Posts Tagged ‘Emanuela Lupacchino’

Wonder Woman #40 Review: Still With This Foolishness?

February 14, 2018

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There’s a line in today’s issue of Wonder Woman that perfectly captures the quality of writing we’ve been dealing with for the past several months. The woefully underdeveloped villain Silver Swan is flying through the night sky, stinging from her recent battle with Wonder Woman, and as she sees the moon shining she notes, “The moon reflects the cold silver of my dead heart.” Friends, I laughed out loud. The unfortunate thing is, I don’t think writer James Robinson was trying to be funny here. He’s constructed what he must imagine is a serious villain, given the swath of bodies left in her wake, yet her internal monologue reads like a bad goth parody. And, unsurprisingly given how poor this run has been, the rest of the writing in this issue is not much better. I remain flabbergasted that DC Comics is allowing such a terrible story for one of their marquee characters. We’ll get into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

Do not read this review unless you want to know all of the big reveals from this issue!

I mean, most of these reveals are very dumb!

And badly written!

But still!

Reviewing this series lately just feels like making a list of complaints, which is something I do not care for. And yet, here we are again. I’d much rather be celebrating a fine comic book than criticizing a bad one, but this book just keeps finding new ways to be unpleasant every other week. It’s like compounded interest, except with terribleness instead of money. And I’m not at all shocked to see a new array of dumb decisions in this issue, on top of the already asinine storyline.

Let’s start with the art. It was fairly solid, as always. Emanuela Lupacchino and Carmen Carnero are quite good at their craft, and there was a lot of nice work in this outing. Throughout this run, the art has been the one decent thing we can count on, even when these fine artists are drawing the dumbest of stories. However, there was an odd choice that I didn’t much like. Lupacchino drew Jason towering over Diana, making him a full head taller than her in several panels. She often looked like a little pixie when next to his imposing frame. First, this is new. Jason was drawn only slightly taller than Diana initially. And second, Wonder Woman is tall. She is an imposing figure herself. To make her look small, you have to be a dang giant, or at the very least some sort of basketball star.

Moreover, the juxtaposition made her look not weak, but lesser, to a degree. There’s nothing at all wrong with being shorter, of course. Strength is not relative to size. But Diana and Jason are twins, and I think it’s a poor choice to make the male twin so much bigger. Especially in a genre where the men are typically behemoths and the women are tiny. They should be equals, and they’ve not been drawn as such here.

We’ve also got a condescending Steve Trevor moment in this issue that felt very out of character. If you’re not writing Steve Trevor as a good dude, you’re not writing him well. He is a fundamentally decent, respectful person, especially when it comes to women. So I found it a bit during when, during his battle with the Furies, he patronizingly called Lashina “sweetheart.” It’s a small thing, to be sure. But it’s a small thing that’s indicative of a writer who’s just doesn’t seem that interested in getting the characters right. That’s not something Steve would say. And since he’s only in two pages this issue, and has been an afterthought for a lot of this run, such a glaring error stands out especially sharply.

This outing also sees the introduction of another villain, and I’m not excited about it. Why would DC give Robinson the chance to screw up another classic Wonder Woman villain? It’s mind boggling. The revelation comes near the end of the issue, when a reflection reveals that the kindly Dr. Edward Carne looks to in fact be Dr. Psycho. Now, I’m not great at predicting plots and twists, in part because I don’t like to. I’d rather just follow along with where the story’s going. But the second the book introduced a short, friendly doctor talking about “the power of the mind,” my immediate thought was “well, that’s probably Dr. Pyscho then.” I was very amused when the next page revealed just that. It’s a weak twist, and I really don’t want Robinson to screw up this character too. Haven’t we been subjected to enough already? I have zero faith that he’ll do something interesting with him.

Elsewhere, the arc continued in its usual underwhelming way. Diana and Jason argued about proper heroing. There was another fight with the Silver Swan, and ultimately Wonder Woman captured here. Then Jason decided to run away because he’s so bad at being a superhero. Except that when he went to leave, he was swept up in some type of malevolent purple force. My fingers are crossed that he’d dead and gone, but that seems unlikely. Chances are, Grail and Darkseid have him now and we’ll see him again sooner than later.

