Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, March 2019 Solicits: 20 Creators on 17 Books

February 14, 2019

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So far, 2019 has not been a good year for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. The numbers have been disappointingly low. Now, some of this is likely due to a contraction of DC’s line as a whole. They’re just not putting out as many books as they used to. But still, it’s a lot of books. By my count, they’re in the ballpark of 60 new comics in March, so having female creators on 17 of them means there are women involved in the art or writing of only about a quarter of DC’s output. That’s not great. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this March:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #2 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Second Coming #1 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #7 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #2 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Batgirl #33 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl #33 (cover), The Terrifics #14 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #66 (writer), Wonder Woman #67 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #33 (co-writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Hex Wives #6 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #9 (writer, cover), Detective Comics #1000 (interior art)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #6 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #46 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #33 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #6 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #7 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League #20 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #66 (cover),Wonder Woman #67 (cover)
  • Sarah Leuver: Teen Titans Go! #33 (interior art)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #6 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Batgirl #33 (variant cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #4 (writer)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 17 different comic books in March 2019, 2 more creators than in February and also 2 additional books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. These gains are slight, and leave DC in the same range they’ve been for several months now. The low twenties are just where things are these days, and there doesn’t seem to be a huge desire to change things across the main line. Elsewhere, the DC Zoom and DC Ink young reader lines have lots of female creators in the mix, but not so much for the older readers, it seems.

We do have two new names this month, though. It looks like Sarah Leuver is making her DC debut with some interior art for Teen Titans Go! #33, while Tiffany Turrill is doing the cover for Lucifer #6. Neither are working in the main superhero line, tellingly, but it’s great to have them in the mix and I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.

March is a quiet month for new titles at DC. Both new series have male leads, and don’t mention much in the way of female or non-binary characters. And what’s sure to be the month’s biggest book, Detective Comics #1000, appears to be a largely male-centric affair. Men account for 22 of the 23 creators listed, with Joelle Jones as the sole woman. I understand that Becky Cloonan may be drawing a story as well, but she’s not listed in the solicits. And while I’m guessing we may get a Catwoman tale in the over-sized book, if last year’s Action Comics #1000 is any indication I wouldn’t hold up much hope for having many other female characters in the mix. That book’s lack of Lois Lane still astounds me.

Overall, DC Comics is in a rut when it comes to female and non-binary creators and the March solicits aren’t doing much to change that. They just don’t seem to be a priority for the main line right now. Perhaps April will bring some changes to the line after a quiet March?

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Wonder Woman #64 Review: Angry Neighbourhood Spider-God

February 13, 2019

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This run of Wonder Woman has been excellent so far, bringing back some old divine favourites while asking interesting questions about the nature of heroism in the modern world. Plus it’s been all sorts of entertaining, with high drama, cool action, and comic relief from a crew of mythological creatures. There’s also been a mystery running through these issues, the question of where did the gods come from, and what happened to Olympus? And, more importantly for our heroine, what happened to Themyscira? We get some answers this week, but I don’t know that I trust the source. If I’ve learned anything in my decades of reading superhero comics, it’s to never believe what a villain tells you. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Look away if you haven’t read this issue yet!

We are about to discuss its revelations!

In great detail!

I’ll be honest with you, gang, this is the weakest issue of the current run thus far. Now, this run has been super good, so it’s a high bar, but even setting aside that comparison, this issue is okay at best. A lot of it is due to the art. What I’d feared a few weeks back has come to pass. Fill-in artists are a hit or miss game, and Jesus Merino and Andy Owens have missed with this one. The entire issue falls flat visually, with bland design choices that left me feeling like I was reading a comic from the mid-90s. Wonder Woman was drawn inconsistently, the design for Nemesis was uninspired (she’s a spider, I guess?), and everything just seemed out of sync with the rest of the run.

So many little things were noticeably off. Veronica Cale’s hair, for example. It’s a small, insignificant matter, really, but she didn’t have bangs two weeks ago and now she does. It’s a continuity failing that’s exacerbated by the fact that Merino and Owens are not particularly good at drawing bangs, either. Her hair looked terrible, and there was nothing else in the book to counter the many poor artistic choices.

