Posts Tagged ‘Meredith Finch’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics, November 2019 Solicits: 22 Creators on 23 Books

September 27, 2019

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Oh, dear. Marvel’s had a really strong 2019, with consistent, high representation for female and non-binary creators. It’s been month after month of LONG lists of amazing writers and artists. Until the fall, that is. The past two months have been relatively subpar, and now the November solicits mark Marvel’s lowest totals for the year by a wide margin. Let’s dig into who’s doing what at the publisher this November:

  • Alyssa Wong: Aero #5 (co-writer)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #4 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Fallen Angels #1 (cover), Fallen Angels #2 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #38 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #39 (cover)
  • Emily Ryan Lerner: Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1 (writer)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #50 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #12 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #1 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #3 (writer)
  • Karla Pacheco: Fantastic Four 2099 #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #12 (writer), Deadpool #1 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Amazing Mary Jane #2 (writer), Gwenpool Strikes Back #4 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #1 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #4 (writer)
  • Peach Momoko: Fallen Angels #2 (variant cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #27 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #3 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Ghost-Spider #4 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Yondu #2 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Excalibur #2 (writer), Strikeforce #3 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Morbius #1 (writer)

All together, there are 22 different female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on 23 different books in November, eight fewer creators than in October on six fewer books. Those are some sizeable drops, without a commensurate drop in the publisher’s overall output. Marvel’s Fearless mini-series has ended, and that’s been a bastion of female creators for the publisher over the past few months, but that doesn’t account for all of the drop. The relaunch of the X-Men line certainly isn’t doing a lot to improve things either.

Marvel will put out 82 new book in November, and with female and non-binary creators on 23 of them we get representation across 28% of the line. That’s a five point drop from October, and a worrying decline given how everything else has gone thus far this autumn. All the numbers are going down.

There’s only one new creator in the list this month, which is what tends to happen when the numbers drop. We’ve got Emily Ryan Lerner writing Absolute Carnage: Captain Marvel #1, one of a bajillion tie-ins to whatever is going on with all of this Carnage stuff (I’m not a big Carnage fan and am very out of the loop on that front).

For new books, the X-titles continue to roll out, adding lots of teams with various female mutants spread throughout them in unique formations. One of them is Fallen Angels, with Psylocke and X-23 in the mix. Not a lot of female or non-binary creators making those books, though. There are also a series of 2099 specials, because that’s a thing this month, I guess?

Overall, November looks like it’s going to be a rough month for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The numbers are in freefall, and while I assume they’ll level out soon (Marvel puts out so many books that I can’t imagine they’ll fall much further), everything is well off the recent highs right now. It’s disappointing to see.

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Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics, October 2019 Solicits: 30 Creators on 29 Books

September 19, 2019

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Marvel looks to hold steady across the board with their October solicits. There aren’t any huge changes from their September numbers, which is unfortunate given that the September numbers were a definite step down from what’s been a stellar year of female and non-binary creator representation at the publisher. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Alyssa Wong: Aero #4 (co-writer), Future Fight Firsts: Crescent and Io #1 (writer), Future Fight Firsts: Luna Snow #1 (writer), Future Fight Firsts: White Fox #1 (writer)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #3 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #37 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Bizarre Adventures #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Belen Ortega: The Punisher #16 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #11 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Fearless #4 (interior art)
  • Colleen Doran: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #3 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #3 (interior art, cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #49 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #11 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Loki #4 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Fearless #4 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #2 (writer)
  • Kei Zama: Death’s Head #4 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle #1 (co-writer), Captain Marvel #11 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Gwenpool Strikes Back #3 (writer), The Amazing Mary Jane #1 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #3 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #11 (variant cover)
  • Peach Momoko: Aero #4 (variant cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Amazing Spider-Man: Full Circle #1 (interior art)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #26 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Future Fight Firsts: Crescent and Io #1 (variant cover), Future Fight Firsts: Luna Snow #1 (variant cover), Future Fight Firsts: White Fox #1 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: House of X #6 (variant cover), Spider-Man #2 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Fearless #4 (writer), Ghost-Spider #3 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Spider-Verse #1 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: The Web of Black Widow #2 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Death’s Head #4 (writer), Doctor Strange Annual #1 (co-writer), Excalibur #1 (writer), Strikeforce #2 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Fearless #4 (cover)

All together there are 30 female creators set to work on 29 different books at Marvel in October, the same number of creators as in September on two more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits, a rarity for Marvel as of late. Very little has changed from September, despite the fact that we’re starting to see some big changes at Marvel as House of X and Powers of X wrap up and start a new era of X-books.

