Wonder Woman #33 Review: Just… What Are They Even Doing Here?

October 25, 2017

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You may recall that when this new arc began a month ago, I wasn’t terribly pleased with the fact that Wonder Woman appeared in only a few pages of the first issue. The book is called Wonder Woman, after all. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a decent amount of the titular heroine in it. Well, the latest issue has no Wonder Woman at all, except for a few shots in which she appears on a television screen in the background. Instead, the book is all about Grail and how she’s killing gods to help regrow Darkseid. It is, essentially, a pointless comic book. It’s Wonder Woman without Wonder Woman, and it’s an issue that gives us backstory that’s already been well established in the first two issues of this run. Also, the writing still absolutely sucks. So yeah, let’s talk about it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Though really, nothing important happens!

It’s all stuff we already knew was going on!

I don’t know why this issue exists, to be honest!

But still, look away if you don’t want to be further spoiled!

So, Grail is killing gods to feed Darkseid to help him grow from a baby into an adult. These are things we knew already, and yet for some reason this entire issue is dedicated to further explaining this. Plus there’s a fight with Perseus, and then another fight with an A.R.G.U.S. team, and finally they end up planning to go after Jason, Diana’s brother. That’s all this issue is. Twenty pages of previously established plot points and a couple of brawls. I mean, look, this story as a whole isn’t even good to begin with. Reader enthusiasm is LOW. And then you dedicate the third issue to basically rehashing stuff we learned a month ago in the first issue? That’s no way to tell a story. Twelve issues of this nonsense is going to be an ordeal.

The writing continues to be quite poor. It’s formulaic and dull, though mercifully it’s not as over-written as the first two outings. It was all quite bad, but at least it was over quick. The art was solid throughout, though. I quite like Emanuela Lupacchino’s work, and as much as I was not looking forward to this arc, I was a little bit excited to see her drawing Wonder Woman. She and inker Ray McCarthy are a great team, and with Romulo Fajardo Jr. coloring, it was guaranteed to look good. But, of course, I got no Wonder Woman. Only Grail. And while it was fine, visually, it all felt like a huge waste of Lupacchino’s talents. Put her on an issue that matters, one where she actually gets to draw Wonder Woman.

Honestly, I have nothing else to say about this issue other than it’s not good and I did not particularly care for any of it, nor for any of this arc thus far.

So let’s talk about something else. Since Wonder Woman sucks right now, we fans aren’t getting our usual bi-monthly dose of Amazonian entertainment. Luckily, I’m here to help with some suggestions for other books you can read instead. First off, I heartily recommend Bombshells United, which just started in September. It’s a follow up to DC Comics Bombshells after its stellar run ended this summer, and it’s got the same creative team presenting a retelling of World War Two in which DC’s female superheroes take center stage. The current arc is focused on Wonder Woman dealing with Japanese internment camps in America, and it’s got a Wonder-centric supporting casting featured re-imagined versions of a couple of Wonder Girls. It’s such a good book, with a great take on Wonder Woman.

Also, there’s a DC lady team-up going on right now in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and Wonder Woman is in the mix there too, along with Batwoman, Catwoman, Spoiler, and more. I’m not up to date with the series, but I’ve been hearing good things about this arc and it’s rad to have so many heroines all together. And if you’re looking for heroine fun beyond Wonder Woman herself, Batgirl‘s been an enjoyable read since the “Rebirth” relaunch last summer, and the new Batwoman series has been excellent at well. There’s a few good books over at Marvel, too: Ms. Marvel is perennially amazing and if you haven’t been reading that you’ve been doing yourself a disservice, the new Hawkeye series stars Kate Bishop and it’s a dang delight, and Jane Foster’s adventures as Thor in Mighty Thor have been action-packed but also quite moving. There are lots of great comics with superheroic female leads out there, so check out a few of those if Wonder Woman isn’t giving you the fun you’re looking for right now.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be back to Diana and Jason in two weeks time, and Wonder Woman will actually be in her own book again. Hooray, but also, it’s probably not going to be much better. We’re a quarter of the way through this arc, and it’s been uniformly terrible thus far. Things may pick up, I suppose. You never know what might happen. But based on everything we’ve seen up to this point, we’re just going to have to wait this story out and hope that DC picks a better team with a better angle to take over in a few months.

