Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Comics’

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – July 2017 Solicits, 24 Women on 22 Books

May 19, 2017

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Marvel has more female creators in their solicits for the second straight month, but by the smallest amount possible. They gained one with the last round, and are up one more with the July solicits, in what can only be called progress-ish. Especially since the numbers remain far, far below their recent highs; since posting 37 different female creators in their March solicits, Marvel has yet to break out of the low 20s. It’s not been a great run. So let’s see who’s doing what at Marvel in July:

  • Amy Chu: Secret Empire: Brave New World #4 (co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #14 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #4 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Sam Wilson #24 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #7 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #22 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #20 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #5 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #18 (interior art, cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Edge of Venomverse #2 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #5 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #4 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Jean Grey #4 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Kamiyama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #9 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: America #5 (co-writer), Hawkeye #8 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Secret Empire: Brave New World #3 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #7 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #8 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #21 (interior art, cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Star Wars: Poe Dameron #17 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #1 (cover, interior art)
  • Veronica Fish: The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (interior art)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble #4 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 24 different female creators scheduled to work on 22 different books in July, 1 more woman than in June but 4 fewer books. The decline in books in unfortunate; there aren’t a ton of women working at Marvel to begin with, and putting them on fewer titles is a double whammy against representation at the publisher. And the creator numbers are just flummoxing. Marvel was solidly in the 30s for some time just a few months back, and now they’re employing women at about 2/3 the rate they’ve shown they are capable of. It’s bizarre.

In terms of new names at Marvel, I think that Magdalene Visaggio is the only brand new entry set for July. She’ll be writing a story in Secret Empire: Brave New World #4, which could bode well for future work. Marvel often likes to start new folks on a shorter story as a test run to see if they might be a good fit for bigger gigs. We’ve also got the return of a few people who we haven’t seen a while, including Amy Chu, Irene Strychalski, and Veronica Fish.

There aren’t many new series set for July, but one new team book looks to have a decent female presence. The new Astonishing X-Men is set to star Mystique, Psylocke, and Rogue, alongside a bunch of dudes I’ve already forgotten. Everything else new is male-centric, including a double dose of Spider-Mans with Spider-Men II and yet another Deadpool mini-series.

All together, July looks to be yet another month of underperformance from Marvel. The publisher hasn’t had more than 24 different female creators in the mix since their record-setting March numbers, and few new permanent gigs for women have been added since then. Marvel’s capable of much higher numbers than they’ve been posting as of late, and it might be a little while until things change. Perhaps post-Secret Empire we’ll get a new run of books with some new names in the mix, but for now things are flat.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, February 2017 in Review

May 4, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” article went up earlier this week on Bleeding Cool, and February was an interesting month in terms of shifting trends at both DC and Marvel.

After setting record highs in the fall, DC has remained in the ballpark of those highs since, but their overall percentage of female creators tumbled down to 16.3% in February, their lowest total in nearly a year. Marvel’s been rather up and down lately, and well off their past highs, but they ticked up to 17.1% female creators overall, marking the first time in several months that they’ve topped DC. Moreover, while their recent data is a bit all over the map, the overall trend for the past few month appears to have them moving upward in terms of representation.

We also took a look at who is writing who at DC and Marvel, following up on a piece we did last year that found while men write male and female characters proportionally to the publisher’s line as a whole, women were predominantly writing female characters. Not much has changed in the year since; in fact, this trend is even more pronounced. Women writers worked on books with a female lead 85% of the time in February, up 15% from last year, while at Marvel women writers worked on books with a female lead 89% of the time, up 10% from last year. It’s a stark imbalance that shows that true representation remains far off. Female writers should be able to write everyone, just as male writers do.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats analysis fun and the full data!

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – June 2017 Solicits, 23 Women on 26 Books

April 21, 2017

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Continuing our catch up on the latest-ish solicits, today we turn to Marvel. After posting record breaking numbers in March, their June 2017 solicits again feature considerably fewer female creators in the mix. It’s a decline that’s got some staying power; three straight months in the low 20s is a disappointing run. Marvel’s proven quite well that they’re capable of much higher numbers than that, and they just aren’t hitting them. June did offer some cool Mary Jane themed variant covers, though, which are showcased above. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Aud Koch: Ultimates 2 #8 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #12 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #3 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Sam Wilson #23 (cover), Captain America: Steve Rogers #18 (cover), Deadpool #32 (variant cover), Elektra #5 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (interior art, cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #21 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #19 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #4 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #17 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Champions #9 (variant cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Star Wars #32 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #3 (writer)
  • Jordie Bellaire: Black Bolt #2 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #7 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #7 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Secret Empire: Uprising #1 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #20 (interior art, cover)
  • Nicole Virella: Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Iron Fist #4 (variant cover)
  • Tana Ford: Iceman #2 (variant cover), Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (interior art)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble #3 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 26 different books in June, 1 more women and 2 more books than in May, but a far cry from March’s 37 women on 31 books. I know that March was boosted considerably by variant covers, but this drop and lengthy period of lows is still quite surprisingly pronounced. Variant covers are a huge part of this month’s numbers, even, but it’s not boosted the numbers in any big way. While the obvious cause of the drop is that a few key books have ended and some creative teams have shifted, there’s usually some turnaround to even things out a little bit. Not so much this time, and the numbers continue to flounder for the third straight month.