Marvel’s only put out one more book in October than September, meaning that 29 of their 89 books had female creator representation this month. That’s a total of 33%, a jump of two points from last month. It’s a minor change, but one in a positive direction at least. Still, that’s where DC’s at right now. Marvel’s advantage is this proportional metric has long past now.

We’ve got a couple of new names this month, including Alyssa Wong who is writing or co-writing a whopping FOUR books in October. That’s a massive debut. We’ve also got a variant cover from Belen Ortega, who is new to me. Everyone else is someone we’ve seen in some capacity over the past few months.

For new books, the aforementioned X-books are starting to roll out now. I’m not going to go through them all, but suffice it to say if there’s an X-lady you like, she’s probably on a team somewhere this month or next. It’s a pile of teams. There’s a female-led Excalibur title now, though, which looks great! The Amazing Mary Jane is launching this month too, and we’ve also got a series of Future Fight Firsts one-shots that I believe tie into some sort of Marvel mobile game, and they have a lot of female leads.

Overall, October looks to be a steady month for Marvel. The numbers haven’t bounced back, but nor have they dropped. While the November numbers will paint a fuller picture, it looks like Marvel’s strong run may have ended for now.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics, September 2019 Solicits: 30 Creators on 27 Books

September 12, 2019

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As we continue our catching up, September marks a slight drop for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The publisher has maintained a relatively impressive level of representation for some time, and this may well be a momentary blip. That being said, consistency in representation is out of character for Marvel, so we’ll have to see what happens over the rest of the fall. For now, let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this September:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #47 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Marvel Comics #1001 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Marvel Comics #1001 (co-writer)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #2 (interior art)
  • Anna Rud: Marvel Team-Up #6 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #36 (cover)
  • Audrey Loeb: Marvel Comics #1001 (co-writer)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #10 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Fearless #3 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Age of Conan: Valeria #2 (variant cover), Ghost-Spider Annual #1 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #48 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #10 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Marvel Tales: Black Panther #1 (cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Fearless #3 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #1 (writer), Wolverine Annual #1 (writer)
  • Kei Zama: Death’s Head #3 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #10 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Absolute Carnage: Avengers #1 (writer), Gwenpool Strikes Back #2 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: The Web of Black Widow #1 (variant cover)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Marvel Comics #1001 (interior art)
  • Peach Momoko: Silver Surfer: Black #4 (variant cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #25 (writer)
  • Sabine Rich: Agents of Atlas #2 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: House of X #4 (variant cover), House of X #5 (variant cover), Spider-Man #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Fearless #3 (writer), Ghost-Spider #1 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #3 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Death’s Head #3 (writer), Strikeforce #1 (writer), Thanos #6 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Ghost-Spider Annual #1 (writer), Marvel Comics #1001 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Fearless #3 (cover), Savage Sword of Conan #9 (variant cover)

All together, there are 30 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 27 different books in September, seven fewer creators but only one fewer book. The drop in creators in considerable, with a decline of nearly a fifth. That’s nothing to scoff at. The number of books remains more or less consistent, though.

With female and non-binary creators working on 27 of Marvel’s 88 books in September, that gives us representation across 31% of the line. This was 33% in August, so it’s a slight step down that, when combined with the big drop in creators, makes September a disappointing month for the publisher. Nothing catastrophic, but certainly a step down from what’s been a relatively strong run as of late.

It’s a quiet month for new creators as well. There don’t seem to be any brand new names, though there are a few returning creators from way back. We haven’t seen Meghan Hetrick or Audrey Loeb in some time, years even, so it’s cool to have them back in the mix. And while we’re used to seeing Sabine Rich at DC, this might be her first credit in the Marvel solicits, which is fun.

For new books, The Web of Black Widow has everyone’s favourite spy starring in some new adventures. If Scarlett Johansson’s got you down, you can still enjoy Black Widow comics at least. There are also some great female characters in the new Strikeforce book, including Angela, Monica Rambeau, and Spider-Woman.

