Posts Tagged ‘Joelle Jones’

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, September 2018 Solicits: 15 Creators on 14 Books

July 17, 2018

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So, this is pretty terrible. DC’s female and non-binary creator numbers have been in the ballpark of the low 20s for a while, stable if noticeably below their past highs. But now, September marks a nosedive for the publisher. All of DC’s recent cancellations of female creator-led books have caught up with them, and they are set to post their lowest total in over than three years. Not good, DC Comics. Not good at all. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this September:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #4 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #50 (cover), Supergirl #22 (variant cover)
  • Amanda Deibert: Teen Titans Go! #30 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Plastic Man #4 (cover)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #4 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #54 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #55 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #3 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #44 (co-writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #27 (writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #1 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #3 (variant cover), Supergirl #22 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #44 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Red Hood and the Outlaws #26 (variant cover)
  • Zu Orzu: Cover #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 15 different female creators set to work on 14 different comic books at DC this September, 10 fewer creators than in August and 5 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in DC’s solicits this month. So, this is quite a drop. Losing two fifths of your female work force in one month is not a good look. A lot of it can be chalked up the end of the “Young Animal” line, which was good for at least five female creators each month. And August’s numbers were ballooned by a variety of oneshots and special issues. With all of that gone, we’re left with some paltry numbers.

But some new faces, at least. We’ve not seen Zu Orzu before, and she’ll be providing a variant cover for the first issue of the series Cover. We’ve got a returning favourite as well with Amanda Deibert, and the launch of two of the new “Sandman Universe” line brings us Bilquis Evely and Nalo Hopkinson on a regular basis. The gains haven’t counter balanced the losses, clearly, but at least there were some gains, a couple of which we’ll be seeing a lot of moving forward.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a few things going on. Harley Quinn and Wonder Woman were name checked in the solicit for the first issue of Heroes in Crisis, so they should be playing a part in that. Both of the new “Sandman Universe” books have female leads too, as does Cover. August’s endings took away a lot of female characters as well, so having a few new leads in the mix is nice.

Overall, despite these new characters and my great excitement for the “Sandman Universe,” September looks to be a rough month for female and non-binary characters at DC. Here’s a startling fact: There are only FIVE superhero titles this month that aren’t written or drawn entirely by men. That is very few indeed. Also, there are just TWO women doing interior art across the entirety of DC’s line. That is an embarrassingly low number. All of the lovely covers listed above will be grand, I’m sure, but it’s nice to have women drawing the insides of the book too. And the sad fact is, we’re going to need to see some big changes to the line to pull DC up out of the teens. Some books have been announced, and things should improve somewhat over the next couple months if everything else can remain steady, but the publisher has a lot of ground to make up now after digging themselves into such a hole.

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Women + NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, August 2018 Solicits: 25 Creators on 19 Books

May 30, 2018

womenatdcAUGUST

August looks like it’s going to be a relatively decent month for female creators at DC Comics, with the publisher posting its highest numbers since March. It’s a welcome change after an underwhelming spring and start to the summer. However, August is also a month of transition, with some big beginnings, endings, and returns, so the sustainability of these numbers is very much up in the air. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this August:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #3 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1 (co-writer, cover), Supergirl #21 (variant cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Teen Titans #21 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Sandman Universe #1 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Batgirl Annual #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl Annual #2 (cover), Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (cover)
  • Gail Simone: Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (writer), Plastic Man #3 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #52 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #53 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #6 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #2 (writer, art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #43 (co-writer)
  • Kat Howard: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #6 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #26 (writer), Batgirl Annual #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #2 (variant cover), Supergirl #21 (cover)
  • Sana Takeda: The Wild Storm #16 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #43 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (writer, backup story)
  • Yasmine Putri: Scooby Apocalypse #28 (variant cover)

All together, there are 25 female creators scheduled to work on 19 different comics in August 2018, 4 more creators than in July and 3 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators set to work at DC Comics in August. Relative to the year thus far, this is a solid showing for female representation at DC. The numbers remain noticeably below the publisher’s past highs, but hitting the mid-20s is still a nice change after a consistent, lower stretch.

We’ve also got a major debut in August with The Sandman Universe #1. Not only is it more Sandman, which is always exciting, it’s also an introductory issue for four spinoff series that will begin this fall. The book has several female creators in the mix, including writers Kat Howard and Nalo Hopkinson, both new to DC, and artist Bilquis Evely, who you may remember from her excellent run on Wonder Woman. They’ll also be part of the spinoff books moving forward.

