Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Torque’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, June 2019 Solicits: 35 Creators on 36 Books

May 16, 2019

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On the one hand, Marvel will have nearly twice as many female and non-binary creators as DC this June. On the other hand, Marvel is also putting out nearly twice as many books as DC this June. It’s hard to compare the two publishers directly these days, but what’s undoubtedly true is that while DC’s got a core group of female creators in their solicits each month, Marvel’s got a wide ranging assortment of women and non-binary creators month in, month out, some well established on regular gigs and others breaking into the industry on smaller jobs. The breadth of the line means more opportunity, finally. So let’s take a look at the long list of who is doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #44 (interior art), Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Captain Marvel #6 (cover), Captain Marvel #7 (cover)
  • Annapaola Martello: Captain Marvel #6 (interior art), Captain Marvel #7 (interior art)
  • Annie Wu: War of the Realms: New Agents of Atlas #3 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #33 (cover)
  • Audrey Mok: Marvel Rising #4 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Wolverine: Exit Wounds #1 (variant cover)
  • Charlie Jane Anders: War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3 (co-writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Black Cat #1 (variant cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Immortal Hulk #19 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #45 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #7 (writer), Marvel Team-Up #3 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino: Hotshots #4 (writer), Tony Stark: Iron Man #13 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #9 (interior art)
  • Irina Nordsol: War of the Realms #6 (variant cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 (variant cover), Marvel Tales: Spider-Man #1 (cover), War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #4 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Tie Fighter #3 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Age of Conan: Belit #4 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #6 (writer), Captain Marvel #7 (writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #12 (writer)
  • Kirbi Fagan: Shuri #9 (cover)
  • Leah Williams: Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #5 (writer), Giant-Man #3 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Savage Sword of Conan #6 (writer)
  • Nilah Magruder: Marvel Rising #4 (writer)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #9 (writer)
  • Rachael Stott: Shuri #9 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Darth Vader #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Luke Skywalker #1 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #22 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Age of Conan: Belit #4 (cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #5 (writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #9 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #9 (cover)
  • Tini Howard: Age of Conan: Belit #4 (writer), Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 (co-writer), Thanos #3 (writer)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Miles Morales: Spider-Man #7 (interior art)
  • Vita Ayala: Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #4 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Thor #14 (variant cover)

All together, there are 35 different female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on 36 Marvel comic books in June, two more creators and one more book than in May. These are big numbers. Again, yes, Marvel is putting out a lot of books right now. But having a commensurate increase in female and non-binary creators while they do so is a pleasant surprise. The Big Two have not been good at that at all. Like, ever.

Speaking of the massive output, Marvel is planning to release 91 new issues in June. With female and non-binary creators working on 36 of them, that’s representation across 40% of the line, an increase of 5% from May. In comparison, DC is at 33%, so Marvel’s a bit ahead, if not starkly so.

It looks like we’ve got a few new creators in the mix as well. As best I can tell, Charlie Jane Anders is doing her first writing for Marvel in War of the Realms: War Scrolls #3, and while Meredith Finch had a long and quite frankly terrible run on Wonder Woman at DC, her gig on Savage Sword of Conan #6 appears to be a Marvel first, too. We’ve also got Russian artist Irina Nordsol doing a variant cover for War of the Realms #6. There are some returning favourites in the mix as well. We haven’t seen Alitha E. Martinez in a little while, it’s been even longer for Annapaola Martello, and it’s always good to see Annie Wu, Gurihiru, and Vanesa Del Rey back at Marvel.

June is a quiet month for new books, with War of the Realms winding down. Things should pick up over the summer, though, and I’m very curious to see what the X-Men relaunch and the cancellation/relaunch of the entire X-line will do to the numbers. But for now, we’ve got one female character on a new title, with Felicia Hardy taking center stage in a Black Cat ongoing series.

Overall, Marvel’s rolling along with relatively strong numbers for female and non-binary creators. As much as there’s always room to grow, the year thus far has shown nothing but sustained representation for writers and artists. I will note that the full numbers haven’t exactly followed suit. When you take into account the full credits, like I do quarterly in my women in comics statistics reports, Marvel’s numbers become a bit underwhelming. But here in the solicits, which are what sell the books, female and non-binary creators have been a solid constant this year.