I wish the editors would put more effort into the book’s art, especially with G. Willow Wilson writing such a good run. Double shipping has been the bane of the artistic world for years now at DC, with so many books looking subpar because of the breakneck schedule. But DC makes it work for some titles! Batman always looks good. If it’s not Mikel Janin, it’s Joelle Jones, or Tony Daniel, or Clay Mann, or Lee Weeks. They find artists who fit each step of the story, and clearly plan things out well.

There doesn’t seem to be that level of planning with Wonder Woman. Cary Nord obviously got overwhelmed by the schedule quickly, and we haven’t seen him in a while now. Xermanico was a great fill in, and Emanuela Lupacchino’s issue was a delight, but this outing has some bad art that just doesn’t match the caliber of what we’ve seen before, nor does it feel like it’s part of the same story.

The writing this week wasn’t as enjoyable either. It was better than the art made it look, certainly, but the story felt a bit repetitive. We’ve got Wonder Woman fighting a god, again. We’ve got a villain trying to make her feel bad for being a superhero while making some interesting points, again. As much as I love the interrogation of heroism we’ve seen in this run so far, Veronica Cale’s angle was less compelling than Ares’ approach earlier on. Also, we know how angry Cale is. With Ares, there was a bit of mystery. We didn’t know why he was there or what his angle was. Cale’s just super mad at Wonder Woman, and trying to tear her down because of the powerful grudge she’s held since her daughter was taken from her. Knowing all of that, it’s hard to put much stock in her critique.

Nemesis reveals that the realm of the gods has been destroyed as well, which is why Cale is extra upset. No gods means no Amazons means no daughter, so she’s understandably angry. Both Nemesis and Cale tell Wonder Woman that the Amazons are gone, and for some reason she just accepts it? I know we need to end the issue on a dramatic moment, and Diana flying off with tears streaming down her face offers us that, but I feel like our gal is smarter than this. Wonder Woman’s all about hope and, more importantly, the truth. I don’t think she’d just take the word of two villains at face value, even if one was wrapped up in the lasso of truth. What Nemesis believes to be true isn’t necessarily what happened, and Wonder Woman should be wise enough to know that. Instead, she seems to be shaken to her core.

I’m no Wonder Woman, but I do know that if Veronica Cale told me anything, I’d automatically believe the opposite to be true. So from my perspective, the goods news here is that the Amazons must still be around. Themyscira might be in trouble, but the Amazons are resilient. I think they’re somewhere, if not in Themyscira than elsewhere, with Veronica’s daughter, too. If Wonder Woman won’t have hope, then I will!

The story continues in two weeks’ time, with Jesus Merino and Andy Owens on art again. I’m not terribly excited for that after seeing this issue, but Cary Nord is set to be back in March. After a couple months off, I’m optimistic that he’ll return with some high quality art. And I’m confident that Diana will shake off her sadness and resume her search for the Amazons. Veronica Cale can’t be right! They’re somewhere, and Wonder Woman will find them, I’m sure.

Wonder Woman #63 Review: This Land Is Minotaur’s Land

January 30, 2019

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NOTE: The terrible pun in this title only works if you pronounce it mine-o-tar. Which is the more fun way to pronounce it anyway!

After several issues of serious goings on in Durovnia, with Diana facing off against the god of war himself in the midst of a complicated international conflict, this week’s Wonder Woman brings us some much lighter fare. Cadmus the pegasus, Damon the satyr, and Eirene the minotaur were introduced earlier in the run, exiles from Themyscira who found themselves in Durovnia with no recollection of how they got there. Now, with the war sorted and all mythological persons ordered out of Durovnia, Wonder Woman has brought them to stay in America while she looks into the mystery surrounding their initial arrival.

