Posts Tagged ‘Stephanie Hans’

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

August 22, 2017

womenatmarvelOCTOBER

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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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, September 2017 Solicits: 27 Creators on 21 Books

July 21, 2017

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After a series of fairly solid rounds of solicits in terms of female and non-binary creator representation across the summer months, DC looks to be starting the fall towards the lower end of that range with their September solicits. A few new books have increased the ranks, while DC’s major autumn event seems to be entirely dude-centric thus far, and things have almost evened out. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this September:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #27 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #28 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art, cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Bombshells United #1 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Detective Comics #964 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Suicide Squad #25 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #1 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #15 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #30 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #31 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #11 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #14 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (variant cover)
  • Katie Jones: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (backup story)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #7 (writer), Bombshells United #1 (writer), Bombshells United #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #1 (interior art), Bombshells United #2 (interior art)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #12 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #1 (cover)
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #30 (writer)
  • Siya Oum: Batman Beyond #12 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Bombshells United #2 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Doom Patrol #9 (variant cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Batman Beyond #12 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #14 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 21 different books in September, 2 fewer creators than in August and 1 fewer book. This is hardly a major change, and could very well just be normal shuffling around. We don’t expect the numbers to stay the same everything month, and a things going a little lower or higher is common. Small changes like this are only significant when it’s part of a larger trend. If DC lost 2 women/NB creators after posting losses in a couple of months previous, that would be disconcerting. This slight drop, though, after a decent August, is nothing too worrisome yet. Of course, we’ll see how the rest of the fall solicits unfold.

Before we dig into things more, here’s a quick note on the change in terminology. We’ve been keeping track of female creators at DC for several years now, but I recently learned that writer Vita Ayala, who I’ve categorized as female in the past, identifies as non-binary. Since the purpose of this project is to showcase creators who disrupt the typical male hegemony of the superhero industry, changing the title and the terminology to be more inclusive seemed like the right way to go. We’ve always listed women who are transgender, of course, but that didn’t necessitate a shift in nomenclature. This does, I think. If there are other creators whose identity lies outside of the male/female binary, I’d be glad to know about them and will include them on the list moving forward; let me know in the comments.

We’ve mostly got returning favourites this month, but there are a couple of new names in the mix. Katie Jones is doing a backup story in Shade, The Changing Girl #12, while Rosemary Valero-O’Connell drew a variant cover for Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12. The “Young Animal” line has certainly been a solid outlet for representation at DC each month since it began, and these additions carry that on well.

In terms of new books, DC’s Dark Nights: Metal event and its various tie-ins continue to be male-dominated, both in terms of characters and creators. But in exciting news, the Bombshells are back! The superhero ladies will continue fighting the Second World War in Bombshells United, which will double ship with double Marguerites in September. Wonder Woman’s also got a new mini-series that teams her with Conan the Barbarian, and Harley Quinn will star in a special 25th anniversary issue.

So overall, September looks to be an average month for female and non-binary creators at DC. The numbers are firmly in the middle of the publisher’s range across 2017 thus far; DC’s stayed within a fairly narrow window. So things are relatively steady, but that also means that the numbers aren’t growing. It’d be nice to see things improve in the months to come; with ComicCon this weekend, perhaps we’ll get some exciting announcements to that effect.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – August 2017 Solicits, 25 Women on 24 Books

June 21, 2017

womenatmarvelAUGUST

The good news for Marvel’s August releases is that they have the highest number of female creators in the mix since March. The less good news is that the publisher is still a long way off from those March highs, continuing to languish in the mid-20s after they began the year firmly in the mid-30s. Basically, the numbers are higher than last month but not nearly as high as Marvel has showed they are capable of achieving. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in August 2017:

  • Amy Reeder: Star Wars #35 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #15 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #5 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Astonishing X-Men #2 (variant cover), Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #23 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #21 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #6 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #19 (interior art, cover)
  • Hannah Blumenreich: Spider-Gwen #23 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #6 (cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Lockjaw: Dog Days #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #5 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #11 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: America #6 (co-writer), Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 (writer), Hawkeye #9 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #9 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #22 (interior art, cover)
  • Ro Stein: The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #2 (interior art, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1 (cover)
  • Tamra Bonvillain: Secret Warriors #5 (cover)
  • Yona Harvey: Black Panther and the Crew #6 (co-writer)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #1 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 25 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in August, 1 more woman and 2 more books than in July. It’s a small step up from last month, as well as Marvel’s highest combined total since March. However, March had 37 different female creators on 33 different books, so Marvel’s still running very far behind where they were earlier in the year. The numbers dropped off precipitously in April, and they haven’t recovered a whole lot since then.

