Marvel’s post-lockdown ramp up continues to be surprisingly slow. They were cranking out nearly a hundred books a month before the virus shut everything down, and they’re just a little over half that currently, with fewer books this month than last. Female and non-binary creator representation has been even slower to bounce back, with several titles exiled to digital only and some books still in limbo waiting to return, but October looks to be a small step in the right direction. Let’s dig into who’s doing what at Marvel this October:
- Alyssa Wong: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #5 (writer)
- Belen Ortega: Amazing Spider-Man #50 (variant cover)
- Carmen Carnero: Hellions #5 (interior art), Miles Morales: Spider-Man #19 (interior art)
- Elena Casagrande: Black Widow #2 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Black Widow: Widow’s Sting #1 (cover)
- Eve L. Ewing: Champions #1 (writer)
- Karla Pacheco: Spider-Woman #5 (writer)
- Kelly Thompson: Black Widow #2 (writer), Captain Marvel #22 (writer), Deadpool #7 (writer)
- Margaret Stohl: Spider-Man Noir #5 (writer)
- Marika Cresta: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #5 (interior art)
- Mirka Andolfo: Captain America #24 (variant cover)
- Peach Momoko: Champions #1 (variant cover)
- Sana Takeda: Spider-Woman #5 (variant cover)
- Sara Pichelli: Amazing Spider-Man #50.LR (cover), Hellions #5 (variant cover), Spider-Man #5 (interior art, variant cover)
- Tini Howard: Excalibur #13 (writer), X of Swords: Stasis #1 (co-writer)
- Valentina Remenar: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #5 (cover)
- Vita Ayala: Marauders #13 (writer)
All together, there are 17 different female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on 16 different books at Marvel in October, four fewer creators than in September on four more books. So that about evens out. Plus, we anticipated that the creator numbers would drop after last month’s Giant-Size X-Men one-shot with scores of artists each drawing a page. That boosted the September total considerably. What’s more encouraging is the growth from 10 books in August to 12 in September to 16 now. Marvel’s output hasn’t increased that much, but we’re seeing better representation across the line.
The percentages bear this out. Marvel’s only releasing 54 books in October, two fewer than in September, and with female and non-binary creators on 16 of those books, we’ve got representation across 30% of the line. The percentages were a few points higher pre-hiatus, but 30% is a big jump from September’s 21%. We’re slowly getting closer to normal.
We don’t have any new creators this month, though, which isn’t a huge surprise. With a reduced slate and not a ton of new books across the line, Marvel seems to be keeping to their usual stable of creators right now. Hopefully this will open up a bit more if they return to their previous publishing levels.
In terms of new books, Champions is back! It was solicited a while back but delayed for obvious reasons, along with the “Outlawed” event it’s meant to tie into. It’s coming out in October now, giving us another book with Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, and that is always a good thing. The “X of Swords” event is in full swing this month as well, and while it’s mostly taking place in the ongoing X-titles there are a few one-shots here and there you should keep your eyes peeled for if you want to get the full scope of what all of the X-ladies are up to.
Overall, October is looking okay for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel, at least relative to the past couple months. We’re not quite where we were pre-hiatus, but nothing is right now. It’s good to see growth even as Marvel keeps to a limited state, and ideally we’ll see commensurate gains should the line expand in the months to come. We’re also seeing a decent base of steady gigs holding solid through this process, which is encouraging. While this is superhero comics and it could all go off a cliff at anytime, representation looks to be improving little by little right now.