Wonder Woman #35 Review: Please, Someone Make This Stop

November 22, 2017

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Stop me if you’ve heard this before: In this issue of Wonder Woman, Diana appears only fleetingly and never speaks, and instead the book focuses on the backstory of a villain, the bulk of which we already knew. It sounds familiar because that’s what happened two issues ago with an outing that was all about Grail. Now we’ve got an issue that’s all about Diana’s brother, Jason. So basically, two of the last three issues of Wonder Woman have barely featured Wonder Woman at all. Yeah, that’s the ticket, DC. Wonder Woman’s never been more popular, so now’s a great time to sideline her in her own book in favour of subpar villains. Who thought this was a good idea? Who is letting this stupid story drone on? It’s mind bogglingly terrible. We’ll talk about it all in a moment, but first:

SPOILER ALERT… actually, never mind.

There is literally no new information in this book.

Jason monologued all of this stuff in the last issue.

It’s an utterly pointless, useless, boring regurgitation of a comic book.

Carry on.

Before we get to the comic book itself, let’s chat about the cover. Bryan Hitch’s covers for the arc thus far have been a bit bland, to be honest, but this one had me intrigued for a second. I feared that we would get what we got, an issue that was all Jason and no Diana, but the cover showed me otherwise. Teen Diana! Doing some rad Amazon training! That looks fun. Also, there’s Hippolyta with some bad, ancient Greek style bangs; that was less interesting. But teen Diana, that could be cool! Turns out, there is absolutely no teen Diana in this issue. There’s barely any adult Diana. So thanks for that cruel tease. If you haven’t got the book yet and, like me, are too much of a completist to drop Wonder Woman from your pull list even though it’s straight up garbage right now, I suggest you try to get the Justice League variant cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson. You can never go wrong with the Dodsons drawing Wonder Woman.

In terms of the inside of the issue, where to even start? Let’s go with something I’ve mentioned already, the fact that pretty much everything in this issue is information we already knew. Jason blathered on about his life two weeks ago, and nothing here adds to that. It’s even more blatant than the Grail issue from last month, which did basically the same thing but added a fight scene in the middle, at least. We got no real action in this issue, apart from the tease of an upcoming battle with some aquatic creatures because, god help us, this issue was only part one of this redundant exploration of Jason’s past. James Robinson must be laughing all the way to the bank, telling a story in one issue and then retelling that story again two weeks later. The dude is getting two comic books out of one story, and he’s done it twice now. That’s one way to manage the bi-weekly schedule, I suppose.

Another way is to churn out horrendous dialogue and then just leave it, I guess. Because there’s no way any degree of thought or effort was put into Glaucus’ narration of Jason’s tale. It is PAINFUL. So annoyingly folksy, with its countless dropped letters. It’s not his, it’s ‘is. It’s not and, it’s ‘n’. Every ing is an in’. An of is an o’. To is t’. It is so laboured and irksome and, most annoyingly, not even consistent. Robinson replaces the with th’, but only occasionally. Why? There is no rhyme or reason to it. It’s so bad. There are few things that are less enjoyable to read than a bad story poorly narrated. No one needs that double dose of unpleasantness. Then Glaucus just disappears for no good reason apart from some sort of bicentennial migration, because Robinson is putting as much effort into the plot as he is the dialogue.

The book’s one redeeming quality is the art, and even that is frustrating. Emanuela Lupacchino is an excellent penciller, and Ray McCarthy inks her well. And do you know what they’re particularly great at? Drawing Wonder Woman. And do you know what they’ve barely done at all in their last two issues of Wonder Woman? Drawn Wonder Woman. The few panels in which she appears are gorgeous, and they would do an amazing job on an issue that actually had Wonder Woman in it for any length of time. But no, DC’s chosen to waste this talent on some annoying boy that no one cares about. Meanwhile, the artists on the issues Wonder Woman actually does show up in are middling at best. Come on, now.

