Posts Tagged ‘Bilquis Evely’

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.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 25 Creators on 24 Books

August 18, 2017

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DC’s female and non-binary creator representation has been drifting downward over the last few months, sliding a bit after a relatively strong spring, and with the October solicits, DC’s numbers are set to fall to their lowest level since last March. Things are pretty quiet at DC this fall; there are a few events and a couple of new books, but not enough to make any huge changes to the line. Yet the numbers appear to be in decline. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this October:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (cover), Harley Quinn #29 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #30 (co-writer, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC House of Horror #1 (interior art)
  • Diana Conesa: Nightwing #30 (interior art), Nightwing #31 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #4 (cover), Dastardly and Muttley #2 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #2 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #24 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #16 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Gotham City Garage #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #32 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Future Quest Presents #3 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #12 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #33 (interior art, cover), Mother Panic #12 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: Gotham City Garage #2 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #8 (writer), Bombshells United #3 (writer), Bombshells United #4 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #4 (interior art)
  • Mary Sangiovanni: DC House of Horror #1 (co-writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #24 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #13 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #3 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #3 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #15 (cover)

All together, there are 25 female creators set to work on 24 books at DC this October, 2 fewer than in September though they’re working on 3 more books (to the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in the mix this month). While 2 fewer creators isn’t a massive change, 3 of the past 4 months have featured a drop of 2 or more, and it’s starting to add up. As mentioned at the beginning, not a whole lot has changed at DC over the past little while, so this is just an organic drift downward. A few books got cancelled, a few new books began, and that’s about it. There wasn’t another relaunch cycle or any substantial creator upheaval. So this decline is just a gradual decrease caused by small changes here and there, and little has been done to remedy this drop.

We do have a few new female creators in the mix, though, which is always nice to see. Diana Conesa is going to be working on interior art for Nightwing, and I think she’s making her DC debut there. We’ve also got Lynne Yoshii, again on interior art, on the new Gotham City Garage, which we’ll discuss momentarily. Another new book, the anthology oneshot DC House of Horror, features a story by writer Mary Sangiovanni.

The oneshot is one of just a handful of new books at DC in October, and it’s got a few female creators in the mix as well as some stories starring female characters, including unique choices like Martha Kent and an Amazon warrior. DC’s Metal event continues, still with no female creators in the mix and seemingly few female characters, but we’ve got two new books with female leads. The aforementioned Gotham City Garage is based on DC’s statue line of their heroines as bikers, and features a reimagined DC universe centered on biker ladies. I feel like this could go either way, really. It’s reminiscent of DC Comics Bombshells, another comic line based on popular merchandise, but while Marguerite Bennett helmed that book and turned it into a queer feminist masterpiece, I’m not terribly familiar with the two dudes writing this one. Fingers crossed it’s similarly cool. We’ve also got an unusual team up with Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica, a crossover with Archie that introduces these two famous duos for the first time. A lot of creators from the regular Harley Quinn book are on board, so expect a similar tone and sensibility.

All together, there are some new names and a couple of potentially fun titles on the horizon for October, but overall the numbers keep falling. If DC continues at this pace, they’ll be back in the teens again before long, and it’s getting to the point where it feels like some intentional effort needs to be made internally to buoy their dragging representation.

Wonder Woman #25 Review: The Grand Finale for Rucka, Sharp, Evely, and the Rest!

June 28, 2017

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As someone who is absolutely steeped in Wonder Woman, who’s written a book about her and has read every single issue of Wonder Woman, you can take it to the bank when I say this: I don’t think there’s ever been a better 25 issue run of Wonder Woman than what we’ve been enjoying for the past year since the “Rebirth” relaunch. Wonder Woman has had some amazing runs over the years, and I could see arguments for other eras; the first two years of the Perez era, perhaps, or the fantastic bizarreness that was the Golden Age. But for me, what Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp have put together takes the top spot. This is in part because it’s amazing on its own, but even more so because it so successfully reoriented the character after her increasingly disastrous five year New 52 run. The team managed to fix a bad situation and tell an expansive, fantastic story at the same time. It’s really quite a remarkable feat. And now we’re at the end of it! We’ll discuss it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal everything that happened in this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, go read it! It’s very, very, very good!

