Posts Tagged ‘Laura Braga’

Wonder Woman #51 Review: Capturing the Compassionate Heart of Diana

July 27, 2018

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A new creative team can be a tricky thing, especially with a long running character. Fans have such specific ideas about who a character is and what they stand for, and it must be difficult to try to bring a fresh approach to a book while honouring a character’s lengthy past. All sorts of creators, from new folks to established pros, have been tripped up by this, especially with Wonder Woman. But sometimes, a new team comes on board and they get it right from the very start.

That is what we’ve got with Wonder Woman #51. Steve Orlando and Laura Braga have put together a spectacular standalone issue that showcases the kindness that’s at the core of what I love most about Diana. A lot of people see her as a warrior first and foremost, and I agree that’s part of who she is, but for me the defining characteristic of Wonder Woman is her compassion. She genuinely cares about people, even the villains. Fighting is a last resort. She’ll end a dangerous situation, to be sure, but she’ll always look for a peaceful way out first and try to understand and help her foe after. Diana believes in redemption, in transformation, and she has since her earliest days in the 1940s with William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter. It’s integral to the character. And by exploring this theme, Orlando and Braga have put together an issue that could go down as one of the best single issues of Wonder Woman ever. We’ll dig into it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you all of the excellent things that happen in this issue!

Go read it first!

It’s very, very, very good!

The issue picks up on a moment from Wonder Woman #28, when our favourite heroine battled Mayfly (among several other would-be assassins). I love this. Shea Fontana and an array of fine artists did a fantastic five issue arc that I think got lost in the shuffle a bit between the big runs that came before and after, and I’m so glad that they’re referencing it here. It was super good, all about Diana and Etta teaming up together for friendship and adventure, and you all should go read it if you haven’t.

Now, months later, Mayfly, a.k.a. Moon Robinson, is in a prison for superpowered villains in Antarctica, and Diana has stopped by to visit. She saw something in Moon, a hidden pain, and she wants to help, if she can. Moon is not interested, but Diana keeps coming back, even when several of their early visits end with Moon trying to kill her. The issue spans years of Diana visiting Moon and developing a deep friendship, fifty-two visits in all, and ends with Diana waiting outside the prison with her invisible jet when Moon is finally released.

It’s all so dang good. From Wonder Woman’s warm insistence to Moon’s reluctance and evolution, every beat is compelling. Of course Diana would visit a supervillain fifty-two times to try to empower her and help her sort herself out. That is a quintessentially Wonder Woman thing to do. She’s not the kind to hold a grudge when someone tries to kill her. She’s the kind who understands that something unfortunate in the villain’s past must have led them to this point. Her side of the conversation in this issue is patient and authentically compassionate, despite Moon’s initial volatility, and the friendship that develops between them is beautifully woven.

There are also warranted moments of pushback. At one point, Diana compliments Moon for being “open to bettering yourself,” and Moon is justifiably upset. It can be a patronizing term, and I think that Moon is right to react angrily. But Diana explains that she has come to respect Moon. Diana isn’t a superpowered Dr. Phil doing some superficial psychological evaluation. She’s gotten to know and understand Moon, and as her friend she sees her deep potential. Diana’s respect for Moon allows her to see the potential in herself, and their friendship grows even stronger from then on.

On top of this issue being an excellent encapsulation of who Wonder Woman is, it’s also filled with great references to Wonder Woman’s history. The entire thing is set in Antarctica, but there are subtle flashbacks to iconic elements like Paradise Island’s purple ray and kangas, among several other glimpses of Diana’s youth. The Amazons can’t really be a part of Wonder Woman right now, but I’m always glad when they show up somehow, and are well illustrated. Braga captures them perfectly, and also showcases a variety of different outfits for Diana over the course of her fifty two visits. On top of her standard costume, we get a casual white wrap dress, what looks like a take on her Gotham City Garage outfit, her Kingdom Come armour (known among fans as the chicken armour), and more.

Braga does a great job with the art throughout the issue. She’s familiar with Wonder Woman from her time on DC Comics Bombshells, and slips into her modern incarnation with ease. The issue has a lot of emotional beats and Braga hits them all with her wonderfully expressive characters. Her flashbacks to action scenes are gorgeous as well, and the entire book is lovely all around. Plus, Braga is joined by series MVP Romulo Fajardo Jr., who colors the book with his usual flair and style. It’s a marvelous pairing that makes this issue soar on every level.

While Braga has only popped by for one issue, Orlando will be back for four more, and I’m excited to see what he brings to a longer arc. If this first issue is any indication, it will make for some very good reading. He obviously understands Diana on a fundamental level, and I’m glad to have a couple months with him writing the character. It’s always a joy when Wonder Woman is in good hands, and she certainly right now. And with G. Willow Wilson just around the corner as well, it’s a swell time to be a Wonder Woman fan!

