After several months of poor showings in the solicits, October looks somewhat better for female creators and characters at Marvel but still far from good. As much as there are a couple new female creators to celebrate, the numbers remain very low. As much as female characters are set to appear in several books, they’re vastly outnumbered by male characters and a lot of these appearances are limited engagements. Let’s look at the October 2014 solicits.
- For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #8, G. Willow Wilson pens Ms. Marvel #9, Corinna Bechko co-writes Savage Hulk #5, and Robin Furth co-writes Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner #3.
- For artists, Ariela Kristantina is drawing Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #2, Stephanie Hans is doing the cover for Storm #4, and Amanda Conner is drawing the covers for Miracleman #11 and Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #3.
- For female characters, Rogue and the Scarlet Witch look to be part of the Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event (I thought they died?), Storm of Mystique are part of AXIS Revolutions, and X-23, Lady Deathstrike, and Mystique are some of the leads in Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy. These are all limited series.
- Meanwhile, at least three new ongoing series are launching with male leads, and the cover for the special Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 features 38 men and 13 women along with no female creators whatsoever despite a lengthy list of writers and artists.
All together, 7 different women are working on 8 different books in October, which is certainly better than September’s 5 and 6, respectively. Nonetheless, this is still a very low amount. In this day and age, if a massive publisher like Marvel can’t hit double digits for female creators, they’re obviously just not trying hard enough. There are a lot of them out there, many of them quite good. There’s no lack of talent to draw from, and yet here we are with only 7 women across upwards of 75-80 comic books.
On the plus side, there are some new names. Ariela Kristantina is an Indonesian artist that I haven’t heard of before these solicits; her art looks very cool. And while I’ve definitely heard of Corinna Bechko, I can’t recall her working on any mainline Marvel books lately, though she did co-write Marvel’s Once Upon a Time graphic novel from last year. It’s always good to see new names, though lately with Marvel they don’t stick around for very long. Hopefully that is not the case for these women.
As for female characters, there’s a bit of representation in the AXIS event books but for each pair of women attached to the titles there are about 10 or so men as well. Things are better in the Death of Wolverine books, where the female characters appear to be playing a more central role, but the mini-series will be over quickly. All of the new ongoing books for October are led by male characters, though next month we will probably see the new female Thor and perhaps more.
Overall, the numbers for female creators have improved somewhat, but they’re still a long way from good and they remain very inconsistent. Marvel needs to a) hire more women, b) get them on regular gigs, and c) stop getting white dudes to make all of their comics. Maybe then men wouldn’t dominate the character side of things as much.