After a strong run to close the year, female representation at DC Comics looks to be taking a bit of a step back to start 2017. The January solicits have DC’s lowest number of female creators since last August, a disappointing start to the year after the publisher posted some of its best numbers ever in November and December. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in January 2017:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #11 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn #12 (cover, co-writer)
- Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (cover)
- Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (writer)
- Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #4 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #14 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #15 (variant cover)
- Hope Larson: Batgirl #7 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #14 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #15 (variant cover)
- Jody Houser: Justice League of America: Killer Frost Rebirth #1 (co-writer), Justice League of America: Vixen Rebirth #1 (co-writer), Mother Panic #3 (writer)
- Joelle Jones: Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (variant cover)
- Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 (co-writer)
- Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 (variant cover)
- Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (writer), Detective Comics #948 (co-writer), Detective Comics #949 (co-writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (cover), Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (variant cover)
- Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #4 (interior art)
- Mingjue Helen Chen: Mother Panic #3 (variant cover)
- Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #21 (interior art)
- Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 (interior art)
- Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #14 (cover, interior art)
- Pia Guerra: The Hellblazer #6 (interior art)
- Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #5 (inker)
- Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #6 (co-writer)
- Stephanie Hans: Batman #14 (cover and interior art), Raven #5 (cover)
- Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #5 (cover)
- Vita Ayala: Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Amanda Waller #6 (co-writer)
- Yasmine Putri: Justice League/Power Rangers #1 (variant cover), The Hellblazer #6 (variant cover), The Odyssey of the Amazons #1 (variant cover)
All together, there are 26 different female creators set to work on 24 different books at DC this January, 7 fewer women than in December though 1 more book. It’s a dispiriting drop, though not wholly unexpected. A string of strong months is inevitably followed by a drop. If we’ve learned anything in tracking these numbers it’s that it’s an up and down game. And while 26 women is low relative to the past four months, it’s higher than several of the months before that, and above DC’s abysmal start to their “Rebirth” relaunch in which they could barely muster 20 women a month. So it’s a big drop, to be sure, but the end result is a performance that’s fairly middle of the road for DC in terms of the past year.
Part of the reason for this drop is a lack of new faces. Everyone above is someone we’ve seen recently at DC, most of them in the same gig as last month, and while it’s wonderful that they’re all back, the numbers grow best when there are new people in the mix in new places. We’re also missing a few books in January; Vertigo’s offerings are pretty slim, including no Clean Room, and Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones’ new Supergirl series seems to be taking a month off already. December was also bolstered by a oneshot holiday special, and there are no such festive celebrations scheduled for January.
However, we do have a couple of oneshots with female characters and a female co-writer. Killer Frost and Vixen are both set to be part of the new Justice League of America, and they’re getting special introductory issues co-written by Jody Houser. The rest of the new books are fairly light on female characters, though Wonder Woman is co-starring in Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77, which should be a blast, and she’ll be a part of the Justice League/Power Rangers crossover comic, along with a couple of other female members on both teams.
Overall, DC looks to be starting 2017 in a rather run of the mill way. They’re down from their 2016 highs but up from their 2016 lows, a decidedly average beginning to the New Year. Hopefully the numbers will continue to grow as the year progresses. The January solicits were pretty quiet, and with a second round of “Rebirth” on the way we might see some shake ups in the creator ranks very soon.