The cover above promises a far more menacing story than the pages inside offer. There were no angry protesters, no mobs trying to hurt these mythological refugees. Their only foes were a perplexed border protection agent and an angry couple who didn’t want to share a restaurant with them. This issue was funny above all else, a nice change in tone after we spent several weeks ruminating on the nature of war and Wonder Woman’s culpability in perpetuating a cycle of violence. Those weeks were definitely enjoyable, but the antics of Cadmus, Damon, and Eirene are a different sort of fun. We’ll get into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal what happens in this issue!

Turn away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, it’s got a pegasus, a satyr, and a minotaur exploring Washington, DC!

It’s an issue worth picking up!

I’m glad to see G. Willow Wilson’s shift in tone with this issue. Not that the first few issues were too serious, but we’ve seen writers in the past come in and be ONLY serious, forgetting to bring some levity and fun to the proceedings. I was confident that Wilson would be able to strike a good balance, and she definitely shows that here. While it’s a romp of an outing, it still fits well with everything she’s done before. Setting up the characters early on was wise, as they provided brief moments of comic relief amid the war, and now they have some room to breathe as they get up to some hijinks in the nation’s capital.

Not that the past is forgotten, though. The mystery of how Cadmus, Damon, and Eirene came to our world hangs over the entire issue, presumably setting up Wonder Woman’s pursuit of answers and a potential return to Themyscira in the weeks to come. Plus we got a teaser of an ending that suggests all of this will be much more complicated than we thought.

I’d be curious to know how this issue came together because, as I said above, the cover suggests a much more serious tone. This could have been an exploration of the many, many problems with the American immigration system and xenophobia throughout the country, and we got a bit of that. The border protection agent was talking about a special registry, diners were displeased at their presence, and Damon pointed out the ease with which Diana could assimilate in America because of her appearance and how it was difficult for them because they looked so different. But ultimately, it felt like Wilson pulled away from leaning into that metaphor too much in favour of a funnier outing. These hints of a critique never developed into anything substantial. Instead, we got whacky fun, and ultimately some new friends for our displaced creatures. And, Ferdinand the minotaur, back again! Perhaps finding romance, even? You can’t beat that. As much as I love some social commentary in my Wonder Woman comics, I think that Wilson chose the right tack with this one.

And editorial brought in the right artist. We haven’t seen Cary Nord for a while, and instead of Xermanico again we’ve got our old pal Emanuela Lupacchino. She’s been a go-to artist on several runs of the book now, and she always does a marvelous job of it. Lupacchino has a knack for Wonder Woman herself, and draws her in a way that captures both her power and beauty every time she gets a crack at the character. And apparently, she’s excellent at mythological creatures as well. She brought great humour and expression to the gang, setting the tone for the book from the get-go. Her art was just this side of cartoonish enough to keep everything grounded, but close enough to cartoonish to make it all extra funny. It was a fine line, and she walked it well. Her linework paired wonderfully with Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colours as well. After so many issues together, he clearly knows how to bring the best out of her style of art.

We’ve got to talk about that ending, though! First off, Veronica Cale is back and I am here for it. Greg Rucka did a fantastic job with the character when he relaunched the book, making her both sympathetic and still very much a villain, and I trust that Wilson will continue in that vein. She’s going to present a big problem for Wonder Woman because it turns out that she has Nemesis chained up in her basement. Now the question is, which Nemesis? You may remember a couple different versions of Nemesis from past comics, including Tom Tresser in Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman run or Soseh Mykros from JSA years and years ago. But I think this could be the Nemesis from Greek mythology, the goddess of retribution who strikes down those with the hubris to defy or disrespect the gods. In which case, yikes. This is a very powerful deity, and one that could be a lot of trouble for Wonder Woman if Veronica Cale’s got any sort of hold over her. I’m curious to see where this goes, and if Cale had a role in the return of the gods. If memory serves, her daughter is trapped in Themyscira right now. She has the motive to tear down the veil between the two worlds, that’s for sure.

So this week we got some fun frolics and some ominous developments, and I can’t wait for what comes next. More gods, more mythological creatures, more Amazons maybe? Time will tell. Whatever is coming, it looks like Wonder Woman is going to have her hands full.

