Women at DC Comics Watch – July 2017 Solicits, 27 Women on 23 Books

May 9, 2017

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July looks to be a bit of a drop for female creator representation at DC, though not a particularly steep one. The June solicits had their strongest numbers of 2017 thus far, so a decline is hardly unexpected. Growth is rarely a steady thing in the comic book world. Plus DC’s totals for July are in the upper end of their range as of late, which is encouraging despite the drop. Let’s take a look at who is scheduled to do what at DC in July 2017:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #23 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #24 (co-writer, cover)
  • Aneke: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #26 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #27 (variant cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #13 (writer)
  • Jan Duursema: Scooby Apocalypse #15 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #26 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #27 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #15 (variant cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #9 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #12 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (cover), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Leila Del Duca: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (interior art)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #5 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #30 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (writer), The Kamandi Challenge #7 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Wonder Woman #26 (interior art), Wonder Woman #27 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #26 (writer), Wonder Woman #27 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Batwoman #5 (interior art, cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (cover), The Hellblazer #12 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Detective Comics #960 (cover), Detective Comics #961 (cover), Nightwing #24 (variant cover), Nightwing #25 (variant cover), The Hellblazer #12 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female creators set to work on 23 different book at DC this July, 4 fewer women than last month though 1 more book. While the decline in creators isn’t great to see, the high 20s is a fairly solid showing for DC relative to their past performances, and is slightly above par for the course for the year thus far. And having women on more books despite the decline in creators is nice; it’s good to see female creators being spread through the ranks more. Publishers often group women together on a few select titles, so any growth in representation throughout the line itself is encouraging.

Speaking of the line, it looks like it’s going to stay stagnant yet again in July. The only new books recently are preludes to DC’s big Metal event and the print version of a new digital first mini-series, Batman ’66/Legion of Superheroes; the latter has a couple of ladies in the Legion, at least. Apart from some shifting here and there as a few bi-monthly series switch to monthly, things remain steady. I expect some new books will be on the way sooner than later, perhaps some sort of push in the fall, but things are quiet right now.

Despite the constant line, however, we’ve got some new names in the mix. Shea Fontana is taking over the writing duties on Wonder Woman, and Mirka Andolfo, who we know from DC Comics Bombshells, is joining her on art. We’ve also got Leila Del Duca on some interior art for Shade, the Changing Girl, Stephanie Hans pitching in on art duties for Batwoman, and Jill Thompson is back to do a couple variant covers, which is always a good time.

Overall, July looks to be a pretty average month for female representation at DC Comics. They’re capable of higher, as they showed last month and even more so at times last year, but they’ll be near the upper range of their numbers in July. An influx of new books and new creators seems a bit off yet, so it’ll be interesting to see if DC maintains this level through the summer.

The Many Lives of Catwoman Moments, Week One: Origins, Romance, and Hip Lingo

May 8, 2017

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In advance of my new book, The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, coming out July 1, I’ve been posting key Catwoman moments on Tumblr. I do one a day, randomly scheduled, to offer glimpses into the bizarre history of the character and take a peek at the important stories and moments I discuss in the book. It’s weird and informative and fun all around, and I hope you’ll check it out.

Last week, the five moments covered included:

And finally, my favourite moment of the week! You can see it at the top of the post. Batman #461 is an enjoyable issue, the second issue of a story in which Catwoman is essentially dared to steal an item and she does so anyway, knowing full well that it’s a trap. It’s also a rare early 1990s appearance for Catwoman, who had been largely sidelined since her dark reintroduction a few years earlier in  Batman: Year One. But the best part, as I point out in the post, is that it features Catwoman saying “Bye-eee!” It’s an expression that’s hip with the kids today, and it amused me to no end to see Catwoman saying it more than a quarter century ago. She was ahead of her time!

You can check out all of the posts here, and follow along for lots more in the weeks to come! Also, if you’re reading this and you’ve got your own Tumblr, let me know what it is in the comments and I’ll follow you back; it’s always fun to see what you all are into.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, February 2017 in Review

May 4, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” article went up earlier this week on Bleeding Cool, and February was an interesting month in terms of shifting trends at both DC and Marvel.