So the overarching story is still plodding along. The Silver Swan tale is done for now, and it sounds like we’ve got Darkseid vs. the Amazons coming up next. And then, hopefully, a new creative team that knows what they’re doing. But after all of this complaining, let’s take a moment to recognize something amazing about this series. Jenny Frison has been doing variant covers for Wonder Woman for well over a year now, and they are consistently fantastic. I usually put up the main cover at the start of my review, but DANG did Frison outdo herself this week and I had to post that instead. That cover is stunning, and one of her best yet. I don’t know why DC isn’t making her covers the main ones, because they are gorgeous. Though really, I don’t know why DC isn’t doing a lot of things differently with Wonder Woman these days. Nonetheless, what a stellar piece of art. She’s been doing phenomenal work.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, April 2018 Solicits: 23 Creators on 23 Books

February 6, 2018

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April looks to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. Not only has the publisher posted their lowest numbers of the year thus far, the total also leaves them well below their past highs. For several months now, DC’s been operating at about 2/3 of the level they’ve shown themselves to be capable of achieving in the past, with few signs that this is going to change any time soon. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC Comics this April:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #41 (cover), Harley Quinn #42 (cover), The Jetsons #6 (cover)
  • Aneke: Bombshells United #15 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #44 (interior art), Wonder Woman #45 (interior art)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #22 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #44 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #45 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #24 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #2 (writer), Supergirl #20 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #44 (interior art)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (variant cover)
  • Louise Simonson: Action Comics #1000 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #14 (writer), Bombshells United #15 (writer), Bombshells United #16 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #4 (variant cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #3 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #4 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (cover), Bombshells United #16 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #4 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #42 (variant cover), Nightwing #43 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different comic books at DC in April, 3 few creators than in March and 1 fewer book. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s solicits this month. While the drop from last month isn’t disastrous, it does leave DC with their lowest combined total of female creators and books since August 2016. That’s not encouraging news. The numbers have been flat for a while now, and DC doesn’t seem to be doing much to change that right now. What’s more, all of their recent announcements for what’s to come through the spring and into the summer have predominantly featured male creators.

Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen before, which is part of the reason the numbers aren’t growing. Bringing in new talent is important. We haven’t seen Louise Simonson in some time, though, and it’s great that she’s going to be a part of Action Comics #1000! Less great that she’s the only female creator who’s been announced on the book thus far, however.

Also troubling is how the gigs break down this month. Of the 23 women writing or drawing DC’s books, 10 of them are solely doing covers. While covers are key, of course, the bulk of the storytelling happens inside the pages, where only 13 women have work in April. That’s 13 women across DC’s monthly line of 80+ comic books. It’s some paltry representation.

April looks to be a quiet month for new titles as well. The only flashy new thing is the thousandth issue of Action Comics, and while I’m hoping that it will turn out to be a good showcase for Lois Lane, who is celebrating this milestone alongside Superman, I’m not holding my breath. Everything else is the usual fare, though it sounds like we’ll be getting a lot of new stuff and some major creative changes across the board in May and beyond as spinoffs from DC’s “Metal” event begin and the publisher moves pieces around to adjust to Brian Michael Bendis’ prominent new role.

Overall, April is not a particularly good month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC. While the publisher’s not been as atrociously poor as Marvel lately, that doesn’t mean that their numbers are good. Both of the Big Two are underachieving right now, Marvel’s just doing especially poorly. DC appears to be stuck in a bit of a rut. Their current bench of female creators is excellent, but they’re not doing anything to expand the ranks. It’ll be interesting to see what the next few months brings as big creative upheavals hit the lineup, but given how things have been going so far in 2018, signs don’t yet point to a major female and non-binary creator renaissance on the horizon.

