Marvel has A LOT going on in October. A ton of new series and minis, an array of one-shots, a big “Spider-geddon” event, plus all of their usual fare. Their output is in the ballpark of 85 new comic books for the month, about 10 more than they usually release. The increase in production hasn’t come with an increase in representation, though. Female and non-binary creator numbers are set to hold steady at a level that, while better than their recent lows, remains well off their recent highs. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:
- Amy Reeder: Spider-Girls #1 (variant cover)
- Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #25 (cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #200 (cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #37 (cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #35 (writer)
- Gail Simone: Domino #7 (writer)
- Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (interior art, cover)
- Jen Bartel: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (variant cover)
- Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #9 (cover)
- Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #1 (writer)
- Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #4 (writer), West Coast Avengers #3 (writer)
- Leah Williams: What If? Magik #1 (writer), X-Men Black – Emma Frost #1 (writer)
- Margaret Stohl: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (writer)
- Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #5 (writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #36 (interior art, cover)
- Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #1 (writer)
- Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #14 (writer)
- Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (interior art)
- Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #3 (interior art)
- Seanan McGuire: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (writer), X-Men Black: Mystique #1 (writer)
- Stephanie Hans: Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 (variant cover)
- The Soska Sisters: Avengers Halloween Special #1 (co-writers)
- Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #1 (cover), Spider-Girls #1 (cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (variant cover)
All together, there are 25 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different books at Marvel in October, 1 fewer creator than in September but 2 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. Now, holding steady in the mid-20s isn’t a terrible place for Marvel to be. We’ve seen terrible earlier this year, when the publisher’s numbers were in the low teens. But we’ve also seen them in the high 30s before, so Marvel is still pretty far behind the level they’re capable of hitting. Plus, with a slew of new books, you’d hope for a bit of a jump overall. None is a little disappointing.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some new names in the mix, though. We’ve got Seanan McGuire writing a new Spider-Gwen series and a Mystique one-shot, and the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia) co-penning a story in the Avengers Halloween Special. There are some returning favourites, too: I think it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Rosi Kampe, who’s doing interior art for the Spider-Gwen book, and Nnedi Okorafor is back with a new Shuri series that should be super cool.
Also, I should point out that the publisher is doing a bunch of Marvel Battle Lines variant covers in October, many of which feature Korean artists who seem to have little to no English web presence. While I did my best to track each of them down, I’ve still got a couple of question marks, and those folks could possibly be female or non-binary creators.
In terms of fictional characters, ladies are set to have a big month with this October bonanza. Spider-Geddon is set to feature Spider-Gwen and “every Spider-Woman ever,” plus we’ve got new minis like Spider-Force with Jessica Drew and Ashley Barton, Spider-Girls with Mayday, Spiderling, and two Spider-Girls, and the new Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider series. Elsewhere, Shuri has a new book, The Unstoppable Wasp is back, and we’ve got a What If? oneshot starring Magik and two X-Men Black oneshots that focus on Emma Frost and Mystique. It’s a busy month!
Overall, while there are some new names at Marvel and that’s always fun, the new names aren’t enough to counter the lack of holdovers from last month and the numbers are remaining relatively steady. Less than steady, frankly, when you consider how many new books there are in October, each of them an opportunity to introduce new creative teams. Marvel’s picked themselves up from their poor start to 2018, but now they’ve been treading water for a few months at a level far below what they’re capable of achieving, establishing given the breadth of talent from female and non-binary creators out there making comics right now.