Wonder Woman #62 Review: Making Peace with the God of War

January 16, 2019

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The first arc of G. Willow Wilson’s run on Wonder Woman draws to a close this week, bringing the war in Durovnia to an end while leaving us with a lot of unanswered questions for our heroine and her divine associates moving forward. This was a storyline that raised a lot of heavy issues, for Wonder Woman herself but also for us as readers as we all grappled with the troubling shades of grey that characterize modern warfare. No matter how good someone’s intentions are, they can still cause harm when they decide to step in with force, and this is especially true in the arena of war. It’s almost impossible not to cause harm in a war, and Wonder Woman comes out of the conflict in Durovnia carrying the weight of that truth. We’ll get into the arc’s conclusion momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you all of the important things that happened in this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, read it! This run has been GREAT so far!

Remember when Diana was the god of war? Oh, the New 52 days. So beautiful in its art, so increasingly troubling in its story choices. For all of that past run’s focus on Diana becoming the embodiment of war, it never really dug into the implications of what that could mean in a deeper, compelling way. War is inherently destructive and damaging. It harms innocents and profits the powerful. In short, it’s everything Wonder Woman hates. And yet, she often finds herself at the center of them. Fighting for peace, yes, but fighting nonetheless.

This arc dug into these contradictions, and fascinatingly so. By the end of this issue, Diana is shook. Yeah, she’s got some other stuff going on with the gods returning, a longing for home and a hope that the Amazons might be accessible again. But the war in Durovnia seems to have thrown her for quite the loop. Ares fashioning himself as a twisted version of her brand of heroism was disconcerting enough, and then the peace talks hit her hard. The president condemned the gods and empires that entered the fray, meaning Ares on the side of the rebels and American military assistance on the side of the government. Diana saw herself as beyond these sides, perhaps even above them, an impartial hero committed to protecting those caught in the middle. When she’s asked to leave with them, painted as part of the problem that exacerbated the conflict rather than part of the solution, it clearly stings.

Now, when an old, white dude whose government has been actively oppressing an ethnic minority calls you out like that, it’s a chastisement worth ignoring. I mean, that guy sucks. He’s blaming his own problems and the failings of his government on outside forces, admitting to past mistakes only once the entire nation nearly fell into chaos. This fool could have nipped all of this in the bud ages ago by not being such a terrible president. I feel like Diana should just brush off his dismissal of her and her efforts because, again, he sucks.

Also, so does Ares! Here’s another old, white dude misusing his power. And because of these two jerks, Diana is feeling a bit down on herself, a bit lost even. Not that there weren’t some interesting points raised over the course of their interactions. War is deeply, deeply terrible and it’s hard to be involved in it without hurting someone. But consider the source here. I’m very curious to see how Wonder Woman processes her feelings over the next few issues. It’s interesting that both men have her questioning herself, while Aphrodite and Etta are both telling her that she did a good job. Friggin’ patriarchy. Dudes tearing down women to make themselves feel better are the worst. What Diana needs right now are some more awesome ladies in her corner.

Which leads us to: AMAZONS. Wilson is teasing us at the end of this issue too much for this not to be happening, right? They’ve gotta be coming back! And I am very on board. First, the Amazons are the best and I miss them. And second, it feels like Diana is in a place where she could use some Amazon guidance. She’s been in man’s world for a while now. Their wars and aggressions are wearing on her, so much so that she’s starting to question herself. What she needs is some rad warrior women to remind her who she is, and to help her grapple with the disquieting questions that the harsh realities of modern warfare have raised for her.

