April looks to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. Not only has the publisher posted their lowest numbers of the year thus far, the total also leaves them well below their past highs. For several months now, DC’s been operating at about 2/3 of the level they’ve shown themselves to be capable of achieving in the past, with few signs that this is going to change any time soon. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC Comics this April:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #41 (cover), Harley Quinn #42 (cover), The Jetsons #6 (cover)
- Aneke: Bombshells United #15 (interior art)
- Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (cover)
- Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (writer)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #44 (interior art), Wonder Woman #45 (interior art)
- Hope Larson: Batgirl #22 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #44 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #45 (variant cover)
- Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #24 (cover)
- Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #2 (writer), Supergirl #20 (co-writer)
- Joelle Jones: Batman #44 (interior art)
- Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
- Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (variant cover)
- Louise Simonson: Action Comics #1000 (writer)
- Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #2 (writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #14 (writer), Bombshells United #15 (writer), Bombshells United #16 (writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #4 (variant cover)
- Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (interior art)
- Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #3 (cover)
- Rachael Stott: Motherlands #4 (interior art)
- Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (cover), Bombshells United #16 (cover)
- Sandra Hope: The Silencer #4 (cover)
- Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
- Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #42 (variant cover), Nightwing #43 (variant cover)
All together, there are 23 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different comic books at DC in April, 3 few creators than in March and 1 fewer book. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s solicits this month. While the drop from last month isn’t disastrous, it does leave DC with their lowest combined total of female creators and books since August 2016. That’s not encouraging news. The numbers have been flat for a while now, and DC doesn’t seem to be doing much to change that right now. What’s more, all of their recent announcements for what’s to come through the spring and into the summer have predominantly featured male creators.
Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen before, which is part of the reason the numbers aren’t growing. Bringing in new talent is important. We haven’t seen Louise Simonson in some time, though, and it’s great that she’s going to be a part of Action Comics #1000! Less great that she’s the only female creator who’s been announced on the book thus far, however.
Also troubling is how the gigs break down this month. Of the 23 women writing or drawing DC’s books, 10 of them are solely doing covers. While covers are key, of course, the bulk of the storytelling happens inside the pages, where only 13 women have work in April. That’s 13 women across DC’s monthly line of 80+ comic books. It’s some paltry representation.
April looks to be a quiet month for new titles as well. The only flashy new thing is the thousandth issue of Action Comics, and while I’m hoping that it will turn out to be a good showcase for Lois Lane, who is celebrating this milestone alongside Superman, I’m not holding my breath. Everything else is the usual fare, though it sounds like we’ll be getting a lot of new stuff and some major creative changes across the board in May and beyond as spinoffs from DC’s “Metal” event begin and the publisher moves pieces around to adjust to Brian Michael Bendis’ prominent new role.
Overall, April is not a particularly good month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC. While the publisher’s not been as atrociously poor as Marvel lately, that doesn’t mean that their numbers are good. Both of the Big Two are underachieving right now, Marvel’s just doing especially poorly. DC appears to be stuck in a bit of a rut. Their current bench of female creators is excellent, but they’re not doing anything to expand the ranks. It’ll be interesting to see what the next few months brings as big creative upheavals hit the lineup, but given how things have been going so far in 2018, signs don’t yet point to a major female and non-binary creator renaissance on the horizon.