Wonder Woman #39 Review: Let’s Talk About The One Good Thing This Book Has Going For It

January 24, 2018

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It’s tough to come up with new and creative ways to say a comic book is terribly written every two weeks, and James Robinson is doing me no favours by continually churning out one of the worst Wonder Woman runs in recent memory. And that’s saying something. Remember the Finches? This might be even worse than that. Point being, I can only talk about this horrendous storyline so much before I lose my mind. It’s just too terrible. So today, let’s turn a negative into a positive. Yes, today’s new issue of Wonder Woman is still hot garbage and everyone at DC should feel bad about themselves for putting out such a bad book. However, today is also Colorist Appreciation Day, when comic book fans take to social media to celebrate the pivotally important, criminally overlooked artists who make the comics look good (#ColoristAppreciationDay). So let’s do that instead! But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I’m gonna run through the stupid contents of this issue real quick first!

But then I’m going to tell you how rad Romulo Fajardo Jr.’s coloring is!

So basically, Wonder Woman is still fighting Silver Swan, the most underdeveloped villain in the history of villains. Apparently there’s some sort of nanobot situation behind her transformation? Anyway, she’s evil and angry and spending most of her time rehashing literally everything we learned last issue, in typical Robinson fashion. Also, Darkseid and Grail are hanging out in the Amazon rain forest, and Darkseid sends the Female Furies after Steve Trevor and his knockoff Howling Commandos. Oh, and Jason tries to get into the fighting mix and uses some dumb wind power or something. Surprising no one, it proves ineffective. So yeah, it’s all very bad.

Apart from the art! Before I get to the colorist, I should again praise the fine work of Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy, who are making some horrible writing at least nice to look at. This week they’re joined by Carmen Carnero, who does some fine work as well. It’s a good looking book. You’d be better served to look at the pretty pictures and make up your own story and dialogue, really.

The lovely art is, of course, brought to life by the marvelous coloring of Romulo Fajardo Jr. He’s been the only real constant on Wonder Woman since it’s “Rebirth” relaunch, and has been doing great work on the title for over a year and a half now. After sharing duties with Laura Martin, who colored Liam Sharp’s art, for the first year, he’s been the sole colorist since. It’s been a remarkable run for several reasons.

First, by my count, he’s worked with over eleven different line art teams during that span. That’s a lot of change, and with each new artist he’s adapted his style to fit their artwork. Fajardo Jr. could have just colored them all exactly the same, but he doesn’t. When the art is more realistic, his colors are more subtle and textured to bring out the realism. When the art is more cartoonish, he goes a bit brighter and bolder and sells the style. There’s definite consistency throughout his work, too. The man’s blending in his shading, especially with skin tones, is impeccable, and the dude does amazing work with different textures. His ability to adapt to his artists while putting out high quality work is impressive, and it gives the series a cohesiveness that counters the constant upheaval of the line art changes.

Second, it’s hard to be a colorist under the best of circumstances. If a script is late or the artist gets behind, the colorist is the last line of defense to ensure that the book comes out on time. This often involves working on crazy deadlines to pick up the slack for everyone else. It’s a thankless, high pressure job, and is doubly so on a bi-weekly series like Wonder Woman. The book is coming out every two weeks come hell or high water, and Romulo Fajardo Jr. is the person that has to carry the baton for the final stretch of the race with each and every issue. And he nails it! Every two weeks, we get a gorgeously colored comic book. No matter who’s writing or drawing it, the coloring is smooth and uniform and pulls the whole issue together.

With every issue of Wonder Woman, whether I’m engrossed in the story and devouring it or appalled at the story and trudging my way through, there’s always at least one moment where I stop and marvel at something Fajardo Jr. has done. Often it’s something small, like the texture of a rock. An inconsequential bit that you could slap a bit of grey on and be fine, saving your time to make sure Wonder Woman herself looks good and fancy. But he always adds a little something to it to make it feel a bit more real, to make the comic book reading experience more immersive. I mean, look at this splash page from the last issue:

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The linework is gorgeous, but he takes it to new heights. The smooth skin tones, the shine on the metal armor, the glow of the lasso, the texture in the stone, the grit on the girl trapped in the rubble. Everything pops. The man’s got an epic arsenal of skills at his disposal, and he uses them with aplomb. His attention to detail adds so much to the book.

