Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, April 2018 Solicits: 17 Creators on 15 Books

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So this is an unusual month for Marvel. Their female creator representation has grown a whopping 70% from March, a massive gain for the publisher. However, even with this jump their numbers are still terrible. Better than in March, sure, but the March numbers were abominable. Like, ridiculously bad relative to the levels Marvel has shown themselves to be capable of. So while it’s good to see growth, there’s still a long, long way to go to get anywhere near the ballpark of decent representation. Let’s look at who’s doing what at Marvel this April:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #19 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #194 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising #0 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: The Hunt for Wolverine #1 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Domino #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #31 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #29 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #1 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Super Hero Adventures #1 (cover)
  • Helen Chen: Marvel Rising #0 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #18 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #3 (writer)
  • Katie Cook: Thanos Annual #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Rogue & Gambit #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #30 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #8 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Tales of Suspense #104 (cover)

All together, there are 17 different female creators scheduled to work on 15 different comic books at Marvel in April, 7 more creators than in March and 3 more books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators set to work at Marvel in this round of solicits. Normally a 70% gain in female creators would be astounding news, but March was abysmal. That big gain still leaves them in the teens, which is an embarrassing place to be in 2018. There are scores of amazing female and non-binary creators making comics these days. If Marvel can’t hire at least 20 of them, then they’re just not trying at all. For the Big Two right now, 20 is the line for “still pretty bad, but not terrible.” The 30 benchmark says “maybe they’re trying a bit, but they could still do a lot better.” Given the creator ranks out there, both DC and Marvel should be able to employ AT LEAST 40 amazing female creators a month with ease. Neither has been close to that.

In terms of the women working at Marvel this month, we don’t have any brand new names but there are a few returning favourites. Devin Grayson is back writing on the new Marvel Rising series, which will tie into the upcoming animated film aimed at young fans. Katie Cook is back too, doing what should be a fun story in the Thanos Annual. And Gail Simone has returned to Marvel’s ranks with a new Domino series, her first ongoing work at Marvel in years.

Two of these books highlight a decent month for female characters at Marvel. The team in Marvel Rising is 75% women, including fan favourites like Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl. It looks like it’s going to be awesome. And the Domino series is a new solo book with a female lead, which probably owes its existence to the upcoming Deadpool film sequel. Marvel’s smart to capitalize on the character’s exposure, and Simone is always a good choice for the sort of fun, bawdy tales this series will probably be telling.

All together, things are looking up in a lot of ways at Marvel right now, and yet everything is still very bad. There are more female creators in the mix, but the numbers are still shamefully low. There are new books with female leads, but Marvel just cancelled a slew of similar titles and have yet to make up the difference. The publisher spent the first few months of 2018 digging themselves a deep hole, and while the April solicits are a small step in the right direction, there’s still a massive amount of work to be done.

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