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Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, December 2017 Solicits: 19 Creators on 15 Books

October 23, 2017

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Marvel’s female and non-binary creator representation has been generally poor lately, languishing in the low to mid-20s ever since their record setting totals last March. In that month, the publisher had 37 different female creators working across their line and now, nine months later, that number has been nearly halved. Marvel Legacy has brought a lot of creative shifts this autumn, and female and non-binary creators do not appear to play a huge role in this latest round of relaunches. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this December:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #15 (cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #85 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Champions #15 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #25 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #10 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #23 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #23 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: All-New Wolverine #28 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #14 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #13 (writer)
  • Laura Allred: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (variant cover)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #27 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #160 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #26 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #4 (writer)
  • Veronica Fish: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Spider-Gwen #27 (variant cover)

All together there are 19 different female creators scheduled to work on 15 different comic books at Marvel this December, 5 fewer creators than in November and 7 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators set to work at Marvel this month. Obviously, these drops are significant. The number of women making comics at Marvel has dropped nearly a quarter in just one month, and the books they are on are down nearly a third. Moreover, 19 female creators is the lowest number Marvel’s posted in 22 months.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given these low numbers, there are no new female creators listed in the December solicits. We’ve got an excellent assortment of returning favourites, albeit a bit of a short list, but no new names. Marvel Legacy has not been great for new female talent, either up and comers or established creators new to the publisher. There just doesn’t appear to be much of an effort at Marvel right now to expand their ranks.

Speaking of Marvel Legacy, four female-led books will make their official transition into the relaunch-ish whatever this is in December. Generation X, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will now be properly Marvel Legacy, with all of the requisite accompanying trade dress or whatever they’re doing, though Generation X is the only book whose numbering will change. December also marks the beginning of Phoenix Resurrection, with yet another return of Jean Grey. This has been done before, several times, but it’s still nice to see a female character at the forefront of a big, new event-like thing.

Overall, December looks to be a very low showing for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The numbers are the lowest they’ve been in nearly two years, and chances are that this may continue for a while: Marvel Legacy seems about set now, with all of the major creative changes in place. This could be the publisher’s core line up for the next several months, and women and non-binary creators just aren’t much of a part of it. With so many amazing creators out there to pursue, it’s frankly ridiculous that Marvel’s numbers are so low. They are capable of so much higher numbers. Twice as high, in fact. They set that record, just nine months ago. But it’s been downhill ever since.

Women and NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, December 2017 Solicits, 23 Creators on 25 Books

October 18, 2017

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As you may recall, DC’s November 2017 solicits featured their lowest total of female and non-binary creators in some time. While things have shifted around somewhat with the December solicits, with some past creators gone and some new creators added, the numbers have turned out exactly the same. It says a lot about representation at DC Comics that after posting their smallest numbers in some time, well below their recent highs, they do the exact same thing the following month. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this December:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #33 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #34 (co-writer, cover), The Jetsons #2 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (interior art), Scooby Apocalypse #20 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Gotham City Garage #5 (interior art), Gotham City Garage #6 (interior art)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Suicide Squad #32 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #7 (cover), Superwoman #17 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: The Kamandi Challenge #12 (co-writer), Wonder Woman/Conan #4 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #18 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #36 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #37 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #16 (co-writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #17 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (interior art)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #10 (writer), Bombshells United #7 (writer), Bombshells United #8 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #26 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #8 (interior art), Harley Quinn #33 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #8 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #1 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Gotham City Garage #6 (cover), Nightwing #35 (cover), The Hellblazer #17 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different women set to work on 25 different books at DC in December, replicating the November totals precisely; as best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators on the schedule at DC this month. That DC’s held steady at these lows is a bit of a surprise. They’d been comfortably in the mid-20s for a while, even jumping into the low 30s occasionally, but now they’ve leveled out into an ongoing lull.

Part of this may be due to a lack of new faces. We’ve seen every single creator listed above at DC before, if not last month than in the past few months. It’s an amazing list of creators to be sure, but all of them are mainstays at the publisher. The numbers can only grow if more creators are brought in, and that will require new and different people. This month, DC did not seem inclined to seek them out.