There are a few new names in the mix, though. Aud Koch is a new one for me, and she’s debuting with some interior art in Ultimates 2. We’ve seen a lot of Meghan Hetrick at DC lately, but she’s set to do some cover work at Marvel this June.  There are some returning favourites in the mix too; it’s always great to see covers from Helen Chen, Jen Bartel, and Stephanie Hans, who don’t have steady gigs at Marvel but have been popping up here and there as of late. With all of these new and returning folks, it’s bizarre that the numbers are doing so poorly in terms of growth.

June looks to be a quiet month for new books at Marvel, apart from Secret Empire stuff and ugh, who can even bother to care about that? There’s the main series itself, plus a bunch of tie-in mini-series. There are ladies here and there, both fictional and real, but the event as a whole looks to be a male-dominated affair.

Overall, June is another disappointing month for women at Marvel. They remain off considerably from their recent highs, operating at about 2/3 of what they’ve shown they’re capable of in terms of female creator representation. The company is hurting for an influx of new books and/or creative teams to shake up the ranks, and with the line mid-event I don’t know if that will be coming any time soon. Marvel likes to do that sort of thing in the fall, so we could be in for a long summer.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – May 2017 Solicits, 22 Women on 24 Books

March 20, 2017

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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.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, January 2017 In Review, Plus Female Characters

March 15, 2017

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It’s a whole new year of “Gendercrunching,” and my latest article is up now at Bleeding Cool. We saw last month that 2016 marked the highest overall percentage of female creators at both DC and Marvel since this project began, so it should be fun to see where 2017 takes us.

Both publishers began the year down from their December totals, however. DC ticked down slightly to 18% female creators overall, while Marvel tumbled to 16.1%. It’s not the most auspicious beginning to the New Year, but both are average performances relative to each publisher’s recent totals.

We also take a look at female characters in our biannual check in. Women account for 32.4% of the characters on DC’s covers, down slightly from July, while they account for 35.8% of the characters on Marvel’s covers, a big jump from their last total. The percentage of comics with female leads is up at Marvel as well, as it is at DC albeit much less so.

Head over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats and analysis!

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, December 2016 in Review PLUS Year End Totals

February 27, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool last week, and the year closed with decent numbers for female creators at both major superhero publishers, as well as several positive signs for increased representation in 2017.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators ticked down slightly to 18.6%, but it was their third highest total of the year and the past three months at DC have been among their best ever. After a bit of a slump, Marvel jumped a couple of percentage points to land at 17.6% female creators overall, below their recent highs but one of their better showings in some time.

We also take a look back at the year as a whole and both publishers’ numbers for female creators, overall and by category, are noticeably higher than they were a year ago. Also, at DC the monthly numbers are trending in a positive direction in several categories, which bodes well for 2017. Marvel’s trend lines are a little more mixed, but all of the interior art categories saw strong gains and few of the declines were steep.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats fun!

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – April 2017 Solicits, 24 Female Creators on 19 Books

February 20, 2017

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After posting the highest number of female creators we’ve ever seen from either DC or Marvel last month, Marvel failed to match their record this month. In fact, they weren’t even close. Now, this isn’t a huge surprise; the story of these stats is always two steps forward, one step back. A high is rarely followed immediately by another high. Instead, new highs tend to be followed by a slightly lower plateau and an even further drop back before the numbers surge again. Marvel’s skipped the plateau this time around, though, and have dropped to their lowest number of female creators in over a year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in April 2017:

  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #18 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #11 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #17 (interior art, cover)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Elektra #3 (cover), Spider-Man #15 (variant cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #4 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #19 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #17 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #2 (writer)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #19 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #1 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #6 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #17 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Man-Thing #3 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #5 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #4 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: America #2 (variant cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #5 (writer)
  • Myisha Haynes: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #14 (interior art)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #18 (interior art)
  • Nicole Perlman: Gamora #5 (writer)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #14 (cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #15 (interior art)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #19 (interior art)
  • Yona Harvey: Black Panther: The Crew #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 19 different books in April, 13 fewer women than in March and 14 fewer books. That’s quite a decline. Last month was clearly abnormal; there were loads of variant covers with female artists that helped Marvel break their record total. But Marvel’s had at least 30 female creators for several months now, going back to the fall. Landing in the 20s is uncharacteristically low for them.

Having women on fewer variant covers is one of the big reasons for Marvel’s drop this month. It also looks like a few creators with regular gigs are on a skip month, with someone else filling in, or the creative teams have been changed and women are no longer working on those books. It’s an odd month all around. For example, there’s only one woman working on more than one comic this month, Elizabeth Torque on a variety of covers. In March, there were six women with multiple gigs. Everything’s contracted across the board in April.

In terms of new books with female leads, there are a handful of team books with women in prominent roles. Manifold, Misty Knight, and Storm co-star in Black Panther: The Crew, Marvel Girl is a part of X-Men Blue, and Kitty Pryde, Prestige, and Storm are part of X-Men Gold.

Overall, April doesn’t look to be a great month for women at Marvel relative to their past year or so. What’s unclear is if this marks a shift for the publisher or an aberration. Aberration seems more likely; Marvel’s established a solid track record with female creators as of late, and I’m expecting to see at least a few missing creators back next month. Time will tell, as always, but I’d expect stronger numbers in May. For now, though, April is a rather underwhelming follow up to March’s stellar numbers.


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