Posts Tagged ‘Nik Virella’

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.

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 at Marvel Comics Watch, March 2017 Solicits: 37 Women on 33 Books, A New Record

January 16, 2017

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Marvel’s on quite a run with female creators rights now. March will mark the publisher’s eighth straight month with more than 30 different female creators in the mix, and Marvel is set to best their record number for combined female creators and books that they set in December. It’s really quite an impressive streak, all around. So let’s see who’s doing what at Marvel in March 2017:

  • Afua Richardson: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #5 (cover)
  • Alitha E. Martinez: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #5 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #17 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #10 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #16 (interior art, cover)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Black Panther #12 (variant cover), Captain America: Steve Rogers #14 (cover), Captain Marvel #13 (cover), Elektra #2 (cover), Inhumans Prime #1 (variant cover), X-Men Prime #1 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #3 (interior art, cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Guardians of the Galaxy #1.MU (variant cover), Hulk #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #18 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #16 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #1 (writer)
  • Gisele Lagace: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #13 (cover)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #13 (interior art)
  • Hannah Blumenreich: Amazing Spider-Man #25 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #18 (cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #5 (variant cover)
  • Jordie Bellaire: Uncanny Inhumans #20 (variant cover)
  • Joyce Chin: Deadpool the Duck #5 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #5 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #16 (writer), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #18 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #4 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: The Totally Awesome Hulk #1.MU (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #13 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #17 (interior art), Power Man and Iron Fist #14 (variant cover)
  • Nicole Perlman: Gamora #4 (writer)
  • Nik Virella: All-New Wolverine #18 (interior art)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: The Unstoppable Wasp #3 (variant cover)
  • Roxane Gay: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #5 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Monsters Unleashed #5 (variant cover), Spider-Man #14 (interior art, cover)
  • Sophie Campbell: Spider-Gwen #18 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Gamora #4 (variant cover), Man-Thing #1 (variant cover)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #18 (interior art)
  • Tess Fowler: Doctor Strange #18 (variant cover)
  • Veronica Fish: Spider-Woman #17 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #13 (variant cover)

All together, there are 37 different female creators set to work on 33 different books in March, 6 more women than in February and 10 more books. And while 37 different women ties Marvel’s December record, they were only working on 25 books then; in March there will be just as many ladies in the mix as that record setting month, distributed even more thoroughly through Marvel’s lineup. These are very good numbers. Writing this post each month used to take me ten minutes or so, since there were only ever a handful of women in the mix, like 4 or 5. Now there’s dozens! It’s a lot more work for me, but it’s the good kind.

In terms of new names at Marvel, we’ve got scores of returning favourites this month but also some debut and returning creators. Gabby Rivera is coming on board to write the new America series, Hannah Blumenreich is doing her first official Marvel work (finally!), I don’t think I’ve seen Jen Bartel at Marvel before, I think Leah Williams is a new name as well, and this might be Paulina Ganucheau’s premiere at Marvel as well. And maybe Tess Fowler too? I know she’s done some stuff at DC. So yeah, a busy month for new creators!

March is typically “Women of Marvel” month, where they put out a bunch of variant covers by female artists, and while Marvel doesn’t seem to be doing that explicitly this month, there are scores of variant covers in the list above, far more than usual. Several of them are part of a themed “Venomized” variant program, so it looks like Marvel might be continuing the spirit of “Women of Marvel” without the specific fanfare. Or they’re just hiring a lot of women to do covers because they know a lot of rad female artists. Either way, there are a lot of variants in the mix this month.

Not a lot of new books, though. We’ve got a few oneshots for the IvX event and a new Iron Fist series, but the only new book with a female lead is America. And it looks FANTASTIC. A queer WOC headlining her own series is a huge step for Marvel; they haven’t been great on the LGBTQ+ front as of late, with little rep and a lot of shying away from the rep they did have. This is a big deal for them, and hopefully something we’ll see more of moving forward.