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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 Marvel Comics Watch, June 2018 Solicits: 20 Creators on 14 Books

April 4, 2018

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We’ve got some good news and some bad news with Marvel’s June solicits. The good news is that for the first time in several months, Marvel’s number of female creators is out of the teens. Just barely so, but hey, the numbers have been so bad that we’ll take what we can get. The bad news is that the a sizeable amount of the gigs listed below are one-time outings, and thus won’t be back in a similar form next month. If Marvel wants to keep the numbers up, there’ll either need to be some big changes to the line or a lot more oneshots. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #21 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #196 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Dazzler: X Song #1 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #33 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #31 (co-writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #3 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #20 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #5 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: Dazzler: X Song #1 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Dazzler: X Song #1 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #32 (interior art, cover)
  • Nik Virella: Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1 (interior art)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: Amazing Spider-Man #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Ms. Marvel #31 (co-writer), Runaways #10 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Ms. Marvel #31 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1 (cover)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 14 different books at Marvel this June, 5 more creators than in May, though on 2 fewer books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled in this round of solicits. The gain is good to see. So far, 2018 has been a rough year for representation at Marvel, and while 20 women is still quite paltry, it’s nonetheless a step up from where the publisher’s been lately.

However, it seems unlikely to last. Of the 20 women above, 10 are working on one-time jobs. As cool as it is to see new books starring Black Widow, Dazzler, and the Marvel Rising team, these are all one-shots. These single outings combined with a handful of variant covers means that half of Marvel’s female creators in June are not working on sustainable gigs. Hopefully they’ll be back elsewhere next month, but such a strong reliance on one-off work is hardly a recipe for good long term representation at the publisher.

Things aren’t look great for female characters, either. We’ve got the aforementioned oneshots, which are fun and all, but Marvel is set to unveil a slew of new series in June and only one has a female character in the mix. Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Iron Man, Muliple Man, the Sentry, and Thor are all headlining new books. Only Ant-Man and the Wasp has a female lead, and she’s a co-lead. This prevalence of dudes, real and fictional, is the hallmark of Marvel’s new line, and chances are this trend will continue as it keeps rolling out.

Overall, Marvel’s not in a very good place with female and non-binary creators right now. The numbers jumped this month, but there doesn’t seem to be any indication that this will last long term. Men seem to be the publisher’s focus right now, both on the page and behind the scenes, and much of their new line appears to be an attempt at appeasing conservative fanboys. Things might change at some point, but the current trend doesn’t bode well for women and non-binary creators at Marvel.

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.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, January 2018 Solicits: 24 Creators on 25 Books

November 6, 2017

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I’ll say this for DC Comics: They’ve become very consistent in their female and non-binary creator representation. The numbers aren’t particularly strong, situated in the mid-20s when the publisher has been well into the 30s in the past. But relative to months previous and to Marvel’s output, DC’s not been especially low or especially high for the past several rounds of solicits. They’re right in the middle with unremarkable numbers, not bottoming out but not progressing either. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in January:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #2 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #35 (cover), Harley Quinn #36 (cover), The Jetsons #3 (cover)
  • Colleen Doran: Gotham City Garage #8 (interior art)
  • Diana Egea: Detective Comics #972 (inker)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #9 (cover), Superwoman #18 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #38 (interior art), Wonder Woman #39 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #5 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #19 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (cover), Wonder Woman #38 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #39 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #17 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #38 (interior art), Batman #39 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Batwoman #11 (writer), Superwoman #18 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Bombshells United #10 (writer), Bombshells United #9 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: New Super-Man #19 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #27 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #10 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #10 (cover), Justice League of America #22 (cover), Justice League of America #23 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #1 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #2 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #9 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Gotham City Garage #8 (cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 25 different comic book in January, 1 more female creator than in December and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s January solicits. It’s a modest gain that keeps the publisher on their middle of the road streak. It could be better, it could be worse. What’s clear is that DC isn’t committed to expanding their ranks of women and non-binary creators. While they hit about the same level each month, growth has been minimal as of late.

To this point, there aren’t very many new names in the mix this month. Rachael Stott had one short gig at DC a few months back, and now it looks like she’s got a regular job with the new Vertigo series Motherlands. She’s been doing a lot of work on the IDW Doctor Who books, and it’s good to see that DC’s brought her in. We’ve also got a couple of returning favourites, though I don’t know for how long. Colleen Doran is doing some pages for Gotham City Garage in what looks to be a one-time gig. We’ve also got Mariko Tamaki writing New Super-Man this month, and I’m not sure if she’s taking over the book or it’s just a one-off job.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a few new books with female leads in the mix. The new team book The Terrifics includes Phantom Girl, though she’s only one woman in a team of five. The one-shot Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt features Raven, but again she’s one female character in a team of men. But Raven has new showcase all to herself with the new mini-series Raven: Daughter of Darkness. While I’m glad to see Raven getting some attention, having Marv Wolfman write her yet again seems like a bit of an odd choice. He’s done several Raven mini-series over the past several years, none of which were very successful. Also, there are no female creators involved with the book, which is disappointing.

All together, it looks like nothing much is going to change in terms of female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics as the New Year begins. January’s not that different from December, which wasn’t that different from November, which wasn’t that different from October. The publisher seems committed to mediocre numbers right now, and that’s going to continue into 2018.

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

October 18, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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


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