I’m not entirely sure why, but a lot of books are missing in Marvel’s September solicits. I’m guessing it’s partly due to Secret Wars running a little bit late and pushing tie-ins back, and partly due to regular series wrapping up in advance of Marvel’s big upcoming revamp. Whatever the case, the lack of several series has resulted in one of Marvel’s poorest months of the year for female representation, with women appearing in the lowest number of books since January. Let’s see who’s doing what in September:
- Chelsea Cain: Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (writer)
- G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #5 (co-writer)
- Jen Soska: Secret Wars Journal #5 (co-writer)
- Jody Houser: The Cavalry: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (writer)
- Joelle Jones: Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (interior art)
- Kathryn Immonen: Agent Carter: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (writer)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps #4 (writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: A-Force #5 (co-writer), Years of Future Past #5 (writer)
- Noelle Stevenson: Runaways #4 (writer)
- Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Lady of Shadows #1 (co-writer)
- Stacey Lee: Ghost Racers #4 (variant cover), Secret Wars #7 (variant cover)
- Sylvia Soska: Secret Wars Journal #5 (co-writer)
- Vanesa Del Rey: Secret Wars Journal #5 (cover)
All together there are 13 different female creators set to work on 11 different books in September, a big drop from August’s 18 and 15, respectively. It’s a very poor showing, even with a few series not coming out. These days, with so many talented female creators doing great work, huge publishers like Marvel and DC should be able to have at least 20 different women writing and drawing their comics with ease, but that’s not the case for either publisher in September.
Moreover, the numbers are bolstered by a series of S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th anniversary one-shots. They sound great, focusing on characters like Agent Carter, Melinda May, Mockingbird, and Quake, and it’s nice to see female characters getting the spotlight. Plus there are four different women working on these books, which is cool. But at the same time, these special one-shots added FOUR new female creators to Marvel’s ranks and their number of female creators still fell substantially. That’s not great.
It is nice to see some new names, though. I think this is Chelsea Cain’s first time working at Marvel, and it may be the first time for the Soska sisters as well. It’s also good to see people returning, like Jody Houser, Kathryn Immonen, and one of my favourite artists in the world, Joelle Jones.
On another positive note, September’s “True Believers” comics, a line that reprints key issues for $1 to bring in new fans, is dedicated to female characters. Thor, Spider-Gwen, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Silk, Princess Leia, Spider-Woman, and Squirrel Girl are all having the first issue of their latest runs reprinted as part of this line, which is very cool. It’s well timed, too; you might want to stock up this September and pass them out to trick or treaters on Halloween.
SIDENOTE: I don’t count reprints when I do up these numbers each month, so that’s why the “True Believers” books aren’t listed above. Also, if I did count them, Marvel would still be down from last month. Oh, Marvel.
Overall, September is a pretty good month for female characters. While a lot of books are benched, the women of S.H.I.E.L.D. are getting a fun showcase, and you can catch up on all of your favourite female characters for a buck each. It’s a bad scene for female creators, though, with a big drop from last month in terms of the number of different female creators working on Marvel’s comics, as well as there being only a handful of Marvel’s books in which female creators appear. Marvel’s been very up and down with female creators this year, and it’s frustrating to watch them continually drop the ball like this. Hiring more women can’t be that hard.