Marvel really had nowhere to go but up after their dismal showing for female creators in October, and I’m glad to report that their November numbers are better. Far from good, but definitely better. It’s an odd situation indeed when a publisher can nearly double the number of female creators they hire and still remain woefully behind most of their competition. Despite the fact that Marvel’s solicits regularly feature roughly 150-175 different creators, they seem incapable of getting out of the teens when it comes to women. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this November:
- Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 (co-writer, cover)
- Brittney Williams: Secret Wars Too #1 (unspecified), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 (variant cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 (interior art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #1 (writer)
- Helen Chen: Silk #1 (cover)
- Jenny Frison: Ms. Marvel #1 (variant cover)
- Jody Houser: Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #1 (writer)
- Kate Leth: Secret Wars Too #1 (unspecified)
- Marguerite Bennett: Angela: Queen of Hel #2 (writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #1 (interior art), Spider-Woman #1 (variant cover)
- Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – Lady of Shadows #3 (co-writer)
- Sara Pichelli: Ms. Marvel #1 (variant cover)
- Siya Oum: Spider-Woman #1 (variant cover)
- Stacey Lee: Silk #1 (interior art)
- Stephanie Hans: Angela: Queen of Hel #2 (interior art, cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #1 (cover), Star-Lord #1 (variant cover)
All together, Marvel is scheduled to have 16 different female creators working on 10 different books in November, a big jump from October’s 9 different female creators but, oddly enough, the exact same number of titles. That’s an weird bit of segregation there. So yes, Marvel is much improved from last month in terms of the number of women working for them, but last month was straight up abysmal. Plus, while this is a slightly higher than average month for Marvel, the numbers are still lower than the worst month DC’s had all year. It’s really not an impressive showing.
Moreover, at least a third of the gigs listed above are one-time jobs and the women involved are unlikely to be back in December unless they book another gig. Only 10 of these women have a regular position and are ensured to be back next month. It’s a crapshoot for the rest.
On the plus side, though, there are a lot of new names. Brittney Williams and Kate Leth are in for some comedy fun with Secret Wars Too, and I think that Jody Houser and Natacha Bustos might be new to Marvel as well, both with regular gigs too. It’s always good to see Marvel growing the ranks and expanding their rolodexes. Perhaps someday they’ll hire a bunch of the various women they’ve employed over the year at once instead of spreading them around so much.
November is also a very good month for female characters, as Marvel’s relaunch continues to roll out. Among the women getting new solo titles are Spider-Woman, the all new Wolverine, Moon Girl, Silk, Ms. Marvel, and Thor. Women also play a key part in several team books that are set to debut in November. I should point out that while 6 female characters are launching solo books, so are at least 10 different male characters. Nonetheless, that ratio is one of the better ones we’ve seen.
Overall, Marvel’s set to have one of their more decent months of the year in November, and it’s still not a terribly good showing. They continue to lag behind DC and employ a significant percentage of their female creators in temporary jobs. Things are definitely looking up from last month’s awful numbers, but it will take another leap of a similar size to get Marvel anywhere near a strong number of female creators. In this day and age, if you can’t hire at least 20 different women a month across a massive line of 75 different books, you’re not looking hard enough.