Posts Tagged ‘G. Willow Wilson’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, March 2018 Solicits: An Astonishingly Low 9 Creators on 11 Books

January 9, 2018

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Let’s not beat around the bush here: Marvel’s numbers for female and non-binary creators in their March 2018 solicits are just embarrassingly bad. I mean, single digits? Wow. It’s been a long, long time since we’ve seen single digits from either DC or Marvel. While women and non-binary creators remain a small minority at both publishers, representation’s definitely grown over the past several years, as have the ranks of these creators. At this point, if one of the Big Two isn’t employing AT LEAST 20 female and non-binary creators to write and draw their books, then they’re not even trying. And to hit single digits, they’d almost have to be trying not to. These numbers are straight up terrible. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in March. It won’t take very long:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #18 (cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Doctor Strange: Damnation #2 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #30 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #28 (writer)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #17 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #2 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #16 (writer), Rogue & Gambit #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #163 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #29 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #7 (writer)

All together, there are 9 different women scheduled to work on 11 different books at Marvel this March, 11 fewer creators than in February and 7 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. These are appalling numbers. Last March, Marvel had 37 different female creators. THIRTY-SEVEN. And now they’re down to 9. That’s less than a quarter of what they had a year ago. This is a stunning decline.

The last time Marvel was in single digits was October 2015, when they had 9 female creators on 10 books. That was two and a half years ago, and since then their numbers shot up. Now, after several months of declines, they’ve essentially collapsed. And ironically, March has been a great month for Marvel in recent years. They used to celebrate Women’s History of Month with “Women of Marvel” variant covers and sometimes special issues, with tons of female creators in the mix. Now they’re celebrating Women’s History Month with their lowest number of female creators in ages. And, adding insult to injury, some of the books listed above aren’t long for the world, with Hawkeye and She-Hulk soon to be cancelled.

So, what is going on here? First off, Marvel’s already axed or benched several books that were mainstays for female creators, including America, Captain Marvel, Generation X , and Gwenpool. The publisher doesn’t appear overly invested in promoting books with female leads or creators. This slew of cancellations is not at all helping the publisher’s reputation either, which was already suffering after their higher ups suggested that diverse books and creators don’t sell on multiple occasions. If you add to this lack of support for female-led comics things like the Nazi Captain America foolishness of Secret Empire, the fact that the chairman of the company is a rabid Trump supporter, and a recent spate of relaunches geared toward appeasing old school fanboys above all else, it seems that we may have a situation in which the folks who run Marvel aren’t particularly keen to hire female and non-binary creators AND female and non-binary creators may not be terribly interested in working for the mess that is Marvel right now. It hardly seems a welcoming environment.

Whatever is going on, it remains utterly baffling that the bulk of Marvel’s editorial departments seem fine with largely ignoring the massive, impressive ranks of female and non-binary writers and artists working in comics right now in favour of employing the same dudes over and over again. These dudes are not the future of comics. These women and non-binary creators could very well be. An inability to recognize changes in the industry as a whole is why Marvel went bankrupt in the 1990s, and it seems to be why they’re faltering again here in the 2010s. Case in point: The eight bazillion variant covers they do every month. They haven’t even learned from their past, so it’s no wonder that they’ve got no real vision for the future.

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My Top 10 Superhero Comic Books of 2017

December 20, 2017

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It’s been an interesting year for superhero comic books. DC’s been trucking along with “Rebirth,” telling a lot of fun stories in the mix. Marvel’s been more split, with half the line spending a considerable part of the year embroiled in weird Nazi/Hydra antics while several of the titles that avoided Secret Empire put out some very enjoyable adventures. When I sat down to figure out my favourite superhero comics of the year, I was amused to see my list split down the middle, half DC and half Marvel! While I’d definitely say that DC had the better year overall, qualitywise, Marvel’s good books were VERY good.

Before we get to the list, though, I should point out that it’s been a great year for non-superhero comics, too. The cape books are my main focus here, of course, but I’ve been enjoying all sorts of other titles. More specifically, Bitch Planet: Triple Feature was excellent, as was the latest “season” of Sex Criminals from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky. I’ve also been enjoying Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams, the latest volume of George O’Connor’s Olympians was fantastic as always, and Paper Girls from Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang remains gorgeous if all over the place, storywise. I’m always down for Cliff Chiang art! There’s no lack of wonderful comics out there right now across all sorts of genres and styles.