This finale brings together all of the elements from this entire run, tying up the loose ends on some while leaving other plotlines open ended for future creators to explore. There are lots of references to past issues, including Wonder Woman’s first meeting with Batman and Superman from the recent Wonder Woman Annual #1; what seemed at the time like a fun, inconsequential one-off tale came into play here at the end. It’s a good example of what Rucka’s writing has done over the past year. Small beats had big ramifications down the road, and what seemed like tangents all added up to something bigger. I remember being frustrated with “The Lies” early on because it focused so much on the Cheetah, a character I’d just assumed was included as a quick initial foe for Wonder Woman, and took it’s time getting to the actual lies. But it turned out, of course, that the Cheetah was a pivotal player in this book, and that the slow burn at the start of “The Lies” laid a lot of the groundwork for everything to come. The master plan became visible only months later.

So the finale begins with Wonder Woman in a bad mood, and understandably so. Her family remains lost to her, the Cheetah has escaped, her lasso is gone, and worst of all, her gods have been lying to her. She’s got some anger about it all, so much so that she’s punching villains extra hard and ignoring Steve. But some straight talk from her pals Batman and Superman sends her on a quest to find her gods, and they honour her anger. A speech from a mysterious woman who turns out to be Athena sets things right; she acknowledges that Diana is right to be angry, but that even with all of the manipulations of the gods, “The truth of you has never changed, Diana. Even the gods themselves could not take that away from you.” It fits in text, a nod to Wonder Woman’s steadfast heroism during the trials of the past 25 issues. But I think the moment stands as a larger statement about Wonder Woman, that no matter how many different incarnations of the character there are, some of them good and some of them bad, there is a core to her that shines through, an essential truth about her strength, compassion, and heroism that was imbued in her from her earliest days. The gods then return her lasso as a sign that they love her, and she leaves with a renewed belief in herself and her larger mission.

She then finds Steve Trevor, and amorous activities ensue. I could be wrong, but I think that this might be the first time they’ve actually hooked up in text? It’s been implied at various times, but I can’t recall seeing them in anything like the heartwarming last page of this issue, with them in each other’s arms in bed. There was their kiss and the implication of something more during that night in the village in the Wonder Woman movie, but in the comics they dated from the 40s through the 80s, when they couldn’t show anything like that, and then Steve wasn’t a romantic factor for the next 25 years. With the New 52 relaunch, the romance was back but past. Now they’re actively together again, in ways I think we’ve never seen before. It works as a lovely end to the book, as a much deserved moment of love and happiness for Diana. Plus, Steve shaved for the occasion, getting rid of that god awful goatee, so it was a good scene all around!

The finale leaves the rest of the cast in several interesting, open ended spots. Etta Candy, who’s been an absolute delight in this run, is going after the Cheetah, her former girlfriend Barbara turned crazed feline foe. This is a story I need to see. Their relationship was a background element that became increasingly important in terms of the Cheetah’s connection to her humanity. I hope that Etta getting Barbara back is a priority for a future creative team. The Cheetah’s a much more interesting character now as well, and I very much hope that DC stays true to Rucka and Sharp’s revamp of her in the future.

And finally, my evil favourite, Veronica Cale. She’s the worst and I love her. Her backstory was so well established that we totally understand her full embracing of villainy now, and as much as it’s sad that she didn’t turn away from it, damn she’s a good villain. I’m going to miss Bilquis Evely drawing her so much. She brought such heart to the character throughout “Godwatch” and really sold the story through her take on Veronica. And here, Evely’s depiction of Veronica’s confrontation with Wonder Woman is just perfect. Her sneer when she refuses to help Diana is spectacular. Veronica Cale could be an epic villain for years to come, and I hope that DC embraces that and does her justice in the future.

