Women At Marvel Comics Watch – February 2013 Solicits

It’s another busy month for real and fictional women at Marvel, with several new series featuring female characters and the usual assortment of female creators.  Now that we’re in our third month of checking in on Marvel, we’re starting to see some trends, which we can discuss after we look at solicits for February 2013:

  • Things are very busy for writers, with Kelly Sue DeConnick on Avengers Assemble #12 and Captain Marvel #10, Kathryn Immonen on Journey Into Mystery #649 and A+X #5, Marjorie Liu on Astonishing X-Men #59,and Robin Furth on Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Sheemie’s Tale #2.
  • On the artistic side of things, Sara Pichelli draws Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20, while Jana Schirmer does the cover for Red She-Hulk #62 and Stephanie Hans does a variant cover for Young Avengers #2.
  • The Disney special Monster’s Inc.: The Humanween Party #1 features all sorts of female creators: Elisabetta Melaranci, Federica Salfo, Michela Frare, and Mirka Andolfo.
  • There are a bunch of new Marvel NOW! series beginning in February, and apart from Nova they all seem to feature female leads.  Guardians of the Galaxy co-stars Gamora, a warrior with an odd name; 3 of the 6 characters on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #1 are ladies (one of them is Emma Frost, I think… I don’t know the rest), and 2 of the 8 characters on the cover of Secret Avengers #1 are women (Black Widow and Maria Hill).
  • Also, Fearless Defenders #1!!  That’s ALL ladies, with Valkyrie and Misty Knight to start and many more to come!!

On the female creator side of things, all told there are 11 different women on 10 different books in February, which is both better and worse than January.  There were 13 different women last month, so we’re down there, but there were only 8 different books, so we’re up there, with a difference of 2 for each.  So let’s call it’s a draw.

There are actually more women on the main Marvel books this month, with Stephanie Hans back, and the drop is because the Disney book fell from 7 women in January to 4 in February.  The monthly Disney book of some variety (it’s been all Monster’s Inc. since we started looking at Marvel, but there have been other Disney properties before that) supplies a big chunk of the female creators each month, which is fine so long as it continues to come out and continues to utilize female creators, but it’s a lot of eggs in one basket.  If it doesn’t come out or changes, the numbers could plummet.

Marvel continues to be great with female writers, with 4 different women on 6 books, and there’s been some decent cover representation, but interior art has been low.  Sara Pichelli is fantastic, but this is the second month in a row with only one female interior artist on a main line Marvel book, and there were none the month before that.  Marvel’s doing well overall, but things feel slightly tenuous with the reliance on one big Disney book and the lack of female artists.

On the character side of things, though, things are going fantastically.  Every month we’ve looked at so far has brought a bounty of female leads and co-leads in the new Marvel NOW! titles.  And now we’ll have an all-female book in Fearless Defenders too.  The consistent involvement of female characters is great to see, and hopefully it keeps up in the months to come.

Overall, it was a very solid month for Marvel.  The only real problems for Marvel right now are hypothetical problems.  Each month the actual representation has been decent, and better than what we’re used to seeing at DC.  Things could always be better, of course, and some more representation in certain areas would be nice, but Marvel has done well thus far.

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