarnation with ease. The issue has a lot of emotional beats and Braga hits them all with her wonderfully expressive characters. Her flashbacks to action scenes are gorgeous as well, and the entire book is lovely all around. Plus, Braga is joined by series MVP Romulo Fajardo Jr., who colors the book with his usual flair and style. It’s a marvelous pairing that makes this issue soar on every level.

While Braga has only popped by for one issue, Orlando will be back for four more, and I’m excited to see what he brings to a longer arc. If this first issue is any indication, it will make for some very good reading. He obviously understands Diana on a fundamental level, and I’m glad to have a couple months with him writing the character. It’s always a joy when Wonder Woman is in good hands, and she certainly right now. And with G. Willow Wilson just around the corner as well, it’s a swell time to be a Wonder Woman fan!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, September 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 21 Books

July 19, 2018

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After what has been a rough year thus far for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel, the publisher seems to have settled into a bit of a groove now. Unconventionally, too. Maybe about half of the gigs listed below are steady, ongoing jobs. The rest are variant covers, one-shots, or mini-series, positions that don’t last for long. And yet, Marvel’s keeping their numbers steady on the backs of such gigs. More long-term work would be nice to see, and the publisher does remain well below their past highs, but at least they’ve pulled themselves up from the terrible numbers they were posting earlier in the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this September:

  • Agnes Garbowska: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – First Day of School #1 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #24 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #2 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #199 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: X-Men Red #8 (interior art)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Avengers #7 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36 (cover)
  • Eve Venture: Avengers #7 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #34 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #6 (writer), Domino Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (cover)
  • Helen Chen: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #8 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #23 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: West Coast Avengers #2 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Domino Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Domino Annual #1 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #35 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #13 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Avengers #7 (interior art), Fantastic Four #2 (interior art)
  • Sing Ji: Spidergeddon #0 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Captain America Annual #1 (writer)
  • Vanessa Del Rey: Sentry #4 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: X-23 #4 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different comic books at Marvel in September, 1 more creator than in August and the same number of books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in Marvel’s solicits. So we don’t have much of a gain here, but what we do have is some much needed stability. The publisher has had at least 20 female creators in their ranks for four months running now, and this is their highest total since last September. Of course, Marvel’s been well into the 30s before so the mid-20s is nothing to write home about. Hooray for staying out of the teens and all, but there’s still a long way to go for the publisher to reach the level they’re capable of.

We’ve got some new creators set for September. Two of them, Eve Venture and Sing Ji, are on variant covers, while Tini Howard is writing a Captain America annual. These are all one-time gigs, but who knows where they could lead in the future? I don’t think we’ve seen Agnes Garbowska at Marvel before either, and she’s on covers for a new Marvel kids’ book.

New titles are few for September, but Asgardians of the Galaxy is set to debut and it features both Angela and Valkyrie. Everything else is dudes, including returns for Wolverine and Iceman. So there aren’t a lot of female characters premiering in new books this month, but there aren’t too many new books either.

Overall, September looks decent for female creator representation at Marvel. It’s taken a while for the publisher to dig out of their hole, but now their numbers are holding strong at a reasonable level. Marvel can now be slightly less embarrassed about their lack of female creators! They should still be embarrassed to some degree, though. They’ve still got hundreds of dudes versus 26 women. But things are starting to look up.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, September 2018 Solicits: 15 Creators on 14 Books

July 17, 2018

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So, this is pretty terrible. DC’s female and non-binary creator numbers have been in the ballpark of the low 20s for a while, stable if noticeably below their past highs. But now, September marks a nosedive for the publisher. All of DC’s recent cancellations of female creator-led books have caught up with them, and they are set to post their lowest total in over than three years. Not good, DC Comics. Not good at all. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this September:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #4 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #50 (cover), Supergirl #22 (variant cover)
  • Amanda Deibert: Teen Titans Go! #30 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Plastic Man #4 (cover)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #4 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #54 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #55 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #3 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #44 (co-writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #27 (writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #1 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #3 (variant cover), Supergirl #22 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #44 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Red Hood and the Outlaws #26 (variant cover)
  • Zu Orzu: Cover #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 15 different female creators set to work on 14 different comic books at DC this September, 10 fewer creators than in August and 5 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in DC’s solicits this month. So, this is quite a drop. Losing two fifths of your female work force in one month is not a good look. A lot of it can be chalked up the end of the “Young Animal” line, which was good for at least five female creators each month. And August’s numbers were ballooned by a variety of oneshots and special issues. With all of that gone, we’re left with some paltry numbers.

But some new faces, at least. We’ve not seen Zu Orzu before, and she’ll be providing a variant cover for the first issue of the series Cover. We’ve got a returning favourite as well with Amanda Deibert, and the launch of two of the new “Sandman Universe” line brings us Bilquis Evely and Nalo Hopkinson on a regular basis. The gains haven’t counter balanced the losses, clearly, but at least there were some gains, a couple of which we’ll be seeing a lot of moving forward.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a few things going on. Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman were name checked in the solicit for the first issue of Heroes in Crisis, so they should be playing a part in that. Both of the new “Sandman Universe” books have female leads too, as does Cover. August’s endings took away a lot of female characters as well, so having a few new leads in the mix is nice.

Overall, despite these new characters and my great excitement for the “Sandman Universe,” September looks to be a rough month for female and non-binary characters at DC. Here’s a startling fact: There are only FIVE superhero titles this month that aren’t written or drawn entirely by men. That is very few indeed. Also, there are just TWO women doing interior art across the entirety of DC’s line. That is an embarrassingly low number. All of the lovely covers listed above will be grand, I’m sure, but it’s nice to have women drawing the insides of the book too. And the sad fact is, we’re going to need to see some big changes to the line to pull DC up out of the teens. Some books have been announced, and things should improve somewhat over the next couple months if everything else can remain steady, but the publisher has a lot of ground to make up now after digging themselves into such a hole.


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