Marvel posted a new record for female creators in their solicits in March, an achievement so impressive that Christine Ro wrote it up in an article on Vice earlier this month. Christine chatted with me for the article, and one of the first things I told her was that this high probably wouldn’t last. Lo and behold, the numbers fell in April, and now they’re down even further in May. These stats are an up and down journey that ultimately moves in a positive direction, but Marvel’s quite far off their high right now. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what a Marvel in May 2017:
- Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #12 (writer)
- Christina Strain: Generation X #1 (writer), Generation X #2 (writer)
- Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Sam Wilson #22 (cover), Captain America: Steve Rogers #17 (cover), Elektra #4 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #5 (cover)
- Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Darth Maul #4 (variant cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #5 (interior art, cover)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #20 (interior art, cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #18 (writer)
- Gabby Rivera: America #3 (writer)
- Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #16 (interior art, cover)
- Helen Chen: All-New Wolverine #20 (cover)
- Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #2 (writer)
- Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #6 (writer)
- Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #5 (writer)
- Marguerite Sauvage: Jean Grey #1 (variant cover)
- Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #6 (writer)
- Myisha Haynes: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #15 (interior art)
- Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #19 (interior art, cover)
- Paulina Ganucheau: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #15 (cover)
- Stephanie Hans: Jean Grey #1 (variant cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Secret Warriors #2 (variant cover)
- Yona Harvey: Black Panther and the Crew #2 (co-writer)
- Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble #1 (co-writer), Zombies Assemble #2 (co-writer)
All together there are 22 different female creators set to work on 24 different books at Marvel this May, 2 fewer women than in April though 5 more books. The increase in books is encouraging; it’s always good to see gigs spread across the publisher. But another drop in the number of female creators is unfortunate.
We do have a couple of new names in the mix, though. Christina Strain had a brief gig at Marvel last fall, and now she’s back with a regular series. Also, as best I can tell, Yusaku Komiyama is a woman; I’m not terribly well versed in manga and a lot of the stuff written about Komiyama is in Japanese, but there were a couple sites that identified her as a woman. The bigger story this month is who’s missy, though. Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! ended in April, meaning that we’re missing Kate Leth and Brittney Williams, and for some reason Amy Reeder isn’t on Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur this month, which is odd.
There are also several new books with female leads. Jean Grey is set to debut her own solo series, while a few team books feature women: Daisy Johnson, Ms. Marvel, and Moon Girl are all in Secret Warriors, Gamora is in the All-New Guardians of the Galaxy, and Generation X stars Jubilee and some gal with antlers I don’t recognize but who looks really cool.
All together, May looks to be an okay month for fictional women at Marvel but another step down for the real ones. They’re on more books but in fewer numbers, and are way down from their recent high. A rebound seems inevitable; things always go up again at some point. We’ll see what the numbers bring as the summer begins to unfold.