So we’ve reached the end of the run, and while I’m sad it’s over, I’m glad that Wonder Woman has been so well reoriented. I’m also sort of happy that Rucka and everyone decided to end things here. I’d have been down for more, but everything has wrapped up well and they’ve accomplished what they set out to do beautifully. Diana is in a good place, and is well positioned for new teams to tell exciting stories with her moving forward. I’m looking forward to Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo taking over the book for the next few issues, though I’m considerably less keen on James Robinson coming in after that. However, I’m optimistic that his run is just a bit of “Rebirth” housekeeping and that the New Year will bring a new team with a fresh perspective to the book. Rucka, Evely, Scott, and Sharp have demonstrated how amazing Wonder Woman can be, and it will be fun to see new voices picking up the baton from here on.

Wonder Woman #24 Review: Tragedies on Multiple Fronts in the Run’s Penultimate Issue

June 14, 2017

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We’re nearing the end of this current, excellent run of Wonder Woman, and everything has come together. After four disparate arcs, connected with small moments but kept separate by time, everything’s now merged. Wonder Woman #24 picks up where Wonder Woman #23 left off, a common occurrence for most comic books but an oddity for the dual narratives that have been so key to Wonder Woman since the “Rebirth” relaunch. And now, after 24 issues of surprises and revelations, the full run has taken its toll on everyone. Pretty much every major player in the series is facing tragedy, a crucible that has revealed the true nature of each of them in their responses to these trying circumstances. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal all of the key events of this issue!

Look away if you haven’t read it yet!

Also, if you haven’t read it yet, you should!

This has been one of the best runs of Wonder Woman ever!

So let’s run through where everyone is at, and how recent events have affected them. The last issue revealed that Wonder Woman must remain permanently separated from her home and her family, and the shock of that is clear initially. She leaves the island gate to Themyscira without tracking down the Cheetah, an uncharacteristic decision for her that suggests she was emotionally drained and perhaps overwhelmed by all she’d been through. She seems almost in shock when she returns to America, somewhat quiet and withdrawn, until Etta chastises her for leaving Barbara behind. Etta’s words hit her hard and shake her out of her fog, putting her back on track. Despite the weight of her tragic separation, Wonder Woman always cares for others more than herself and goes after Barbara.

She finds her attacking Veronica Cale, which puts Wonder Woman in a difficult spot. She wants to help Barbara and she has so reason to care about Veronica Cale, who’s spent years trying to ruin both her life and the life of her friend. And yet, when Barbara promises she’ll go with Wonder Woman if she lets her kill Veronica, Wonder Woman refuses. She won’t let anyone die, no matter how guilty they may be. While tragedy shook Wonder Woman for a moment, she quickly returned to her heroic form, even though it meant another tragic loss for herself as her friend Barbara refused to go with her willingly.

As for Barbara, her tragic loss consumes her entirely. And really, justifiably so. She’s had an awful time of things. She was restored to her true self, leaving her Cheetah identity behind, but then returned to her Cheetah form to help her friends in a noble sacrifice. Her rejection from Themyscira is the breaking point for her. She’d searched for the Amazons for her entire life and was close to them, finally, only to have the gate disappear. So she lets all of her anger and the sorrow over the many things she’s lost consume her. She goes after Veronica, aiming to kill her, and very nearly succeeds. Had Wonder Woman not intervened, Veronica would have been a goner. Then, even in the face of Wonder Woman offering her help and a return to her life with Etta, she refuses. We’ve seen a lot of Barbara as the Cheetah in these 24 issues, and while her feral identity often dominated her, Etta was the one thing that always gave her pause. But not now. The mention of Etta barely dissuades her at all, and she refuses to go with Wonder Woman unless she’s allowed to kill Veronica. The series of tragedies she’s endured were too much in that moment and overcame her true nature, though perhaps we’ll see things turn around for her in two weeks time with the grand finale.

