DC Comics’ big “Rebirth” initiative has not been great for women thus far. Even though they’re adding new series every month, the numbers aren’t really changing for female creators at DC, plus the current level is far below where DC was before “Rebirth.” I don’t know what it is with DC and big events, but anytime they do a new publishing initiative, they do so with considerably fewer women than they had beforehand. It’s a troubling trend. Let’s see who is doing what at DC in August:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #1 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #2 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #5 (cover), Harley’s Little Black Book #5 (co-writer, variant cover), Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 (variant cover), The Flintstones #2 (cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy Annual #1 (co-writer)
- Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #6 (interior art)
- Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (interior art)
- Elsa Charretier: DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #4 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #5 (variant cover), Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (art and cover), The Flintstones #2 (variant cover)
- Gail Simone: Clean Room #11 (writer)
- Holly Black: Lucifer #9 (writer)
- Hope Larson: Batgirl #2 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Clean Room #11 (cover)
- Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (co-writer)
- Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (variant cover)
- Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (writer)
- Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #10 (interior art)
- Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (interior art)
- Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #4 (art and cover)
- Rachel Dodson: DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (cover), Superwoman #1 (variant cover)
- Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #9 (writer, art, and cover)
- Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (co-writer)
All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different books in August, more books and the same number of women as July’s 20 and 17, respectively. In the “Rebirth” era thus far, we’ve got female creator totals of 19, 20, and 20, far lower than earlier in the year when DC was consistently in the mid-20s and even topped 30 different women on occasion. These numbers aren’t great.
We’re also seeing a lot of grouping. There are two DC Comics Bombshells books in August, and they make up a full quarter of the women working at DC. I love the Bombshells comic and that it’s such a fantastic outlet for female creators, but it’s sad that DC has so few women working for them that two books can account for so much. Also, Amanda Conner makes up 6 of the 21 different issues listed above, almost a third. Amanda Conner is amazing, but it again speaks to how poor DC is at distributing work to women that one woman accounts for such a huge number of books.
On the character side of things, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey officially launches in August after their “Rebirth” special in July, and the new Superwoman, starring a superpowered Lois Lane, debuts as well. A new Harley Quinn book will be hitting shops as well, but it appears to be just a relaunch of the current series without much in the way of changes or revamps; why mess with a good thing? We’ve also got some fun annuals, including a DC Comics Bombshells Annual that introduces Barbara Gordon to this alternate universe and a Gotham Academy Annual that should be a blast because that book is always a good time.
So “Rebirth” has been rather underwhelming so far. I was hoping that the numbers would grow as more books came out, but that does not seem to be the case. Things are steady and low, with few signs that this will change on the superhero front. The fall should tick up, with Gerard Way’s new line starting up, but that may be a couple of months off yet, and that will do little to address DC’s mainline superhero problem. Put more women on your books, DC! It’s not hard.