Posts Tagged ‘Claire Roe’

Wonder Woman Annual #1 Review: A Delightful Assortment of Tales!

May 31, 2017

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Annuals are tricky comic books. They cost more than a regular issue, so readers expect some extra bang for their buck. They also tend to be disconnected from the ongoing arc(s) in the main series, so it’s easy for readers to question their relevance. An annual is an expensive collection of standalone stories, most of which aren’t by the usual creative team, and it’s never a surprise when they invariably sell fewer copies than the series’ regular issues do. I know I’ve skipped all sorts of annuals over the years. But this one I was excited for. It’s a “Year One” reunion  with Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott back together, and that alone is worth the price of admission. So much so that I’d completely forgotten who else was in the book, to be quite honest. Those stories turned out to be fun as well, though! I mean, there’s one where Wonder Woman plays fetch with a kaiju. That’s quality entertainment. We’ll get to it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal important details from this very enjoyable comic book!

Do yourself a favour and go buy it now!

The first story is “And Then There Were Three” by Rucka and Scott. It was nice to have them back together after their stellar “Year One” run, and it was also great to have Rucka writing Batman and Superman again. He’s done fantastic work with both characters in the past, and in his hands they just felt right. DC’s trinity has been a little off kilter for me since the New 52 relaunch in 2011, and Rucka writing all three of them took me back to the characters as I know them best.

While the story tied into “Year One,” it didn’t have anything in the way of surprising revelations or information that added a key piece to the larger mysteries that have swirled throughout the “Rebirth” run. It was tangential, the story of Wonder Woman’s first meeting with Batman and Superman, but wow is it good. There are no big fights or drama, just great banter and a perfect distillation of their group dynamic. Superman teasing Batman is a dang delight, Alfred and Lois Laneare in the mix and amusingly so, and the end of the story, with Batman in awe of the pure heroism and love for the world at the core of Wonder Woman, is a great moment.

Plus it’s absolutely gorgeous. I wish Nicola Scott could draw Wonder Woman forever, and that Romulo Fajardo Jr. would be her eternal colorist. Scott has such a good handle on Wonder Woman, and captures her beautifully. She’s no slouch with Batman or Superman either! The entire story is exquisitely drawn from start to finish, from Metropolis to the Batcave to the Nevada desert, and makes for a wonderful opener to the annual.

Up next is “In Defense of Truth and Justice” by Vita Ayala and Claire Roe with colors by Jordie Bellaire. Ayala is an up an coming write at DC, and Roe is fresh off a run on Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Their story pits Wonder Woman against the forces of Markovia as she works to save King Shark from an undeserved execution. I always love when Wonder Woman defends a villain who, though guilty of various crimes, is being treated an unfairly and needs help. These tales capture the compassionate core of the character, and Ayala and Roe do that well here, with some excellent action in the mix too. It’s a well executed story all around, with a great ending in which Wonder Woman tries to set King Shark on the right path moving forward with the help of one of her aquatic friends.

“The Curse and the Honor” by Michael Moreci and Stephanie Hans is just so pretty. The story itself is fine; the location is unnamed, but it looks like Wonder Woman is in a Japanese village, where she gives a warrior who has absorbed vengeful spirits the honourable death he deserves. But the art is stunning. Stephanie Hans always delivers amazing visuals, and this story is no exception. It’s a heavy tale, set in the winter so that Wonder Woman and her red cape appear in stark contrast to her surroundings. The art is lush and pretty, not so much finely detailed as atmospheric and moody. It is lovely all around; bringing in Stephanie Hans on this one was a very smart move from DC.

Continuing the Japanese influence, the final story is “The Last Kaiju,” written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by David Lafuente and colors from John Rauch. As a giant kaiju approached a city on the Pacific coast, A.R.G.U.S. wants to light it up but Wonder Woman swoops in to deal with it directly. After a bit of fisticuffs, she ties it up in her golden lasso and learns that it’s not some mindless monster but a lost and lonely creature. Wonder Woman then defends the creature, flies it to Dinosaur Island where it can make friends, and they all play catch with a giant log. It’s cute and fun and again captured Wonder Woman’s compassionate core. Just like with King Shark, Wonder Woman willingly put herself in harm’s way to defend someone that no one else thought was worthy of defending. That’s always a great message for a Wonder Woman comic, and it’s nicely executed here.

