The New Year started off poorly for Marvel, with sizeable losses in their overall total of female and non-binary creators, but the publisher is set to bounce back in February with some higher numbers. After such a steady 2019, it’s a tad worrisome that Marvel is returning to its old back and forth ways thus far in 2020. That consistency was nice, and I was hoping the publisher had reached a new standard. Perhaps not yet. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this February:
- Alitha E. Martinez: Marvel’s Voices #1 (interior art)
- Amy Chu: Aero #8 (co-writer)
- Annie Wu: Guardians of the Galaxy #2 (variant cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Dark Agnes #1 (writer, variant cover)
- Belén Ortega: Doctor Doom #5 (variant cover)
- Carmen Carnero: Star #2 (cover)
- Claire Roe: Nebula #1 (interior art)
- Elizabeth Torque: Amazing Spider-Man #40 (variant cover)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Captain Marvel #15 (variant cover), Star Wars #3 (variant cover)
- Gurihiru: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #4 (interior art, cover)
- Jen Bartel: Nebula #1 (cover)
- Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #15 (writer), Deadpool #4 (writer), Jessica Jones #3 (writer), Jessica Jones #4 (writer), Star #2 (writer)
- Kirbi Fagan: Star #2 (variant cover)
- Leah Williams: Amazing Mary Jane #5 (writer)
- Mariko Tamaki: Spider-Man/Venom: Double Trouble #4 (writer)
- Meghan Hetrick: X-Men/Fantastic Four #1 (variant cover), X-Men/Fantastic Four #2 (variant cover)
- Mirka Andolfo: Nebula #1 (variant cover)
- Natacha Bustos: Marvel’s Voices #1 (interior art)
- Peach Momoko: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #8 (variant cover)
- Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #30 (writer)
- Roxane Gay: Marvel’s Voices #1 (co-writer)
- Sana Takeda: Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Black Cat Strikes #2 (cover)
- Seanan McGuire: Ghost-Spider #7 (writer)
- Stephanie Hans: Dark Agnes #1 (cover), Spirits of Ghost Rider: Mother of Demons #1 (variant cover)
- Tini Howard: Excalibur #7 (writer), Strikeforce #6 (writer)
- Torunn Grønbekk: Valkyrie: Jane Foster #8 (co-writer)
- Vita Ayala: Marvel’s Voices #1 (co-writer), Morbius #4 (writer), Nebula #1 (writer)
All together, there are 28 female and non-binary creators set to work on 25 different books at Marvel this February, an impressive seven more creators than in January across three fewer books. The publisher has gained back most of its January losses, and while the drop in the number of books doesn’t look great at first glance, Marvel’s only putting out 81 books in February. With female and non-binary creators working on 25 of them, that gives the publisher representation across 31% of the line, where it’s been for the past few months.
Most of the creators listed are the usual gang, with a few returning favourites for Marvel Voices, a one-shot of stories from “Marvel’s acclaimed podcast series focusing on telling the stories of diverse creators and their unique perspectives.” There’s only one brand new name and it’s maybe the coolest name ever: Torunn Grønbekk. She’ll be co-writing Valkyrie: Jane Foster, and given her Norwegian background she seems like a perfect fit for the book.
This round of solicits also lists several Asian creators who don’t appear to have an English language online presence. I did my best to track them down and was able to confirm a few, but some remain questions marks. So there may be more representation than we thought.
For new female-led books, we’ve got a few team outing with X-Men/Fantastic Four starring Kitty Pryde, Sue Storm, and Storm while Giant Size X-Men: Jean Grey and Emma Frost focuses on those two X-ladies. We’ve also got a brand new Nebula series, which should be fun, along with Dark Agnes, an old creation of Robert E. Howard who’s getting her own solo mini-series. Howard also created Conan the Barbarian, which Marvel now has the license to, but Dark Agnes seems unconnected to that universe. The book’s got a great creative team, and I’m curious to check it out.
Overall, February is a solid rebound month after an underwhelming January. The numbers for female and non-binary remain below Marvel’s 2019 highs, but at least things are better than January’s disappointing lows. Time will tell if the publisher can even things out, or if we’re in for a rollercoaster of a year.