After a very strong May, the June solicits were a definite step down for female creators at Marvel, and there’s not much going on for female characters either. The female creator situation is particularly frustrating; Marvel has demonstrated that there are lots of great female creators out there, yet the publisher seems incapable of hiring many of them on a consistent basis. Let’s look at the June 2014 solicits:
- For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #4 and G. Willow Wilson is on Ms. Marvel #5.
- For interior art, Annie Wu is penciling and inking Hawkeye #21. I thought the last issue was her final Hawkeye, but good news! I was wrong, and Wu is back again with her awesome art.
- Covers were the big category this month: We’ve got Stephanie Hans on a teaser variant (whatever that is) for Original Sin #3, Siya Oum on a variant for All-New Ultimates #3, Amy Reeder on a variant for Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #2, Amanda Conner on a variant for Elektra #3, and Jenny Frison on the regular cover for Loki: Agent of Asgard #5.
- In terms of new characters, there’s not much going on anywhere. The only new books are Savage Hulk #1 and Figment #1, both of which have male leads.
All together, there are 8 different female creators scheduled to appear in 8 different books in June, quite a fall from May’s 12 and 10. You might recall that last month I talked about the transitory nature of Marvel’s female creators, and suggested that at least half of May’s 12 different female creators wouldn’t be back in June. Turns out, I was correct; of those 12 women, only 5 are back. Marvel seems incapable of employing more than a handful of women in any long-term capacity.
This is only exacerbated by this month’s breakdown. Half of the female credits in June are variant covers, which is the least stable category by far. The vast majority of variants are one-and-done situations where the artist isn’t back the next month. Now, I’m sure these covers will be gorgeous. They’ve lined up some spectacular artists. But the likelihood that they’ll be back in July is slim at best.
This is a second month in a row that we haven’t seen many new books from Marvel, which is to be expected after their explosion of new titles and relaunches in the first few months of 2014. Not many new books means not much in the way of an increased presence for female characters but, to be fair, the male presence is hardly growing a lot either.
Overall, June doesn’t look too great for women at Marvel. The ones who are there are fantastic talents, but there aren’t very many of them and 5 of them are just doing covers. The folks at Marvel obviously have an impressive array of female creators in their rolodex, and I remain flummoxed as to why they can’t or won’t lock them down into more long-term gigs.