After a pretty dismal fall to end 2013, the New Year seems to be looking up for women at Marvel, both real and fictional. Women aren’t all of a sudden everywhere now, but there are several small improvements this month that should result in a better female presence at Marvel for months to come. Let’s take a look at the solicits:
- Kelly Sue DeConnick is co-writing Avengers Assemble #24, and G. Willow Wilson is back in comics writing the all new Ms. Marvel #1.
- For interior art, we’ve only got Sara Pichelli this month, penciling and inking Guardians of the Galaxy #12.
- However, it’s a busy month for cover artists! Sara Pichelli is doing a cover for Ms. Marvel #1, Siya Oyum is doing a variant for She-Hulk #1, Jenny Frison is the cover artist for Loki: Agent of Asgard #1, and Amanda Conner is covering Painkiller Jane: The Price of Freedom #4.
- Marvel is also doing a run of animal variant covers, including art by Katie Cook on Wolverine #1 and Fantastic Four #1 and Jenny Parks on Superior Spider-Man #27.
- As you might have guessed, there are some new female starring books in February. Ms. Marvel and She-Hulk are getting their own titles, joining the new Black Widow book that’s set to start in January. There’ll be more solo lady titles in March too. I hope Marvel does this every month in 2014!
- There are also a couple of new team books featuring female characters. 3 of the 8 characters in New Warriors are women, as are 2 of the 4 characters in X-Force. There are a bunch of new solo male titles as well, but they’re offset by the impressive number of women in new books this month.
Overall, there are 8 different women working on 9 different books in February, a decent increase from January’s 6 and 6. While 8 certainly isn’t a massive total, it’s a step in the right direction for a publisher that’s been sorely bereft of female creators for several months now.
There is good news and bad news in the breakdown of female creators. First, the good: G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel is a regular gig, so we’ll be seeing her every month now, and Jenny Frison is listed as the main cover artist on Loki: Agent of Asgard so hopefully she’ll be around too. But the bad news is that three of the women listed are doing variant covers, which is the least permanent gig you can get; chances are, they won’t be back next month, but we’ll cross our fingers that we’ll see them again soon in new spots.
More female characters is an exciting development, and I’m especially glad to see such a wide array of women. We got Black Widow, the super spy, last month, and now we’ve got She-Hulk, the lawyer/superhero, and Ms. Marvel, the Muslim immigrant teen exercising her new superpowers for the first time. Three new female-starring books with three different and interesting women is very cool.
All together, February is looking like a good month for Marvel. There’s still lots and lots of room for improvement, but more female-led books are fantastic and the growth in female creators is good to see. Here’s hoping they keep it going in March.