But we’ve got a lot of endings as well. Batwoman is drawing to a close after a very enjoyable run, and between that and the cancellation of Bombshells United I’ve got my fingers crossed that DC has something else lined up for Marguerite Bennett because she’s been doing fantastic work for them. August also marks the end of the “Young Animal” imprint, which will be a major blow to the numbers. “Young Animal” creators account for 5 of the 25 women listed above, and losing 20% of your female workforce in one fell swoop is not ideal. They’re all amazing creators, too, and I hope DC is wise enough to keep them in the fold with new work.

There are also a lot of oneshots and annuals in August, including a few Looney Tunes crossovers that sound amusing. These are one-off gigs, though, and combined those with a few random variant cover jobs and the cancellations I just mentioned, there are only 11 female creators in the list above that have long term jobs guaranteeing they’ll be back next month. Several of the 14 other women may return in some other capacity, but it’s no sure thing.

Overall, while August will be one of DC’s better months for representation so far this year, things are very much in flux right now. Barring a rash of one-shot gigs or major creative shake ups, reaching this level again in September could be tricky. Plus it’s not even that impressive a level to begin with. DC’s hired far more female and non-binary creators in the past. And they also hire about a couple hundred dudes each month, so women and non-binary creators remain a small minority regardless.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, July 2018 Solicits: 21 Creators on 16 Books

May 1, 2018

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After some low numbers in the June solicits, DC’s underwhelming summer is set to continue into July. The publisher has a lot going on, what with the Brian Michael Bendis era beginning in Action Comics and Superman and new Justice League books debuting. However, few of the goings on seem to involve female or non-binary creators. The only exception is the upcoming Bat-Cat wedding, which will spin off into an exciting new title in July. But elsewhere, representation remains relatively poor. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this July:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #2 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Teen Titans #20 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Batman #50 (interior art), Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Plastic Man #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (writer)
  • Corinna Bechko: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl #25 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #2 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #50 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #51 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #5 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #50 (interior art), Catwoman #1 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Laura Braga: Wonder Woman #51 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #5 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #25 (co-writer), Green Arrow #42 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batgirl #25 (co-writer), Batwoman #17 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #6 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #1 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Terrifics #6 (interior art)
  • Shea Fontana: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 21 different female creators set to work on 16 different books in July, 2 more creators than in June though 1 fewer book. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators working at DC Comics in July. These ups and downs even out to the slightest of gains, but the numbers remain noticeably below the publisher’s spring totals and far off of their past highs. At this point, female and non-binary creator representation is at just two thirds of what DC has shown themselves to be capable of achieving.

The continuing low numbers can be attributed to a lack of new talent. While the creators listed above are fantastic, we’ve seen all of them before at DC in some capacity or another. It’s encouraging to have a group of women getting steady work here, for sure. That kind of consistency is important. But the numbers remain relatively low, and they aren’t growing.

In terms of fictional women, the big news is that we’re getting a new Catwoman book, written and drawn by the wonderful Joelle Jones. That’s going to be excellent. Apart from that, female characters will also have some decent representation in two new Justice League titles set to premiere in July. Wonder Woman and Zatanna are part of Justice League Dark, accounting for 2 of the 5 characters on the team, while Jessica Cruz and Starfire will be in Justice League Odyssey, making up 2 of the 4 characters on the team. The male majority on the flagship Justice League title is substantial, so these new additions to the line are a big step toward better representation.

Overall, there are some positive signs at DC. The female creator ranks are stable, and fictional representation has improved. However, the creator numbers remain low. There just doesn’t seem to be a commitment at the publisher to improving the ranks of female and non-binary creators. We’ve been seeing a similar lack of effort from Marvel as well, which has added up to a rather disappointing string of solicits as of late. DC has reached much higher totals in the past, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be returning to those highs any time soon.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, May 2018 Solicits: 23 Creators on 20 Books

