The good news for Marvel’s August releases is that they have the highest number of female creators in the mix since March. The less good news is that the publisher is still a long way off from those March highs, continuing to languish in the mid-20s after they began the year firmly in the mid-30s. Basically, the numbers are higher than last month but not nearly as high as Marvel has showed they are capable of achieving. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in August 2017:
- Amy Reeder: Star Wars #35 (variant cover)
- Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #15 (writer)
- Christina Strain: Generation X #5 (writer)
- Elizabeth Torque: Astonishing X-Men #2 (variant cover), Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (cover)
- Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #23 (interior art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #21 (writer)
- Gabby Rivera: America #6 (co-writer)
- Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #19 (interior art, cover)
- Hannah Blumenreich: Spider-Gwen #23 (co-writer, interior art)
- Jen Bartel: America #6 (cover)
- Jill Thompson: Lockjaw: Dog Days #1 (co-writer, interior art)
- Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #5 (writer)
- Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #11 (cover)
- Kelly Thompson: America #6 (co-writer), Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 (writer), Hawkeye #9 (writer)
- Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (writer)
- Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #9 (writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #22 (interior art, cover)
- Ro Stein: The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (interior art)
- Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #2 (interior art, cover)
- Stephanie Hans: Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1 (cover)
- Tamra Bonvillain: Secret Warriors #5 (cover)
- Yona Harvey: Black Panther and the Crew #6 (co-writer)
- Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #1 (writer, interior art)
All together, there are 25 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in August, 1 more woman and 2 more books than in July. It’s a small step up from last month, as well as Marvel’s highest combined total since March. However, March had 37 different female creators on 33 different books, so Marvel’s still running very far behind where they were earlier in the year. The numbers dropped off precipitously in April, and they haven’t recovered a whole lot since then.
There are a couple of new names in the mix for August, though. We haven’t seen Ro Stein at Marvel before, and I think she’ll be a great fit on The Unstoppable Wasp. Tamra Bonvillain is also credited on a cover, even though she’s a colorist and colorists generally don’t get credited in the solicits. But if your name is in there, you make the list! So hooray for Tamra Bonvillain, who I actually come across a lot when I do my full “Gendercrunching” stats each month. It’s nice to see a colorist make the solicits for a change.
In terms of new books, Marvel’s Generations event has several female characters involved in special oneshot issues. The event focuses on different incarnations of the same hero, so for example the current, female Mighty Thor is paired with the old Thor, who’s now known as Unworthy Thor. Women are in the mix in four of the oneshots, including Hawkeye (the cooler lady one), All New Wolverine (also the cooler lady one), and both Phoenix and the new, young Jean Grey together in their own book. Marvel’s recent penchant for replacing male heroes with women has ensured that this event will have a considerable female presence throughout, which is very fun. It’s also great to see creators associated with the characters in the mix, including Kelly Thompson, the writer of the current, fantastic Hawkeye series, penning the special Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye issue.
So all together, female representation looks like it will be slightly improved at Marvel this August, but behind the scenes the gains are slight and on the page the gains are cool but momentary via an assortment of oneshots. It’s bizarre that Marvel can’t seem to get out of its current mid-20s rut with female creators; they were really hitting it out of the park as the year began, but the numbers just aren’t there anymore.