After a dismal round of solicits for September, female creator representation is on the rise at DC Comics this October. Not to any impressive levels, though. September’s numbers were terrible and thus does October look much better, but October’s numbers in and of themselves are nothing to crow about. DC remains well below their recent highs, continuing what has become a disappointing year for the publisher in terms of female and non-binary creators. Any potential for growth we saw in the winter months has fizzled out into a long stretch of under achievement. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this October:
- Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #5 (interior art)
- Amanda Conner: Old Lady Harley #1 (variant cover), Supergirl #23 (variant cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Cursed Comics Cavalcade #1 (co-writer, interior art)
- Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #2 (interior art)
- Cheryl Lynn Eaton: Batman Secret Files #1 (co-writer)
- Elena Casagrande: Batman Secret Files #1 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Superman/Top Cat Special #1 (variant cover), The Terrifics Annual #1 (cover), Wonder Woman #56 (interior art), Wonder Woman #57 (interior art)
- Gail Simone: Plastic Man #5 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Hex Wives #1 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #56 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #57 (variant cover)
- Joelle Jones: Hex Wives #1 (cover), Catwoman #4 (writer, cover)
- Jordie Bellaire: Batman Secret Files #1 (co-writer)
- Julie Benson: Green Arrow #45 (co-writer)
- Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #1 (writer)
- Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #28 (writer)
- Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #1 (interior art)
- Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #2 (writer)
- Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #2 (variant cover)
- Sandra Hope: Sideways Annual #1 (cover)
- Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #45 (co-writer)
- Tess Fowler: Plastic Man #5 (cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Green Lantern/Huckleberry Hound Special #1 (variant cover), Red Hood and the Outlaws #27 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #56 (cover),Wonder Woman #57 (cover)
All together, there are 21 different female creators set to work on 20 different comic books at DC in October, 6 more creators and 6 more books than in September. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled for this month. The gains are good, of course. Being in the teens in this day and age is just embarrassing, what with the scores of talented women and non-binary creators working in comics now. But DC is barely out of the teens now, and that’s not a great look either. Creators lost in a string of recent cancellations have yet to come back elsewhere, and no new creators have taken their place. Thus this current unimpressive run.
Speaking of, we don’t have much in the way of new faces scheduled for October, but there are a few notable additions. Cheryl Lynn Eaton is brand new to DC, and she’s writing a story in the Batman Secret Files oneshot. Jordie Bellaire, who is a colorist by trade, is also penning a tale for the book, so that’s exciting to see. And Kat Howard is starting her Books of Magic series for the “Sandman Universe” line, and thus we should be seeing her for a while. In terms of returning favourites, we haven’t seen Tess Fowler in a while, or Elena Casagrande, and both are back this month with a cover and art for a short story respectively.
While representation for real women is somewhat lacking this month, fictional women have some things going on. Wonder Woman is the star of a crossover event that will see her regular series tie into Justice League Dark and a couple of special issues. We’ve also got the debut of Old Lady Harley, which I presume is a humorous take on Marvel’s Old Man Logan, and the debut of the new Vertigo series Hex Wives. There’s also a sort of Halloween special with Cursed Comics Cavalcade that will feature stories about Wonder Woman and Zatanna.
So there are two ways to look at DC’s October. First, it’s a lot better than September, so hooray for that. But second, it’s well below what the publisher is capable of achieving. If DC is trying to bring in female and non-binary creators, then they’re really struggling at it. And if they’re not trying, well that’s an even bigger problem. Whatever the case, the numbers remain weak.