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Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, December 2018 Solicits – 29 Creators on 35 Books

October 25, 2018

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Unlike DC Comics, who are holding back a quarter of their December titles until the first week of January, Marvel looks to be going full tilt in December with a big slate of new comic books. And the publisher is set to end the year on a high note. After beginning 2018 with some embarrassingly low numbers, things are looking up for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. They’re all over this round of solicits, setting a high bar for the new year to come. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this December:

  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #2 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Fantastic Four #5 (variant cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #27 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Champions Annual #1 (variant cover)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Fantastic Four #5 (variant cover), Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1 (variant cover), Uncanny X-Men #4 (cover), Uncanny X-Men #5 (cover), Uncanny X-Men #6 (cover), Uncanny X-Men #7 (cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Superior Spider-Man #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #39 (cover)
  • Eve Ewing: Ironheart #2 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #37 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #9 (writer), Fantastic Four: Wedding Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #3 (interior art)
  • Irene Strychalski: Season’s Beatings #1 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #11 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #3 (writer), Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1 (writer), Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1 (co-writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #6 (writer), Uncanny X-Men #4 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #5 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #6 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #7 (co-writer), West Coast Avengers #5 (writer), West Coast Avengers #6 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: Fantastic Four: Wedding Special #1 (interior art)
  • Leah Williams: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – Frost Giants Among Us! #1 (co-writer), Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #7 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Asgardians of the Galaxy #4 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #38 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #3 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1 (co-writer), Runaways #16 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #3 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #3 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #3 (cover)
  • Tini Howard: Marvel Knights 20th #3 (co-writer), Merry X-Men Holiday Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Spider-Geddon #5 (variant cover)
  • Veronica Fish: Season’s Beatings #1 (interior art)
  • Vita Ayala: Marvel Knights 20th #4 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #3 (cover), Spider-Girls #3 (cover)

All together, there are 29 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 35 different comic books at Marvel this December, the same number of creators as in November but spread over 7 more books. This is a very solid showing. Doubly so considering that Marvel only had 11 female creators nine months ago in March. They’ve crawled out of that hole over the course of the year and while their record highs still remain a bit off, this is the highest combined total they’ve posted in some time.

It’s also good to see so much representation across so many different books. Typically with the Big Two, we get a lot of clumping. Female and non-binary creators are relegated to a handful of books that often feature more than one of them, while the bulk of the books in the line remain all-male affairs. Having female and non-binary creators on 35 different titles is a relatively impressive spread for Marvel that gives us representation across a good portion of the line. A lot of that is Kelly Thompson writing or co-writing eight different issues this month; the gal is all the rage right now! But the representation is strong even beyond that.

Despite these big numbers, December looks to be a quiet month for new names, both real and fictional. All of the creators listed above are folks we’ve seen before, and fairly recently, too. There aren’t any newcomers in the mix, though several of the remain relatively new to Marvel, I suppose. And in terms of fictional characters, it’s a pretty quiet month for new books with female leads. Hope Summers and Jean Grey are part of the X-Men: The Exterminated series and Domino is in the new X-Force, but that’s about it. Everything else is dudes, including new books for Killmonger, Miles Morales, the Superior Spider-Man, the Winter Soldier, and a Defenders event with an all-male cast.

Overall, Marvel is set to close out the year with some solid representation for female and non-binary creators. It’s a much needed turnaround after their disastrous start to the year, and hopefully the numbers will continue to grow into 2019 with even more new voices in the mix!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2018 Solicits: 29 Creators on 28 Books

September 19, 2018

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When the November solicits were released last month, it looked like Marvel was taking a big step in terms of representation and were moving toward finishing the year on a high note. Then things changed. The numbers didn’t crater by any means, but a big jump got noticeably smaller. It’s an odd set of circumstances, and we’ll dig into it all after we look at who was originally scheduled to do what at Marvel in November:

  • Afua Richardson: Shuri #2 (variant cover)
  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #1 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #26 (cover), X-23 #6 (cover)
  • Aud Koch: The Vision #1 (interior art)
  • Chelsea Cain: The Vision #1 (co-writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America #5 (variant cover), Spider-Geddon #3 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #38 (cover)
  • Eve Ewing: Ironheart #1 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #36 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #8 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: Black Panther #6 (interior art), Ironheart #1 (variant cover), Uncanny X-Men #1 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #10 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #2 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #5 (writer), Uncanny X-Men #1 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #2 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #3 (co-writer), West Coast Avengers #4 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #5 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: The Life of Captain Marvel #5 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Infinity Wars: Infinity Warps #1 (co-writer), X-23 #6 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Infinity Wars: Infinity Warps #1 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #37 (cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #2 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #15 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #4 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – Mealtime Mayhem #1 (co-writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Ironheart #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #2 (cover), Spider-Girls #2 (cover)

