It’s International Women’s Day, which is perhaps not the best day to take a look at Marvel’s May solicits. The fact of the matter is, Marvel is garbage at hiring female and non-binary creators right now. While the women currently working at Marvel are amazing talents making some great books, they are few and far between. And they have been for a while. What’s more, the announcements surrounding Marvel’s umpteenth relaunch that’s coming this summer have been ridiculously male-dominated thus far. The publisher has a problem. So let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this May:
- Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20 (cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #195 (cover)
- Elizabeth Torque: All-New Wolverine #35 (cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #32 (interior art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #30 (writer)
- Gail Simone: Domino #2 (writer)
- Jen Bartel: Mighty Thor: At The Gates Of Valhalla #1 (interior art)
- Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #19 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #4 (writer)
- Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #2 (variant cover)
- Kelly Thompson: Rogue & Gambit #5 (writer), X-Men Wedding Special #1 (co-writer)
- Marika Cresta: X-Men Wedding Special #1 (interior art)
- Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #1 (writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #31 (cover)
- Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #9 (writer)
- Yasmine Putri: Black Panther #1 (variant cover)
All together, there are 15 different female creators set to work on 16 different books at Marvel in May, 2 fewer creators than in April and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled for Marvel’s May comics. This marks the third straight month of numbers in the teens for the publisher, a run that is, quite frankly, beyond embarrassing. Not only has Marvel shown themselves to be capable of posting totals of more than twice this amount in the past, the ranks of excellent female and non-binary creators have never been larger. There are so many in the mix these days, a publisher pretty much has to go out of their way NOT to hire them. And Marvel appears to be doing just that.
This disinterest in female creators looks like it’s going to continue into the future as well. Marvel is in the midst of unveiling their new lineup for their latest relaunch; it’s got a name, but I don’t care enough to go look it up. They’ve announced over a dozen new books so far, and only ONE has a female creator in the mix, with Margaret Stohl relaunching Captain Marvel. And here’s the kicker: It’s a mini-series. The majority of the other books are ongoing titles. So barring a sudden influx of female-led titles, I wouldn’t expect Marvel’s numbers to improve in the months to come.
There also seems to be a distinct disinterest in titles headlined by female characters, both this month and moving forward. Usually when I do the cover montage at the top, I have tons of great female characters to choose from and I get to pick the art that I like the best. This month was slim pickings. I had to go through the solicits twice to find the seven covers above.
Some new books are starting in May, too, and they are all male-led. We’ve got new solo titles for Black Panther, Quicksilver, and Venom, along with a round of mini-series centered on Wolverine. The dude Wolverine, I should say, not the new, awesome lady Wolverine who is much, much, much cooler. There’s a new Avengers book as well, and only 2 of the 8 characters on the team are women, with Captain Marvel and She-Hulk in the mix.
And just to continue the disappointing news run, of all of the relaunch titles announced so far, there are one and a half books with titular female characters. We’ve got the aforementioned Captain Marvel mini, and the Wasp sharing a new series with Ant-Man.
So yeah, Marvel’s got a definite problem with women right now. Their female and non-binary creator numbers are in the midst of the lowest run we’ve seen in years, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to improve anytime soon. Their female characters are on the decline as well, again with no change in sight. It feels like Marvel is intentionally appealing to conservative fanboys now, that irksome group who blasted the company for diversifying their line and making everyone a “social justice warrior.” And that’s just gross. Marvel needs to get it together before they embarrass themselves even further. Will they? Probably not. But we can hope.