But now, onto my favourite superhero comic books of the year! Check out the list, and let me know your favourites from the past year in the comments:

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10) Batman by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Joelle Jones, and more

I’m reading Batman in trade so I’m a little bit behind, but I’m enjoying the heck out of it. I was leery of it initially, since the premises didn’t grab me. Superpowered heroes in Gotham? More Bane shenanigans? I didn’t think it’d be for me. Then I read the books and was quickly proved wrong. King and his excellent array of artists make it all work beautifully. And of course, I love the prominent role that Catwoman has in the run. She’s become a major player here, and while she and Batman are bad ass and cool, as always, compassion seems to be the core of both characterizations. It’s good stuff, and often beautifully drawn.

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9) Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

This book has been amazing for a while now, and it showed no signs of slowing down on that front in 2017. Is Ryan North still writing it? Is Erica Henderson still drawing it? Is Squirrel Girl still eating nuts and kicking butts? Then it’s going to remain great. And it has! North and Henderson bring so much heart and humour to the comic. It’s just a joy to read, and served as a most welcome counter to the bleak storylines that took over a lot of Marvel books this year. If you like delightful things, then go start reading Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.

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8) Green Arrow by Benjamin Percy, Otto Schmidt, and more

I’ve enjoyed the stories in Green Arrow over the past year well enough, but I’ll be honest: The book made my Top 10 for Otto Schmidt alone. His art is SO GOOD. His pages just sing. The art isn’t terribly out there for a superhero book, but it’s absolutely unique and different and stands out from everything else on the stands right now. I think part of it is that he colors it himself, and everything on the page feels so cohesive and complimentary. It’s really remarkable stuff. Green Arrow cycles through a variety of artists, like most DC books right now, and while they’re all pretty solid, Schmidt’s work is just next level. I want him to draw every superhero now.

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7) All New Wolverine by Tom Taylor, Leonard Kirk, Nik Virella, and more

Step aside, old Wolverine. You were fun while you lasted, but the new Wolverine is so much better. She’s got everything we expect from a Wolverine: claws, ferocity, a propensity for going after anyone who threatens her friends with a berserker rage. But instead of being a mopey guy who’s been around forever, she’s a cantankerous yet endearing young woman. Plus she’s assembled a great supporting cast over the course of this run. It’s a fun, exciting book, and I’m completely fine with never seeing the old Wolverine again now.

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6) Detective Comics by James Tynion IV, Eddy Barrows, Marcio Takara, and more

Team books can be a tricky thing. There are a lot of characters to manage, and a few always end up taking a backseat while a handful come to the fore. Tynion and his rotating teams of artists have struck an impressive balance here, largely by backseating the character you’d expect to see more than anyone else: Batman. He’s a key figure, but doesn’t dominate the book. Instead, Batwoman leads the team and the spotlight gets shared by Azrael, Batwing, Clayface, Orphan, and Spoiler. The degree of attention ebbs and flows, but no one goes too long without a good storyline or an important role. The book also manages to tell its own stories while weaving in and out of the bigger events at DC over the past year. It’s a solid Bat-team book that I always find myself looking forward to.

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5) Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron, Russell Dauterman, and more

I’m a big fan of the classic Thor, but what Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman have done with Jane Foster as Thor is far and away my favourite take on the character yet. It’s been a huge year for her, with an intergalactic war and darkness spreading through the nine realms, not to mention the return of Odinson and the emergence of the War Thor. But amid all of the epicness, the story of Jane battling cancer and sacrificing her well-being to be the hero the world, nay, the universe needs has been so beautifully told. The heart Aaron and Dauterman bring to their crazy action and adventure is what makes this one of the best books on the stands.