Finally, in the midst of this truly terrible outing, we’ve also got additional confirmation that Diana is still the daughter of Zeus in current continuity. This was a New 52 development, along with a horrible take on the Amazons, but the “Rebirth” arcs “The Lies” and “The Truth” reset that and erased those Amazons as a fiction crafted by the gods. Greg Rucka and company never addressed Diana’s birth directly, however, and it seems that it remains unchanged. The real Hippolyta also hooked up with Zeus, as this issue shows, and it looks like that’s just going to be the standard origin going forward. It was bound to stick after they used it in the movie and all, but it’s still dumb and antithetical to the very nature of the character.

Ultimately, this issue was very bad indeed and I would suggest buying literally any other comic book instead. There are lots of good ones. Hell, there are lots of bad ones that are still better than this foolishness. You can’t go wrong. Come back to Wonder Woman in four months. After Justice League‘s subpar box office performance, DC’s got to realize that Wonder Woman is their biggest character right now and they’ll put a great team on the book then. Right? I hope so, because what they’re churning out now is just embarrassing.

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Justice League Review: It Was Fine, I Guess? Not Good, But Not Awful

November 17, 2017

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Justice League isn’t a terrible movie, and that in itself is a major achievement. Director Zack Snyder’s past two superhero outings were dour, unwieldy affairs that fundamentally misunderstood almost every character who appeared in them. Justice League is a much more conventional movie, leaner and even fun at times. It’s not great by any means. I wouldn’t even say it was good. But I didn’t leave the theater angry, so that’s a plus.

Everyone seems to have learned a few lessons from Wonder Woman, which is the far superior film by leaps and bounds. Justice League is lighter and funnier than its predecessors, though since those films weren’t light or funny in the slightest it really wouldn’t have taken much. But Snyder and his uncredited co-director Joss Whedon appear to be actively trying to set a new tone. There are jokes this time, and considerably less brooding and angst. The team bickers which each other instead of trying to kill each other. People smile sometimes. The success of this new approach is hit and miss, with a lot of corny dialogue and quips, but it’s a far better direction to move the franchise toward than the dark, miserable drama of the past.

In terms of plot, Justice League is a little bit thin. Steppenwolf and his evil plan to terraform the Earth and turn it into a hellscape is pretty standard stuff, and neither he nor his nondescript legion of Parademon minions bring much personality to the movie. Luckily, the good guys are far more endearing and enjoyable to watch. Jason Momoa’s gruff Aquaman is a good time, Ezra Miller’s socially awkward Flash is amusing, and the complicated interpersonal dynamics of bringing a group of very different heroes together for a common cause made for some decent scenes. Everyone is new at this team thing, and several members were new to their powers, so watching them all find their way together makes for an interesting angle. That’s really what the movie is about more so than the possible destruction of the world or how to bring back Superman (SPOILER ALERT: They bring back Superman! I know, I was shocked too).

Between assembling the League and Steppenwolf’s nefarious activities, we get a tour of the franchise as a whole and a peek at where things are going. We stop by Themyscira again, and I missed Patty Jenkins so much. The scenes there highlight that this was a film written, directed, and generally designed by men, as do many of Wonder Woman’s scenes. Nonetheless, the scene is a good reminder of the larger superhero world at play here. As is the visit to Atlantis, peeks into the backstories of the Flash and Cyborg (who was particularly cool; I’m excited to see more of Ray Fisher’s take on him moving forward), and a fun cameo that I won’t spoil. All of this will be fleshed out in solo films to come, and this is a franchise that could grow in interesting ways.

Watching the film, I realized that my main issue above all else was characterization. Having grown up on DC comic books and researched them extensively in my professional life, I feel like I know these characters very well. And as much as Momoa was fun, that wasn’t Aquaman. Ditto for Miller and the Flash. Affleck’s Batman and Cavill’s Superman have been off for multiple films now. No one feels right to me in the way that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman does. She captures the spirit and legacy of Diana so well, in ways that the boys just don’t with their characters. It felt like I was watching Wonder Woman plus a bunch of alternate universe impostors.