All together, this was a pretty swell annual and definitely worth picking up. I came for Rucka and Scott’s take on DC’s trinity, but everything else was enjoyable as well. Plus it was great to see a wide variety of art styles and tones in the stories. It was an eclectic mix that all worked together to celebrate Wonder Woman’s heart and heroism. With the Wonder Woman movie coming just days from now, this is a fitting book to have on the shelves for new or returning fans.

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Women at DC Comics – February 2017 Solicits, 27 Women on 21 Books

December 1, 2016

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DC’s female creator representation is set to remain steady albeit somewhat below their recent highs as the new year unfolds. The February 2017 solicits have some fun new books and the numbers are largely in line with the January solicits. DC’s posted higher numbers, but they’ve posted far, far lower too. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this February:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #13 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #14 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #6 (writer, cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Wonder Woman #16 (interior art, cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (writer)
  • Chynna Clugston Flores: Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #16 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #17 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #16 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #20 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #8 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #16 (cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #16 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #17 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #4 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Supergirl: Being Super #2 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (variant cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman: Rebirth #1 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #22 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Supergirl: Being Super #2 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #22 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #6 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #6 (inker)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: All Star Batman #7 (interior art, cover, variant cover), Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #6 (cover), The Wild Storm #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #7 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female creators set to work on 21 different books in February 2017, one more female creator than in January though 3 fewer books. Both months of 2017 have been in the high 20s, but DC’s solicits were in the low 30s at the end of 2016. It’s a light step down for the publisher, and the continuing unfolding of the second phase of “Rebirth” doesn’t seem to be growing the female creator ranks yet.

Part of the reason for the numbers not changing much is that there aren’t really any new women in the list above. It’s a lots of returning favourites and people we’ve seen recently; everyone’s a regular. There are folks in new gigs, however. Bilquis Evely is taking over as the artist on the even-numbered issues of Wonder Woman, and Marguerite Bennett is penning a Batwoman series.

Speaking of, there are a few new books with solid female character representation. Batwoman is the only female-led solo title set to debut; it premieres with a “Rebirth” issue this month, and then the regular series should launch in March. A couple of new team books have a lot of women in the mix as well, including The Wild Storm reboot, which name checks Angela Spica, Jenny Sparks, and Voodoo in the solicit, and the new Justice League of America, which counts Black Canary, Killer Frost, and Vixen as members.

Overall, is a fairly steady month for DC, with relatively decent female creator representation. The drop in the number of books is a bit disheartening; that’s the lowest number of titles since September. But the ranks as a whole are holding firm, and remain above where DC was when “Rebirth” began . DC’s previously shown that they’re capable of higher numbers, and perhaps the second wave of “Rebirth” will continue and help the publisher reach and perhaps surpass those totals.

Women At DC Comics Watch – December 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 23 Books

October 4, 2016

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In my report on the November solicits, I noted that it seemed unlikely that DC’s number of female creators would be in the low 30s again come December. There were a lot of one-shots and variant cover gigs, and those numbers are hard to sustain month-to-month. But DC did it, and has posted a strong lineup of female creators to end the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in December 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #9 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #10 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (writer)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #3 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #12 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #13 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #15 (written)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #19 (co-writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #13 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #6 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #12 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #13 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #2 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Supergirl: Being Super #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art), The Flintstones #6 (variant cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Supergirl: Being Super #1 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #12 (interior art, cover)
  • Pia Guerra: The Hellblazer #5 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (inker)
  • Sanya Anwar: Clean Room #15 (interior art)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #4 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (co-writer), Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Amanda Waller #5 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #5 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators set to work on 23 different books at DC this December, the same number of women as in November and one more book. The total also ties DC’s highest number of the year, and it’s an encouraging sign for 2017 that DC is set to end 2016 with two very good months. With the second wave of “Rebirth” just around the corner, hopefully the publisher can keep these numbers going.