All together, 29 female creators were scheduled to work on 28 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators than in October and 5 more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. This is a very solid gain, and a good beginning to the end of a year that has seen some troubling lows at Marvel. But then Marvel decided to cancel The Vision, without releasing a single issue. Apparently the book didn’t fit with the publisher’s new plans for the character or some such. So while Chelsea Cain and Aud Koch are listed in the solicits, their book isn’t coming out and that 4 creator gain is now only 2. Now, 2 isn’t terrible; any gain is a plus in the superhero comic business. But wow, after an already very rough year for gender representation at Marvel, this cancellation is bizarre.

We do have a new name, though. Eve Ewing is writing the new Ironheart series, which should be rad. That’s about it, though. Everyone else we’ve seen before, last month or in the recent past. But shout out to my pal Kelly Thompson, who’s writing or co-writing FIVE books for Marvel this month. She’s blowing up and I’m loving it because she is super excellent at what she does.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got the aforementioned Ironheart series starring Riri Williams. And we’ve got some group books, too. It looks like every mutant ever is going to be in Uncanny X-Men, so look for your favourite ladies there, while Proxima Midnight is part of a new Black Order series. Everything else is dudes, though. The Vision would have featured Viv, but it is no more.

Overall, November’s looking to be kind of a weird month for Marvel. The Vision situation is just odd, and takes what looked to be some solid growth down to something a bit more humdrum. I suppose they’re not going backwards, at least. That’s good to see after the publisher’s disastrous performances earlier this year. Growth is growth, however slow. But dang, Marvel needs to learn to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, June 2018 Solicits: 20 Creators on 14 Books

April 4, 2018

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We’ve got some good news and some bad news with Marvel’s June solicits. The good news is that for the first time in several months, Marvel’s number of female creators is out of the teens. Just barely so, but hey, the numbers have been so bad that we’ll take what we can get. The bad news is that the a sizeable amount of the gigs listed below are one-time outings, and thus won’t be back in a similar form next month. If Marvel wants to keep the numbers up, there’ll either need to be some big changes to the line or a lot more oneshots. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #21 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #196 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Dazzler: X Song #1 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #33 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #31 (co-writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #3 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #20 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #5 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: Dazzler: X Song #1 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Dazzler: X Song #1 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #32 (interior art, cover)
  • Nik Virella: Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1 (interior art)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: Amazing Spider-Man #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Ms. Marvel #31 (co-writer), Runaways #10 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Marvel Rising: Alpha #1 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Ms. Marvel #31 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Infinity Countdown: Black Widow #1 (cover)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 14 different books at Marvel this June, 5 more creators than in May, though on 2 fewer books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled in this round of solicits. The gain is good to see. So far, 2018 has been a rough year for representation at Marvel, and while 20 women is still quite paltry, it’s nonetheless a step up from where the publisher’s been lately.

However, it seems unlikely to last. Of the 20 women above, 10 are working on one-time jobs. As cool as it is to see new books starring Black Widow, Dazzler, and the Marvel Rising team, these are all one-shots. These single outings combined with a handful of variant covers means that half of Marvel’s female creators in June are not working on sustainable gigs. Hopefully they’ll be back elsewhere next month, but such a strong reliance on one-off work is hardly a recipe for good long term representation at the publisher.

Things aren’t look great for female characters, either. We’ve got the aforementioned oneshots, which are fun and all, but Marvel is set to unveil a slew of new series in June and only one has a female character in the mix. Deadpool, Doctor Strange, Hulk, Iron Man, Muliple Man, the Sentry, and Thor are all headlining new books. Only Ant-Man and the Wasp has a female lead, and she’s a co-lead. This prevalence of dudes, real and fictional, is the hallmark of Marvel’s new line, and chances are this trend will continue as it keeps rolling out.

