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Let’s Help Dan DiDio Hire Some Women at DC Comics

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The “why aren’t women doing superhero comics” battle cry has gone out again, this time directed at DC’s Dan DiDio, who makes claims along the lines of wanting to hire the best and not being opposed to hiring some women.  Since Dan keeps asking who he should hire, as though he were open to suggestions, let’s play along and assume he just isn’t familiar with many women who work in comics <insert eye roll here> and make some suggestions.  In fact, let’s play even more fair.  Here is a list of women, matched with DC properties and I’ve gone out of my way to only list women who worked in comic book format (no one who has only done webcomics or strips) and have some basis for being on the type of book I’ve listed her on.

Really, this isn’t a particularly hard exercise.  It does presuppose any of the following names would be open to the assignments and/or want to work for DC.  Then again, a lot of these names have already worked for DC in the not too distant past.

Justice League America
Plot: Keith Giffen
Script: J.M. DeMatties
Art: Amanda Conner

Yes, yes… I know there’s a JLI series coming out, but I want the original bwa ha ha writing team and Amanda Conner will have ZERO problems with the facial expressions necessary for those scripts.  Conner is no stranger to DC, with Power Girl being a recent title with a modicum of fan buzz.

Dr. Fate
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Adriana Melo

Wilson has already proven her ability to write urban fantasy with Air and Cairo.  Melo been around DC, Marvel and even Witchblade.  Steve Gerber left an engaging template for Doctor Fate that no one has touched.  Or, this can be part of the selective rebooted universe and give the ladies a little more latitude on the set-up.   A no-brainer.

Beware the Creeper
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: Emanuela Lupacchino

Nocenti’s Daredevil run is probably my favorite female-penned superhero sequence, and Longshot wasn’t bad, either.  Nocenti’s take on old hornhead was a pretty dark one and went to some strange places.  Those dark places aren’t always the best fit in the DCU.  While her politics seem to be very different from Steve Ditko’s, I find myself thinking she could do interesting takes on some of his old DC vehicles.  Hawk and Dove is spoken for, so why not explore the night with the Creeper.  (Alternately, Nocenti would be a good choice to split the difference between Grant Morrison’s surrealist take on the Doom Patrol and a more traditional super hero take.)  Lupacchino’s been working on X-Factor across the street at Marvel.

Zatanna
Writer: Felicia Day
Artist: Nicola Scott

Felicia Day’s best known, in writing circles, for The Guild (video _and_ comics over at Dark Horse), a humor series about online gamers.  She’s also REALLY popular outside comics circles and would fit the bill for all of DC’s talk about going after a bigger audience.  Her reading interests famously encompass fantasy novels and romance novels.  That says to me Zatanna done in a style similar to Palmiotti/Gray/Conner Power Girl.  Nicola Scott’s done Secret Six, Birds of Prey and Teen Titans, among other titles.  She’s very much a known quantity.

Steel
Writer: Louise Simonson
Artist: Jan Duursema
I’m a far cry from Simonson’s biggest fan, but her initial sequence introducing John Henry Irons was some of her strongest work and worth revisiting.  Since DC seems to still be big on “family” titles, might as well bring him back to the Superman family.  Besides Superman/Steel, Simonson is known for runs on high profile titles like New Mutants and X-Factor.  Jan Duursema has drawn for just about everyone Elric for First, Warlord and Dungeons &Dragons for DC, X-Factor for Marvel, Star Wars for Dark Horse and so on.  From Star Wars to Steel isn’t a huge jump.

Kamandi
Writer: Carla Speed McNeil
Artist: Jill Thompson

Kamandi isn’t really a superhero book, but it is considered an extended DCU book (and Ben Boxer has some super hero to him).  The “last boy on Earth” crosses paths with various clans of evolved animals.  If you’ve read McNeil’s Finder series, you’ll know she’s a great choice for this set up and those animal clans would have bona fide cultures behind them.  While she’s more than capable of drawing Kamandi, you figure McNeil’s not going to have time in her schedule while drawing Finder.  Enter Jill Thompson, who’s famous for both fantasy settings and comics starring animals.  It’s like merging her previous works.

Not a lot of pain and anguish went into assembling that list, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest a few women who’ve been working in less superhero-centric formats.  <insert favorite webcartoonist here>.  Not like I exhausted the names of everyone who’s been in comics in the last 5 years, either.

Your turn, DC.

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