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4) Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Shea Fontana, Mirka Andolfo, Bilquis Evely, and more

Not right now, obviously. Wonder Woman has been garbage since James Robinson et al. took over a few months ago. But before that, the book was having a great year. The wrap up of the “Godwatch” and “The Truth” arcs was a powerful, well-executed conclusion to an excellent run that provided a much needed revitalization of Wonder Woman after a rough few years. Then we got “Heart of the Amazon,” which was an awesome team up between Diana and Etta Candy that pitted them against superpowered assassins and evil scientists. Now the book is about Wonder Woman and her brother and it suuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks, but up until then it was a really great year of stories.

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3) Mister Miracle by Tom King and Mitch Gerads

People were raving about this book before the first issue even came out, and with all of that buzz building and building, I came into this with high expectations. Mister Miracle beat those expectations with ease. The first issue especially is just masterful storytelling. It’s intentionally disorienting yet it pulls you along, and when you finally realize what’s happening it’s a gut punch that is heartbreaking yet so perfect for the character. Subsequent issues have been fascinating in their own right. It’s a unique, compelling book that is a worthy vehicle for Mister Miracle and Big Barda, two of Jack Kirby’s best creations.

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2) Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Marco Failla, Takeshi Miyazawa, and more

Ms. Marvel has been stellar for years now. Introducing a Muslim, Pakistani-American, teen heroine was no mean feat, and yet the book has never taken a step wrong. And this year was no exception. Kamala went through a lot, both professionally and personally, and as the year went on the book began to echo a lot of the issues facing America as a whole in 2017. Ms. Marvel is grounded in our reality in a way most superhero books aren’t, and that led to some incisive storytelling that still paired beautifully with all of the usual fun and action we expect from the series.

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1) Hawkeye by Kelly Thompson, Leonardo Romero, Michael Walsh, and more

The Fraction/Aja/Wu era of Hawkeye is easily one of the best superhero runs of the past decade, and set a massively high bar for any and all Hawkeye stories moving forward. Thompson, Romero, and Walsh have reached that bar and more with Kate Bishop’s new solo series. The book is an absolute joy, from Thompson’s sharp and hilarious dialogue to Romero and Walsh doing an amazing job with all of the archery action and comedic beats packed into each issue. Plus there’s some serious heart and pathos beyond all of the fun, with Kate dealing with some heavy stuff. Things are rarely cool and chill for a Hawkeye, as much as they may pretend otherwise. The book is a dang delight, each and every month, and I love it to bits.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, February 2018 Solicits: 20 Creators on 18 Books

November 30, 2017

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We’re two months into 2018 with Marvel’s comic book solicits, and it doesn’t look like the New Year is going to be great for female and non-binary creator representation at the publisher. While the numbers ticked up in February after a relatively terrible January, they didn’t tick up much; the new totals are definitely terrible adjacent, at least. Marvel’s female and non-binary creator numbers remain at roughly half of their recent highs, with few signs of any substantive improvement on the horizon. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this February:

  • Anna Rud: Black Panther #170 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Captain America #698 (variant cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #87 (writer)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #29 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #27 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #12 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #25 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #16 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #1 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #25 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #15 (writer), Rogue & Gambit #2 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #129 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #162 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #28 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #6 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: America #12 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: X-Men: Blue #21 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Tales of Suspense #102 (cover)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 18 different books at Marvel in February, 2 more creators than last month but the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled at Marvel this month. A gain of 2 creators is better than nothing, of course, but January marked one of Marvel’s lowest months in recent memory, so a small gain from there still leaves the publisher quite low. Moreover, in 4 of the past 5 months they’ve failed to post more than 20 female creators. Marvel is in a rut right now, one they don’t seem particularly keen to get out of.

In terms of new names, there aren’t many. I’m pretty sure that February marks Anna Rud’s first Marvel gig, which is very cool, and I can’t recall if we’ve seen Bilquis Evely at Marvel yet; she’s usually doing stuff at DC. Both are doing variant covers, which brings up a larger point about the sustainability of the numbers. A quarter of the creators listed above are doing variant covers, and while they’re an excellent way to get a foot in the door at a publisher and showcase their talents, they are also onetime gigs. That means a quarter of the women listed above are unlikely to be back next month unless they land a new cover or interior art gig. There are maybe 12 or 13 people up there that I am confident will be back next month for sure. Everyone else is a maybe. Marvel needs more female and non-binary creators, and they need to get them on some long term jobs.