Xermanico was back on art duties for this issue, and I liked it even better than his last one. I don’t know if it was him or Romulo Fajardo Jr. that brought in that Ben-Day Dot shading, but it looked super cool, especially in the night scenes with the battle. There was a bit of that two weeks back, but they really leaned into it here, for a nice effect. Xermanico is a good fit for this book, and I’ve enjoyed his two issues more than Cary Nord’s. His Diana feels more powerful and substantial, which is always good to see. And his art has actually improved from issue to issue, which we didn’t get with Nord owing to what appeared to be the time constraints of a bi-weekly book. I was wary when editorial had to swap artists so soon into the run, but they made a good choice here and I hope that we’ll see more of Xermanico in future issues. He carries on some of the cool style choices that Nord established, melding them well with his more conventional superhero comic style. I’m into it.

So we’re back in two weeks with Diana trying to deal with the successful but somewhat demoralizing outcome in Durovnia. Will there be Amazons? I sure hope so. And I’d love to see more of Aphrodite. That lady knows FAR more than she’s telling anybody, and that is definitely going to come into play in the issues to come. Plus, the search for Athena! She was name dropped this week and now I’m eager for her to join the mix as well. Something is up with the gods, and I’m keen for Wonder Woman to get to the bottom of that mystery. And find her mom! We have so much fun ahead of us, gang.

Wonder Woman #61 Review: Love Will Lead You Back

January 2, 2019

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After taking a break over the holidays last week, Wonder Woman is back and set to dominate January. Or rather, lovingly induce the willing submission of January. The point is, we’re going to get three issues of Wonder Woman this month, and that should be a lot of fun. This run has been great so far, and it’s nice to enter the New Year with a stretch of good comics ahead of us.

This issue brings us the return of Aphrodite, and more questions than answers so far. Something strange is obviously afoot in the realm of the gods, perhaps caused by Ares’ escape from his Themysciran prison, but no one seems to know exactly what is happening. Deities are being deposited on the Earth all hither and yon, fully powered yet unsure as to why they are there. Mysteries abound, the war is relentless, and Steve Trevor’s been running around shirtless for several issues now, so this book’s got something for everyone.

We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Turn away if you haven’t read this issue yet!

You really should read it, though!

Add it to your pull list or subscribe through Comixology!

The book is good again, I promise!

So we begin where we left off three weeks ago, with Steve and Aphrodite. But a slightly different Aphrodite. She’s still a goddess with all of the powers and grandeur therein, but she’s grown tired of being the goddess of love specifically. Having observed humanity for centuries now, she’s come to the conclusion that love makes people do stupid things. Harmful things, even. All of this war and strife due to a fickle emotion is not something she wants to be associated with anymore.

I’m very much enjoying this identity crisis of the gods. First, we have Ares wanting to give up war for justice. That’s gone quite poorly so far, of course, due to his engrained toxic masculinity more than anything else, but it’s been a very interesting turn for the character. And now, Aphrodite wants to separate herself from love. She doesn’t seem to have a plan of where to go from there, what new cause to champion, if any. She’s just tired of being’s love representative.

And fair enough. What I like most about G. Willow Wilson’s new approach to the gods is that they each have a decent point to make. Ares, for all his foolishness, made some compelling arguments about the nature of war. He lacked the character or humility to back them up, but it was an understandable turn. With Aphrodite, I can again see her point. As much as love is wonderful and good, it’s an emotion that can make us act in unreasonable ways. Though, just like with Ares, I find myself agreeing with the mortal perspective. I sided with Wonder Woman’s arguments against Ares, and I’m in Steve’s camp now with his pro-love stance.

There’s a detachment to the perspective of the gods that I think befits their station. They’re separated from humanity, not just because of their status as deities but in a more literal fashion. Ares has been locked away for millennia, and Aphrodite has been comfortably housed in Olympus. They only see us from afar. They observe us rather than understand us, and this detachment has led them down some troublesome paths of thinking. At least Aphrodite hasn’t started a huge war with her new ideas. I’m curious to see what comes with her, whether she sticks to her new approach or finds her faith in love renewed by Diana and Steve. The latter might be hard to pull off without being corny, but if anyone can do it, it’s Wilson.

