In the last month before DC Comics relaunches their superhero line yet again, the publisher’s female creator representation is set to be on the low end of their current average range. Thus far in 2016, DC has had at least 20 different women writing and drawing their comics each month, and this May is no exception, but the numbers have ticked down slightly from the two months previous. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in May 2016:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #28 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #2 (cover), Starfire #12 (co-writer, cover)
- Amy Chu: Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #5 (writer)
- Annie Wu: Black Canary #12 (art and cover), Gotham Academy #18 (interior art)
- Babs Tarr: Batgirl #52 (cover)
- Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #3 (interior art)
- Eleonora Carlini: Batgirl #52 (interior art)
- Elsa Charretier: Starfire #12 (interior art)
- Faith Erin Hicks: Gotham Academy #18 (writer, interior art)
- Gail Simone: Clean Room #8 (writer), Secret Six #14 (writer)
- Helen Mingjue Chen: Gotham Academy #18 (cover)
- Holly Black: Lucifer #6 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Clean Room #8 (cover)
- Joelle Jones: Scooby Apocalypse #1 (variant cover)
- Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #12 (interior art)
- Lauren Beukes: Survivors’ Club #8 (co-writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #12 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #13 (writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: Unfollow #7 (interior art)
- Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #52 (writer)
- Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #12 (co-writer)
- Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #12 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #13 (interior art)
- Natasha Alterici: Gotham Academy #18 (writer, interior art)
- Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #5 (writer, penciller, cover), The Legend of Wonder Woman #6 (writer, penciller, cover)
- Stephanie Hans: Lucifer #6 (interior art)
All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 20 different books in May, a double drop from April’s 25 women and 22 books. It’s not much of a tumble, more of a slight shift that we can chalk up to the vagaries of comic book publishing; things fluctuate. It is, however, DC’s second month in a row of lowered numbers, and the total of female creators is a fair bit off from the year’s high of 31 in January. So not disastrous, but certainly below what DC is capable of.
By and large, the women working at DC in May are the usual suspects, and it’s good to see so many female creators getting steady work at DC. For new creators, I don’t think Natasha Alterici has done anything at DC before, and while Stephanie Hans has done a ton of work for Marvel, her art on Lucifer might be her first DC gig, which is very cool.
For female characters, with a relaunch just around the corner there wasn’t anything new on the superhero front, but DC is set to begin their Hanna Barbara relaunch in May. There aren’t any female creators in the mix thus far, apart from a Joelle Jones variant cover, and the number of female characters involved doesn’t seem too high, at least in terms of lead characters. Daphne and Velma will be part of the new Scooby-Doo Apocalypse, and there look to be a handful of women on the cover of Future Quest #1, but the leads all seem to be guys.
So May looks to be a slightly low month for women at DC, but within their average range. June is where things will get really interesting, with scores of new books and special set to debut as part of the “Rebirth” initiative. Hopefully that will be a jump in the number of female creators; we know what books are coming, but we’ve got no official confirmation on any of the creators yet. A number of books will be double shipping moving forward as well, which will probably mean rotating art teams and thus more opportunities for work. It’ll be interesting to see who nabs those opportunities. As well as which books don’t make the cut for the relaunch, and where the female creators working on those books end up. It can’t be worse than the New 52 relaunch, I suppose. Surely there’ll be more than two women in the mix.