Overall, Marvel’s not in a very good place with female and non-binary creators right now. The numbers jumped this month, but there doesn’t seem to be any indication that this will last long term. Men seem to be the publisher’s focus right now, both on the page and behind the scenes, and much of their new line appears to be an attempt at appeasing conservative fanboys. Things might change at some point, but the current trend doesn’t bode well for women and non-binary creators at Marvel.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, May 2018 Solicits: 15 Creators on 16 Books

March 8, 2018

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It’s International Women’s Day, which is perhaps not the best day to take a look at Marvel’s May solicits. The fact of the matter is, Marvel is garbage at hiring female and non-binary creators right now. While the women currently working at Marvel are amazing talents making some great books, they are few and far between. And they have been for a while. What’s more, the announcements surrounding Marvel’s umpteenth relaunch that’s coming this summer have been ridiculously male-dominated thus far. The publisher has a problem. So let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this May:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #195 (cover)
  • Elizabeth Torque: All-New Wolverine #35 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #32 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #30 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #2 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Mighty Thor: At The Gates Of Valhalla #1 (interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #19 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #4 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #2 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Rogue & Gambit #5 (writer), X-Men Wedding Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Marika Cresta: X-Men Wedding Special #1 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #1 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #31 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #9 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Black Panther #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 15 different female creators set to work on 16 different books at Marvel in May, 2 fewer creators than in April and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled for Marvel’s May comics. This marks the third straight month of numbers in the teens for the publisher, a run that is, quite frankly, beyond embarrassing. Not only has Marvel shown themselves to be capable of posting totals of more than twice this amount in the past, the ranks of excellent female and non-binary creators have never been larger. There are so many in the mix these days, a publisher pretty much has to go out of their way NOT to hire them. And Marvel appears to be doing just that.

This disinterest in female creators looks like it’s going to continue into the future as well. Marvel is in the midst of unveiling their new lineup for their latest relaunch; it’s got a name, but I don’t care enough to go look it up. They’ve announced over a dozen new books so far, and only ONE has a female creator in the mix, with Margaret Stohl relaunching Captain Marvel. And here’s the kicker: It’s a mini-series. The majority of the other books are ongoing titles. So barring a sudden influx of female-led titles, I wouldn’t expect Marvel’s numbers to improve in the months to come.

There also seems to be a distinct disinterest in titles headlined by female characters, both this month and moving forward. Usually when I do the cover montage at the top, I have tons of great female characters to choose from and I get to pick the art that I like the best. This month was slim pickings. I had to go through the solicits twice to find the seven covers above.

Some new books are starting in May, too, and they are all male-led. We’ve got new solo titles for Black Panther, Quicksilver, and Venom, along with a round of mini-series centered on Wolverine. The dude Wolverine, I should say, not the new, awesome lady Wolverine who is much, much, much cooler. There’s a new Avengers book as well, and only 2 of the 8 characters on the team are women, with Captain Marvel and She-Hulk in the mix.

And just to continue the disappointing news run, of all of the relaunch titles announced so far, there are one and a half books with titular female characters. We’ve got the aforementioned Captain Marvel mini, and the Wasp sharing a new series with Ant-Man.

So yeah, Marvel’s got a definite problem with women right now. Their female and non-binary creator numbers are in the midst of the lowest run we’ve seen in years, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to improve anytime soon. Their female characters are on the decline as well, again with no change in sight. It feels like Marvel is intentionally appealing to conservative fanboys now, that irksome group who blasted the company for diversifying their line and making everyone a “social justice warrior.” And that’s just gross. Marvel needs to get it together before they embarrass themselves even further. Will they? Probably not. But we can hope.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, April 2018 Solicits: 17 Creators on 15 Books

February 8, 2018

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So this is an unusual month for Marvel. Their female creator representation has grown a whopping 70% from March, a massive gain for the publisher. However, even with this jump their numbers are still terrible. Better than in March, sure, but the March numbers were abominable. Like, ridiculously bad relative to the levels Marvel has shown themselves to be capable of. So while it’s good to see growth, there’s still a long, long way to go to get anywhere near the ballpark of decent representation. Let’s look at who’s doing what at Marvel this April:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #19 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #194 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising #0 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: The Hunt for Wolverine #1 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Domino #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #31 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #29 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #1 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Super Hero Adventures #1 (cover)
  • Helen Chen: Marvel Rising #0 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #18 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #3 (writer)
  • Katie Cook: Thanos Annual #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Rogue & Gambit #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #30 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #8 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Tales of Suspense #104 (cover)

All together, there are 17 different female creators scheduled to work on 15 different comic books at Marvel in April, 7 more creators than in March and 3 more books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators set to work at Marvel in this round of solicits. Normally a 70% gain in female creators would be astounding news, but March was abysmal. That big gain still leaves them in the teens, which is an embarrassing place to be in 2018. There are scores of amazing female and non-binary creators making comics these days. If Marvel can’t hire at least 20 of them, then they’re just not trying at all. For the Big Two right now, 20 is the line for “still pretty bad, but not terrible.” The 30 benchmark says “maybe they’re trying a bit, but they could still do a lot better.” Given the creator ranks out there, both DC and Marvel should be able to employ AT LEAST 40 amazing female creators a month with ease. Neither has been close to that.

