For the past couple of months, DC’s solicits have stepped up their female creator representation after a disappointing start to their #DCYou mini-relaunch in June. The numbers were still a ways off from their highs earlier in the year, but they were growing. Unfortunately, December looks to be a step back for women at DC Comics. It’s not a disastrous fall, but the loss puts them back in the range of their earlier 2015 lows. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in December 2015:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #23 (co-writer, cover), Harley’s Little Black Book #1 (co-writer, art, cover), Starfire #7 (co-writer, cover), Wonder Woman #47 (variant cover)
- Anna Dittman: Sensation Comics #17 (cover)
- Annie Wu: Black Canary #7 (art and cover)
- Babs Tarr: Batgirl #47 (art and cover)
- Bilquis Evely: DC Comics Bombshells #6 (interior art)
- Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #12 (cover)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Starfire #7 (penciller)
- Gail Simone: Clean Room #3 (writer), Secret Six #9 (writer)
- Holly Black: Lucifer #1 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Clean Room #3 (cover)
- Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #6 (interior art)
- Lauren Beukes: Survivors’ Club #3 (co-writer)
- Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #13 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #6 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #7 (writer)
- Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #2 (interior art)
- Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #47 (writer)
- Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #7 (co-writer)
- Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #7 (interior art)
- Trina Robbins: Sensation Comics #17 (writer)
- Tula Lotay: Slash & Burn #2 (cover)
All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 18 different books in December, a drop from November’s 24 and 23 respectively. As I’ve said before, given the breadth of talent available, major publishers like DC and Marvel should be able to hit 20 female creators with ease. There are 150-175 different people in the solicits each month, so 20 women should be a breeze. That’s the low end, the barely passable level of representation. So DC’s hit the bare minimum here, after showing they can do much better earlier in the year.
Also, their mainline superhero books are set to have a rough December. Those books account for more than half of DC’s entire publishing line, but only 6 of the 20 women listed above are working on a mainline superhero book. The rest are on digital first, kids, or Vertigo titles. This number isn’t helped by the fact that Genevieve Valentine has been replaced on Catwoman. She’ll still pop up occasionally in Batman and Robin Eternal, but her regularly monthly presence has come to an end.
Furthermore, December is the last month for Sensation Comics, which has been a bastion for fantastic female creators. Two of the women listed above are working on Sensation Comics. DC Comics Bombshells is picking up some of that slack with it’s stellar team of female creators, but the loss of Sensation Comics will be seen in the numbers moving forward for sure.
Still, there are some new names in the mix, which is always a good sign. Anna Dittman is new, and her Sensation Comics cover looks gorgeous, and Holly Black is launching Lucifer, which I’m looking forward to. Vertigo has been great for female creators lately; 7 of the women listed above have a Vertigo credit this month.
In terms of female characters, December looks to be a quiet month for new books, but Harley Quinn is launching a new team-up title and Wonder Woman is her first co-star, so that should be fun. Vertigo’s set to roll out the last batch of their new line as well, including New Romancer, which has a female lead.
Overall, December is set to be a step down for DC, and things are looking especially disappointing on the superhero side of the street. Six female creators across nearly 50 mainline superhero titles is embarrassingly low; luckily the (far fewer) digital books and Vertigo are much more representative. Here’s hoping that DC can get back on track in the new year and start out 2016 strong.