In short, while they’ve made an okay movie with the characterizations they’ve decided to go with, it just doesn’t feel like the real Justice League to me. That’s 100% my personal taste, of course. But by not being true to the characters, I found this turn toward the light to be a little bit underwhelming. Composer Danny Elfman even integrated iconic bits of his own 1989 Batman score and John Williams’ Superman theme, which was super clever and cool, and it still didn’t move me because these versions of the characters don’t fit the iconic mold for me. For example, there’s a mid-credits scene with Superman and the Flash that is classic comic book fare and I should have loved it, but because the personalities are so different from my experience of the characters it fell flat. While I appreciated what they were trying to do, it just didn’t land for me in any emotionally resonant way. Meanwhile, I wanted to cheer every time Wonder Woman did anything rad because Gadot’s take on her connects with me so well. With everyone else, I felt a disconnect.

Speaking of Wonder Woman, I enjoyed her role in Justice League for the most part. The franchise painted itself into a corner by having her stay out of the public eye for a century in Batman v Superman, so trying to reconcile that with the engaged, inspirational character we saw in Wonder Woman was a bit awkward but narratively necessary. Her action scenes were excellent, especially her solo outing busting up an attempted bombing; there’s so much bullet deflecting, and it’s glorious. What I enjoyed the most, though, is that she’s the heart and soul of the team. No one particularly likes or trusts each other as the League comes together, but they all respect and admire Wonder Woman. There’s a scene where she and Batman are arguing in front of everyone and she gives him a forceful shove, and the Flash says something along the lines of “If she’d killed you, we would have covered for her.” As much as Batman is the one who works to assemble the team and Superman is set up as some sort of great, inspiring unifier, it’s Wonder Woman who brings them all together.

Another of my favourite ladies, Lois Lane, is in the mix as well, and although she isn’t given much to do, she does have a couple of amazing scenes. When SPOILER ALERT Superman comes back (I still can’t believe it! They pulled the wool over our eyes on that one!), Lois plays a pivotal role in what was the only really emotionally impactful moment in the entire film. Her connection with Superman is shown beautifully, and Adams and Cavill have great chemistry together that really makes for a powerful reunion. I wish that Lois could have had a bigger role, perhaps tracking down a big story or some such, but Adams make the most of the limited screen time she’s given.

Overall, Justice League isn’t awful and I’m glad about that. It’s not good either, and this cinematic universe really isn’t for me apart from Wonder Woman, but there was nothing egregious or terrible about it. I mean, the Amazons should have beaten the hell out of Steppenwolf; they screwed up there. But other than that, it is a run of the mill superhero film that isn’t entirely unpleasant to watch. It’s easily the second best movie from DC’s current superhero line. It’s just far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far behind the first best.

“The Truth About Wonder Woman” on AMC’s Secret History of Comics, Featuring Me!

November 14, 2017

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I was on television last night, gang! With a lot of amazing people, too. AMC has a new documentary series about comic books called Robert Kirkman’s Secret History of Comics, with Kirkman’s production company making the show. Last night’s episode was “The Truth About Wonder Woman” and it focused mainly on her early years, particularly William Moulton Marston’s vision for the character and the role Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne played in inspiring and shaping her. Guests included Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins (!!), actual Wonder Woman Lynda Carter (!!!!), and also me:

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So yes, I’ve officially starred in a television show with Lynda Carter now. We never met, but still. I’ll take it.

The other guests were great as well. My pal Travis Langley, who I co-wrote a chapter of Wonder Woman Psychology with, was on it. So were some other historians and writers who I don’t know personally so much but whose work I respect, including Noah Berlatsky, Andy Mangels, Trina Robbins, and Jennifer K. Stuller. Also, Phil Jimenez was in the mix, doing a fantastic job talking about Wonder Woman as always; few comic book creators understand Wonder Woman as well as Phil does. There were a couple of folks I wasn’t familiar with too, plus a member of the Marston family, and actor Michelle Rodriguez for some reason? It was a cool mix, and I was really honoured to be a part of it.