Romulo Fajardo Jr. has been a key part of Wonder Woman’s comic book adventures for years now, not just with Wonder Woman itself but dating back to Wonder Woman ’77 as well. His coloring really brought Lynda Carter to life in the early issues of that series, and it’s been exciting to follow his career since then. I’m glad he’s remained part of the Wonder Woman family, and it’s been so fun to see him color some of my favourite artists, including Mirka Andolfo, Bilquis Evely, Emanuela Lupacchino, and Nicola Scott. The man is going to go down in history for “Year One” alone; Scott killed it, obviously, but his colors paired with her linework beautifully, and that collection is going to be a classic for as long as comic books exist. So my thanks go out to Romulo Fajardo Jr., the MVP of Wonder Woman! I hope he gets to color her and her adventures for years to come!

Wonder Woman #38 Review: This Silver Swan Tale is an Ugly Duckling

January 10, 2018

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It’s a New Year, gang, and after spending the latter part of last year slogging through some truly horrendous Wonder Woman comic books, this first issue of 2018 offers us an opportunity for a fresh start. James Robinson remains the writer of the book, of course, for reasons no one seems to completely understand. But still, we’ve got the beginning of a brand new arc! Wonder Woman’s brother and all of the shenanigans with Darkseid and Grail are so 2017. Now it’s time for a different story, courtesy of the introduction of Silver Swan. Will it be a fun, new start for the book? (Spoiler alert: No). Will Robinson leave the sins of the past behind and tell a compelling story? (Spoiler alert: Also no). Will Wonder Woman finally get to take center stage in her own title? (Spoiler alert: Still, no). Let’s dig into it all and find out, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

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

Look away if you have not read it yet!

But also, just don’t read it. It’s still so bad. I’ve read it for you. Spare yourself the pain.

I have to say, the first eight pages of this issue aren’t terrible. They aren’t good by any means, but there’s potential. We’ve got Emanuela Lupacchino pencilling the book, with inks from Ray McCarthy, and that’s a very fine start indeed. Lupacchino draws a great Wonder Woman, and the book opens with a lovely full page spread of our favourite heroine, beautifully coloured as always by Romulo Fajardo Jr. The fight scene with Major Disaster that follows is nicely done as well, even as the girl Diana saved, a new version of Vanessa Kapatelis, takes over the narrative. The writing’s still iffy, laden with Robinson’s bizarre punctuation choices and his utter inability to craft words that Wonder Woman would conceivably say. But the story as a whole is decent. Wonder Woman saves Vanessa, who is paralyzed during Major Disaster’s attack, visits her regularly in the hospital, and the two become friends. It’s a nice start. Easily the best eight pages of Wonder Woman we’ve seen since Robinson became the book’s writer.

Then he drives the issue right off a cliff. Wonder Woman visits Vanessa less and less, because she’s busy, you know, saving the dang world, and Vanessa gets bitter and angry. The senseless death of her mother compounds these feelings, and hate begins to set in. Meanwhile, Jason throws a party at Diana’s beach house and she has to give him a talking to, which means a) that her dope of a brother is still around, and b) Diana’s role in the back half of this issue consists solely of scolding the dope.

Let me just pause for a second here. WHO WANTS TO READ THAT?! I cannot understand how the writer and editors in charge of Wonder Woman thought that it would be a good idea to dedicate FIVE PAGES, a full QUARTER of the book, to Diana chastising her brother for partying it up and not properly dedicating himself to heroism. Granted, they’ve been making terrible story decisions for several months now. But still, NOBODY WANTS THIS. Nobody wants to read about her brother in the first place, much less her having to babysit him and try to keep him in line. When people buy Wonder Woman, they expect some Wonder Woman fun. Superheroing. Saving the world. Fun sisterhood. Smash the patriarchy a bit. Not this foolishness. Argh.