There are a couple of new names in the mix for August, though. We haven’t seen Ro Stein at Marvel before, and I think she’ll be a great fit on The Unstoppable Wasp. Tamra Bonvillain is also credited on a cover, even though she’s a colorist and colorists generally don’t get credited in the solicits. But if your name is in there, you make the list! So hooray for Tamra Bonvillain, who I actually come across a lot when I do my full “Gendercrunching” stats each month. It’s nice to see a colorist make the solicits for a change.

In terms of new books, Marvel’s Generations event has several female characters involved in special oneshot issues. The event focuses on different incarnations of the same hero, so for example the current, female Mighty Thor is paired with the old Thor, who’s now known as Unworthy Thor. Women are in the mix in four of the oneshots, including Hawkeye (the cooler lady one), All New Wolverine (also the cooler lady one), and both Phoenix and the new, young Jean Grey together in their own book. Marvel’s recent penchant for replacing male heroes with women has ensured that this event will have a considerable female presence throughout, which is very fun. It’s also great to see creators associated with the characters in the mix, including Kelly Thompson, the writer of the current, fantastic Hawkeye series, penning the special Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye issue.

So all together, female representation looks like it will be slightly improved at Marvel this August, but behind the scenes the gains are slight and on the page the gains are cool but momentary via an assortment of oneshots. It’s bizarre that Marvel can’t seem to get out of its current mid-20s rut with female creators; they were really hitting it out of the park as the year began, but the numbers just aren’t there anymore.

Wonder Woman Annual #1 Review: A Delightful Assortment of Tales!

May 31, 2017

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Annuals are tricky comic books. They cost more than a regular issue, so readers expect some extra bang for their buck. They also tend to be disconnected from the ongoing arc(s) in the main series, so it’s easy for readers to question their relevance. An annual is an expensive collection of standalone stories, most of which aren’t by the usual creative team, and it’s never a surprise when they invariably sell fewer copies than the series’ regular issues do. I know I’ve skipped all sorts of annuals over the years. But this one I was excited for. It’s a “Year One” reunion  with Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott back together, and that alone is worth the price of admission. So much so that I’d completely forgotten who else was in the book, to be quite honest. Those stories turned out to be fun as well, though! I mean, there’s one where Wonder Woman plays fetch with a kaiju. That’s quality entertainment. We’ll get to it all, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to reveal important details from this very enjoyable comic book!

Do yourself a favour and go buy it now!

The first story is “And Then There Were Three” by Rucka and Scott. It was nice to have them back together after their stellar “Year One” run, and it was also great to have Rucka writing Batman and Superman again. He’s done fantastic work with both characters in the past, and in his hands they just felt right. DC’s trinity has been a little off kilter for me since the New 52 relaunch in 2011, and Rucka writing all three of them took me back to the characters as I know them best.

While the story tied into “Year One,” it didn’t have anything in the way of surprising revelations or information that added a key piece to the larger mysteries that have swirled throughout the “Rebirth” run. It was tangential, the story of Wonder Woman’s first meeting with Batman and Superman, but wow is it good. There are no big fights or drama, just great banter and a perfect distillation of their group dynamic. Superman teasing Batman is a dang delight, Alfred and Lois Laneare in the mix and amusingly so, and the end of the story, with Batman in awe of the pure heroism and love for the world at the core of Wonder Woman, is a great moment.

Plus it’s absolutely gorgeous. I wish Nicola Scott could draw Wonder Woman forever, and that Romulo Fajardo Jr. would be her eternal colorist. Scott has such a good handle on Wonder Woman, and captures her beautifully. She’s no slouch with Batman or Superman either! The entire story is exquisitely drawn from start to finish, from Metropolis to the Batcave to the Nevada desert, and makes for a wonderful opener to the annual.

Up next is “In Defense of Truth and Justice” by Vita Ayala and Claire Roe with colors by Jordie Bellaire. Ayala is an up an coming write at DC, and Roe is fresh off a run on Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. Their story pits Wonder Woman against the forces of Markovia as she works to save King Shark from an undeserved execution. I always love when Wonder Woman defends a villain who, though guilty of various crimes, is being treated an unfairly and needs help. These tales capture the compassionate core of the character, and Ayala and Roe do that well here, with some excellent action in the mix too. It’s a well executed story all around, with a great ending in which Wonder Woman tries to set King Shark on the right path moving forward with the help of one of her aquatic friends.