I’m not expecting a turnaround for Veronica. We’ve gotten to know her well this year, especially in “Godwatch” with Bilquis Evely bringing such life and emotion to the character. She was a woman who lost her daughter, an understandable motivation even though it took her to very dark places. But now her daughter is gone for good, and the weight of both her loss and her actions over the past year lie heavy on her. She’s lost her daughter, her company is in shambles, and she’s isolating herself further from the few friends she has. When the Cheetah calls her a villain, she doesn’t even flinch, as if she too knows what she’s become and is perhaps beginning to accept that this is who she is now. Tragedy has brought her emptiness, rightly so in many respects; she’s earned what’s coming to her. But however justified a punishment may be, the attack from Cheetah is especially brutal. Evely illustrates the horror of it well, from the gashes on her back to the violent action of the scene. And the most brutal moment of it all is the very end of the issue, with Veronica left all alone. Wonder Woman’s compassion and moral code saved her life, but her torn up body, left in solitude, stands as a monument to her inevitable tragic end.

Well, the end for now. There’s one more issue to come, with Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, and Liam Sharp teaming up for a grand finale that will tie up all of the loose threads. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw Veronica involved in some way, though if we don’t then this was a fitting conclusion for the character. It looks like Cheetah will be a big focus, since Wonder Woman knocks her out and takes her away at the end of this issue. With all of the mysteries solved and so much wrapped up already, I’m curious to see what the final issue will dig into. The conclusions of both the “The Truth” and “Godwatch” have been excellent and satisfying, so I’m excited to see how the creative teams decides to leave everyone moving forward.

Wonder Woman #22 Review: A Modern Take on an Iconic Character

May 10, 2017

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I got a big surprise when I sat down to read Wonder Woman #22: Mirka Andolfo drew this one! I had no idea she was doing the issue. Andolfo is set to draw a couple of issues in July when Shea Fontana takes over writing the book, but as far as I knew, we were getting Bilquis Evely for the duration of “Godwatch.” Now, I LOVE Bilquis Evely. She’s been killing it so far. But I also love a fun surprise, and I’m a huge fan of Andolfo from her artwork on DC Comics Bombshells (a fantastic book with a great take on Wonder Woman that you should be reading if you’re not already). I was really looking forward to seeing her on Wonder Woman in July, and now we’re getting a peek at her take on a modern Wonder Woman a couple of months early. And good news, gang: It’s fantastic. We’ll dig into it all momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to delve into all of the details of this issue!

Don’t read this review if you haven’t read the comic yet!

Also, go read the comic! It’s very pretty!

The last installment of “Godwatch” was a real corker, with Veronica Cale teaming up with Circe to use Wonder Woman to defeat Phobos and Deimos and get one step closer to getting her daughter back. This issue picks up a year and a half later, and explores the first meeting between Wonder Woman and Veronica. For some reason, I’d assumed that they’d met before; maybe it was all of the stories set in the present in which Wonder Woman knows about Veronica and her nefarious plans. I mean, they were hanging out in “The Truth” two weeks ago. My mental timeline probably got a bit screwy with all of the back and forth. Regardless, this is their actual first meeting, and it’s a very enjoyable one.

Between Veronica losing her daughter and the travails of Barbara/the Cheetah, there have been some very heavy moments recently in Wonder Woman. This is a much lighter outing, with a comedic set up, some excellent banter, and a nicely executed action scene. The heavy issues remain; Veronica’s daughter is still in peril and Barbara is the Cheetah. But the focus narrows in on Veronica and Diana engaging with each other for the first time on almost friendly terms. I loved that their meeting began at an auction in which Veronica outbid the likes of Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor to nab a date with Wonder Woman (all for charity, of course). I also enjoyed that the extravagant event was followed by a more casual outing between the two as they got burgers in their street clothes. It was all quite cute. Well, as cute as a meeting between a heroine and her secret arch nemesis can be, I suppose.

