After breaking their record total for female creators several months in a row, a drop from DC was pretty much inevitable at some point and it’s come with the March 2015 solicits. The drop is bigger than I’d like to see; losing nearly a quarter of the female creators in one month is quite a tumble. Nonetheless, DC remains well above where they were just a year ago, so there’s that. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what in the March 2015 solicits:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #16 (co-writer, cover)
- Ann Nocenti: Klarion #6 (writer)
- Babs Tarr: Batgirl #40 (art)
- Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy #6 (co-writer), Gotham Academy: Endgame #1 (co-writer), The Kitchen #5 (cover)
- Caitlin Kittredge: Coffin Hill #16 (writer)
- Cat Staggs: Smallville Season 11: Continuity #4 (cover)
- Celia Calle: The Names #7 (cover)
- Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #3 (cover)
- Christy Marx: Secret Origins #11 (writer)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Justice League #40 (variant cover), Supergirl #40 (art, cover)
- Gail Simone: Secret Six #4 (writer)
- Genevieve Valentine: Catwoman #40 (writer)
- Heather Nuhfer: Sensation Comics #8 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Detective Comics #40 (variant cover)
- K. Perkins: Supergirl #40 (co-writer)
- Keto Shimizu: Arrow Season 2.5 #6 (co-writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: Earth 2 #32 (cowriter), Earth 2: World’s End #22-26 (co-writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: Hinterkind #16 (cover)
- Marley Zarcone: Effigy #3 (art)
- Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #40 (writer), Wonder Woman Annual #1 (writer)
- Ming Doyle: The Kitchen #5 (art)
- Noelle Stevenson: Sensation Comics #8 (art)
- Sandra Hope: Aquaman #40 (inker, cover), Batman/Superman #20 (inker)
All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 26 different books in March, both big drops from February’s 30 and 35. I’m hoping this is just a minor setback and that DC will continue their stellar numbers in April, but the “Convergence” event might throw a wrench into the works since a lot of the New 52 regulars will be off until June.
Despite the drop, there’s a new name and some returning favourites in the solicits. Noelle Stevenson is doing her first work for DC, while Christy Marx is back for a quick story, Jenny Frison is doing a variant cover, and Heather Nuhfer, who tends to pop up here and there, returns again. March may also be the last time we see Ann Nocenti for a while, though, because this is the final issue of Klarion. Luckily a lot of female creators’ books escaped DC’s many pre-“Convergence” axings.
With “Convergence” set for April, there’s not much in the way of new books in March, much less new books featuring female characters. There are, however, some special issues of female-led series. Both Gotham Academy and Batgirl are putting out extra issues that tie into the “Endgame” storyline in Batman, while Wonder Woman is getting an annual that will wrap up the current storyline in the regular series. In sadder news, Batwoman ships its final issue in March; it’s sad to lose such a great character, but by all accounts the book has gone severely downhill. Perhaps a relaunch is in the works?
Overall, DC is certainly down in terms of female representation, but also remain far better than they used to be. Keep in mind that there were months with only FIVE female creators in the early days of the New 52 relaunch, so 23 is pretty good. At the same time, DC has shown that they can do better, and 23 accounts for a significant minority of the overall ranks. Even at their best, there’s still loads of room for improvement, and thus there’s even more so when they fail to meet their best.