March 6, 2018

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May looks to be another pedestrian month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. Despite a lot of big changes and new initiatives, the numbers have been sitting in the mid-20s for several months now. While it’s not the worst we’ve seen from the publisher, they’ve shown themselves to be capable of far higher totals. And unfortunately, the future isn’t looking very bright at the moment, either. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this May:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn: Harley Loves Joker #1 (cover), Harley Quinn: Harley Loves Joker #2 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #3 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Green Arrow Annual #2 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #3 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Wonder Woman #46 (cover), Wonder Woman #47 (cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #23 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #46 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #47 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Action Comics Special #1 (interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #3 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #5 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (co-writer), Green Arrow Annual #2 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (variant cover)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #3 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #15 (writer), Bombshells United #17 (writer), Bombshells United #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #3 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #4 (cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Bombshells United #17 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #5 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (cover), Bombshells United #18 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #5 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (co-writer), Green Arrow Annual #2 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #17 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #44 (variant cover), Wonder Woman Annual #2 (cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 20 different books at DC Comics in May, the same number of creators as in April though on 3 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in the solicits this month. These totals are among the lowest DC has posted in a while, though they remain in the ballpark of where the publisher has been lately. A range of 23-27 women and non-binary creators has been the norm, and it’s been that way despite some big creative changes. Losses somewhere were met with gains elsewhere, keeping things about the same for a while now.

But this could change very soon. A couple of big cancellations were announced recently that are going to have a significant effect on the numbers. First, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is shipping its final issue in May. That book has been a powerhouse for female creators. It accounts for four of the names listed above, and has done so more or less steadily for the past year and a half. On top of that, Bombshells United is set to wrap up soon. From DC Comics Bombshells through Bombshells United, the book has been a bastion of female representation at DC for years now. Not only were women working on it at all levels of production, it also double shipped frequently, adding a slew of names to the list each month. It was a showcase for female artists as well, with creators like Mirka Andolfo, Laura Braga, Carmen Carnero, and many more doing fantastic work there before moving on elsewhere in the DC universe. Without it, not only are the numbers going to take a hit, but an important pipeline for female creators will be lost.

So that’s going to be a lot for the rest of the line to have to overcome. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey will be gone in the June solicits, and Bombshells has maybe a month or two left. And we’ve yet to see any news on what female and non-binary creator-led titles could replace them. Things are ramping up for a lot of big changes at DC, with Brian Michael Bendis taking over the Superman line and Scott Snyder tackling the Justice League. But from the looks of things, they’re bringing a lot of dudes with them to draw those books. Unless DC’s got some exciting new announcements up their sleeve, and several of them, I fear the numbers are going to start to drop very soon.

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.

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.

My Top 10 Superhero Comic Books of 2017

December 20, 2017

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It’s been an interesting year for superhero comic books. DC’s been trucking along with “Rebirth,” telling a lot of fun stories in the mix. Marvel’s been more split, with half the line spending a considerable part of the year embroiled in weird Nazi/Hydra antics while several of the titles that avoided Secret Empire put out some very enjoyable adventures. When I sat down to figure out my favourite superhero comics of the year, I was amused to see my list split down the middle, half DC and half Marvel! While I’d definitely say that DC had the better year overall, qualitywise, Marvel’s good books were VERY good.

Before we get to the list, though, I should point out that it’s been a great year for non-superhero comics, too. The cape books are my main focus here, of course, but I’ve been enjoying all sorts of other titles. More specifically, Bitch Planet: Triple Feature was excellent, as was the latest “season” of Sex Criminals from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. I’ve also been enjoying Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams, the latest volume of George O’Connor’s Olympians was fantastic as always, and Paper Girls from Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang remains gorgeous if all over the place, storywise. I’m always down for Cliff Chiang art! There’s no lack of wonderful comics out there right now across all sorts of genres and styles.

But now, onto my favourite superhero comic books of the year! Check out the list, and let me know your favourites from the past year in the comments:

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10) Batman by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Joelle Jones, and more

I’m reading Batman in trade so I’m a little bit behind, but I’m enjoying the heck out of it. I was leery of it initially, since the premises didn’t grab me. Superpowered heroes in Gotham? More Bane shenanigans? I didn’t think it’d be for me. Then I read the books and was quickly proved wrong. King and his excellent array of artists make it all work beautifully. And of course, I love the prominent role that Catwoman has in the run. She’s become a major player here, and while she and Batman are bad ass and cool, as always, compassion seems to be the core of both characterizations. It’s good stuff, and often beautifully drawn.

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9) Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

This book has been amazing for a while now, and it showed no signs of slowing down on that front in 2017. Is Ryan North still writing it? Is Erica Henderson still drawing it? Is Squirrel Girl still eating nuts and kicking butts? Then it’s going to remain great. And it has! North and Henderson bring so much heart and humour to the comic. It’s just a joy to read, and served as a most welcome counter to the bleak storylines that took over a lot of Marvel books this year. If you like delightful things, then go start reading Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

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8) Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt, and more

I’ve enjoyed the stories in Green Arrow over the past year well enough, but I’ll be honest: The book made my Top 10 for Otto Schmidt alone. His art is SO GOOD. His pages just sing. The art isn’t terribly out there for a superhero book, but it’s absolutely unique and different and stands out from everything else on the stands right now. I think part of it is that he colors it himself, and everything on the page feels so cohesive and complimentary. It’s really remarkable stuff. Green Arrow cycles through a variety of artists, like most DC books right now, and while they’re all pretty solid, Schmidt’s work is just next level. I want him to draw every superhero now.