The issue also further fleshed out Veronica Cale, who Rucka is turning into an absolutely fascinating villain. Generally speaking, Veronica seems like kind of an amazing person. She’s a big supporter of the DC universe’s version of Amnesty International, a philanthropist generally, and a champion for the poor as well as gender and sexual equality. The more we learn about her, the more she becomes a fascinating tragic figure, a good woman turned to darkness because of the meddling of the gods. Before that, she was a tough businesswoman and not a big fan of Wonder Woman, but Phobos and Deimos interfering in her life and taking away her daughter is what turned her into a villain. Everything she’s doing is to get her daughter back, and it’s hard not to sympathize with that, even when she’s facing off against our favourite heroine. I’m hoping that she gets a happy resolution by the time “Godwatch” and “The Truth” wrap up. I know she’s done terrible things, but I feel like Wonder Woman would understand her motivations and try to help her fix them and start a new path rather than punish her. Time will tell.

Now, onto Mirka Andolfo. The art in this issue is just great. Much like Bilquis Evely, Adolfo is excellent at crafting expressive characters, albeit with a very different style. There’s a lot of heart in this issue, and that works extremely well with the story it tells. “Two people getting to know each other when one is a secret adversary yet they both have an odd respect for each other” is a hard thing to communicate, but it comes across. Wonder Woman and Veronica’s issue-long conversation is a complicated dance from start to finish, and Andolfo hits all of the notes needed to make it work.

Furthermore, she finally gives a modern take on Wonder Woman that feels young and fresh. We haven’t seen a lot of Diana in everyday clothes since “Rebirth” launched, and when we have it’s been fairly bland. Andolfo doesn’t go for anything extravagant or trendy here either, but by simply putting Wonder Woman in a tank top, jeans, and sneakers, her incarnation of the character feels like the most modern version of her we’ve seen in ages (and it’s of course beautifully colored by Romulo Fajardo Jr.; the guy just slays it with every single issue). Her outfit is what young women look like today, and that’s something I’d really like to see in Wonder Woman properties moving forward. Yes, she’s a superhero and that’s awesome, but when she’s not I think it’s good to see her as a modern woman so that fans, young and old, can better identify with her. As much as I am over the moon excited for the Wonder Woman movie, Gal Gadot’s fancy dresses in Batman v Superman and 1910s garb in Wonder Woman hardly scream “identifiable.” Part of making Wonder Woman modern and relevant is having her look modern and relevant, and I hope we see more of that soon, both in comics and on the big screen.

Overall, this was an entertaining issue all around that sets us up well moving forward. First, the stage is set for the climax of “Godwatch” as the last page shows that Wonder Woman knows about Veronica’s more nefarious dealings. Second, the layers the issue adds to Veronica should make the climax of Rucka’s larger story all the more interesting; she’s a villain, but it’s hard to be too mad at her! And third, when Fontana and Andolfo take over Wonder Woman in July, I think we’re in for a treat. I can’t wait to see more of Andolfo drawing Wonder Woman! She’s a great talent, and the book looks to be in very good hands moving forward.

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.

Wonder Woman #20 Review: A Late Look at the New Circe’s Debut

April 18, 2017

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First off, apologies for the late review. I was gallivanting around Amsterdam last week and am only getting around to reading the latest issue of Wonder Woman today. It was an issue worth the wait, though; between Greg Rucka reinventing a villain that he created more than a decade ago and Bilquis Evely providing gorgeous, expressive art, “Godwatch” has been a great read thus far. I particularly enjoy that it’s so different from every other arc of the “Rebirth” Wonder Woman we’ve seen so far. We’re four arcs into this new era, and each has a different feel and style, which is very cool. Let’s dig into what happened in Wonder Woman #20, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal all of the major plot points of this issue!

It came out nearly a week ago, though!

You should have read it by now!

