We’ve got some good news and some bad news with Marvel’s June solicits. The good news is that for the first time in several months, Marvel’s number of female creators is out of the teens. Just barely so, but hey, the numbers have been so bad that we’ll take what we can get. The bad news is that the a sizeable amount of the gigs listed below are one-time outings, and thus won’t be back in a similar form next month. If Marvel wants to keep the numbers up, there’ll either need to be some big changes to the line or a lot more oneshots. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this June:
- Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #21 (cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #196 (cover)
- Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (writer)
- Elizabeth Torque: Dazzler: X Song #1 (cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #33 (interior art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #31 (co-writer)
- Gail Simone: Domino #3 (writer)
- Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (cover)
- Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #20 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #5 (writer)
- Laura Braga: Dazzler: X Song #1 (interior art)
- Magdalene Visaggio: Dazzler: X Song #1 (writer)
- Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #2 (writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #32 (interior art, cover)
- Nik Virella: Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1 (interior art)
- Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: Amazing Spider-Man #1 (writer)
- Rainbow Rowell: Ms. Marvel #31 (co-writer), Runaways #10 (writer)
- Stacey Lee: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (variant cover)
- Stephanie Hans: Ms. Marvel #31 (variant cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1 (cover)
All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 14 different books at Marvel this June, 5 more creators than in May, though on 2 fewer books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled in this round of solicits. The gain is good to see. So far, 2018 has been a rough year for representation at Marvel, and while 20 women is still quite paltry, it’s nonetheless a step up from where the publisher’s been lately.
However, it seems unlikely to last. Of the 20 women above, 10 are working on one-time jobs. As cool as it is to see new books starring Black Widow, Dazzler, and the Marvel Rising team, these are all one-shots. These single outings combined with a handful of variant covers means that half of Marvel’s female creators in June are not working on sustainable gigs. Hopefully they’ll be back elsewhere next month, but such a strong reliance on one-off work is hardly a recipe for good long term representation at the publisher.
Things aren’t look great for female characters, either. We’ve got the aforementioned oneshots, which are fun and all, but Marvel is set to unveil a slew of new series in June and only one has a female character in the mix. Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Iron Man, Muliple Man, the Sentry, and Thor are all headlining new books. Only Ant-Man and the Wasp has a female lead, and she’s a co-lead. This prevalence of dudes, real and fictional, is the hallmark of Marvel’s new line, and chances are this trend will continue as it keeps rolling out.
Overall, Marvel’s not in a very good place with female and non-binary creators right now. The numbers jumped this month, but there doesn’t seem to be any indication that this will last long term. Men seem to be the publisher’s focus right now, both on the page and behind the scenes, and much of their new line appears to be an attempt at appeasing conservative fanboys. Things might change at some point, but the current trend doesn’t bode well for women and non-binary creators at Marvel.