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7) All New Wolverine by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Nik Virella, and more

Step aside, old Wolverine. You were fun while you lasted, but the new Wolverine is so much better. She’s got everything we expect from a Wolverine: claws, ferocity, a propensity for going after anyone who threatens her friends with a berserker rage. But instead of being a mopey guy who’s been around forever, she’s a cantankerous yet endearing young woman. Plus she’s assembled a great supporting cast over the course of this run. It’s a fun, exciting book, and I’m completely fine with never seeing the old Wolverine again now.

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6) Detective Comics by James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Marcio Takara, and more

Team books can be a tricky thing. There are a lot of characters to manage, and a few always end up taking a backseat while a handful come to the fore. Tynion and his rotating teams of artists have struck an impressive balance here, largely by backseating the character you’d expect to see more than anyone else: Batman. He’s a key figure, but doesn’t dominate the book. Instead, Batwoman leads the team and the spotlight gets shared by Azrael, Batwing, Clayface, Orphan, and Spoiler. The degree of attention ebbs and flows, but no one goes too long without a good storyline or an important role. The book also manages to tell its own stories while weaving in and out of the bigger events at DC over the past year. It’s a solid Bat-team book that I always find myself looking forward to.

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5) Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and more

I’m a big fan of the classic Thor, but what Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman have done with Jane Foster as Thor is far and away my favourite take on the character yet. It’s been a huge year for her, with an intergalactic war and darkness spreading through the nine realms, not to mention the return of Odinson and the emergence of the War Thor. But amid all of the epicness, the story of Jane battling cancer and sacrificing her well-being to be the hero the world, nay, the universe needs has been so beautifully told. The heart Aaron and Dauterman bring to their crazy action and adventure is what makes this one of the best books on the stands.

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4) Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Shea Fontana, Mirka Andolfo, Bilquis Evely, and more

Not right now, obviously. Wonder Woman has been garbage since James Robinson et al. took over a few months ago. But before that, the book was having a great year. The wrap up of the “Godwatch” and “The Truth” arcs was a powerful, well-executed conclusion to an excellent run that provided a much needed revitalization of Wonder Woman after a rough few years. Then we got “Heart of the Amazon,” which was an awesome team up between Diana and Etta Candy that pitted them against superpowered assassins and evil scientists. Now the book is about Wonder Woman and her brother and it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks, but up until then it was a really great year of stories.

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3) Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

People were raving about this book before the first issue even came out, and with all of that buzz building and building, I came into this with high expectations. Mister Miracle beat those expectations with ease. The first issue especially is just masterful storytelling. It’s intentionally disorienting yet it pulls you along, and when you finally realize what’s happening it’s a gut punch that is heartbreaking yet so perfect for the character. Subsequent issues have been fascinating in their own right. It’s a unique, compelling book that is a worthy vehicle for Mister Miracle and Big Barda, two of Jack Kirby’s best creations.

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2) Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla, Takeshi Miyazawa, and more

Ms. Marvel has been stellar for years now. Introducing a Muslim, Pakistani-American, teen heroine was no mean feat, and yet the book has never taken a step wrong. And this year was no exception. Kamala went through a lot, both professionally and personally, and as the year went on the book began to echo a lot of the issues facing America as a whole in 2017. Ms. Marvel is grounded in our reality in a way most superhero books aren’t, and that led to some incisive storytelling that still paired beautifully with all of the usual fun and action we expect from the series.

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1) Hawkeye by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Michael Walsh, and more

The Fraction/Aja/Wu era of Hawkeye is easily one of the best superhero runs of the past decade, and set a massively high bar for any and all Hawkeye stories moving forward. Thompson, Romero, and Walsh have reached that bar and more with Kate Bishop’s new solo series. The book is an absolute joy, from Thompson’s sharp and hilarious dialogue to Romero and Walsh doing an amazing job with all of the archery action and comedic beats packed into each issue. Plus there’s some serious heart and pathos beyond all of the fun, with Kate dealing with some heavy stuff. Things are rarely cool and chill for a Hawkeye, as much as they may pretend otherwise. The book is a dang delight, each and every month, and I love it to bits.


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