Overall, March looks to be a great month for women at Marvel, all across the board. The publisher’s on an excellent streak, female creator representation is the highest it’s ever been, and America Chavez finally has a comic book! Things are swell.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – January 2017 Solicits, 33 Women on 23 Books

November 3, 2016

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Marvel’s female creator representation is set to take a small step back to begin the New Year, but after a record setting December a bit of a drop was to be expected. The fall is slight, and well within the ballpark of Marvel’s recent highs through the fall. While another record breaking month would have been a good time, this is nonetheless a solid start to the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in January 2017:

  • Afua Richardson: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #3 (cover)
  • Alitha E. Martinez: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #3 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #15 (cover, co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #9 (writer)
  • Brittney Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #14 (cover, interior art)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Steve Rogers #9 (cover), Hulk #2 (variant cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 (cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (cover, interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: The Unworthy Thor #3 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16 (cover, interior art)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #14 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #10 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #16 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Silk #16 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Max Ride: Final Flight #5 (writer)
  • June Brigman: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #3 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #14 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #2 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #1 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Star-Lord #2 (variant cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #3 (variant cover), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #15 (interior art)
  • Natasha Allegri: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16 (variant cover)
  • Nicole Perlman: Gamora #2 (writer)
  • Nik Virella: All-New Wolverine #16 (interior art)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Sailor #4 (co-writer)
  • Roxane Gay: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #3 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #12 (cover, interior art)
  • Stacey Lee: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #10 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Ultimates 2 #3 (variant cover)
  • Veronica Fish: Spider-Woman #15 (interior art)

All together, there are 33 different female creators set to work on 23 different books at Marvel in January, 4 fewer women than in December and 2 fewer books. December was a huge month, though, and January’s numbers are in the upper range of where Marvel’s been for the past six months. While going even higher and perhaps even reaching 40 women for the first time ever would have been rad, Marvel’s not there quite yet. Instead, the publisher is holding steady with some decent numbers.

January’s not a huge month for new women at Marvel, though. Everyone listed above is a regular or a returning favourite who’s done something for them recently. It’s nice to see that Marvel has such a solid group of women regularly in the mix, though it’s always good to see some new names.

It’s not a big month for new female-led titles either, though there are a couple. After an introductory #0 issue in December, The Mighty Captain Marvel officially starts with a #1 issue, and we’ve also got the debut of The Unstoppable Wasp. I’m particularly excited for the latter because Elsa Charretier is on art, and I’m a big fan of her work. There are some ladies involved in new team books, too, including U.S.Avengers and Avengers #1.MU, which ties into Marvel’s new “Monsters Unleashed” event.

Overall, it looks like 2017 will be off to a nice start for Marvel. The publisher only had 20 women on 14 books at the start of 2016, so they’ve grown well over the course of the year and so far they seem set to continue in the same vein moving forward. Women still remain a small minority of creators overall, but representation is growing. Hopefully 2017 will bring even more record breaking months for Marvel.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – December 2016 Solicits, 37 Women on 25 Books

October 6, 2016

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Marvel’s had an impressive run with female creators throughout the fall with 30 or more women in every round of solicits we’ve seen for the autumn months. Now they’re set to cap the year with a new record high, bolstered by a slew of new titles with female writers and female lead characters. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in December 2016:

  • Afua Richardson: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #2 (cover)
  • Alitha E. Martinez: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #2 (interior art)
  • Alti Firmansyah: X-Men ’92 #10 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #14 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annie Wu: Star Wars: Classified #2 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #8 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #13 (interior art, cover)
  • Chynna Clugston-Flores: Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up (co-writer, interior art)
  • Elizabeth Torque: The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Classified #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: Great Lakes Avengers #3 (variant cover), Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #15 (interior art, cover)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #9 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #15 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Silk #15 (interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Max Ride: Final Flight #4 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Classified #1 (variant cover)
  • Karla Pacheco: Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up (co-writer)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #13 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #1 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: A Year of Marvels: The Uncanny #1 (interior art)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #0 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #2 (variant cover), Hawkeye #1 (variant cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #1 (writer)
  • Myisha Haynes: Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up (interior art)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #14 (interior art)
  • Nen Chang: Jessica Jones #3 (variant cover)
  • Nicole Perlman: Gamora #1 (writer)
  • Nik Virella: All-New Wolverine #15 (interior art)
  • Pia Guerra: Hulk #1 (variant cover)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Sailor #3 (co-writer)
  • Roxane Gay: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #2 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #11 (interior art, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Jessica Jones #3 (variant cover), Scarlet Witch #13 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Gamora #1 (variant cover)
  • Veronica Fish: Spider-Woman #14 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Avengers #2.1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 37 different female creators set to work on 25 different books at Marvel this December, a gain of 6 women and 6 books from November. It’s also Marvel’s highest month for female creators since we starting keeping track a few years back, breaking a record they set earlier in the year. Looking back, 2016 has been a year of solid growth for women at Marvel. Back in February, there were only 18 different female creators working on Marvel books, and now that number has more than doubled.

