Marvel Launches New Female Team Title Fearless Defenders, But Where Are Marvel NOW!’s Female Creators?

It was announced today that a new Marvel NOW! title hitting the stands in February features an all-female team AND a new female villain for the first arc.  Written by Cullen Bunn and drawn by Will Sliney, Fearless Defenders has Valkyrie creating a new female team of Valkior with Earthbound heroines instead of Asgardian heroines.  The first two to join are Misty Knight and Dani Moonstar, with more to come.

The book sounds really cool, and you should check out this interview with Bunn over at Newsarama.  I dig the premise, and I’m excited to check it out.  Marvel’s done a great job of including female characters in their new Marvel NOW! books, and this all-female team is a fun addition to the line-up.  If you read my “Women at Marvel Watch” posts for the December and January solicits, you saw that there were tons of female characters in the new books, and very few new books without female characters as well.  On the fictional side of things, Marvel NOW! is killing it with the ladies.

But on the real world side of things, these new series all seem to have something in common.  Let’s take a look at all of the new Marvel NOW! series announced so far:

  • Uncanny Avengers by Rick Remender and John Cassaday
  • A + X by various (Jeph Loeb, Dale Keown, Dan Slott, and Ron Garney did the first issue)
  • All New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen
  • Captain America by Rick Remender and John Romita Jr.
  • Deadpool by Brian Posehn, Gerry Duggan, and Tony Moore
  • Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley
  • FF by Matt Fraction and Mike Allred
  • Indestructible Hulk by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu
  • Iron Man by Keiron Gillen and Greg Land
  • Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic
  • X-Men Legacy by Si Spurrier and Tan Eng Huat
  • Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Jerome Opena
  • New Avengers by Jonathan Hickman and Steve Epting
  • Avengers Arena by Dennis Hopeless and Kev Walker
  • Cable and X-Force by Dennis Hopeless and Salvador Larroca
  • Thunderbolts by Daniel Way and Steve Dillon
  • Morbius: The Living Vampire by Joe Keatinge and Rich Elson
  • Savage Wolverine by Frank Cho
  • Superior Spider-Man by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman
  • Uncanny X-Force by Sam Humphries and Ron Garney
  • Young Avengers by Keiron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie
  • Fearless Defenders by Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney
  • Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis and Steve McNiven
  • Nova by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness
  • Secret Avengers by Nick Spencer and Luke Ross
  • Uncanny [Something] by Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo

Whew, that is a LOT of books… 26 to be exact.  Featuring 44 different creators, all with one thing in common: They’re dudes.  The entire lot of them.  There’s not a single female creator in the new Marvel NOW! titles that have been announced so far.

Now, there’ll be women on some of the books, colouring and editing and such.  Mike Allred on art pretty much guarantees us Laura Allred colouring, for example.  But in terms of the names they put on top of their innumerable teasers, like this latest one:

There have been no ladies yet.

To be fair, two of the titles included in the Marvel NOW! family do feature female writers.  Kathryn Immonen starts her run with Journey Into Mystery #646 and Kelly Sue DeConnick starts with Avengers Assemble #9.  But here’s the thing: All of those books listed above are new #1 issues.  That means extra sales and extra attention, because the comic market just loves a brand new series.  Taking over an existing title comes with far less fanfare.  It’s awesome they’re doing these books, and they both sound fantastic, but 2 ladies taking over existing titles compared to 44 guys launching brand spanking new shiny series is a huge difference.

However, Marvel NOW! isn’t over.  There may be new titles yet, and maybe one of them will feature a female creator.  A gal drawing a book might be fun for a change.  But so far, while Marvel NOW!’s new series have been great for female characters, there’s been an epic lack of female creators.


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