In terms of fictional characters, there’s only one new book with a female lead: The Silencer. The book is part of DC’s high profile artist-centric line in which their top artists are paired with writers to create new characters. Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost every creator involved is a man. But The Silencer features Sandra Hope inking, and it stars Honor Guest, a retired assassin who retired at the top of her game but is getting dragged back into the business. Technically the book’s not out until January; it’s an advanced solicit, for some reason. But hey, it’s on the list! And while DC only has a handful of other new titles scheduled for December, they all have male leads.

Ultimately, December looks like it’s going to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. On the plus side, the numbers holding steady means that the publisher’s downward trend over the past few months has come to an end. On the negative side, the skid’s landed them far from the considerably higher numbers they’d been posting only a year ago, when they had 10 more women and non-binary creators in the mix! DC’s capable of far better representation than they have right now.

Fact and Fiction in Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

October 17, 2017

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My review of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women went up today at The Comics Journal, and there sure was a lot to dig into here. To begin with, I really enjoyed the film. I thought that the cast was excellent, especially Rebecca Hall as Elizabeth Marston. She was brash and delightful, and whoever picked her outfits did an amazing job, especially in the earliest scenes; everything she wore was super rad. Luke Evans and Bella Heathcote were great as well, and the chemistry between the three of them was remarkable. All together, the movie was a compelling story about the joys and travails of their unconventional, polyamorous relationship and it was well made all around.

The only trouble is, it really isn’t the story of the Marstons. In the broadest of strokes, it’s similar. Yes, William Moulton Marston had two children each with Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne lived together as one happy family, and yes, he later created Wonder Woman. The film covers all of that. However, it does so while getting the vast majority of the details wrong.

A lot of this is just how biopics roll. Hollywood and historical accuracy rarely go together, and writer/director Angela Robinson takes a lot of creative liberties with things. There are several exaggerated and manufactured conflicts throughout; Wonder Woman was never in danger of being cancelled, nor did the family ever split up. A lot of what’s covered just didn’t happen in the way that it’s depicted in the film. But again, that’s to be expected.

What’s trickier is the core of the movie, the relationship between Elizabeth, Olive, and William. They were private people and we know very little about their private life together, apart from the fact that William had two children with each woman. What we really don’t know is the exact nature of the relationship between Elizabeth and Olive; there are reasons to speculate that they were romantically and sexually involved, but their descendants have been quite adamant that they weren’t. Robinson’s take is not only that they were, but that they were the driving forces behind the triad. It’s an assumption taken to such a degree that it runs counter to what few established facts we have, and in exploring this the film often veers into outright fiction.

You can read my full discussion of Professor Marston and the Wonder Women over at The Comics Journal, where I get into considerable detail about every facet of the film’s historical accuracies and inaccuracies. It really is quite an enjoyable film, and I liked it a lot. It just purports to be the “true story” of the Marstons, and it really isn’t.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2017 Solicits: 24 Creators on 22 Books

October 12, 2017

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Marvel’s been very up and down with their female and non-binary creator representation over the past several months, but after the October solicits marked the publisher’s lowest numbers for the year thus far, the November solicits saw a solid gain. While Marvel still remains well off their previous highs, a sizeable jump is a welcome sight. The question now is, can they maintain or even increase the numbers moving forward? Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this November:

  • Annapaola Martello: Marvel’s Black Panther Prelude #2 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #14 (cover), Star Wars: Poe Dameron #21 (variant cover)
  • Carla Speed McNeil: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (interior art)
  • Christa Faust: Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #36 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #8 (writer), Generation X #9 (writer)
  • Devin Grayson: Power Pack #63 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Daredevil #595 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (co-writer, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #24 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #9 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (cover), Not Brand Echh #14 (interior art)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #167 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #13 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Power Pack #63 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #12 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #126 (writer)
  • Marika Cresta: Power Pack #63 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #159 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #3 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Master of Kung Fu #126 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #5 (interior art, cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 22 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators and 1 more book than in October (as far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at Marvel in November). This is a large jump; essentially, Marvel’s got 20% more women writing and drawing their comics than they did last month, and that’s a considerable gain. At the same time, though, the October numbers were abnormally low and a rebound was to be expected. And, as always lately, Marvel remains far behind their previous highs; there were 37 women working at Marvel just eight months ago.

