I had high hopes for September, what with Villain Month bringing in 52 new leading characters and some opportunities for DC to mix it up creatively. The results were disappointing, as I chronicled over at Bleeding Cool. For the mainline DC books, there were both fewer female characters and creators then there had been the month before. So that’s a bad start, but there’s lots more solicits along with the New 52. Let’s take a look:
- For the New 52, Marguerite Bennett is writing Justice League Dark #23.2: Lobo, Gail Simone is penning Batman: The Dark Knight #23.1: The Ventriloquist, and Ann Nocenti is writing Justice League Dark #23.1: The Creeper and Batman: The Dark Knight #23.4: The Joker’s Daughter.
- There are no female artists, cover or interior, in the mainline books.
- However, we’ve got Cat Staggs doing the cover for Smallville Season 11 #17, along with Karen Traviss writing Batman: Arkham Unhinged #18 and Maris Wicks writing a story in Batman Black and White #1.
- Over at Vertigo, Yuko Shimizu is holding down the fort with the cover for The Unwritten #53.
- Of the 52 Villain Month lead characters, only 8 are women. There are a handful of mixed teams as well, and then a ton of dudes.
- The only new book outside of Villain Month is Batman Black and White #1, an anthology mini-series that looks like it’s going to be gorgeous. Only 1 of the 10 creators listed is a woman, however.
- On the plus side, DC is releasing a nice hardcover called Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years that reprints some great Lois stories from her many decades.
All together, DC has 7 different female creators scheduled on 8 different books. Last month I decided that double digits is the minimum for an acceptable month at DC, seeing as DC’s hit that bar several times recently and thus CAN do so, and we’re definitely below the mark here.
The lack of female characters in the Villain Month books is disheartening. There are most definitely more than 8 great female villains at DC, and it was a real missed opportunity for them to share the spotlight. I’m not saying we need to have 26 male leads and 26 female leads, but it would be nice to feel like DC is making an effort of some sort. Being down from the previous month in terms of female creators AND characters is just weak sauce. I’d be glad to just see slightly more than usual. At least I’d feel like they were trying, or that they were in some way cognizant of where their company stands with women, real and fictional. But a big event month with less of both makes me feel like the issue of women in comics just isn’t crossing their minds.
Anyway, that Lois Lane book sounds cool. And Batman Black and White should be quite lovely. But September isn’t looking too good for women at DC, generally.