On art this issue we’ve got Xermanico, making what I think is his first appearance in a Wonder Woman comic book. He’s drawn the character, and the bulk of the DC universe, before in the ongoing Injustice: Gods Among Us series, but now he’s in the DC universe proper. And doing a decent job of it. It feels like he’s captured a little bit of the style Cary Nord had established in the first few issues, but with more of a conventional superhero angle. Everything certainly feels more polished and finished than the last issue, when it was pretty clear that Nord was racing against the clock to get the book done. This issue feels complete, and Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s colouring does a great job of establishing a lovely through line for the differing art styles.

The art on Wonder Woman has been inconsistent for the last year or so, a bit of a revolving door after the carefully planned Evely/Scott/Sharp trifecta of the Rucka run. This is a problem that’s plagued DC’s double shipping books for a couple years now. If an artist stays on a book for a while, things end up looking hasty and rushed. If they sub in a new artist, it’s hard to match the tone and the quality can vary wildly. Very few titles can keep a consistent level of quality. Batman does it well, with stellar artists rotating in and out, and the planning on that must be considerable. Here, Xermanico was a late addition to the book. Nord was originally scheduled to draw it, but they subbed Xermanico in. And it worked pretty well. This time, anyway. That they needed to sub someone in so early on is not the best sign, and I hope that the editors can come up with a workable schedule full of great artists to give the phenomenal writing of this run the gorgeous look it deserves. Everything is better when the whole team has the space and time to do their best work.

But this one looked nice. Also, I don’t know whether Wilson or Nord came up with the idea for Aphrodite to be wearing an oversized t-shirt with a swan on it, but I love it. It’s such a funny, humanizing touch, and it’s played so well with no one even mentioning it. In contrast with the bombastic armour of Ares, Aphrodite presumably just finding a t-shirt somewhere and rolling with it is delightful.

And now we’ve got an interesting situation ahead of us. Ares has tricked the prime minister with some sham peace talks, and it looks like he’s spoiling for a fight. Wonder Woman’s pretty annoyed with him, so she might be keen to offer one. But his old beau Aphrodite might have some other plans. We’ll find out, in two weeks’ time!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, February 2019 Solicits – 31 Creators on 29 Books

December 21, 2018

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Marvel’s starting the New Year right. After coming in just shy of thirty different female creators for the past few rounds of solicits, they’ve crossed that line with their February offerings. Now the publisher is in the ballpark of their past highs for the first time in a long time. It’s been an interesting road back up. Just a year ago, Marvel had only 11 female creators in the mix, but things have improved considerably since then. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this February at Marvel:

  • Amanda Conner: Captain Marvel #2 (cover)
  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #3 (cover)
  • Annie Wu: Love Romances #1 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #29 (cover), X-23 #9 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #2 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Age of X-Man: The X-Tremists #1 (variant cover), X-23 #9 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #41 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #3 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #38 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Love Romances #1 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #5 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: Marvel Tales: Black Widow #1 (cover)
  • Jen Soska: Black Widow #2 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: Captain Marvel: Braver & Mightier #1 (writer), Star Wars: Age of Republic – Anakin Skywalker #1 (writer), Star Wars: Age of Republic – Count Dooku #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Avengers West Coast #8 (writer), Captain Marvel #2 (writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #8 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Age of X-Man: The X-Tremists #1 (writer)
  • Maria Lapham: Marvel Comics Presents #2 (co-writer), The Gunhawks #1 (co-writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #9 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #1 (cover)
  • Naomi Franquiz: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #41 (interior art)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #40 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #5 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Mr. and Mrs. X #8 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #18 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Ms. Marvel #38 (cover), Star Wars #61 (variant cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #1 (writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #5 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #5 (cover)
  • Sylvia Soska: Black Widow #2 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Avengers: No Road Home #1 (cover), Avengers: No Road Home #2 (cover), Avengers: No Road Home #3 (cover), Shatterstar #5 (cover)

All together, there are 31 different female creators set to work on 29 different books in February, 2 more creators than in January and the same number of books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. While a jump of two additional creators isn’t particularly big, it does cross a significant threshold and takes Marvel over the thirty line for the first time in ages. That’s an achievement, as are the steady numbers the publisher has been posting lately. It’s good to see some stability at Marvel.

