December looks to be a sizeable step down for women at DC, both in terms of female creators and characters. The October and November solicits were quite strong after a rather anemic September, but while December isn’t terrible it’s certainly lower than we’d like to see. Let’s go through the solicits:
- For writers, Ann Nocenti pens Katana #10 and Catwoman #26, Gail Simone is on Batgirl #26 and The Movement #7, Christy Marx has Birds of Prey #26, and Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #1.
- On art, Nicola Scott pencils the interior of Earth 2 #18, Amanda Conner does the cover for Harley Quinn #1, Emanuela Lupacchino draws the cover of Worlds’ Finest #18, and Rachel Dodson inks the cover of Catwoman #26.
- Outside of the New 52, Cat Staggs does the cover for Smallville: Alien #1 while Amanda Conner pops up yet again, drawing the cover for Batman: Black and White #4.
- At Vertigo, Caitlin Kittredge writes Coffin Hill #3.
- There’s not much for new books in December. The Legends of the Dark Knight 100 Page Super Spectacular #1 features all-male creators and focuses on Batman, while Dead Boy Detectives #1 from Vertigo is similarly male leaning. Harley Quinn #1 is actually the book’s second issue, but hooray for a female character and creator nonetheless (despite the art contest brouhaha of the past couple of weeks), while Smallville Season 11 relaunches as Smallville: Alien #1, which I’m sure will feature Lois Lane prominently as the series currently does.
All told, there are 9 different female creators scheduled to work on 11 different books in December, a drop of 5 and 4 respectively compared to a month ago. That’s a pretty big fall. Some variation is to be expected each month, and a swing of a couple of creators here and there is nothing to get worked up about, but the overall number of solicited female creators at DC is down by a third in December. That’s disheartening.
If there’s any silver lining, I suppose it’s that a few women are getting multiple gigs. After getting bumped from their regular series writing duties for new writers for “Zero Year” tie-ins, Ann Nocenti is back on Catwoman and Gail Simone is back on Batgirl, giving them each two titles. Amanda Conner is also all over the place, with two covers and a co-writing gig on Harley Quinn.
The lack of new female characters isn’t particularly uplifting either, but December is a very quiet month for new books all around. It’s not like there are a slew of new titles excluding women, real and fictional, or anything. Maybe we’ll have more action on the new book front in the New Year.
Ultimately, December doesn’t look so great for women at DC, but after two solid months hopefully this is just an aberration. We’ll have to see what 2014 brings us when we get next month’s solicits, and keep our fingers crossed that this decline is momentary and not the start of a trend.