Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 20 Creators on 21 Books

womenatmarvelOCTOBER

The numbers aren’t looking great for female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on Marvel’s comics in October. After setting a record high in March of this year, the publisher’s numbers crashed precipitously in April and have been crawling up again bit by bit since then. Until now. The October solicits are a massive step down for representation at Marvel that takes them to their lowest total of female and non-binary creators in over a year and half. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #17 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #7 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Falcon #1 (variant cover), Venomverse #5 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #23 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #8 (writer)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #8 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #166 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #12 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #11 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #3 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #4 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #125 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #11 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #24 (interior art, cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #2 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Inhumans: Once and Future Kings #3 (variant cover), Mighty Thor #700 (variant cover)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #3 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 21 different comics books at Marvel this October, 8 fewer creators than in the September solicits and 5 fewer books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in the October solicits. A drop of more than a quarter of the publisher’s female writers and artists in just one month is a huge step down, and one that stems not from one big change but a sequence of smaller ones. With so few women to start with, a few creative shifts here and there, a book or two wrapping up, and a couple less variant cover gigs can add up pretty quick, and that looks like what is happening here. Ultimately, it’s resulted in Marvel’s lowest total since February 2016.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given this big drop, there aren’t any new female or non-binary creators in the mix for October. Everyone involved is someone we’ve seen recently, if not last month than a couple of months back. Jenny Frison may be new-ish, I suppose; she’s been a mainstay at DC lately with her Wonder Woman variants and it’s been a little while since we’ve seen her at Marvel. Regardless, a drop in numbers without a concurrent increase in new creators is not a great recipe for representation at a publisher, as these solicits demonstrate.

On the female character front, as Marvel’s “Legacy” continues to unfold this fall, there aren’t any new books with female leads either. A few existing books are continuing with new numbering, but in terms of brand new titles, there are just a handful and they’re all led by dudes. It does look like there’s a lady in the new Spirits of Vengeance book at least, some gal in a ridiculous red outfit with white hair and horns. Apart from that, the fellows are the focus this month.

Overall, October looks to be quite a poor month for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel. Such a massive drop is disconcerting, especially in the middle of a major publishing event that’s bringing in lots of new creative teams. It’s never a good look when there’s a relaunch/reboot and you have fewer women in the mix, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. Perhaps November will increase the numbers with some more creators on some new books, but Marvel’s certainly dug themselves into a deep hole with this showing.

 

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