Overall, Marvel’s numbers for female and non-binary creators are slightly down from their recent levels in this round of solicits. It was inevitable, to some degree. The numbers tend to shift far more often than we’ve seen from Marvel this year. Time will tell if September marks a temporary slide or a bigger change at the publisher.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, August 2019 Solicits: 37 Creators on 28 Books

July 26, 2019

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August is a big month for Marvel, with a “landmark” thousandth issue from a massive team of creators set to hit comic shops. The numbering is completely arbitrary, and it’s not even a real series. Marvel saw the success DC had with its legitimate Action Comics #1000 and Detective Comics #1000 and, since there are no Marvel books anywhere close to a thousand issues yet, just decided to make something up and have their own Marvel Comics #1000. It’s a goofy gimmick that will sell a ton of copies because that’s how the comics business works, and it’s set to feature a bunch of female creators, as you can see below. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this August:

  • Alexandra Petri: She-Hulk Annual #1 (writer)
  • Alitha E. Martinez: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #46 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Gwenpool Strikes Back #1 (variant cover), Invisible Woman #2 (variant cover)
  • Aneke: Age of Conan: Valeria #1 (interio art)
  • Anna Rud: Marvel Team-Up #5 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Marvel Monsters #1 (interior art)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #9 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Fearless #2 (interior art)
  • Dana Schwartz: Deadpool Annual #1 (writer)
  • Elsa Charretier: Power Pack: Grow Up! #1 (variant cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Absolute Carnage: Mile Morales #1 (variant cover), Gwenpool Strikes Back #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #47 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #9 (writer), Marvel Comics #1000 (creator)
  • Gail Simone: Marvel Comics #1000 (creator)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool Strikes Back #1 (variant cover), Power Pack: Grow Up! #1 (interior art)
  • Irene Koh: Marvel Comics #1000 (creator)
  • Irina Nordsol: Doctor Strange #18 (cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Black Cat #3 (variant cover), Marvel Comics #1000 (creator), Marvel Tales: X-Men #1 (cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Fearless #2 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Tie Fighter #5 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Power Pack: Grow Up! #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Karla Pacheco: Fearless #2 (co-writer)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Marvel Comics #1000 (creator)
  • Kei Zama: Death’s Head #2 (interior art)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Marvel Comics #1000 (creator)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #9 (writer), Marvel Comics #1000 (creator)
  • Leah Williams: Gwenpool Strikes Back #1 (writer)
  • Louise Simonson: Power Pack: Grow Up! #1 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Age of Conan: Valeria #1 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: She-Hulk Annual #1 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Marvel Comics #1000 (creator), Runaways #24 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: House of X #2 (variant cover), House of X #3 (variant cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Fearless #2 (co-writer), Ghost-Spider #1 (writer)
  • Tini Howard: Death’s Head #2 (writer), Marvel Comics #1000 (creator), Thanos #5 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Absolute Carnage: Lethal Projectors #1 (variant cover), Fearless #2 (cover), House of X #2 (variant cover), Powers of X #2 (variant cover), Star Wars: Tie Fighter #5 (variant cover)

Altogether, there are 37 different female creators set to work on 28 different books in August, one fewer creator than in July on two fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. It’s a slight drop in both counts, but Marvel’s putting out fewer books this month so we’re in the same ballpark as before as the publisher continues to maintain its high level of female creators. Marvel is on quite a run right now.

We’re still seeing the concentration of female creators we had last month, though. Marvel’s set to put out 85 books in August, and with women working on 28 of them that means the publisher has female creators on 33% of the line. This is a slight step up from July’s 32%, but still below the 40% they posted in June. While the number of female creators remains high, they’re not spread out as much across the line right now.

There are some new names in the mix in August. We’ve got two new female writers with Alexandra Petri and Dana Schwartz, adding an already strong lineup. There are a lot of returning favourites, as well, including legends like June Brigman and Louise Simonson, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen Kathryn Immonen.

For new books, Marvel Comics #1000 is obviously the big one, and it’s set to feature darn near every Marvel character ever, so there’ll certainly be some ladies in the mix. For new books, we’ve got a Gwenpool mini-series and a relaunched Gwen Stacy book, Ghost-Spider, that’s basically just the same book and creative team with a slightly different title and new numbering. There are also team books like Agents of Atlas, Future Foundation, and Power Pack: Grow Up! that have female characters involved.