So after the scolding, a family Wonder Woman recently saved ends up dead. It turns out that Vanessa has become the Silver Swan and, fueled by her anger at Wonder Woman for abandoning her, flies into a jealous rage and murders them, then waits for Wonder Woman to show up so she can make a dramatic proclamation that she is her worst enemy.

This is all terrible, for several reasons. First, can Wonder Woman get a decent female friend at some point please? This is Wonder Woman. Sisterhood is kind of a big deal. We spent the last arc with her battling Grail, now she’s going to be battling Silver Swan, all the while the only people she talks to are Steve and her brother. Where’s Etta Candy? Where are her female superhero pals? Why is this book a sea of dudes, evil women, and occasionally, but only occasionally, Wonder Woman? It makes no sense.

Second, this is a very quick turn for Vanessa. To have her go from loving Wonder Woman to hating Wonder Woman in the span of an issue feels entirely unearned, doubly so because this is a revamp of a key character in the Wonder Woman mythos. During the George Perez relaunch in the late 1980s, Julia Kapatelis was Diana’s first friend in America, and she and her daughter Vanessa became like family to her. Vanessa’s relationship with Diana was lengthy and well fleshed out, and they went through a lot together. When Vanessa eventually became a new version of the villainous Silver Swan, it was after well over a decade of stories, and various fiendish machinations from other villains to brainwash her into the role. There was a deep history there by the time it occurred.

Here, Robinson bypasses all of that. He borrows the name but not the backstory, manufacturing a slapdash relationship between Diana and Vanessa that does no justice whatsoever to her past prominence. And then he turns it entirely halfway through, making her a villain because she was angry that Wonder Woman was too busy to visit her. That origin is a) weak sauce, and b) quite the change. Going from a brave teen persevering through her injuries to a stone cold murderer all in one issue is too fast a turnaround for it to have any emotional impact.

Also, we’ve had three villain origin stories in this run: Grail, Jason, and now Silver Swan. Each one featured a scene in which they see Wonder Woman on television and get angry over her being out and about and saving the day. It’s such lazy writing. All three villains thus far have been rage-fueled, jealous narcissists. Now, this could be interesting if the book served as a reflection on these traits and why Wonder Woman in particular sparks such anger, perhaps delving into how both men and women are conditioned to try to tear down strong women in our patriarchal society. That might be compelling. But this is not that. This is just lazy, hacky writing, recycling the same few notes and doing nothing new or interesting with any of it.

So basically, things aren’t any better now despite the new arc and the New Year. Shocking, I know. Being negative all the time brings me down; seriously, I’d much prefer to be gushing over how great Wonder Woman is and all of the little things I love about it. But the fact is, this run is awful and it’s just not going to get any better. We have to wait it out and hope for a better creative team and better editors when it’s done.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, March 2018 Solicits: An Astonishingly Low 10 Creators on 12 Books

January 9, 2018

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Let’s not beat around the bush here: Marvel’s numbers for female and non-binary creators in their March 2018 solicits are just embarrassingly bad. I mean, only ten? Wow. It’s been a long, long time since we’ve seen a number this low from either DC or Marvel. While women and non-binary creators remain a small minority at both publishers, representation’s definitely grown over the past several years, as have the ranks of these creators. At this point, if one of the Big Two isn’t employing AT LEAST 20 female and non-binary creators to write and draw their books, then they’re not even trying. And to hit a number this low, they’d almost have to be trying not to. This showing is straight up terrible. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in March. It won’t take very long:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #18 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #301 (variant cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Doctor Strange: Damnation #2 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #30 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #28 (writer)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #17 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #2 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #16 (writer), Rogue & Gambit #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #163 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #29 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #7 (writer)

All together, there are 10 different women scheduled to work on 12 different books at Marvel this March, 10 fewer creators than in February and 6 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. These are appalling numbers. Last March, Marvel had 37 different female creators. THIRTY-SEVEN. And now they’re down to 10. That’s nearly a quarter of what they had a year ago. This is a stunning decline.