A slew of new books made this record setting December possible. Margaret Stohl is writing The Mighty Captain Marvel, Mariko Tamaki is writing Hulk (which actually stars She-Hulk), Kelly Thompson is writing Hawkeye (the rad lady one), and Nicole Perlman is writing Gamora. It’s great to see such fantastic writers penning such awesome female characters, though it’d be fun to have some female artists in the mix, and I’d love to see Marvel let female creators work on more than just female-led books. Nonetheless, all of these new titles sound great.

Plus we’re getting a Gwenpool holiday special that’s got lots of women involved and should be a lot of fun. It also brings some new names to Marvel, including Chynna Clugston-Flores, Myisha Haynes, and Karla Pacheco; Clugston-Flores might have done a cover or something at some point a while back maybe? It’s hard to remember everyone. Either way, those three women are either new to Marvel or haven’t been around in a while.

Overall, Marvel is set to end the year on a high note. It’s nice to see that both major superhero publishers are going to close out 2016 with their best numbers yet; that’s a very encouraging sign for 2017. Hopefully Marvel can sustain these new highs for whatever the year brings, including their next inevitable round of relaunches. But for now, December looks to be a very strong showing for women at Marvel, both real and fictional, and the publisher has definitely progressed considerably over the past year.

Women at Marvel Comics – November 2016 Solicits, 31 Women on 19 Books

September 8, 2016

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Marvel’s on quite a run with female creators. While their November solicits are a slight step down from the record highs of the three months previous, there are still a lot of women in the mix; the publisher hasn’t had fewer than 30 female creators since July. There are, however, some slightly disconcerting trends therein. We’ll chat about it all, but first let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in November 2016:

  • Afua Richardson: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Alitha E. Martinez: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Alti Firmansyah: X-Men ’92 #9 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annapaola Martello: Scarlet Witch #12 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #7 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #12 (interior art, cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars Annual #2 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #14 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #13 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool #8 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #14 (variant cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Silk #14 (interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Max Ride: Final Flight #3 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Ms. Marvel #13 (cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: The Punisher #7 (variant cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #12 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Star Wars Annual #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (variant cover), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #13 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Nik Virella: All-New Wolverine #14 (interior art)
  • Risa Hulett: Ultimates 2 #1 (variant cover)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Sailor #2 (co-writer)
  • Roxane Gay: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #10 (cover)
  • Siya Oum: Jessica Jones #2 (variant cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Gwenpool #8 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Captain America: Steve Rogers #7 (cover)
  • Veronica Fish: Spider-Woman #13 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Silk #14 (cover)
  • Yona Harvey: Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 31 different female creators scheduled to work on 19 different comic books at Marvel in November, 2 fewer women than in October and 5 fewer books. The drop in the overall number isn’t a particularly big deal; these things fluctuate, and Marvel’s been solidly in the low-30s for four straight months. The drop in the number of books, however, is a bit troubling.

Back in August, Marvel had women working on 28 different books, and that number has dwindled since then down to 19 in November, a drop of a third. Meanwhile, the number of women at Marvel has stayed roughly the same. Instead of having female creators spread throughout the line, they’re grouped together, typically on a book with a female lead, limiting their broader impact on Marvel’s output. It’s an odd sort of pigeonholing; Marvel’s employing more women than they ever have, but they’re keeping them all together in a small little corner of their line.

Now, there are books where this makes sense. The new Black Panther: World of Wakanda focuses on Wakandan women, and it’s got several women of colour writing and drawing the stories therein. It’s a smart idea to bring their perspective to this title. But broadly speaking, female creators are capable of writing and drawing more than just women, and lumping them all together in a limited number of titles is a poor way to go about improving representation at the publisher. Moving women from a tiny minority to a small minority is a step in the right direction, yes, but Marvel needs to a) keep hiring MORE women, and b) start employing them throughout their line.

It should also be pointed out that this problem is not unique to Marvel; DC does this a lot as well. But it’s been more pronounced at Marvel as of late, and the consistent drop in titles while the number of women has remained about the same is a bizarre trend that demanded comment.