All together, it’s another solid outing for Marvel. With so many books coming out each month, the jobs are plentiful and they’re filling them with a lot of female creators. Proportionally, it’s not the best numbers we’ve ever seen because Marvel’s been at a comparable level before with much fewer books. But still, this is a relatively strong run, and it’s great to see so many wonderful female creators doing excellent work each month.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, June 2019 Solicits: 35 Creators on 36 Books

May 16, 2019

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On the one hand, Marvel will have nearly twice as many female and non-binary creators as DC this June. On the other hand, Marvel is also putting out nearly twice as many books as DC this June. It’s hard to compare the two publishers directly these days, but what’s undoubtedly true is that while DC’s got a core group of female creators in their solicits each month, Marvel’s got a wide ranging assortment of women and non-binary creators month in, month out, some well established on regular gigs and others breaking into the industry on smaller jobs. The breadth of the line means more opportunity, finally. So let’s take a look at the long list of who is doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #44 (interior art), Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Captain Marvel #6 (cover), Captain Marvel #7 (cover)
  • Annapaola Martello: Captain Marvel #6 (interior art), Captain Marvel #7 (interior art)
  • Annie Wu: War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #3 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #33 (cover)
  • Audrey Mok: Marvel Rising #4 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Wolverine: Exit Wounds #1 (variant cover)
  • Charlie Jane Anders: War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3 (co-writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Black Cat #1 (variant cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Immortal Hulk #19 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #45 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #7 (writer), Marvel Team-Up #3 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino: Hotshots #4 (writer), Tony Stark: Iron Man #13 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #9 (interior art)
  • Irina Nordsol: War of the Realms #6 (variant cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 (variant cover), Marvel Tales: Spider-Man #1 (cover), War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #4 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Tie Fighter #3 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Age of Conan: Belit #4 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #6 (writer), Captain Marvel #7 (writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #12 (writer)
  • Kirbi Fagan: Shuri #9 (cover)
  • Leah Williams: Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #5 (writer), Giant-Man #3 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Savage Sword of Conan #6 (writer)
  • Nilah Magruder: Marvel Rising #4 (writer)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #9 (writer)
  • Rachael Stott: Shuri #9 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Darth Vader #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Luke Skywalker #1 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #22 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Age of Conan: Belit #4 (cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #5 (writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #9 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #9 (cover)
  • Tini Howard: Age of Conan: Belit #4 (writer), Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 (co-writer), Thanos #3 (writer)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 (interior art)
  • Vita Ayala: Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #4 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Thor #14 (variant cover)

All together, there are 35 different female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on 36 Marvel comic books in June, two more creators and one more book than in May. These are big numbers. Again, yes, Marvel is putting out a lot of books right now. But having a commensurate increase in female and non-binary creators while they do so is a pleasant surprise. The Big Two have not been good at that at all. Like, ever.

Speaking of the massive output, Marvel is planning to release 91 new issues in June. With female and non-binary creators working on 36 of them, that’s representation across 40% of the line, an increase of 5% from May. In comparison, DC is at 33%, so Marvel’s a bit ahead, if not starkly so.

It looks like we’ve got a few new creators in the mix as well. As best I can tell, Charlie Jane Anders is doing her first writing for Marvel in War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3, and while Meredith Finch had a long and quite frankly terrible run on Wonder Woman at DC, her gig on Savage Sword of Conan #6 appears to be a Marvel first, too. We’ve also got Russian artist Irina Nordsol doing a variant cover for War of the Realms #6. There are some returning favourites in the mix as well. We haven’t seen Alitha E. Martinez in a little while, it’s been even longer for Annapaola Martello, and it’s always good to see Annie Wu, Gurihiru, and Vanesa Del Rey back at Marvel.

June is a quiet month for new books, with War of the Realms winding down. Things should pick up over the summer, though, and I’m very curious to see what the X-Men relaunch and the cancellation/relaunch of the entire X-line will do to the numbers. But for now, we’ve got one female character on a new title, with Felicia Hardy taking center stage in a Black Cat ongoing series.

Overall, Marvel’s rolling along with relatively strong numbers for female and non-binary creators. As much as there’s always room to grow, the year thus far has shown nothing but sustained representation for writers and artists. I will note that the full numbers haven’t exactly followed suit. When you take into account the full credits, like I do quarterly in my women in comics statistics reports, Marvel’s numbers become a bit underwhelming. But here in the solicits, which are what sell the books, female and non-binary creators have been a solid constant this year.

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

September 7, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wonder Woman #52 Review: Finally, It’s Over

May 18, 2016

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It’s finally here, you guys. We made it to the end. This is the Finches’ last issue of Wonder Woman, and Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott are waiting in the wings to relaunch the title. Arguably the worst run in the history of Wonder Woman is now over, and we can move on, embrace the new creative team, and never ever speak of this era again. Not just the Finches, but any of it, really. Wonder Woman’s romance with Superman, her becoming the god of war, the rapist and murderous Amazons, the death of Hippolyta; all signs point to these horrible story choices going out in the window in favour of a new run much more in keeping with a traditional, heroic, inspiring Wonder Woman.