So the ongoing saga of Veronica Cale and her captured daughter Izzy continues, with Cale going to extreme lengths to try to get her daughter back. This month, that means enlisting the help of the ancient witch Circe, who comes up with a plan to trap Phobos and Deimos and thus get Cale one step closer to her daughter. However, things don’t go quite as expected. The brothers get captured and turned into the dogs that we’ve seen Cale command in the present day “The Lies” and “The Truth,” but it turns out that their father Ares has Izzy, and even a fiendish witch like Circe has no desire to go up against him. Cale, though, is more than willing to unleash war on the world if it means getting her daughter back, and the issue ends with what appears to be the first step toward a sinister new plan.

Usually when an arc of Wonder Woman focuses so little on Wonder Woman herself, it very quickly gets on my nerves. She’s in just a handful of pages in this issue, and “Godwatch” as a whole has been rather light on Wonder Woman in its first three installments. And yet, I’m really enjoying it. Rucka’s constructed a compelling narrative for Cale and he’s turned her into one of the most interesting, well fleshed out villains I’ve read in some time. She’s a terrible person, sure, but there’s a humanity behind all of that rooted in her love for her daughter that makes her so much more than just some evil cardboard cut out. And Evely absolutely embraces the complicated nature of the character. I follow Evely on Twitter, and it seems clear that she really loves to draw Veronica Cale and capture both her arrogant snark and her softer emotional core. What she does with Cale’s expressions and body language is so enjoyable to read each month. Rucka’s writing her well, but Evely is really elevating her into a sensational, fascinating character.

Evely is doing an amazing job with designs for the arc as well. This issue introduced Circe, and she looks ridiculously cool. Circe’s been a Wonder Woman villain for decades, and her many incarnations have followed a similar theme: she’s generally rather sexualized, and her costumes tend to have a classic Greek myth aesthetic skewed through the lens of the male gaze. This new Circe is very different. She shows up sporting a rad short haircut that nonetheless attains impressive height, wearing a sharp outfit that includes black slacks and a vest, a collared shirt, and a cream blazer. This Circe is modern and fun and clearly mischievous. She makes me think of a sort of malevolent Sue Perkins, really.

We get a bit of the ancient Greek vibe when Circe’s doing her magic binding, and again it’s unique. Rather than a bodice that exposes ample cleavage, as we so often get with Circe, Evely equips her with a full, ornately crafted chestplate that fits nicely over her well tailored shirt and pants. It’s a simple, elegant design that conveys so much about this new take on the character, combining her ancient power with a fresh, contemporary look in manner that works so well. It feels like Circe even though it’s unlike any Circe we’ve ever seen before. I love her and I want an action figure, please.

Now, all of this villainous focus is enjoyable, but I also love how Evely draws Wonder Woman and I’m hoping we’ll get some more of that in the next few issues. The saga of Veronica Cale is a great read, but it seems that Evely is only going to be on Wonder Woman for the one arc, and I’d love to see her go to town with Wonder Woman as well. When you’ve got a great, unique talent like Evely, you should try to make her draw as much awesome stuff as possible!

Finally, while I was away, Greg Rucka announced that he will be leaving the book after Wonder Woman #25, and the art crew on both arcs seem to be moving on as well. It was sad news, to be sure, but ultimately I think it could be good for the book. I like Rucka a lot, but I’m also ready for a new take on the character, preferably from someone young with a unique perspective. Rucka was a great choice for “Rebirth” because Wonder Woman was very much adrift and DC needed someone to right the course. Rucka, Evely, Scott, and Sharp have done that admirably, and established a take on Wonder Woman that is both true to her roots and relevant to the world today. They had to fix a huge mess, and they did a great job. The end of the currents arcs seems like a good spot to pass the baton, and I’m excited to see what comes next. Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo have been announced as the new team on the book, with Fontana writing it for at least five issues, and that’s a very fun first step. We’ll find out soon if Fontana is staying with the book or we’re getting a new team after that, and here’s hoping that this great run for Wonder Woman continues.


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