Marvel looks like they’re going to have a really great month for female creators this May, but first let’s talk about covers. I always put together a little collage of covers featuring female characters each month, and with the May solicits I was presently surprised to find that a) I had an abundance of female-starring covers to choose from, and b) I could fill the whole collage with non-conventionally superhero art. The covers above show a wide array of art styles that break with the usual superhero mold, and I love that Marvel is making outside of the box choices for their cover art. As a reader, a bold, unusual cover choice really grabs my attention, and Marvel is really standing out, not just compared to DC but to most other publishers as well. Here is a rundown of the covers above, in order:
- Ultimate FF #2 by Felix Ruiz
- Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1 by Sas Christian
- Elektra #2 by Mike Del Mundo
- All-New Ultimates #2 by David Nakayama
- She-Hulk #4 by Kevin P. Wada
- Black Widow #6 by Phil Noto
- Hawkeye #20 by David Aja
Look for those covers this May. They’re gorgeous.
So onto the solicits! There are a lot of female creators this month; let’s take a look:
- For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick pens Captain Marvel #3, G. Willow Wilson writes Ms. Marvel #4, Kathryn Immonen is doing a guest issue of Amazing X-Men #7, Jen Van Meter writes Savage Wolverine #18, and Gail Simone follows her on Savage Wolverine #19.
- For art, Francesca Ciregia and Elena Casagrande are doing interior art for Giant-Size Spider-Man #1, and Annie Wu is illustrating her last Kate issue with Hawkeye #20.
- For covers, Fiona Staples is doing a variant for Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1, Jenny Frison draws the regular cover for Loki: Agent of Asgard #4, and Sas Christian and Amanda Conner both have covers for Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1.
- In terms of new books, May looks to be a pretty quiet month. Cyclops and Miles Morales have new series starting, and the event book Original Sin begins; the latter has Black Widow on the cover, so that’s something I suppose. It’s not a lot of female representation, but it’s also just not a busy month, generally.
All together, there are 12 different female creators scheduled to work on 10 different books in May, a nice increase from April’s 7 on 8 and one of the best totals that Marvel has put up in some time. It’s also good to see a lot of new names in the mix, like Francesca Ciregia and Sas Christian, as well as some names we haven’t seen in a while like Kathryn Immonen and Elena Casagrande.
The only negative thing about this array of female creators is that most of them probably won’t be back in June. The books listed above include a lot of special issues, one-shots, and the like, and of the 12 female creators listed, I’d estimate that at least half won’t be back next month, possibly more. Ideally, they’d be back on another book, or more female creators will show up elsewhere. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.
The lack of female characters is a bummer, but it’s a really slow month for new characters all around. Plus, Mile Morales is back headlining a Spider-Man book, so at least we’ve got some non-white guy representation.
Overall, May looks like a strong month for female creators at Marvel and, while there aren’t a lot of new female characters, the many existing female characters are on some fantastic covers. Marvel’s had quite a poor run lately in terms of female creators, so let’s hope that May is a turning point and we continue to see lots of women writing and drawing Marvel books.