We missed the first month of “Rebirth” because I was busy travelling and some things fell by the wayside, but we’re back again for the second month of DC’s new initiative and, like with every single dang new initiative DC’s done over the past several years, there are fewer women involved than in the months before the new launch. DC’s June and July solicits posted their lowest number of female creators thus far in 2016, making “Rebirth” a big step backward for the company at first glance. In June, DC had 19 different female creators on 18 different comic books, their lowest total since last September. Let’s see how things changed in July:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #30 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #4 (cover)
- Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #5 (interior art)
- Cat Staggs: Adventures of Supergirl #5 (art and cover), Adventures of Supergirl #6 (cover), Batman ’66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 (variant cover)
- Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (interior art)
- Elsa Charretier: Harley Quinn #30 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #2 (cover), Green Lanterns #3 (cover)
- Emma Vieceli: Adventures of Supergirl #5 (interior art), Adventures of Supergirl #6 (interior art)
- Gail Simone: Clean Room #10 (writer)
- Holly Black: Lucifer #8 (writer)
- Hope Larson: Batgirl #1 (cover)
- Jenny Frison: Clean Room #10 (cover)
- Joelle Jones: American Vampire Anthology #2 (interior art)
- Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (co-writer)
- Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #15 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: American Vampire Anthology #2 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #15 (writer)
- Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #9 (interior art)
- Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #15 (interior art)
- Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #2 (interior art)
- Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #8 (writer, art, cover)
- Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (co-writer)
All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 17 different books in July, a slight tick up in women but a slight tick down in the number of comics they’ll be working on. These “Rebirth” numbers are not good; DC’s solicits averaged about 25 different women in the spring months before “Rebirth.” Of course, “Rebirth” is still unfolding and there may be more women in the mix as new books premiere in August and September. But so far, it’s very underwhelming for women at DC.
We do have several new names, though, including Hope Larson writing Batgirl and writers Julie Benson and Shawna Benson along with artist Claire Roe on Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. The latter team combine to join the creative teams of the digital first series DC Comics Bombshells and The Legend of Wonder Woman as DC’s only books written and drawn primarily by women.
For new female characters, with “Rebirth” rolling out another batch of titles we’ve got some ladies across a variety of new series. Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress star in the aforementioned Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and Batgirl has her solo series relaunching in July as well. Women make up 2 of the 7 teammates of the new Justice League (Wonder Woman and Green Lantern) and while that’s still a small minority, it’s better than when the last Justice League launched in 2011 with just one woman on board. We’ve also got a female lead in the “how does this still exist?” series Red Hood and the Outlaws; Artemis will be part of the team along with Red Hood and Bizarro. Finally, DC’s premiering a new Flintstones comic for some reason, and so we should be getting Wilma, Betty, and Pebbles.
So “Rebirth” is off to a slow start with female creators, and looking ahead at the rest of the lineup, I wouldn’t hold out a lot of hope for a dramatic spike in numbers any time soon. I’m also curious to see how Shelly Bond’s firing will affect the Vertigo books; Vertigo has been a bastion of female creator representation at DC for a while now, but cancellations and new titles may be forthcoming. On the plus side, Gerard Way’s weird new line seems to have a bunch of female creators in the mix, but that’s not coming until the fall. For now, the numbers are low at DC yet again as they stick to their tried and true method of two steps forward, one step back.