In terms of female characters, Marvel’s got a whole pile of new books set to premiere in November as their new Marvel NOW! line continues to roll out, most of which have male leads. Black Panther: World of Wakanda is an exception, as is the new Invincible Iron Man with Riri Williams in a lead role. Most of the rest have men at the forefront, with a few women here and there on new team books; Ultimates 2 looks to have several women in the mix, at least.

Overall, Marvel’s been doing a lot of good things as of late. Consistent numbers for female creators that are very high relative to their past performances is a great thing. But there’s still a long way to go. There’s lots of room for these numbers to grow, and female creators don’t just have to work on books with a female lead. Progress on all of these fronts is slow, of course. We’ve been monitoring these numbers for years and are just starting to see hints of almost decent representation now, so this will take some time. Hopefully Marvel can continue with the progress they’ve made and push things even further in the months ahead.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – October 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 24 Books

August 3, 2016

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Marvel’s really on a roll with female creators right now. I mean, they still represent a small minority of Marvel’s overall number of creators, but the numbers are much higher than they used to be. Consider this: Marvel’s October 2015 solicits had only nine different female creators in the mix. NINE. A year later, Marvel is in the low thirties for the third straight month. This is progress, and hopefully a change that will continue to grow; both Big Two publishers are prone to significant drops after sustained growth, unfortunately. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in October 2016:

  • Alti Firmansyah: X-Men ’92 #8 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #12 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #6 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #11 (interior art, cover)
  • Carly Monardo: Gwenpool #7 (variant cover)
  • Chelsea Cain: Mockingbird #8 (writer)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #13 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #12 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool #7 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Gwenpool #7 (cover)
  • Janet Lee: Deadpool #21 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Max Ride: Final Flight #2 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Mockingbird #8 (cover), Ms. Marvel #12 (variant cover), Han Solo #5 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Han Solo #5 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #11 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Mockingbird #8 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: A-Force #10 (writer)
  • Leila Del Duca: Scarlet Witch #11 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Black Panther #7 (variant cover)
  • Marjorie Liu: Star Wars: Han Solo #5 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Uncanny Avengers #15 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #12 (interior art)
  • Nik Virella: All-New Wolverine #13 (interior art)
  • Nilah Magruder: A Year of Marvels: The Unbeatable #1 (co-writer)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Sailor #1 (co-writer)
  • Ruth Gage: Captain Marvel #10 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #9 (cover)
  • Siya Oum: A Year of Marvels: The Unbeatable #1 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: A-Force #10 (cover)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #13 (interior art)
  • Veronica Fish: Spider-Woman #12 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Black Widow #7 (variant cover), Silk #13 (cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators scheduled to work on 24 different books at Marvel this October, the same number of women as in September and one more book. Marvel’s been impressively steady as of late; the last three months have had 34, 33, and 33 women in the mix. This is the highest sustained run we’ve seen from Marvel or DC since we started keeping track of these numbers a few years back. It will be interesting to see how these numbers change as the new round of post-Civil War II books unfolds over the next few months, but the initial wave set for October hasn’t affected things much here, for good or ill.

We’ve got a couple of new names in October, including Nilah Magruder writing a story in A Year of Marvels: The Unbeatable #1. I’ve seen Leila Del Duca and Meghan Hetrick elsewhere, most recently at Image and DC respectively, but I think this month may mark some of their first Marvel work. And we’ve got some returning favourites too: Robin Furth is back for another round of The Dark Tower, Siya Oum is breaking out of her recent spate of variant covers with some interior art, and I think it’s been a long while since Janet Lee’s done something at Marvel.

For female characters, there’s not a lot going on in October’s new titles. Most of the Marvel NOW! titles debuting in October star dudes, though there are a couple of team books with ladies involved. Both Champions and Great Lake Avengers looks to have a lady or two in the mix, though each team has more male members than females. That’s just how team books seem to be going at the Big Two, which is ridiculous. It’s either a token lady or two or ALL women. Someone needs to make a team with like four women and two guys, just to mix things up.

Overall, October’s looking like another solid month for women at Marvel. As always, there remains lots of room for these numbers to grow, but these are very strong totals relative to Marvel’s past performances. Hopefully Marvel can keep this going in the months to come, and cement a new standard for women making comics at a major publisher.


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