DC Comics recently stated that they will be releasing a free essentials guide to their graphic novels. This guide will be sent to fans, comic shops, and libraries. It is also notably lacking in women.
Certain characters have received multi-page spreads in this book. Most of these characters are the ones that you’d expect, such as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, The Flash, and, weirdly, Green Arrow. Perhaps Green Arrow was given his very own spread because he is currently a popular character due to the TV show Arrow, but Green Arrow has never been a part of the main lineup of DC superheroes.
You know who is, though? Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman, who is an Amazon, member of the Trinity, and one of the main leaders of the Justice League, does not get her own multi-page spread with her fellow superheroes. Neither do any other female superheroes—not even Batwoman, who is one of DC’s top selling female-led comics along with Batgirl and Wonder Woman (source).
So where are the women in this “essential” guide? In a two-page spread called “Women of DC”. The only women featured in this section are Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Batwoman, Catwoman, and Huntress. Yes, the ladies have been screwed over.
Furthermore, no women or men of color are being featured. There’s no sign of Cyborg, Cassandra Cain, Mister Terrific, Static Shock, Katana, or Vixen.
This book says a lot about who DC Comics are trying to promote and sell to. Remember, this guide is going to be used not just by fans but by comic shop owners and libraries to determine what graphic novels they should order. It has often been said by creators and companies alike that ‘for some reason’ the comics which don’t feature white heterosexual male characters don’t do as well. Well, maybe that has less to do with what DC’s readers want and more to do with how they promote their characters. Just a thought, DC.