I couldn’t watch much of it because seeing/hearing myself weirds me out so much, but from what I saw they did an excellent job telling the story of Wonder Woman’s creation and explaining what she stood for then and continues to stand for now. The director, Jesse James Miller, had a real love and understanding of Wonder Woman. When I met with him and filmed my interview, he was still pretty new to the project and to Wonder Woman’s history, but he’d really thrown himself into it and had completely grasped not just the meaning of the character but the importance of Elizabeth and Olive behind the scenes. He was committed to being respectful and not salacious in telling their story, and I think he did an excellent job of it here. It was a real pleasure to talk with him and see how he worked.

So yeah, I’m a TV star now, I guess. If you missed the show last night, it’s up on AMC’s website, though I think you might need a cable subscription to sign in? And it looks to be just for Americans. But if you’ve got AMC on your television you should be able to get it, and if you have a pal with AMC it’s probably going to be re-aired a bunch of times over the next few weeks so check the schedule and go visit them maybe? They did a very nice job with the show, plus you can see me wearing my favourite tie!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch: January 2018 Solicits: 18 Creators on 18 Books

November 9, 2017

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With their last round of solicits, Marvel Comics closed out the year with only 19 different female creators writing and drawing their substantial line of comic books. And I wrote a column about it, in which I used words like “poor” and “ridiculous” and generally lambasted Marvel’s lack of effort in recruiting and maintaining female and non-binary talent. Rightly so, too. The number was just over half of Marvel’s record high of 37, posted less than a year ago. Now, with a new batch of solicits, Marvel’s dropped down to less than half of that record high. So let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel Comics this January. It won’t take long; it’s a short list:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: X-Men Gold Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #16 (cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #86 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: All-New Wolverine #29 (cover), Jean Grey #11 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #28 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #26 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #11 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #24 (interior art, cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Doctor Strange #384 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #14 (writer), Rogue & Gambit #1 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: X-Men Gold Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #128 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #161 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #27 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #5 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Phoenix Resurrection #3 (variant cover)

All together, there are 18 different female creators set to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel this January, 1 fewer creator than in December though 3 more books. As far as I can tell, no non-binary creators are scheduled to work at Marvel this January. A drop of 1 creator isn’t massive, but given how embarrassingly low Marvel’s numbers were last month, slipping down even further is not a good look. Maybe all this talk about “Legacy” with the publisher’s recent spate of renumbering and relaunches was about going back to the days when only men wrote and drew Marvel’s comic books? Is that the legacy they’re aiming to celebrate here? If so, they’re doing a heck of a job.

In terms of new female creators, we don’t have any. Shocking, I know. Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen at Marvel before. We do have a couple of old pals we haven’t seen in a while though, with artist Alitha E. Martinez and writer Leah Williams. It’s nice to have past creators return. The only trouble is that they’re both back on an annual, i.e. a one-shot book, and that means that it’s unlikely we’ll see them again in February.

With female characters, we’ve got one new book I’m sure a lot of folks will be excited for: That classic pairing of Rogue & Gambit. Nice job putting Rogue first there, and it’s good to see her in the spotlight again, doubly so with the always excellent Kelly Thompson helming the book. Her Hawkeye has been a dang delight, and I’m expecting more of the same here. Also, Phoenix Resurrection is coming out weekly all through January, so get on that, Jean Grey fans. There’s only one female creator involved across all of these issues, though, with Stephanie Hans doing a variant cover, which is a downer given a) there’s so many issues, and b) there’s a female lead. Fun fact: Avengers is coming out weekly in January as well and there’s not a single female creator solicited on ANY of the issues.

Overall, Marvel still sucks at hiring women and non-binary creators. Like, a lot. Like, the editors should feel bad about themselves for doing such a terrible job at representation. Here’s some interesting news, though: Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel’s most prolific writer over the past two decades, is leaving for DC Comics, and that leaves a huge opportunity for Marvel to bring in some new voices and mix things up with their creator ranks, perhaps with some female and non-binary folks? We’ll see what happens. If their current output is any indication, don’t hold your breath. But you never know.