December looks a lot like November across the board: a core group of creators, plus a few one-shots and variant covers. One-shots aren’t sustained work, but DC’s mixing things up with their variant covers as of late. Instead of rotating in different artists each month, artists seem to be sticking with a book for an extended period of time. Emanuela Lupacchino, for example, has been doing variants for Green Lanterns since it launched in June. What used to be a one-time job has turned into steady work, and it’s helping keep DC’s female creator ranks high.

December’s not a huge month for female characters, but there are a couple of fun new books in the mix. The biggest is Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones; it looks fantastic, and with two amazing creators in the mix it should be a lot of fun. We’ve also got the DC Rebirth Holiday Special with stories starring Batwoman and Wonder Woman, and the beginning of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, which will feature all of the female members on both teams.

Overall, DC is set to end the year on a good note. Things were looking bad mid-way through the year; DC could barely hit 20 female creators a month in the early days of their “Rebirth” initiative. But things have picked up throughout the fall and DC is going to close 2016 with the best numbers we’ve seen from them over the past five years. There’s always still room to grow; women remain a small minority at nearly every level of production. But progress is slowly being made, and things are looking up.

Women at DC Comics Watch – November 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 22 Books

September 7, 2016

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After a slow start to their “Rebirth” initiative, with weak numbers for female creators for the first three months of the new books over the summer, DC’s numbers have picked up considerably throughout their fall solicits. November continues this trend and takes things a step further: The November 2016 solicits have the highest number of female creators we’ve seen at DC since we started keeping track several years ago. So let’s take a look at who is doing what:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #7 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #8 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annie Wu: Raven #3 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (writer)
  • Chynna Clugston Flores: Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (variant cover)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #10 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #11 (variant cover), Superwoman #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Emma Beeby: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Erica Schultz: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Fiona Staples: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #14 (writer)
  • Hena Khan: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #12 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #5 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #14 (cover), Wonder Woman #10 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #11 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #19 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #19 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #2 (interior art)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #13 (interior art)
  • Meredith Finch: Catwoman: Election Night #1 (co-writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #19 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #10 (interior art, cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #3 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #4 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #3 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: New Talent Showcase #1 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #4 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators scheduled to work on 22 different books at DC in November 2016, 5 more women than in the October solicits though 2 fewer books. These are big numbers for DC, a high that the publisher had come close to but never hit before in all of their ups and downs over the past few years. “Rebirth” has been slow for female creators, and still isn’t doing particularly well; a lot of the credits here come from outside of the mainline series. Still, as a whole, representation across DC’s whole publishing line has gone up considerably over the past three rounds of solicits.

The high may be fleeting, though. As part of DC’s writer’s workshop, they’re putting out a New Talent Showcase issue with a variety of new writers, several of whom are women. It appears to be a oneshot, so I doubt they’ll be back next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see these women working on future projects at DC. While the December numbers might drop, things may go up in the long term. There are also some other oneshots and one-off variant cover gigs that don’t equal sustainable work either. DC will need to follow their strong November with a lot of new jobs in December to make up the deficit, and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if they’re able to do so.

In terms of female characters, Mother Panic is set to premiere in November as part of DC’s “Young Animal” line. It’s a got a female lead and a female writer, so double the fun there. The same is truth of the Catwoman: Election Night one-shot, which honestly sounds kind of terrible but hey, anything to get Catwoman back in the mix. And the New Talent Showcase features stories about Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Carol Ferris, and more.

Overall, November looks like it’s going to be a strong month for female creators at DC. It’s always a good time when a publisher breaks a record, though the real trick is doing it again the next month. Representation at the Big Two is typically a two steps forward, one step back situation, so we’ll have to see what the December solicits bring. But for now, it’s a very good month.

Women at DC Comics Watch – October 2016 Solicits, 28 Women on 24 Books

July 29, 2016

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NOTE: This post has been substantially edited because I am a dope who missed Cecil Castellucci while doing my first count. It is now accurate and correct.

