Marvel will continue to ease back into publishing this September, increasing their slate slightly while still remaining well below their regular output. It’s an understandable strategy given the state of the world, but one that resulted in terrible numbers for female and non-binary creators in August. The work of male creators was given top priority, and several books with more diverse creative teams were shuttled off to digital only, never to see print in single issue form. It looks like this will continue in September, but the numbers have improved. Sort of? Less than it seems. It’s weird. We’ll get into it all, but first let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this September:
- Alyssa Wong: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #4 (writer)
- Carmen Carnero: Empyre Fallout: Fantastic Four #1 (variant cover), Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 (interior art), Miles Morales: Spider-Man #18 (interior art)
- Elena Casagrande: Black Widow #1 (interior art)
- Elizabeth Torque: Spider-Woman #4 (variant cover)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 (interior art)
- Gurihiru: Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 (interior art)
- Jen Bartel: Giant-Size X-Men: Storm #1 (variant cover), Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 (interior art)
- Jenny Frison: Captain Marvel #21 (variant cover)
- Karla Pacheco: Spider-Woman #4 (writer)
- Kelly Thompson: Black Widow #1 (writer), Captain Marvel #21 (writer)
- Leah Williams: X-Factor #3 (writer), X-Factor #4 (writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 (interior art)
- Marika Cresta: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #4 (interior art)
- Peach Momoko: Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #1 (variant cover)
- Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #4 (interior art, variant cover)
- Siya Oum: Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum #1 (interior art)
- Stephanie Hans: Marvel Zombies: Resurrection #1 (variant cover)
- Tini Howard: Excalibur #12 (writer)
- Tula Lotay: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #4 (variant cover)
- Valentina Remenar: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #4 (cover)
All together, there are 21 different female creators set to work on 12 different books at Marvel in September, 12 more creators and 2 more books than in September. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. Now, more than doubling the number of creators is great news. That’s an enormous jump. The only thing is, it’s not been paired with a commensurate increase in books. As you can probably tell from the list above, we’ve got a lot of creators on a single book this month, the Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum, in which a slew of creators are each re-drawing a page of that classic comic. It’s a cool idea, to be sure, but also a one-off idea that has momentarily inflated the numbers in a way that doesn’t suggest long term stability at this level.
When we turn to the number of books with female creators, we’ve got 56 titles total, ten more than in August. Having female creators on 12 of these books gives us representation across 21% of the line, a tiny drop from our August total. So yes, a lot more women are making comics at Marvel in September and that is good. But also, they’re making comics in very few places and the bulk of them are not in gigs that promise they’ll be back next month.
In terms of new creators, I don’t think there are any? Everyone has worked at Marvel before, including a host of returning favourites for the Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum special. Incidentally, 7 of the 37 artists working on the book are women, or 19%. That’s not terrible, like the over-sized Amazing Spider-Man #850 that’s also coming out in September and features not a single female creator in the mix. But 19% isn’t anything to write home about either.
For new books, Black Widow is coming out, FINALLY. We’ve all been waiting on this one. Kelly Thompson and Elena Casagrande, together on rad spy adventures? It sounds spectacular. The big “X of Swords” event will also kick off in September, and it spans the entire X-line so all of your favourite female mutants will be in the mix. A lot of female writers too, though not much in the way of artists yet. She-Hulk is set to get another series with Immortal She-Hulk as well, though there are no female or non-binary creators attached to the book. And Storm’s getting a one-shot, Giant-Size X-Men: Storm, with a Jen Bartel variant cover.
All together, while it’s cool that a great team of women are doing some fun art on Giant-Size X-Men: Tribute to Wein & Cockrum, this is an otherwise subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel. A lot of books remain shelved for now, with several others relegated to digital, and the books that are getting published right now just happen to feature predominantly male leads and male characters. It’s hardly a shock, but that doesn’t make it any less disappointing. Hopefully the line will continue to ramp up in October and we’ll see representation begin to improve.