Wonder Woman #34 Review: The Worst Family Reunion, On Multiple Levels

November 8, 2017

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Although this is the 34th issue of the current incarnation of Wonder Woman, it’s also something more: When you add up all of the issues from past volumes together, this is actually the 700th issue of Wonder Woman! It’s a massive achievement. Apart from a few short breaks here and there, Wonder Woman has been published continuously since 1942, one of only a handful of titles with such a legacy. It’s fun to think back to all of the different versions of Wonder Woman we’ve seen in the series over the years, how she’s evolved and grown, overcome various setbacks, and continued to be an inspirational heroine for so many. While Wonder Woman’s status as a cultural icon often supersedes the ups and downs of her comic book adventures, those stories showcase one of the most fascinating and compelling journeys in the history of the medium. Hitting 700 issues is remarkable, and I’m glad that DC noticed the numbers and marked the occasion.

It’s too bad that the story inside is absolutely terrible. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal the foolish twists and turns inside this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Or really, just read this instead! The issue is awful!

I’m going to start with something really nitpicky, because for some reason I just can’t stand bad versions of Wonder Woman’s tiara. Sergio Davila penciled this issue, and we saw him a couple issues back in Wonder Woman #32. His art wasn’t great then, but it was serviceable and he had the tiara about right. We’ve got a few versions of the tiara going across DC’s line right now so there’s really not a definitive take on it currently, and Davila was in the ballpark of these various designs. Then, in this issue, it got wonky. The red star seemed to get smaller as the issue progressed, while the tiara itself grew wider and bulkier. It just looked wrong. And I know it’s a small thing, but when the writing is so bad, you look to the art for a little bit of spark. Unfortunately, in this issue the art just annoyed me further.

Not as much as the writing, though. Good lord. I mean, DC Comics is a professional comic book company. They’ve been publishing a comic called Wonder Woman for 75 years and 700 issues now! You would think they’d all know how to put together an enjoyable issue by now. But no. This arc has been absolutely painful thus far, and it’s not any better here. Diana’s reunion with her brother Jason was beyond corny. So sappy and over the top and just cringeworthy most of the time. Their conversation took up the bulk of the book, and while it was nice to actually have Wonder Woman show up in Wonder Woman for a change, their mutual fawning and getting to know each other was not pleasant.

And then we got a shocking turn of events. All of those insipid, boring pages we just sat through? They were a fake out! Jason is secretly evil, hates Wonder Woman, and has been working with Grail the whole time! Then Grail showed up and there was a big old fight and oh dear, a startling cliffhanger with Wonder Woman in a real bind. IT. WAS. SO. STUPID.

Here’s the thing: If you’re going to dedicate half an issue to setting up a twist that then invalidates everything that came before, make those pages good. Make them interesting or fun or compelling in some way so that the reader gets emotionally invested. Sell me on this burgeoning sister/brother relationship! Give them an engaging dynamic, a connection that has me rooting for them and glad to have him be a part of a book! Whatever you do, don’t make these pages absurdly boring, because when you do that and your new good guy turns out to be a bad guy the only reaction you’re going to get is, “Well, that’s the first interesting thing he’s ever done.”

When the turn came, part of me was very much underwhelmed, but the other part of me was just glad that Diana’s bland, dull twit of a brother wasn’t going to be hanging around being a bore for the next few months. He’ll still be boring, I suppose. Being evil doesn’t make him any more interesting. But at least we don’t have to sit through another droning, hackneyed heart to heart conversation.