DC finally had some solid female representation in their September solicits, their first relatively decent month since “Rebirth” relaunched in June. For whatever reason, whenever DC knows they’ll be selling a lot of comics with a new initiative, they want to have as few women as possible in the mix; this has been the trend with every big move they’ve made since the New 52 relaunch. But now we’re several months in and things are beginning to improve. The number of women working on DC books in October hit the same level as September, and stayed well above their previous “Rebirth” levels. Let’s take a look at who is doing what this October at DC Comics:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #5 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn #6 (cover, co-writer), Harley’s Little Black Book #6 (cover, co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Astro City #40 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #1 (writer)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: The Vigilante: Southland #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #8 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #9 (variant cover), Superwoman #3 (penciller)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #13 (writer), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #11 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #4 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #13 (cover), Wonder Woman #8 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #9 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: The Lost Boys #1 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (interior art)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #12 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (color)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #8 (art and cover), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Superwoman #3 (variant cover)
  • Renae De Liz: Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Cyborg #2 (inker), Cyborg #3 (inker), Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (inker)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #2 (cover), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in October, matching September’s 28 different women and gaining on September’s 21 different books. Basically, there’s some slight growth in representation here, which is good news considering how poor the “Rebirth” solicits had been in the months previous. More female creators would always be better, of course, but not falling back to past levels is a plus. Hopefully things have stabilized and now can continue to move forward.

We’ve got a few returning, and perhaps new, names in the mix this month. Elena Casagrande is drawing a new mini-series; I’m sure if she’s worked on DC before, but she’s done a lot of Marvel stuff. Sarah Vaughn may be new to DC as well, though she’s written elsewhere, and Cecil Castellucci has done some stuff for DC is back with a new gig now on Shade, the Changing Girl (she did a story for Sensation Comics a while back, and perhaps more?). Joelle Jones and Marley Zarcone are returning to DC after brief absences, and Jones especially should be around a lot more in the future because she’s just signed an exclusive deal with DC.

In terms of new female characters, Gerard Way’s “Young Animal” imprint is continuing to unfold, and has brought with it Shade, the Changing Girl. The books also features a handful of female creators, and there should be more coming as new books debut. We’ve also got a new Teen Titans title that appears to be predominantly male, as most teams are, but Starfire and Raven are also in the mix. We’re also getting a special over-sized issue celebrating Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with a lot of great creators in the mix. And a bunch of books starring dudes, but meh.

Overall, it looks to be an okay month for women at DC. A bit higher in total than September and better than the months previous, but still below DC’s past highs and Marvel’s current levels. DC’s penchant for dropping their numbers considerably every year or so is making long term growth a frustrating process; it’s two steps forward and one step back, over and over. So DC’s now back up to where they were a while ago. Ideally, they’ll grow and get even further ahead before the next inevitable step back.

Women At DC Comics Watch – September 2016 Solicits, 28 Women on 21 Books

June 28, 2016

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DC’s not had the best run with female creators over the course of their past few rounds of solicits. Since their “Rebirth” relaunch began in June, the numbers have been well below their usual level, and far off from their previous highs. It looks like September might mark the end of this skid, but I’m not entirely sure that this increase in female creators is going to last. We’ll discuss more, after we look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in September 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #3 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #4 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #6 (cover)
  • Amanda Deibert: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (co-writer)
  • Amy Chu: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (co-writer)
  • Babs Tarr: Doom Patrol #1 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Flintstones #3 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Astro City #39 (interior art)
  • Cat Staggs: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (cover)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #6 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #7 (variant cover)
  • Fiona Staples: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #12 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #10 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #3 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #12 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: American Vampire Anthology #2 (interior art)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (variant cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: American Vampire Anthology #2 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #17 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #11 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #17 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #6 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Superwoman #2 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Cyborg: Rebirth #1 (inker), Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (co-writer)
  • Tess Fowler: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (interior art)
  • Trina Robbins: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #1 (cover)

All  together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 21 different comic books, an impressive gain from August’s 20 and 21, respectively. September also marks DC’s best total since March, quite a lull for the publisher, though as I mentioned at the top, the numbers are still far from their past highs.