The last time Marvel was this low was October 2015, when they had 9 female creators on 10 books. That was two and a half years ago, and since then their numbers shot up. Now, after several months of declines, they’ve essentially collapsed. And ironically, March has been a great month for Marvel in recent years. They used to celebrate Women’s History of Month with “Women of Marvel” variant covers and sometimes special issues, with tons of female creators in the mix. Now they’re celebrating Women’s History Month with their lowest number of female creators in ages. And, adding insult to injury, some of the books listed above aren’t long for the world, with Hawkeye and She-Hulk soon to be cancelled.

So, what is going on here? First off, Marvel’s already axed or benched several books that were mainstays for female creators, including America, Captain Marvel, Generation X , and Gwenpool. The publisher doesn’t appear overly invested in promoting books with female leads or creators. This slew of cancellations is not at all helping the publisher’s reputation either, which was already suffering after their higher ups suggested that diverse books and creators don’t sell on multiple occasions. If you add to this lack of support for female-led comics things like the Nazi Captain America foolishness of Secret Empire, the fact that the chairman of the company is a rabid Trump supporter, and a recent spate of relaunches geared toward appeasing old school fanboys above all else, it seems that we may have a situation in which the folks who run Marvel aren’t particularly keen to hire female and non-binary creators AND female and non-binary creators may not be terribly interested in working for the mess that is Marvel right now. It hardly seems a welcoming environment.

Whatever is going on, it remains utterly baffling that the bulk of Marvel’s editorial departments seem fine with largely ignoring the massive, impressive ranks of female and non-binary writers and artists working in comics right now in favour of employing the same dudes over and over again. These dudes are not the future of comics. These women and non-binary creators could very well be. An inability to recognize changes in the industry as a whole is why Marvel went bankrupt in the 1990s, and it seems to be why they’re faltering again here in the 2010s. Case in point: The eight bazillion variant covers they do every month. They haven’t even learned from their past, so it’s no wonder that they’ve got no real vision for the future.

EDIT: An earlier version of this post missed a variant cover by Bilquis Evely, and had Marvel’s numbers at 9 creators on 11 books. It’s actually 10 on 12, which while better is still absolutely terrible.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, March 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 24 Books

January 2, 2018

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After a couple of months of slight gains, female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics is set to stay about the same this March. Leveling off after a bit of growth isn’t entirely unexpected, but this current plateau is pretty underwhelming relative to the publisher’s past highs. DC’s been stalled in the low to mid-20s for several months now, and a new year doesn’t seem to be bringing much to change that. Let’s take a look at who is set to do what at DC this March:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #3 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #39 (cover), Harley Quinn #40 (cover), The Jetsons #5 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #1 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #1 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #14 (cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #21 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #42 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #43 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #23 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Teen Titans #18 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20 (co-writer)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #6 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #1 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #13 (writer), Bombshells United #13 (writer), Bombshells United #14 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #1 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #29 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Harley Quinn #40 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #2 (cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Eternity Girl #1 (variant cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #3 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #3 (inker, cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #20 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #6 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Supergirl #19 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #40 (variant cover), Nightwing #41 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 24 different books in March, the same number of creators as in February though spread across 3 fewer books. This is a very ho-hum showing for DC Comics, who appear to be trapped in a bit of a rut. The bulk of the creators listed above have regular gigs at the publisher and should be back next month, which is great. Having a solid, consistent base is an important first step. The trouble is that a) these ranks don’t seem to be growing much, and b) more transitory gigs like fill-in issues, oneshots, and variant covers have been few and fleeting.

Speaking of this consistent base, there is no one listed above that we haven’t seen at DC over the previous few months. There are a couple of returning favourites who’ve been away for a little while, like Paulina Ganucheau pitching in with a variant cover and Vita Ayala co-writing Supergirl for what should be a great issue that introduces a new non-binary character. Everyone else is the usual crowd. Doing great work on great books, of course, but the ranks aren’t growing.