Anyway, this arc continues to be generally horrible. And the teaser at the end of the issue promised that the next outing is “The Story of Jason,” so please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I prepare for this time of trial and tribulation. If I have to sit through another issue of Wonder Woman without Wonder Woman dedicated to the tedious backstory of some dumb ass side character I couldn’t possibly care less about, I’m going to lose my mind. Also, I know Jason’s backstory already. He blathered on about it in this issue, and while I’m sure some of it was lies, I’m guessing that the bulk of it is the same plus a couple of dark twists and some whiny brooding over his famous sister. And I don’t want to read 20 pages of that. Ugh.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, January 2018 Solicits: 24 Creators on 25 Books

November 6, 2017

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I’ll say this for DC Comics: They’ve become very consistent in their female and non-binary creator representation. The numbers aren’t particularly strong, situated in the mid-20s when the publisher has been well into the 30s in the past. But relative to months previous and to Marvel’s output, DC’s not been especially low or especially high for the past several rounds of solicits. They’re right in the middle with unremarkable numbers, not bottoming out but not progressing either. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in January:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #2 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #35 (cover), Harley Quinn #36 (cover), The Jetsons #3 (cover)
  • Colleen Doran: Gotham City Garage #8 (interior art)
  • Diana Egea: Detective Comics #972 (inker)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #9 (cover), Superwoman #18 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #38 (interior art), Wonder Woman #39 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #5 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #19 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (cover), Wonder Woman #38 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #39 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #17 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #38 (interior art), Batman #39 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Batwoman #11 (writer), Superwoman #18 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Bombshells United #10 (writer), Bombshells United #9 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: New Super-Man #19 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #27 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #10 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #10 (cover), Justice League of America #22 (cover), Justice League of America #23 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #1 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #2 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #9 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Gotham City Garage #8 (cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 25 different comic book in January, 1 more female creator than in December and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s January solicits. It’s a modest gain that keeps the publisher on their middle of the road streak. It could be better, it could be worse. What’s clear is that DC isn’t committed to expanding their ranks of women and non-binary creators. While they hit about the same level each month, growth has been minimal as of late.

To this point, there aren’t very many new names in the mix this month. Rachael Stott had one short gig at DC a few months back, and now it looks like she’s got a regular job with the new Vertigo series Motherlands. She’s been doing a lot of work on the IDW Doctor Who books, and it’s good to see that DC’s brought her in. We’ve also got a couple of returning favourites, though I don’t know for how long. Colleen Doran is doing some pages for Gotham City Garage in what looks to be a one-time gig. We’ve also got Mariko Tamaki writing New Super-Man this month, and I’m not sure if she’s taking over the book or it’s just a one-off job.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a few new books with female leads in the mix. The new team book The Terrifics includes Phantom Girl, though she’s only one woman in a team of five. The one-shot Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt features Raven, but again she’s one female character in a team of men. But Raven has new showcase all to herself with the new mini-series Raven: Daughter of Darkness. While I’m glad to see Raven getting some attention, having Marv Wolfman write her yet again seems like a bit of an odd choice. He’s done several Raven mini-series over the past several years, none of which were very successful. Also, there are no female creators involved with the book, which is disappointing.

All together, it looks like nothing much is going to change in terms of female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics as the New Year begins. January’s not that different from December, which wasn’t that different from November, which wasn’t that different from October. The publisher seems committed to mediocre numbers right now, and that’s going to continue into 2018.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, Summer 2017 in Review

November 3, 2017

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My regular “Gendercrunching” column at Bleeding Cool has shifted to a new quarterly format, and the first installment is up now! It takes a closer look at female representation at DC and Marvel over the summer months, covering July, August, and September to see what the trends are heading into the fall.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators over the summer barely changed from when we last saw them, rising just 0.1% to 15.4% overall. Their monthly numbers were up and down, including the publisher’s lowest total for the entire year in August. By category, female representation is trending down on the creative side of the chart, while there is growth in both editorial categories. The ups and downs cancelled each other out over the course of the summer, leading to little change overall.

Marvel’s average percentage of female creators this summer rose 0.3% to 16% overall, a very slight gain. By category, almost everything looks like it’s trending upward, but the numbers are deceptive. Everything is growing, yes, but that’s largely because the July numbers were generally terrible and so everything that followed looked good in comparison. After an average August, September did go well for Marvel and it will be interesting to see what happens this fall. But all together, the publisher’s female representation is barely marginally better than it was last June.

Head over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats and analysis, and all of the fun charts!


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