There are several new names and returning favourites in the mix this month, including a new cover artist for the Star Wars line in Ashley Witter, a new writer in Christa Faust on Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, and a new artist in Marika Cresta on Power Pack. The latter issue also marks the return of Devin Grayson, who we haven’t seen at the Big Two in a little while.

The only trouble is, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack and Power Pack are both one-shot specials, and so the four different women who worked on both of those books probably won’t be back at Marvel next month. Seeing as the solicits as a whole only jumped by four women, it looks like that gain will be washed out straight away in December. In terms of new female characters, both of those books are short-lived, and She-Hulk is the only title with a female lead that’s taking on the Marvel Legacy renumbering and hype in November. Meanwhile, at least seven different books with male leads are set to jump into Marvel Legacy and, perhaps unsurprisingly, none of them feature female creators either apart from a variant cover or two.

Overall, it’s good to see Marvel rebound somewhat after the lows they hit in October, but it appears that the rebound isn’t going to last. One-shots are fun and all, and an excellent foot in the door that could lead to future work for everyone involved, but the core, ongoing Marvel Legacy books are short on women across the board thus far, both real and fictional. The creative shifts of this event/relaunch haven’t gone great for female and non-binary creators thus far, and it will be interesting to see if December brings anything new as Marvel Legacy continues to roll out.

Wonder Woman #32 Review: Children of the Gods Continues, Unfortunately

October 11, 2017

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Let’s start this review with a question: How many female characters other than Wonder Woman have speaking parts in this issue? During the initial “Rebirth” arcs, there were a wide variety of women in the mix, from allies like Etta Candy and Barbara Minerva to villains like Dr. Cyber and Veronica Cale. Plus Amazons. A whole lot of Amazons. Wonder Woman‘s last arc, “Heart of the Amazon,” was essentially a Diana/Etta team up story, and it featured an array of women in all sorts of different roles, good and bad, primary and incidental. There was even an entire team of female assassins, with several deep cut characters from DC’s history. So now with “Children of the Gods,” the story that’s introducing Diana’s brother to the world for whatever reason, how many women other than the title character are involved? For this issue, one. One woman in the entire book. Her role takes up about half a page, and she directs Diana to her brother. That is all, and I think that speaks volumes about this arc and it’s creative team. We’ll get into the issue as a whole, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to discuss all of the dumb things that happened in this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

So the lack of female characters is disheartening, especially since the book spent the last year and a bit building such a stellar cast of women around Wonder Woman. On top of that, it’s just not a very good comic book, on any level. The story is clunky, the writing is poor, the art is middling. It’s not an enjoyable read, and it’s so awkward that it’s hard to feel any connection to the story. Even the big emotional climax at the end of the issue when Diana sees her brother for the first time falls absolutely flat because it’s so painfully clichéd; they immediately recognize each other because they’re twins and feel their connection, and I rolled my eyes so hard that I may need to go see an optometrist.

James Robinson’s writing is unremarkable throughout the book. For example, there’s two pages of Diana and Hercules’ lawyer driving to his home to read his will that are an enormous waste of space, as well as a battle with parademons that reads like it was tacked on to add a bit of action to this otherwise lifeless issue. The whole thing felt like filler, as if Robinson knew he wanted to end this issue with the reveal of Jason and just threw a bunch of things together to fill up the nineteen pages before that. We get slightly more information on the dead gods, I suppose, but it’s nothing that we didn’t already know from Grail in the last issue.

The art didn’t help matters, either. Sergio Davila’s pencils, with inks from Scott Hanna and Mark Morales, were generic superhero fodder. I didn’t find much in the way of a unique style or artistic flair. It was standard cape comic art, and not particularly strong art at that. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but there was nothing interesting about it. It was serviceable at best. Though I did like how Davila drew Diana’s hair later in the issue in a sort of up-do thing with her tiara perched higher up. That was kind of a cool look. I’m always down for a creative use of the tiara.