In terms of characters, after the “Young Animal” oneshots last month, the whole line is relaunching this month with new #1 issues and some revamped titles. Mother Panic will become Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. while Shade, the Changing Girl has grown into Shade, the Changing Woman. We’ve also got a new mini-series spinning out of those oneshots with Eternity Girl. All three books have female leads and a variety of female creators in the mix. The handful of other new releases for March across the line seem rather dude-centric.

All together, DC’s spinning their wheels a bit when it comes to female and non-binary creators. The numbers aren’t growing, and they remain far below the highs they hit in the recent past. Stagnant numbers across the line also combine with the publisher’s hyping of their “New Age of DC Heroes” books, eight new artist-centric series that feature barely any women or non-binary creators at all. It’s a bad look for a company that’s not doing very well with representation to begin with.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, February 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 27 Books

November 28, 2017

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DC’s female creator representation is set to increase slightly in February, marking a second straight month of gains for the publisher. The growth is encouraging yet underwhelming; yes, things are moving in a positive direction, but it’s happening at a very slow rate and DC still remains well below their recent highs. Moreover, the publisher’s dips over the past year offer very little in the way of confidence that these gains won’t be erased in the months to come. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC Comics this February:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Young Monsters In Love #1 (co-writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #37 (cover), Harley Quinn #38 (cover), The Jetsons #4 (cover)
  • Aneke: Gotham City Garage #10 (interior art)
  • Bilquis Evely: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #5 (variant cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Wonder Woman #40 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #6 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #20 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #5 (cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #40 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #41 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic/Batman Special #1 (co-writer), Supergirl #18 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #40 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #5 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: Gotham City Garage #9 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye/Swamp Thing Special #1 (co-writer), JLA/Doom Patrol Special #1 (co-writer), Mother Panic/Batman Special #1 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #12 (writer), Bombshells United #11 (writer), Bombshells United #12 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #28 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Harley Quinn #37 (interior art), Harley Quinn #38 (interior art), Shade, The Changing Girl/Wonder Woman Special #1 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #1 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #2 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (cover), Bombshells United #11 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #2 (inker, cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #19 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #38 (variant cover), Nightwing #39 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female creators set to work on 27 different comic books this February, 2 more creators and 2 more books than in January. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in the February solicits. This is a relatively solid gain after several months of stagnant numbers, but as I mentioned above, the totals are hardly impressive relative to DC’s past performances. The publisher has been mired in the low to mid-20s for some time now, well below the 30+ levels they’ve hit in the past, and while the February numbers are in the upper end of their recent range, there’s still enormous room to grow.

In terms of new female creators, this month is an array of returning favourites. There’s no one here that we haven’t seen at DC before. There are some solid showcases for emerging talents, though. Magdalene Visaggio in particular is set to have a huge month writing backup stories for a series of “Young Animal” specials. Mirka Andolfo continues her tour of the DC universe as well, with interior artwork on three different issues! She’s been in at least 6 or 7 different series in the past half year or so alone, doing wonderful work with each outing.

For female characters, there are a couple of new titles. Mera is launching her own six issue mini-series that marks her first ever solo outing. It’s long overdue, and will sport gorgeous covers by the always spectacular Nicola Scott. We’ve also got a new Wonder Woman book: She’ll be teaming up with the Dark Knight in The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman, which will be written and drawn by former Wonder Woman artist Liam Sharp. The “Young Animal” specials also feature several of the line’s female characters, as well as a guest appearance from Wonder Woman.

Overall, February looks to have slightly more female creator representation than we’ve seen from DC recently, but the numbers remain rather humdrum. The lack of new creators is disappointing as well; as wonderful as DC’s current female creator ranks are, one of the surest ways for the numbers to grow is adding new voices to the mix. The only problem is, editors have to go find them, and it doesn’t look like DC is putting a lot of effort into that right now.


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