It’s a pretty quiet month for new books at Marvel, but we do have the debut of X-Men: Red, a new team book that’s set to feature a newly returned Jean Grey (in a really ugly costume, I have to say) and Wolverine (the Laura Kinney version, i.e. the far superior Wolverine). As always, the X-Men team books are pretty solid at having a few women in the mix, at least fictional ones. Everyone writing, drawing, or doing covers on X-Men: Red is a dude.

Overall, February looks like it’s going to be another poor month for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel. This is just the norm at Marvel now, I guess. Maybe having a new editor-in-chief will change things, though given all the news about C.B. Cebulski lately we might just get male creators using female pseudonyms! I kid, but also, the publisher is a dang mess right now. They need to right the ship, and bringing in more women and non-binary creators would be a smart first step.

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.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, December 2017 Solicits: 19 Creators on 15 Books

October 23, 2017

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Marvel’s female and non-binary creator representation has been generally poor lately, languishing in the low to mid-20s ever since their record setting totals last March. In that month, the publisher had 37 different female creators working across their line and now, nine months later, that number has been nearly halved. Marvel Legacy has brought a lot of creative shifts this autumn, and female and non-binary creators do not appear to play a huge role in this latest round of relaunches. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this December:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #15 (cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #85 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Champions #15 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #25 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #10 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #23 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #23 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: All-New Wolverine #28 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #14 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #13 (writer)
  • Laura Allred: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (variant cover)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #27 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #160 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #26 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #4 (writer)
  • Veronica Fish: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Spider-Gwen #27 (variant cover)

All together there are 19 different female creators scheduled to work on 15 different comic books at Marvel this December, 5 fewer creators than in November and 7 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators set to work at Marvel this month. Obviously, these drops are significant. The number of women making comics at Marvel has dropped nearly a quarter in just one month, and the books they are on are down nearly a third. Moreover, 19 female creators is the lowest number Marvel’s posted in 22 months.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given these low numbers, there are no new female creators listed in the December solicits. We’ve got an excellent assortment of returning favourites, albeit a bit of a short list, but no new names. Marvel Legacy has not been great for new female talent, either up and comers or established creators new to the publisher. There just doesn’t appear to be much of an effort at Marvel right now to expand their ranks.

Speaking of Marvel Legacy, four female-led books will make their official transition into the relaunch-ish whatever this is in December. Generation X, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will now be properly Marvel Legacy, with all of the requisite accompanying trade dress or whatever they’re doing, though Generation X is the only book whose numbering will change. December also marks the beginning of Phoenix Resurrection, with yet another return of Jean Grey. This has been done before, several times, but it’s still nice to see a female character at the forefront of a big, new event-like thing.

Overall, December looks to be a very low showing for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The numbers are the lowest they’ve been in nearly two years, and chances are that this may continue for a while: Marvel Legacy seems about set now, with all of the major creative changes in place. This could be the publisher’s core line up for the next several months, and women and non-binary creators just aren’t much of a part of it. With so many amazing creators out there to pursue, it’s frankly ridiculous that Marvel’s numbers are so low. They are capable of so much higher numbers. Twice as high, in fact. They set that record, just nine months ago. But it’s been downhill ever since.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2017 Solicits: 24 Creators on 22 Books

October 12, 2017

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Marvel’s been very up and down with their female and non-binary creator representation over the past several months, but after the October solicits marked the publisher’s lowest numbers for the year thus far, the November solicits saw a solid gain. While Marvel still remains well off their previous highs, a sizeable jump is a welcome sight. The question now is, can they maintain or even increase the numbers moving forward? Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this November:

  • Annapaola Martello: Marvel’s Black Panther Prelude #2 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #14 (cover), Star Wars: Poe Dameron #21 (variant cover)
  • Carla Speed McNeil: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (interior art)
  • Christa Faust: Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #36 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #8 (writer), Generation X #9 (writer)
  • Devin Grayson: Power Pack #63 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Daredevil #595 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (co-writer, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #24 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #9 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (cover), Not Brand Echh #14 (interior art)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #167 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #13 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Power Pack #63 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #12 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #126 (writer)
  • Marika Cresta: Power Pack #63 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #159 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #3 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Master of Kung Fu #126 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #5 (interior art, cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 22 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators and 1 more book than in October (as far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at Marvel in November). This is a large jump; essentially, Marvel’s got 20% more women writing and drawing their comics than they did last month, and that’s a considerable gain. At the same time, though, the October numbers were abnormally low and a rebound was to be expected. And, as always lately, Marvel remains far behind their previous highs; there were 37 women working at Marvel just eight months ago.