And also probably fleeting. Between a couple of anthology books (Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 and the resolicited American Vampire Anthology #2) and variant covers, at least a third of the gigs listed above are unlikely to be back in October; they’re one-shot jobs. It’s great that these books are loaded with female creators and that so many women are getting cool variant cover gigs, but it’s not a stable position like writing or interior art tends to be. Next month could drop off quite a bit.

Though there are some new, more stable gigs in the mix. Gotham Academy: Second Semester returns with regular jobs for co-writer Becky Cloonan and inker Sandra Hope, while the new Everafter: From the Pages of Fables could prove to be a consistent cover position for Tula Lotay. Three more regulars is good news.

In terms of female characters, Supergirl is officially launching her new title in September, the return of Gotham Academy means more fun adventures for Olive and Maps, and there’s also a Raven mini-series. In new team books, Wonder Woman will be a key player in Trinity, while Raven and Starfire will be part of the new Teen Titans. So it’s a pretty solid month across the board for fictional women too, and a great month if you happen to be a Raven enthusiast.

Overall, September looks to be a strong month for women at DC, but I’m not sure that it will last. Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol is set to premiere then, though, which may mean that the rest of his line is rolling out soon; that would be good news, because several female characters have been attached to those projects. It’ll take several new books to keep these numbers up in October, and we’ll find out in a month or so if DC is up to the task.

Women at DC Comics Watch – August 2016 Solicits: Rebirth Still Low, 20 Women on 21 Books

May 24, 2016

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DC Comics’ big “Rebirth” initiative has not been great for women thus far. Even though they’re adding new series every month, the numbers aren’t really changing for female creators at DC, plus the current level is far below where DC was before “Rebirth.” I don’t know what it is with DC and big events, but anytime they do a new publishing initiative, they do so with considerably fewer women than they had beforehand. It’s a troubling trend. Let’s see who is doing what at DC in August:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #1 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #2 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #5 (cover), Harley’s Little Black Book #5 (co-writer, variant cover), Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 (variant cover), The Flintstones #2 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #6 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (interior art)
  • Elsa Charretier: DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #4 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #5 (variant cover), Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (art and cover), The Flintstones #2 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #11 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #9 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #2 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #11 (cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #10 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #4 (art and cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (cover), Superwoman #1 (variant cover)
  • Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #9 (writer, art, and cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different books in August, more books and the same number of women as July’s 20 and 17, respectively. In the “Rebirth” era thus far, we’ve got female creator totals of 19, 20, and 20, far lower than earlier in the year when DC was consistently in the mid-20s and even topped 30 different women on occasion. These numbers aren’t great.

We’re also seeing a lot of grouping. There are two DC Comics Bombshells books in August, and they make up a full quarter of the women working at DC. I love the Bombshells comic and that it’s such a fantastic outlet for female creators, but it’s sad that DC has so few women working for them that two books can account for so much. Also, Amanda Conner makes up 6 of the 21 different issues listed above, almost a third. Amanda Conner is amazing, but it again speaks to how poor DC is at distributing work to women that one woman accounts for such a huge number of books.

On the character side of things, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey officially launches in August after their “Rebirth” special in July, and the new Superwoman, starring a superpowered Lois Lane, debuts as well. A new Harley Quinn book will be hitting shops as well, but it appears to be just a relaunch of the current series without much in the way of changes or revamps; why mess with a good thing? We’ve also got some fun annuals, including a DC Comics Bombshells Annual that introduces Barbara Gordon to this alternate universe and a Gotham Academy Annual that should be a blast because that book is always a good time.

So “Rebirth” has been rather underwhelming so far. I was hoping that the numbers would grow as more books came out, but that does not seem to be the case.  Things are steady and low, with few signs that this will change on the superhero front. The fall should tick up, with Gerard Way’s new line starting up, but that may be a couple of months off yet, and that will do little to address DC’s mainline superhero problem. Put more women on your books, DC! It’s not hard.


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