January looks to be a busy month for Marvel, with lots of new series and one-shot issues, and lots more to come in the months ahead as the second level of Marvel NOW! rolls out. It doesn’t result in a ton of female creators in January, but there are a fair number of female characters around. Let’s take a closer look at Marvel’s January 2014 solicits:
- The only female writer is Kelly Sue DeConnick, co-writing Avengers Assemble #23 with Warren Ellis. Her long missing Captain Marvel will be back in March, though.
- For interior art, Sara Pichelli is on Guardians of the Galaxy #11, Becky Cloonan and Ming Doyle are in Young Avengers #15, and Emanuela Lupacchino has some pages in Thor: God of Thunder #17.
- For covers, Amanda Conner draws Daredevil: Dark Nights #8 and Painkiller Jane: The Price of Freedom #3 while Sara Pichelli does all the art duties on Guardians of the Galaxy #11 by drawing the cover as well.
- For new books, let’s start with some books without ladies. The All-New Marvel NOW! Point One #1 special features 12 creators, none of them women. There are no female characters or creators front and center in All-New Invaders #1. Marvel’s bringing back Miracle Man with 12 different variant cover artists, all of them men. Finally, George Romero Empire of the Dead: Act One #1 doesn’t seem to feature any women either.
- Now the good side of things. First off, Black Widow has her own book! It’s double shipping in January even. In Avengers World #1, 6 of the 20 characters featured on the cover are women, plus there’s a Medusa one-shot, Polaris is the leader of the team in All-New X-Factor #1, X-23 is joining All-New X-Men #21, and all three of the new Revolutionary War issues look to feature female characters in some capacity.
For female creators, all together there are 6 different women scheduled to appear in 6 different books in January. This is a 25% drop from December, but it’s better than the absolutely paltry numbers we saw over the course of the fall solicits. There is still a significant lack of women with permanent jobs, however, with only Kelly Sue DeConnick as a permanent presence and Sara Pichelli as a semi-regular. The rest of the gigs are fill-ins or on minis that are soon to end.
It’s a nice month for female characters, though, with solid representation across a number of titles. The new Black Widow book is particularly exciting, and there looks to be more female-led books in the months ahead.
Unfortunately, one of the old female-led books is no more. Fearless Defenders was cancelled, ending the all-female team book. That was a solid series for female creators behind the scenes as well, colored by Veronica Gandini and edited by Ellie Pyle.
The next few months should be interesting as Marvel rolls out more of their new titles and new storylines for existing series. Hopefully we’ll see an increase in both female creators and characters as the New Year continues. There’s certainly a lot of room for improvement.