After setting record highs in the fall, DC has remained in the ballpark of those highs since, but their overall percentage of female creators tumbled down to 16.3% in February, their lowest total in nearly a year. Marvel’s been rather up and down lately, and well off their past highs, but they ticked up to 17.1% female creators overall, marking the first time in several months that they’ve topped DC. Moreover, while their recent data is a bit all over the map, the overall trend for the past few month appears to have them moving upward in terms of representation.

We also took a look at who is writing who at DC and Marvel, following up on a piece we did last year that found while men write male and female characters proportionally to the publisher’s line as a whole, women were predominantly writing female characters. Not much has changed in the year since; in fact, this trend is even more pronounced. Women writers worked on books with a female lead 85% of the time in February, up 15% from last year, while at Marvel women writers worked on books with a female lead 89% of the time, up 10% from last year. It’s a stark imbalance that shows that true representation remains far off. Female writers should be able to write everyone, just as male writers do.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats analysis fun and the full data!

Is Warner Bros. Doing a Poor Job Marketing the Wonder Woman Movie?

May 2, 2017

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We are exactly one month out from the theatrical release of Wonder Woman, and first off, oh my lord we’re only a month away from Wonder Woman! How amazing is that? Fans have been waiting years, decades really, for a Wonder Woman movie and we’re finally about to get one. Plus it’s actually looking pretty cool. From everything we’ve seen thus far, it feels like Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot, and the whole team have put together something fun, exciting, and most importantly true to the character. We got two TV trailers at the end of last week that made me increasingly hopeful about the film:

We also got this longer preview during Gotham last night, and it was great too:

The trailers are funny, which is good to see because that’s something the DCEU’s been sorely lacking, but they’re also stylish and action packed. I also appreciate that neither these nor the full trailers have given away too much story. We don’t even have an official look at Ares in full on Ares mode yet, and that shows some admirable restraint.

More importantly, these new trailers are telling me exactly what I want to hear about the Amazons and Wonder Woman, namely that the Amazons were created to bring peace to the world and that Diana is their champion for this cause. The “Power” spot has the tagline “There is a power greater than man,” which is perfect, and it’s hard not to get excited when you hear Wonder Woman say, “I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” That’s who Wonder Woman is, and it’s encouraging to see that they’ve captured the essence of the character in this way.

However, while the trailers are fantastic, there’s been some concerns in the fan and film communities about Wonder Woman‘s lack of marketing more broadly. We’re only a month out now and we’re just starting to see TV trailers roll out, plus there seems to be a lack of Wonder Woman product branding, tie-ins, and what have you. Others suggest that the film is about on track, with Warner Bros. having spent the same amount of money a month out with Suicide Squad as they have thus far with Wonder Woman. There are interesting points on either side of this issue across myriad posts you can read at your leisure.

Having followed Wonder Woman closely, I fall on the side of being underwhelmed by the marketing thus far. Just over a year ago, I was up to my ears in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice paraphernalia. That movie was EVERYWHERE, not just in theater and television advertising but in piles upon piles of branded products, toys, and other items. There were cereals, for goodness sake, one for Batman and one for Superman. And the marketing team made a big show of sending them out to notable folks in a special box so that they’d share it on social media. It was all a bit goofy and over the top, and the flavours of the cereal sounded disgusting, but it speaks to the omnipresence of the Batman v Superman marketing that their weird cereals got such a massive push.

Wonder Woman doesn’t have her own movie branded cereal. In fact, she’s got little in the way of any grocery item tie-ins, apart from Dr. Pepper. Wonder Woman is different than Batman v Superman in little ways as well, like Lego, for example. Batman v Superman got three different Lego sets, while Wonder Woman has only one. It looks super rad, with Ares and Steve’s plane and such, but it’s still just one set. A month before Batman v Superman, you could walk through any major store, be it grocery or big box generally, and see Batman and/or Superman stuff EVERYWHERE. We were inundated with it. A month out from Wonder Woman, the Wonder Woman items are few and far between.

Now, I don’t think that Warner Bros. is intentionally trying to tank Wonder Woman or anything nefarious like that. But I do think it’s clear that they allotted far, far more resources and effort to their dumb movie where the superhero boys punched it out than they have to Wonder Woman. And this is somewhat troubling, because even with all that effort, Batman v Superman  only did about fine at the box office. It made Warner Bros. a good amount of money and obviously the franchise is continuing, but it wasn’t near major Marvel levels despite the fact that it starred the two most famous superhero characters in the universe. With all of that marketing effort behind it, Batman v Superman still got bested by the lower budget, R-rated Deadpool in the United States.