For those of you who, like me, stuck it out through all 52 issues of this series, what were we thinking? Why did we do this to ourselves? It’s been awful. The first few years of Wonder Woman were decent overall, largely because Cliff Chiang is like unto a god, but there were some ROUGH moments. Plus Wonder Woman was not well written anywhere else in the DC universe (RIP Superman/Wonder Woman, mercifully ending today as well, thank goodness). And then Meredith and David Finch took over Wonder Woman and turned the series into one of the worst comics on the stand for the past year and a half. Why did we keep reading it? I know I write about Wonder Woman professionally so I probably needed to keep abreast of current events, but I could’ve just waited, got trades from the library, and just not supported a book that I loathed reading each month. Valuable lesson learned, I suppose. If you don’t like a book, don’t read it even if it’s your very favourite character. That’s how I’m going to roll from now on. I predict a far happier life for myself moving forward.

However, since I’ve made it through this hellacious marathon all the way to the very last issue, I suppose I should say a few words about it. But first:

SPOILER ALERT!!!

I am about to reveal everything that happened in this grand finale!

None of it is particularly good and/or interesting!

But still, if you don’t want it spoiled for you, look away!

So, this issue was a mess. It leaves everyone in an unpleasant spot, and undoes some of the good things about this era. First, shocking twist, Hera is the actual big bad. She’s been the one trying to kill Zeke, wanting to off him before he grows up to become Zeus again so that she can remain the Queen of Olympus and keep all of her new power. Hera’s evolution was one of the best things about the Azzarello/Chiang era; her friendship with Zola helped her grow as a person and learn compassion, and she went from the book’s villain to a key ally for Wonder Woman. It was all really beautifully done, an impressively orchestrated turn around that took three years of solid writing and art. And now that’s totally undone and Hera’s the bad guy again, so that’s irksome.

This made Hecate only a semi-villain, and her motivations were cringeworthy. She hooked up with Zeus way back and he’s the only one who saw the beauty beneath her frightening exterior, blah blah blah, so she tried to kidnap Zeke and return him to his original form so that they could be together again. It was all very clichéd and lame, and rather juvenile, “He’s the only one who understands me!” is a pretty weak motivation for a powerful witch and goddess who’s been around for millennia. Give the gal some depth, please.

The very best part of the early years of the new Wonder Woman was Zola, the gal who got caught up in the chaos of the gods after Zeus seduced her and essentially impregnated her with himself. She was hilarious and fun and tough, and always called everyone on their foolishness. Zola was a great character to have in the midst of all of these powerful beings. During the Finches’ tenure, she’s barely been featured, and as the book ends she’s still alive (last issue’s ending was a fake out) but ultimately devastated by the loss of her baby after Zeus returns, a move that snuffs out the light of what had been the series’ brightest character for some time.

As for Wonder Woman, well, she got duped again. This has been the hallmark of the New 52 era; Wonder Woman will fall for anyone’s lies and go along with any dumb plan that plays on her heart strings, and then have to deal with the fallout when she is inevitably betrayed. She’s been a wholly reactive, passive character for five years now, bounced around by the whims and machinations of others instead of driving the action herself. And this finale is no different. Hecate betrayed her a couple issues back, and Hera betrays her in this one, leaving her to protect Zeke all by herself as a temple comes crashing down around her. Plus, in the end she doesn’t save Zeke; Zeke turns into Zeus and saves her, because the power of her love or whatever causes him to return to his original form and save her from the rubble.

The issue ends with Wonder Woman weeping over the loss of Zeke, who she calls “the closest I may come to a child of my own.” First, why? If she wants to have kids, she can have kids. Right now she’s focusing on her superhero career, but if she decides that she wants to be a mother at some point there’s no reason that she can’t do so. Second, ugh. Another dang cliché. To slot Wonder Woman into this maternal role when she’s basically just been a Cool Aunt feels so forced. I get her loving the kid, but this whole baby she’ll never have angle is both dumb and hacky.

And so it ends. Zeus is back on the throne of Olympus, order is restored, and please dear god let us move on from all of this with the greatest of haste. I’m hoping that the upcoming “Rebirth” special explains how and why everything is about to take a sharp left turn, and when Wonder Woman relaunches a couple of weeks later we can just jump right in with some cool new stories. The sooner we forget this era, the better. All I want to remember from the past five years is the pretty Cliff Chiang art, how rad Hermes looked, and maybe keep Zola around because she’s delightful. Pitch the rest of it and move on, please.


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