There were also two story choices that rubbed me the wrong way as a Wonder Woman fan. First was the depiction of Hercules. Back in the 1940s, Hercules was a villain. His betrayal and imprisonment of the Amazons is what led Hippolyta to leave the world of men and take her warriors to Paradise Island to live in an all-female utopia. For William Moulton Marston, Hercules represented the worst of men’s aggression and dominance, and most incarnations of the character have followed suit. We don’t know what, if any, role Hercules played in this modern version of the Amazons; all of the New 52 stuff is up in the air after “The Lies” and “The Truth,” and our knowledge of the true Amazons is limited. But introducing Hercules as a dude who’s done some good stuff and some bad stuff, and who admired Diana, largely ignores what he’s represented in past incarnations of Wonder Woman. I don’t hate that he’s sorry for his past mistakes, since it’s always good to show how people can change. It’s more that Hercules carries a lot of baggage in terms of the history of the Amazons, and his depiction in this arc doesn’t acknowledge this in the least. He’s kind of a loaded character, and they’ve ignored that entirely.

Second, this issue introduces the Oddfellows, Steve’s tactical team that is comprised of modern versions of his associated from the Wonder Woman movie. We’ve got Sameer, Charlie, and Chief, all written much like their film counterparts, just jumped ahead a century and given some heavier artillery. This annoyed me, in part because this arc has been so bad thus far that I hate to see these characters that I quite enjoyed on the big screen put to such poor use here. I also found it very telling that the creative team borrowed a bunch of the fellows from the Wonder Woman film, and yet Etta Candy has been absent from both issues of this new arc. I mean, come on now.

So, I did not particularly care for this issue, and I am not enjoying the specter of five more months of this that lies ahead. It all feels fundamentally flawed across the board, like the creative team and the editors just don’t understand what a Wonder Woman comic should be. We’re only two in, of course, and it may well pick up eventually. But thus far, this arc has done nothing but confirm all of my worst fears from when the storyline was first announced.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch – November 2017 Solicits, 23 Creators on 25 Books

October 10, 2017

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I’m not sure what’s going on at either of the Big Two superhero publishers right now, but both DC and Marvel are well off their recent highs when it comes to the representation of female and non-binary creators. At DC, the solicits for November mark their lowest total in well over a year, and this is in the midst of the launch of several new series, ongoing and mini, across their line. DC’s output has been shifting and expanding over the fall, and this current cycle of change appears to include far fewer women and non-binary creators. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in November:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #1 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #31 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #32 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For Special Edition #1 (co-writer, interior art, cover), The Jetsons #1 (cover)
  • Aneke: Gotham City Garage #3 (interior art), Gotham City Garage #4 (interior art)
  • Desirée Proctor: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Green Arrow Annual #1 (interior art), Suicide Squad #29 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #5 (cover), Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #35 (interior art)
  • Erica Harrell: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #3 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #17 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #35 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #15 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #34 (interior art, cover), Batman #35 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #16 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #9 (writer), Bombshells United #5 (writer), Bombshells United #6 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #25 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #34 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #5 (interior art), New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #16 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 25 different books at DC in November, 2 fewer creators than in October though 4 more books (as best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at DC in November). A dip of 2 creators is fairly minor, though not inconsiderable given how few women there were to start with at DC, but it does take the publisher to its lowest total of female creators since August 2016.

It’s an odd month at DC all around. Some of the drop can be explained by an absence of “Young Animal” titles, a line that features an array of female creators. But DC is also set to release their New Talent Showcase, which includes a variety of women writing and drawing. Typically, an anthology issue like that with such solid representation boosts the monthly numbers considerably, but not this time. We’ve also got Mystik U, a new series with a female writer in Alisa Kwitney, plus a Harley Quinn special with Amanda Conner all over it, and still the numbers drop. The list of new names is great to see, particularly in the New Talent Showcase, but it hasn’t added up to a strong month for female representation at the publisher overall.

In terms of female characters, the aforementioned Mystik U stars a teen Zatanna, so that should be fun, and Enchantress is in the mix. Everything else has dudes in the lead, including new books for Black Lighting, The Demon, and Hawkman. And the “Metal” tie-ins continue to roll out, the bulk of which feature male leads and male creative teams.

So November is a mixed bag for DC. There are lots of new female creators in the mix, many of them making their first ever appearance at the publisher. But across the line, the numbers remain down. While I suppose we can take an optimistic angle and hope that all of these new creators become mainstays at DC moving forward, it doesn’t change the fact that DC’s female and non-binary representation has been trending downward for a while now. It’s a very noticeable slump, with no end in sight as of yet.


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