August isn’t looking great for ladies at Marvel, real or fictional, though there are a few bits of good news here and there. As I often point out, Marvel has a small core of regularly working female creators, and thus relies on a lot of guest artists and writers to bump up their numbers each month. This is, of course, hit and miss, and some months they’re just not there. This is one of those months. Let’s go through the solicits:
- For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick pens Avengers Assemble #18 and Captain Marvel #15 which both tie into the big Avengers Infinity event, Kathryn Immonen writes Journey Into Mystery #655, and Marjorie Liu double ships in August with Astonishing X-Men #65 and Astonishing X-Men #66.
- For art, Sara Pichelli is on interior art and the cover of Guardians of the Galaxy #6 while Annie Wu is a very fun guest artist for a Kate Bishop story in Hawkeye #14.
- And that is it for female creators in the August solicits.
- In terms of new books, the Infinity mini-series is the only new title. One cover features Black Widow and Spider-Woman with women comprising 2 of the 6 characters, and another shows what I think is a new alien lady (she’s on the top row above), so that’s some okay representation.
- On the other hand, Red She-Hulk has been cancelled, so there goes one of Marvel’s few female-led titles.
All together, there are 5 different women working on 7 different books in the August 2013 solicits, which is not a lot. There were 8 women on 9 books last month, so this is a big drop. Once you hit only 5 different women, you know things are bad. Even in the early days of the New 52, when DC was excoriated for their lack of female creators, they still usually had at least 5. Marvel has been up and down for a while now, but that they’re dipping this low is disconcerting. I hope they bounce back for September.
Annie Wu on Hawkeye should be fantastic, though. I’m really looking forward to that issue, but just Wu and Pichelli on art is an unfortunate decline. While you’d be hard pressed to find two cooler artists, Ming Doyle, Stephanie Hans, and Amanda Conner were all on either covers or interiors the month before. The quality remains sky high, but the low numbers are a downer.
Female characters do seem to have a decent role in Infinity, and a Kate Bishop-centric issue of Hawkeye is very fun. Also, Dazzler is an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. now, which should be a good time. It’s a shame about Red She-Hulk, though I suppose that wasn’t the most well known character to hang a series on. Perhaps there’ll be some new female-led books in September now.
Ultimately, August looks to be a pretty quiet month for women at Marvel. We have the core four (DeConnick, Immonen, Liu, Pichelli) with Annie Wu, and a few gals in Infinity and that’s about it. Hawkeye’s going to be killer, though! But still, Marvel needs to get it together a bit. These are some low numbers for female creators.