The thing is, Batman and/or Superman can have a mid-level performance at the box office and be fine. We’ve seen it several times over. Batman & Robin sucked? Don’t worry, here comes the Nolan trilogy. Superman Returns flopped? Don’t worry, here comes Man of Steel. Warner Bros., and studios generally, are dedicated to their male characters. This is not the case with female characters. If Wonder Woman doesn’t do well, it might be a long time before Warner Bros. takes another crack at her, and it would certainly hamper the chances for future female-led superhero films.

That’s why the underwhelming marketing for Wonder Woman thus far is a concern. An aggressive marketing push can really help a film succeed, but the studio seems to be taking a more relaxed approach. It feels like a missed opportunity on multiple levels. First, strongly pushing Wonder Woman would show that Warner Bros. is committed to Wonder Woman and female leads generally, which would have been nice to see. Second, a successful Wonder Woman would inevitably come with a strong female fanbase that could even further expand the audience for the DCEU, which would be great for the studio. And third, after decades of development, they’ve finally got a Wonder Woman movie and it looks really good, so it would make sense to set it up in the best position possible. And Warner Bros. isn’t quite doing that, relative to how they’ve promoted movies in the past.

The good news is that Wonder Woman does look great. The new trailers are fantastic, the movie feels exciting and cool and different, and the buzz has been very positive thus far. I’m optimistic not only that the movie will be good, but that it will do well. It just would have been nice to see more of a push from Warner Bros. to help ensure that it does more than well. Hopefully it does so on its own merits, and maybe we’ll see lots more promotional stuff roll out in the weeks to come. It just doesn’t feel like Warner Bros. has treated Wonder Woman like the landmark movie it should be.

Wonder Woman #21 Review: The Compassionate Core of Wonder Woman

April 28, 2017

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Yet again, I’m starting with an apology for a delayed review, with travel the culprit once more. But I’m back home now and should be settled here for the foreseeable future, so my reviews of Wonder Woman should be on the day of each issue’s release moving forward. This week’s issue was yet another outing that was worth the wait, as we see a lot of the key pieces that have been set up throughout “The Truth” thus far come together. With Wonder Woman, Steve Trevor, Barbara Ann Minerva/the Cheetah, and Veronica Cale all in the same spot for the first time, you knew something was going to happen. And a few somethings happened, all of them very interesting, but there was one moment that I loved best of all. We’ll dig into everything, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to dive into all of the twists and turns of this issue!

Look away if you have yet to read it!

So last issue’s cliffhanger, with Maru sniping Wonder Woman from afar, didn’t amount to much. What seemed to be a grievous issue last month was easily shaken off, a bit of audience manipulation that might have annoyed me if I didn’t appreciate the style with which it was executed so much. Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp ended Wonder Woman #19 in dramatic fashion and left us on the edge of ours seats, then began Wonder Woman #21 with a great action scene that had our heroine fighting through the pain, furiously deflecting bullets, and then nabbing Maru in impressive fashion. I particularly enjoyed the use of the sniper lens as a panel, and how it went from Maru seeing Wonder Woman from afar to Wonder Woman being right on top of her just a second later. It was a well executed sequence all around.

This led us to the Black Sea and the fake Paradise Island. Veronica and Barbara showed up with the still faceless Izzy and Veronica’s dogs, the imprisoned Phobos and Deimos, followed quickly by Wonder Woman and Steve. The small fight we got there was less innovative and visually inventive than what opened the book, but the emotions of the scene were the key focus here and that was very nicely done. Wonder Woman still believed in her friend and the humanity at the core of the Cheetah, even if Barbara felt that she’d lost herself fully in her feline form. And, of course, the true Barbara is still buried in there; the way she lashed out when Wonder Woman mentioned Etta made it clear that she still remembers and yearns for her other life.

Also, I’ve mentioned this before, but Liam Sharp’s redesign of the Cheetah is fantastic. For decades, the Cheetah has been very sexualized, drawn as a sexy cat lady rather than a dangerous creature. Sharp embraces the danger wholeheartedly. His Cheetah is fierce and frightening and more animal than human, and he does a good job marrying the feline traits to a female form that finds a balance between the two in ways we’ve never seen before. I really hope that this new look sticks around, because it’s so much cooler than past incarnations of the character.