In terms of the women working at Marvel this month, we don’t have any brand new names but there are a few returning favourites. Devin Grayson is back writing on the new Marvel Rising series, which will tie into the upcoming animated film aimed at young fans. Katie Cook is back too, doing what should be a fun story in the Thanos Annual. And Gail Simone has returned to Marvel’s ranks with a new Domino series, her first ongoing work at Marvel in years.

Two of these books highlight a decent month for female characters at Marvel. The team in Marvel Rising is 75% women, including fan favourites like Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl. It looks like it’s going to be awesome. And the Domino series is a new solo book with a female lead, which probably owes its existence to the upcoming Deadpool film sequel. Marvel’s smart to capitalize on the character’s exposure, and Simone is always a good choice for the sort of fun, bawdy tales this series will probably be telling.

All together, things are looking up in a lot of ways at Marvel right now, and yet everything is still very bad. There are more female creators in the mix, but the numbers are still shamefully low. There are new books with female leads, but Marvel just cancelled a slew of similar titles and have yet to make up the difference. The publisher spent the first few months of 2018 digging themselves a deep hole, and while the April solicits are a small step in the right direction, there’s still a massive amount of work to be done.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch: January 2018 Solicits: 18 Creators on 18 Books

November 9, 2017

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With their last round of solicits, Marvel Comics closed out the year with only 19 different female creators writing and drawing their substantial line of comic books. And I wrote a column about it, in which I used words like “poor” and “ridiculous” and generally lambasted Marvel’s lack of effort in recruiting and maintaining female and non-binary talent. Rightly so, too. The number was just over half of Marvel’s record high of 37, posted less than a year ago. Now, with a new batch of solicits, Marvel’s dropped down to less than half of that record high. So let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel Comics this January. It won’t take long; it’s a short list:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: X-Men Gold Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #16 (cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #86 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: All-New Wolverine #29 (cover), Jean Grey #11 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #28 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #26 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #11 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #24 (interior art, cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Doctor Strange #384 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #14 (writer), Rogue & Gambit #1 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: X-Men Gold Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #128 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #161 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #27 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #5 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Phoenix Resurrection #3 (variant cover)

All together, there are 18 different female creators set to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel this January, 1 fewer creator than in December though 3 more books. As far as I can tell, no non-binary creators are scheduled to work at Marvel this January. A drop of 1 creator isn’t massive, but given how embarrassingly low Marvel’s numbers were last month, slipping down even further is not a good look. Maybe all this talk about “Legacy” with the publisher’s recent spate of renumbering and relaunches was about going back to the days when only men wrote and drew Marvel’s comic books? Is that the legacy they’re aiming to celebrate here? If so, they’re doing a heck of a job.

In terms of new female creators, we don’t have any. Shocking, I know. Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen at Marvel before. We do have a couple of old pals we haven’t seen in a while though, with artist Alitha E. Martinez and writer Leah Williams. It’s nice to have past creators return. The only trouble is that they’re both back on an annual, i.e. a one-shot book, and that means that it’s unlikely we’ll see them again in February.

With female characters, we’ve got one new book I’m sure a lot of folks will be excited for: That classic pairing of Rogue & Gambit. Nice job putting Rogue first there, and it’s good to see her in the spotlight again, doubly so with the always excellent Kelly Thompson helming the book. Her Hawkeye has been a dang delight, and I’m expecting more of the same here. Also, Phoenix Resurrection is coming out weekly all through January, so get on that, Jean Grey fans. There’s only one female creator involved across all of these issues, though, with Stephanie Hans doing a variant cover, which is a downer given a) there’s so many issues, and b) there’s a female lead. Fun fact: Avengers is coming out weekly in January as well and there’s not a single female creator solicited on ANY of the issues.

Overall, Marvel still sucks at hiring women and non-binary creators. Like, a lot. Like, the editors should feel bad about themselves for doing such a terrible job at representation. Here’s some interesting news, though: Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel’s most prolific writer over the past two decades, is leaving for DC Comics, and that leaves a huge opportunity for Marvel to bring in some new voices and mix things up with their creator ranks, perhaps with some female and non-binary folks? We’ll see what happens. If their current output is any indication, don’t hold your breath. But you never know.


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