There are several new names and returning favourites in the mix this month, including a new cover artist for the Star Wars line in Ashley Witter, a new writer in Christa Faust on Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, and a new artist in Marika Cresta on Power Pack. The latter issue also marks the return of Devin Grayson, who we haven’t seen at the Big Two in a little while.

The only trouble is, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack and Power Pack are both one-shot specials, and so the four different women who worked on both of those books probably won’t be back at Marvel next month. Seeing as the solicits as a whole only jumped by four women, it looks like that gain will be washed out straight away in December. In terms of new female characters, both of those books are short-lived, and She-Hulk is the only title with a female lead that’s taking on the Marvel Legacy renumbering and hype in November. Meanwhile, at least seven different books with male leads are set to jump into Marvel Legacy and, perhaps unsurprisingly, none of them feature female creators either apart from a variant cover or two.

Overall, it’s good to see Marvel rebound somewhat after the lows they hit in October, but it appears that the rebound isn’t going to last. One-shots are fun and all, and an excellent foot in the door that could lead to future work for everyone involved, but the core, ongoing Marvel Legacy books are short on women across the board thus far, both real and fictional. The creative shifts of this event/relaunch haven’t gone great for female and non-binary creators thus far, and it will be interesting to see if December brings anything new as Marvel Legacy continues to roll out.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 20 Creators on 21 Books

August 22, 2017

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The numbers aren’t looking great for female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on Marvel’s comics in October. After setting a record high in March of this year, the publisher’s numbers crashed precipitously in April and have been crawling up again bit by bit since then. Until now. The October solicits are a massive step down for representation at Marvel that takes them to their lowest total of female and non-binary creators in over a year and half. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #17 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #7 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Falcon #1 (variant cover), Venomverse #5 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #23 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #8 (writer)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #8 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #166 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #12 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #11 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #3 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #4 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #125 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #11 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #24 (interior art, cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #2 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Inhumans: Once and Future Kings #3 (variant cover), Mighty Thor #700 (variant cover)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #3 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 21 different comics books at Marvel this October, 8 fewer creators than in the September solicits and 5 fewer books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in the October solicits. A drop of more than a quarter of the publisher’s female writers and artists in just one month is a huge step down, and one that stems not from one big change but a sequence of smaller ones. With so few women to start with, a few creative shifts here and there, a book or two wrapping up, and a couple less variant cover gigs can add up pretty quick, and that looks like what is happening here. Ultimately, it’s resulted in Marvel’s lowest total since February 2016.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given this big drop, there aren’t any new female or non-binary creators in the mix for October. Everyone involved is someone we’ve seen recently, if not last month than a couple of months back. Jenny Frison may be new-ish, I suppose; she’s been a mainstay at DC lately with her Wonder Woman variants and it’s been a little while since we’ve seen her at Marvel. Regardless, a drop in numbers without a concurrent increase in new creators is not a great recipe for representation at a publisher, as these solicits demonstrate.

On the female character front, as Marvel’s “Legacy” continues to unfold this fall, there aren’t any new books with female leads either. A few existing books are continuing with new numbering, but in terms of brand new titles, there are just a handful and they’re all led by dudes. It does look like there’s a lady in the new Spirits of Vengeance book at least, some gal in a ridiculous red outfit with white hair and horns. Apart from that, the fellows are the focus this month.

Overall, October looks to be quite a poor month for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel. Such a massive drop is disconcerting, especially in the middle of a major publishing event that’s bringing in lots of new creative teams. It’s never a good look when there’s a relaunch/reboot and you have fewer women in the mix, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. Perhaps November will increase the numbers with some more creators on some new books, but Marvel’s certainly dug themselves into a deep hole with this showing.

 


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