As well as some new names! This month, we’ve got Maria Lapham co-writing a couple of one-shots with her husband, David. They’re temporary gigs, and the Laphams are certainly busy with their own books elsewhere, but perhaps they’ll be back for more Marvel fun in the future. We’ve also got Naomi Franquiz doing interior art on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which is a book that’s always deliberate in its choice of creators. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of her going forward, whether it’s back with Squirrel Girl or elsewhere.

It’s a very quiet month for female characters, however. Most of the new books are centered on dudes, including titles for Conan, Daredevil, Peter Quill, Wolverine, and more. But we do have a couple team books with some ladies in the mix. Avengers: No Road Home features the Scarlet Witch, Spectrum (I think that’s the current handle for Monica Rambeau?), and Voyager. There are also a bunch of “Age of X-Man” mini-series starting, most of which have some female characters. It looks like Jean Grey, Nature Girl, Storm, and X-23 are in The Marvelous X-Men, a few teen gal mutants I don’t recognize are in Nextgen, and we’ve got Psylocke and Jubilee in The X-Tremists.

Overall, 2019 has been a very solid year for female creators at Marvel thus far. It would be nice to see this growth extend to non-binary creators as well, however. There is always room to grow further, in a whole host of ways. But on the whole, Marvel has more than 30 women working on their books right now, and that’s an impressive comeback after some dismal lows in 2018. Here’s hoping that the upward trajectory continues.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, February 2019 Solicits – 18 Creators on 15 Books

December 18, 2018

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Well then. DC’s January solicits didn’t give us a lot of hope that the publisher was going to start the New Year off strong in terms of female and non-binary creator representation, and the February solicits haven’t helped matters at all. We’re back into the teens, which is just ridiculous. Embarrassing, really. In the year of our lord 2019, a major comic book publisher should be able to find more than 18 female and non-binary creators to work on their titles. They’re EVERYWHERE now. It’s really not that hard. Anyway, let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this February:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #1 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Old Lady Harley #5 (cover)
  • Aneke: House of Whispers #6 (interior art)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #6 (interiort art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #1 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Catwoman #8 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl #32 (cover), Supergirl #27 (variant cover). Young Justice #2 (interior art)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #64 (writer), Wonder Woman #65 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #8 (writer, cover)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #5 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #45 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #32 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #5 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #6 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #64 (cover), Wonder Woman #65 (writer)
  • Reiko Murakami: Lucifer #5 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Hex Wives #5 (cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #3 (writer)

All together, there are 18 different female creators scheduled to work on 15 different book at DC this February, 2 fewer creators though 1 more book than in January. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. So yeah, not great. If a behemoth like DC is in the teens, they just aren’t trying hard enough. Or, much at all, it seems. I feel like they brought in a couple of huge names with G. Willow Wilson and Kelly Sue DeConnick and were like “Hey, we’ve got the famousest ladies! We can take a break on that front now!” Which, no. I mean, I love them both, but they don’t count extra. Everyone in DC editorial should feel bad about this showing.

In terms of new creators, we don’t have much here. Reiko Murakami is someone I haven’t seen before, and her cover for Lucifer looks cool. Everyone else is the usual gang of folks we’ve seen in recent months, though I am glad that Cecil Castellucci’s got a new book! Female Furies looks rad.

Speaking of, Female Furies is one of two new titles with female characters in a lead role this month. And given that it’s a pretty quiet month for new books, that’s some decent representation at least. We’ve got Big Barda and all of the Furies in this mini, getting up to some sort of Apokaliptic adventures. And we’ve also got a Wonder Twins book that co-stars Jayna, the sister half of the duo. I was never huge into Super Friends, but this book looks like it could be fun.

Overall, DC editorial needs to get their act together. These are some terrible numbers, way down from their recent highs. Both months of 2019 have been lower than the month before, and that’s not a good way to start the year. Sharpen up, DC! Representation matters, you know.


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