The fight between Wonder Woman and the Cheetah served as a means to open the gate to, well, somewhere. The mysterious tree we’ve been seeing since this run began returned yet again, and Wonder Woman’s blood opened a portal through it. This was well depicted, especially the first reveal inside of it. Sharp’s swirly clouds and floating islands was all kinds of cool, but Laura Martin’s colours took the panel to the next level with her pinks and lavenders swirling about. It looked totally otherworldly. The way it was drawn on subsequent pages was somewhat less compelling; in general, I felt like Sharp was rushing things at times with this issue. But that opening shot to set the scene was gorgeous.

After Izzy ran into the portal, Wonder Woman and Veronica followed, and this led me to my favourite scene of the issue, and one of the best moments in Wonder Woman since “Rebirth” began. When Veronica explained that she was trying to find her daughter, Wonder Woman reached out her hand and replied, “We will seek her together.” This instantaneous compassion really captured the heart of Wonder Woman and who she is. Veronica Cale’s been working to destroy her for years. She turned her sweet friend Barbara into the vicious Cheetah, twice. She’s attempted to hurt or kill everyone Wonder Woman holds dear. And yet, the second Veronica needs help, Wonder Woman offered it. This doesn’t mean she’s forgiven, of course. But it shows that Wonder Woman saw the humanity in her, saw the woman who’s lost her daughter, not just in this bizarre realm but in a much deeper way, and decided that it was more important to help an enemy save an innocent girl than to exact any kind of revenge or even justice first. To me, the core of Wonder Woman has always been if someone needs help, she helps them, and then deals with whatever else may be going on after. Compassion comes first, and this issue illustrated that beautifully.

The issue ended with the big reveal that they’d stumbled upon Ares’ prison, as well as what appears to be a fully restored Izzy. I’m curious to see if this is a permanent restoration or a momentary reunification in this mysterious realm; we know from two weeks back that Ares had Izzy’s spirit/soul/what have you with him, so perhaps she really is whole again. Whatever the case, Ares is back in the mix again. Or, perhaps for the first time? We saw Ares back in “Year One,” but Wonder Woman doesn’t recognize him nor does he bear much resemblance to the cruel, bloviating deity we saw then. He doesn’t have fancy word balloons here, either. Could that first Ares have been a false Ares? Or maybe this Ares is false? Or maybe Wonder Woman just doesn’t recognize him without the armour and I’m reading way too much into this. I’m excited to see how this all shakes out, and given the interconnectedness we’re starting to see between “The Truth” and “Godwatch,” I’m hoping that we’ll at least get some hints in a couple of weeks with Wonder Woman #22. Everything is coming together, and it’s all very intriguing!

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – June 2017 Solicits, 23 Women on 26 Books

April 21, 2017

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Continuing our catch up on the latest-ish solicits, today we turn to Marvel. After posting record breaking numbers in March, their June 2017 solicits again feature considerably fewer female creators in the mix. It’s a decline that’s got some staying power; three straight months in the low 20s is a disappointing run. Marvel’s proven quite well that they’re capable of much higher numbers than that, and they just aren’t hitting them. June did offer some cool Mary Jane themed variant covers, though, which are showcased above. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Aud Koch: Ultimates 2 #8 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #12 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #3 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Sam Wilson #23 (cover), Captain America: Steve Rogers #18 (cover), Deadpool #32 (variant cover), Elektra #5 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (interior art, cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #21 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #19 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #4 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #17 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Champions #9 (variant cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Star Wars #32 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #3 (writer)
  • Jordie Bellaire: Black Bolt #2 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #7 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #7 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Secret Empire: Uprising #1 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #20 (interior art, cover)
  • Nicole Virella: Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Iron Fist #4 (variant cover)
  • Tana Ford: Iceman #2 (variant cover), Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (interior art)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble #3 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 26 different books in June, 1 more women and 2 more books than in May, but a far cry from March’s 37 women on 31 books. I know that March was boosted considerably by variant covers, but this drop and lengthy period of lows is still quite surprisingly pronounced. Variant covers are a huge part of this month’s numbers, even, but it’s not boosted the numbers in any big way. While the obvious cause of the drop is that a few key books have ended and some creative teams have shifted, there’s usually some turnaround to even things out a little bit. Not so much this time, and the numbers continue to flounder for the third straight month.

