Marvel’s December solicits were abnormally good in terms of female creator representation, and I was curious to see if they would maintain their high total in January or fall back into their old, lower range. What actually happened was a little bit of both. Marvel’s down from their December total but up from their November total, splitting the difference exactly. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in January 2016:
- Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3 (co-writer, cover), The Totally Awesome Hulk #2 (variant cover)
- Annie Wu: Spider-Woman #3 (variant cover)
- Babs Tarr: Ms. Marvel #3 (variant cover)
- Brittney Williams: Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #2 (art, cover)
- Erica Henderson: All-New Hawkeye #3 (variant cover), Starbrand & Nightmask #2 (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 (art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #2 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #3 (writer)
- Helen Chen: Silk #3 (cover)
- Jody Houser: Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #3 (writer)
- Joelle Jones: A-Force #2 (variant cover)
- Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #2 (writer)
- Kelly Thompson: A-Force #2 (co-writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: Angela: Queen of Hel #4 (writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
- Michele Fazekas: Captain Marvel #1 (co-writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #3 (interior art)
- Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – Lady of Shadows #5 (co-writer)
- Stacey Lee: Silk #3 (interior art)
- Stephanie Hans: Angela: Queen of Hel #4 (art, cover)
- Tara Butters: Captain Marvel #1 (co-writer)
- Yasmine Putri: Max Ride: Ultimate Flight #3 (cover), Starbrand & Nightmask #2 (cover)
All together, Marvel has 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 14 different books in January, a drop from December’s 24 and 19 but a comparatively decent total for Marvel given their poor showings over the past year. Things seem to be looking up for female creators at Marvel, which is good news; this is two straight months of 20 or more women. At the same, though, in this day and age 20 women is about where a Big Two publisher needs to be at to be considered “not awful” with female creators. “Good” is still a ways off.
Despite the drop, though, Marvel is moving in a positive direction in terms of regular gigs for women. They’ll add two in January with Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters writing the new Captain Marvel together. Marvel’s gradual unveiling of their new post-Secret Wars line up over the past few months has been slow to add female creators, but there are a bunch in the mix now. Hopefully there’ll be more to come in February.
January isn’t looking great for female characters, however. While there are a slew of new books, only one has a female lead: Captain Marvel. It looks great and all, but there are at least four other new books with a male lead as well a team book set to debut in January as well. A 4 to 1 ratio of new male-led to female-led books is disappointing.
Overall, January was an expected step back; there were too many one-time variant cover gigs in December for Marvel to be able to maintain their total without a MASSIVE spike in their hiring of women. But Marvel didn’t step back as far as they could have, and have put up a marginally decent number of female creators for the month. Things aren’t good by any means, but they’re better than they’ve been. There’s still loads of room to grow, of course, in a variety of ways: more female creators, female creators on more books instead of clustered, more female characters. Women are a small minority by every measure. The past two months are an okay start after a bad autumn, and now Marvel needs to move forward in a decidedly positive direction.
Tags: Amy Reeder, Annie Wu, Babs Tarr, Brittney Williams, Erica Henderson, G. Willow Wilson, Helen Chen, Jody Houser, Joelle Jones, Kate Leth, Kelly Thompson, Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, Marvel, Michele Fazekas, Natacha Bustos, Robin Furth, Solicits, Stacey Lee, Stephanie Hans, Tara Butters, Women at Marvel Comics, Women In Comics, Women In Comics Statistics, Yasmine Putri