Marvel’s numbers for female and non-binary creators bounced back in December after a sub-par autumn, but the publisher is set to start the New Year by erasing all of those gains. While there’s decent representation across the line, the total number of different creators is the lowest we’ve seen from Marvel in some time. It’s not a strong start to 2020, to say the least. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this January:
- Ashley Witter: Fallen Angels #6 (cover), Fallen Angels #5 (cover)
- Belén Ortega: Guardians of the Galaxy #1 (variant cover)
- Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel: The End #1 (interior art, variant cover), Star #1 (cover)
- Elizabeth Torque: Hawkeye: Freefall #1 (variant cover)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Avengers #29 (variant cover)
- Gurihiru: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #3 (interior art, cover)
- Jen Bartel: Star Wars #1 (variant cover), Thor #1 (variant cover)
- Jodie Muir: Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #2 (variant cover)
- Jody Houser: The Web of Black Widow #5 (writer)
- Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #14 (writer), Captain Marvel: The End #1 (writer), Deadpool #3 (writer), Jessica Jones #1 (writer), Jessica Jones #2 (writer), Star #1 (writer)
- Leah Williams: Amazing Mary Jane #4 (writer), Doctor Strange: The End #1 (writer)
- Mariko Tamaki: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #3 (writer)
- Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #29 (writer)
- Sana Takeda: Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes #1 (cover)
- Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #5 (interior art, variant cover), The Web of Black Widow #5 (variant cover)
- Seanan McGuire: Ghost-Spider #6 (writer)
- Tini Howard: Excalibur #5 (writer), Excalibur #6 (writer), Strikeforce #5 (writer)
- Valentina Remenar: Star #1 (variant cover)
- Vanesa Del Rey: Conan: Serpent War #3 (interior art), Conan: Serpent War #4 (interior art)
- Vita Ayala: Morbius #3 (writer)
All together, there are 21 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 28 books at Marvel this January, giving us seven fewer creators than in December across two more books. The book total is okay, at least, and with Marvel putting out 89 books total, we’ve got representation across 31% of the line. That’s the same as December, though certainly below the publisher’s recent highs.
Losing a full quarter of your female and non-binary workforce in one month is disconcerting, though. We’re seeing a handful of creators getting a lot of work here, which accounts for the high book total. Kelly Thompson, for example, is writing six books in January. Which is awesome, because Kelly Thompson is a spectacular writer and her high profile at Marvel right now is well deserved. But Marvel’s not employing as many other female and non-binary creators right now, when they could be doing so easily. There’s lots of them out there. They were getting hired in much larger numbers just a few short months ago.
Despite the low numbers, however, we’ve got a couple of new creators making their Marvel debut here. Jodie Muir is doing a variant cover for Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #2, while Valentina Remenar is doing a variant for Star #1. Hopefully these gigs lead to future work for both artists.
In terms of new books, Star’s getting a mini-series after her recent appearance in Captain Marvel. I’m very curious to read this book, given the fiendish shenanigans she’s been up to thus far. The digital Jessica Jones series is getting reprinted in single issue form as well, which is exciting because those issues looked great. We’ve also got a Guardians of the Galaxy relaunch with what appears to be one female character in the mix (of six, ugh), and there’s a run of The End one-shots with one focusing on Captain Marvel (the other five are dudes, natch).
Overall, it’s a very underwhelming start to the year for Marvel. While it’s fantastic to see a few creators getting steady work, the publisher should be hiring lots of other female and non-binary creators as well. Having only 21 different creators is just unacceptable in this day and age, especially with the ludicrous number of books Marvel puts out each month.