There are a few new names in the mix, though. Aud Koch is a new one for me, and she’s debuting with some interior art in Ultimates 2. We’ve seen a lot of Meghan Hetrick at DC lately, but she’s set to do some cover work at Marvel this June.  There are some returning favourites in the mix too; it’s always great to see covers from Helen Chen, Jen Bartel, and Stephanie Hans, who don’t have steady gigs at Marvel but have been popping up here and there as of late. With all of these new and returning folks, it’s bizarre that the numbers are doing so poorly in terms of growth.

June looks to be a quiet month for new books at Marvel, apart from Secret Empire stuff and ugh, who can even bother to care about that? There’s the main series itself, plus a bunch of tie-in mini-series. There are ladies here and there, both fictional and real, but the event as a whole looks to be a male-dominated affair.

Overall, June is another disappointing month for women at Marvel. They remain off considerably from their recent highs, operating at about 2/3 of what they’ve shown they’re capable of in terms of female creator representation. The company is hurting for an influx of new books and/or creative teams to shake up the ranks, and with the line mid-event I don’t know if that will be coming any time soon. Marvel likes to do that sort of thing in the fall, so we could be in for a long summer.

Women at DC Comics Watch – June 2017 Solicits, 31 Women on 22 Books

April 20, 2017

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I’ve gotten behind on my creator counting this month! The July solicits are already up, and I’ve yet to post about the June ones. Blame a rash of traveling and general forgetfulness. But nonetheless, here we are now, checking in on female creator representation at DC Comics according to their June 2017 solicits. And it looks to be a pretty solid month, with DC posting their highest number of different female creators for the year thus far, bringing them into the 30s for the first time since last December. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in June:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #21 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #22 (co-writer, cover)
  • Ana Dittmann: The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #6 (cover)
  • Aneke: DC Comics Bombshells #28 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #9 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Wonder Woman #24 (interior art, cover), Wonder Woman #25 (interior art)
  • Brittney Williams: Shade, the Changing Girl #9 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: DC Comics Bombshells #29 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #9 (writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Batgirl #12 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #24 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #25 (variant cover), Mother Panic #8 (variant cover)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #22 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #12 (writer)
  • Jan Duursema: Scooby Apocalypse #14 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #24 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #25 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #8 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Supergirl: Being Super #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #11 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #11 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #11 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #28 (interior art)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #10 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #4 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #28 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #29 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #29 (cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Supergirl: Being Super #4 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #9 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #29 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #10 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #11 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #10 (cover), The Hellblazer #11 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Detective Comics #959 (cover), The Hellblazer #11 (variant cover)

All together, there are 31 different female creators set to work on 22 different books in June, 3 more women than in May and 1 more book. It’s small growth, but growth nonetheless. And the number of women is relatively strong for DC, even though the number of books is fairly middle of the road. Female creator behemoths like Gotham Academy: Second Semester, Shade, the Changing Girl, and a double shipping DC Comics Bombshells are carrying a lot of the weight this month rather than the work being more spread through DC’s line. Still, this looks to be a solid showing for the publisher, and a long awaited return to the thirties after a good run there last fall.

In terms of new faces, I think the cover of The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom might be Ana Dittmann’s first DC work, which is very cool. We’ve also got Brittney Williams, who we’ve seen at DC before a while back; she’s coming off a fantastic run on Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! at Marvel, and it would be rad to see more DC work from her moving forward. Eleanora Carlini’s been doing some Green Arrow work lately but now she’s moving to Batgirl, which should be fun. And Jan Duursema is back with a backup story in Scooby Apocalypse! We haven’t seen her around these parts for several months now.

The new books are light on women, however. DC’s set to premiere the prelude to their big summer event Dark Nights: Metal with Dark Days: The Forge, and while the event will encompass the whole DC universe, Batman seems to be the focus here. There are also a series of Looney Tunes superhero crossover specials, but Wonder Woman’s the only solo female character in the mix. Also, somewhat oddly, there’s a Steve Trevor special set for June. Wonder Woman will be in it, I’m sure, but focusing on him seems like a bizarre focus during a month when her first big screen solo outing is set to debut.

Overall, June is looking decent for female creators at DC. There aren’t many new books in the mix so the ranks are fairly stagnant, but things have ticked up slightly for the third straight month and DC is in the ballpark of its past highs. A lot of this is powered by just a handful of books, though, so it’ll be interesting to see how things unfold in the coming months; more growth across the board would help make this current mini-surge more sustainable.


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