“The Curse and the Honor” by Michael Moreci and Stephanie Hans is just so pretty. The story itself is fine; the location is unnamed, but it looks like Wonder Woman is in a Japanese village, where she gives a warrior who has absorbed vengeful spirits the honourable death he deserves. But the art is stunning. Stephanie Hans always delivers amazing visuals, and this story is no exception. It’s a heavy tale, set in the winter so that Wonder Woman and her red cape appear in stark contrast to her surroundings. The art is lush and pretty, not so much finely detailed as atmospheric and moody. It is lovely all around; bringing in Stephanie Hans on this one was a very smart move from DC.

Continuing the Japanese influence, the final story is “The Last Kaiju,” written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by David Lafuente and colors from John Rauch. As a giant kaiju approached a city on the Pacific coast, A.R.G.U.S. wants to light it up but Wonder Woman swoops in to deal with it directly. After a bit of fisticuffs, she ties it up in her golden lasso and learns that it’s not some mindless monster but a lost and lonely creature. Wonder Woman then defends the creature, flies it to Dinosaur Island where it can make friends, and they all play catch with a giant log. It’s cute and fun and again captured Wonder Woman’s compassionate core. Just like with King Shark, Wonder Woman willingly put herself in harm’s way to defend someone that no one else thought was worthy of defending. That’s always a great message for a Wonder Woman comic, and it’s nicely executed here.

All together, this was a pretty swell annual and definitely worth picking up. I came for Rucka and Scott’s take on DC’s trinity, but everything else was enjoyable as well. Plus it was great to see a wide variety of art styles and tones in the stories. It was an eclectic mix that all worked together to celebrate Wonder Woman’s heart and heroism. With the Wonder Woman movie coming just days from now, this is a fitting book to have on the shelves for new or returning fans.

Women at DC Comics Watch – July 2017 Solicits, 27 Women on 23 Books

May 9, 2017

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July looks to be a bit of a drop for female creator representation at DC, though not a particularly steep one. The June solicits had their strongest numbers of 2017 thus far, so a decline is hardly unexpected. Growth is rarely a steady thing in the comic book world. Plus DC’s totals for July are in the upper end of their range as of late, which is encouraging despite the drop. Let’s take a look at who is scheduled to do what at DC in July 2017:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #23 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #24 (co-writer, cover)
  • Aneke: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #26 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #27 (variant cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #13 (writer)
  • Jan Duursema: Scooby Apocalypse #15 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #26 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #27 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #15 (variant cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #9 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #12 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #30 (cover), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (interior art)
  • Leila Del Duca: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (interior art)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #5 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #30 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #31 (writer), The Kamandi Challenge #7 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #10 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Wonder Woman #26 (interior art), Wonder Woman #27 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #11 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #12 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #26 (writer), Wonder Woman #27 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Batwoman #5 (interior art, cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #11 (cover), The Hellblazer #12 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Detective Comics #960 (cover), Detective Comics #961 (cover), Nightwing #24 (variant cover), Nightwing #25 (variant cover), The Hellblazer #12 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female creators set to work on 23 different book at DC this July, 4 fewer women than last month though 1 more book. While the decline in creators isn’t great to see, the high 20s is a fairly solid showing for DC relative to their past performances, and is slightly above par for the course for the year thus far. And having women on more books despite the decline in creators is nice; it’s good to see female creators being spread through the ranks more. Publishers often group women together on a few select titles, so any growth in representation throughout the line itself is encouraging.

Speaking of the line, it looks like it’s going to stay stagnant yet again in July. The only new books recently are preludes to DC’s big Metal event and the print version of a new digital first mini-series, Batman ’66/Legion of Superheroes; the latter has a couple of ladies in the Legion, at least. Apart from some shifting here and there as a few bi-monthly series switch to monthly, things remain steady. I expect some new books will be on the way sooner than later, perhaps some sort of push in the fall, but things are quiet right now.

Despite the constant line, however, we’ve got some new names in the mix. Shea Fontana is taking over the writing duties on Wonder Woman, and Mirka Andolfo, who we know from DC Comics Bombshells, is joining her on art. We’ve also got Leila Del Duca on some interior art for Shade, the Changing Girl, Stephanie Hans pitching in on art duties for Batwoman, and Jill Thompson is back to do a couple variant covers, which is always a good time.

Overall, July looks to be a pretty average month for female representation at DC Comics. They’re capable of higher, as they showed last month and even more so at times last year, but they’ll be near the upper range of their numbers in July. An influx of new books and new creators seems a bit off yet, so it’ll be interesting to see if DC maintains this level through the summer.

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.


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