NOTE: This post has been substantially edited because I am a dope who missed Cecil Castellucci while doing my first count. It is now accurate and correct.
DC finally had some solid female representation in their September solicits, their first relatively decent month since “Rebirth” relaunched in June. For whatever reason, whenever DC knows they’ll be selling a lot of comics with a new initiative, they want to have as few women as possible in the mix; this has been the trend with every big move they’ve made since the New 52 relaunch. But now we’re several months in and things are beginning to improve. The number of women working on DC books in October hit the same level as September, and stayed well above their previous “Rebirth” levels. Let’s take a look at who is doing what this October at DC Comics:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #5 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn #6 (cover, co-writer), Harley’s Little Black Book #6 (cover, co-writer)
- Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (cover)
- Carmen Carnero: Astro City #40 (interior art)
- Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #1 (writer)
- Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (interior art)
- Elena Casagrande: The Vigilante: Southland #1 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #8 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #9 (variant cover), Superwoman #3 (penciller)
- Gail Simone: Clean Room #13 (writer), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (writer)
- Holly Black: Lucifer #11 (writer)
- Hope Larson: Batgirl #4 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Clean Room #13 (cover), Wonder Woman #8 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #9 (variant cover)
- Joelle Jones: The Lost Boys #1 (variant cover)
- Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
- Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (variant cover)
- Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (writer)
- Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (interior art)
- Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #12 (interior art)
- Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
- Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (color)
- Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #8 (art and cover), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (variant cover)
- Rachel Dodson: Superwoman #3 (variant cover)
- Renae De Liz: Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art)
- Sandra Hope: Cyborg #2 (inker), Cyborg #3 (inker), Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (inker)
- Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (writer)
- Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
- Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (cover)
- Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #2 (cover), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (variant cover)
All together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in October, matching September’s 28 different women and gaining on September’s 21 different books. Basically, there’s some slight growth in representation here, which is good news considering how poor the “Rebirth” solicits had been in the months previous. More female creators would always be better, of course, but not falling back to past levels is a plus. Hopefully things have stabilized and now can continue to move forward.
We’ve got a few returning, and perhaps new, names in the mix this month. Elena Casagrande is drawing a new mini-series; I’m sure if she’s worked on DC before, but she’s done a lot of Marvel stuff. Sarah Vaughn may be new to DC as well, though she’s written elsewhere, and Cecil Castellucci has done some stuff for DC is back with a new gig now on Shade, the Changing Girl (she did a story for Sensation Comics a while back, and perhaps more?). Joelle Jones and Marley Zarcone are returning to DC after brief absences, and Jones especially should be around a lot more in the future because she’s just signed an exclusive deal with DC.
In terms of new female characters, Gerard Way’s “Young Animal” imprint is continuing to unfold, and has brought with it Shade, the Changing Girl. The books also features a handful of female creators, and there should be more coming as new books debut. We’ve also got a new Teen Titans title that appears to be predominantly male, as most teams are, but Starfire and Raven are also in the mix. We’re also getting a special over-sized issue celebrating Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with a lot of great creators in the mix. And a bunch of books starring dudes, but meh.
Overall, it looks to be an okay month for women at DC. A bit higher in total than September and better than the months previous, but still below DC’s past highs and Marvel’s current levels. DC’s penchant for dropping their numbers considerably every year or so is making long term growth a frustrating process; it’s two steps forward and one step back, over and over. So DC’s now back up to where they were a while ago. Ideally, they’ll grow and get even further ahead before the next inevitable step back.