Not at all surprisingly, after their “Women of Marvel” variant cover event boosted their number of female creators in the March solicits, things fall back down to Earth in April. Marvel’s women-centric events all tend to go this way: They make a big deal about having female creators for a month, and then the next month things go right back to normal. It’s all very frustrating because while it’s great to see female creators spotlighted, it’s so irksome to see this spotlight rarely result in any long term change at Marvel. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in April:
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 (art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #14 (writer), X-Men #26 (writer)
- Kathryn Immonen: Operation S.I.N. #4 (writer)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel #14 (writer)
- Laura Braga: Superior Iron Man #7 (art)
- Marguerite Bennett: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #5 (co-writer), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #1 and #2 (writer)
- Nicole Virella: Return of the Living Deadpool #3 (art)
- Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #2 (co-writer)
- Siya Oum: Uncanny Inhumans #0 (variant cover)
- Stacey Lee: Silk #3 (art), Spider-Man and the X-Men #5 and #6 (cover)
- Stephanie Hans: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #5 (art, cover), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #1 and #2 (cover), Storm #10 (cover)
And now Marvel’s exactly where they were in February, before their “Women of Marvel” event, with 11 different creators. All together, there are 11 different female creators on 16 different books, and there are only so many books because a couple of series double ship in April. Marvel is down substantially from the 20 and 26 they posted in the March solicits. Not only did they nearly half their number of female creators, DC Comics is set to have THREE TIMES as many female creators in their April books. This schtick is getting old.
After a lot of new faces in March, Marvel is back to its usual core of female creators. On the one hand, having 9 women consistently working on monthly series and minis is a big step for Marvel; a short time ago, they just had 2 or 3 women with regular gigs. However, it’s 2015. A comic publisher’s number of regularly working female creators should be well into double digits by now. If it’s not, they’re not looking hard enough. There is a new name, though! Laura Braga is doing her first full issue for Marvel, on interior art for Superior Iron Man #7.
As for female characters, there’s not much new in April. Uncanny Inhumans is debuting with a #0 issue, and while there will probably be some lady Inhumans in the mix, the cover and solicit focus solely on Black Bolt. There’s also another Star Wars book with another male lead, and a bunch of Avengers books in advance of the movie, most of which feature Black Widow alongside a lot of dudes. On the positive side, the new James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight has female creators and a female protagonist, so hooray for that. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s a self-contained book set outside of the Marvel universe.
Marvel could and should be doing much better than this. I’ve spent my last couple “Gendercrunching” columns at Bleeding Cool visiting other publishers, and a lot of them are WAY ahead of Marvel when it comes to female creators. Boom! could top Marvel’s total number with just two comics, easily. Marvel likes to make a big hullabaloo when they do anything with women; Lady Thor gets massive press, they announce a special “Women of Marvel” event with variant covers. Meanwhile, nothing really changes and other publishers are growing their ranks of female creators exponentially, quietly and consistently. Maybe try less talk and more action, Marvel.
Tags: Erica Henderson, G. Willow Wilson, Kathryn Immonen, Kelly Sue Deconnick, Laura Braga, Marguerite Bennett, Marvel, Nicole Virella, Robin Furth, Siya Oum, Solicits, Stacey Lee, Stephanie Hans, Women at Marvel Comics, Women In Comics, Women In Comics Statistics