As Secret Wars rages on with a seemingly innumerable amount of tie-ins and mini-series, Marvel’s female creator ranks are slowly creeping up. Marvel’s still lagging behind their chief rival, DC Comics, but the numbers are growing nonetheless. Let’s talk a look at who’s doing what this August at Marvel:
- Alti Firmansyah: Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #3 (interior art)
- Amanda Conner: Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra #1 (cover)
- Babs Tarr: Secret Wars #6 (variant cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 (cover, interior art)
- G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #4 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #18 (writer)
- Gurihiru: Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (interior art)
- Katie Cook: Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (writer, interior art)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps #3 (co-writer)
- Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps #3 (co-writer)
- Laura Braga: Secret Wars Journal #4 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #3 (co-writer), A-Force #4 (co-writer). Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (writer), Years of Future Past #4 (writer)
- Natacha Bustos: Spider-Woman #10 (interior art)
- Nik Virella: 1872 #3 (interior art)
- Noelle Stevenson: Runaways #3 (writer)
- Stephanie Hans: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #3 (cover, interior art)
- Tana Ford: Silk #7 (interior art)
- Yasmine Putri: Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #3 (cover)
All together, there are 18 different women scheduled to work on 15 different books in August, a decent jump from July’s 14 and 14 as well as their second best total of the year thus far. On the one hand, Marvel’s a big enough publisher that they should have more than 20 female creators each month with ease, and the fact that they’re still languishing in the teens is very disappointing. On the other hand, things are moving up at least.
A quick note on the numbers: At first glance it looks like there are only 17 women working at Marvel in August, but Gurihiru is an art duo comprised of two women, Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano. Whenever they come up here or in my “Gendercrunching” stats, I always count them as two overall (it’s different with the stats, because overall they count as two but since they do different jobs they count as one in the categories; Sasaki pencils and inks, Kawano colors).
Gurihiru and Katie Cook are working on a one-shot and are thus unlikely to be back in September, so while it’s great for the August numbers it’s not particularly good for continued growth. And I doubt Babs Tarr will be back next month either after her variant cover this month. So really, while Marvel is up by four women this month compared to July, there’s four women who likely won’t be back next month. However, Natacha Bustos is set to make her Marvel debut in August, which is exciting, and Tana Ford is back after participating in a couple of Marvel projects a while back. Both look to be fill-in gigs, but it’s good to see Marvel reaching out to women and building up a bigger rolodex of female creators.
It also should be noted that several issues in the solicits advertised manga variant covers, with no artists attached yet. It seems likely that a few of those covers will be drawn by women. Manga is more of an equality opportunity scene than superhero comics.
August doesn’t look like a big month for female characters in new books, though. Ant-Man and Hank Johnson are leading two new titles, but the only woman involved in a new book is Ms. Marvel on the cover of the Secret Wars: Secret Love one-shot, which is a one time deal. It should be fun, though. There are some great creators involved.
Overall, August is looking better for women at Marvel, but things are still far from good. Last week I was super down on DC for their poor female representation in August, and they had more women than Marvel does, so a bad month for DC is still better than one of Marvel’s highest months. Still, it’s good to see Marvel’s female creator ranks growing with new names in the mix. Now if Marvel could only hire a bunch at once on regular gigs, instead of intermittently on one off jobs.