It’s never a smart idea to brand something as “All New, All Different” and then deliver so much of the same old. Marvel’s relaunch (but don’t call it’s a relaunch; they don’t like that) starts rolling out in October with a bunch of new books, and October also happens to have Marvel’s lowest number of female creators in some time. Marvel hasn’t had the strongest 2015 thus far, and they’ve been regularly thumped by DC, but at least the number of women has been in the double digits for a while, if just barely some months. They couldn’t even hit that low bar this month. Let’s see who’s doing what at Marvel in October:
- Annie Wu: Angela: Queen of Hel #1 (variant cover)
- Erica Henderson: Doctor Strange #1 (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (art and cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Avengers #0 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #19 (writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #4 (writer), Angela: Queen of Hel #1 (writer)
- Nik Virella: 1872 #4 (interior art)
- Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – Lady of Shadows #2 (co-writer)
- Sara Pichelli: Invincible Iron Man #1 (variant cover), Secret Wars #8 (variant cover)
- Stephanie Hans: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #4 (art and cover), Angela: Queen of Hel #1 (art, variant cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Invincible Iron Man #1 (variant cover)
All together, there are 9 different women set to work on 10 different comics this October, a definite step down from September’s 13 and 11. That’s really not a lot of ladies, despite a slew of new titles, and while I realize that more titles are coming and there might be more female creators in the mix, it doesn’t change the fact that Marvel’s done an embarrassingly poor job at female representation in this, the first month of their “All New, All Different” line.
Furthermore, a lot of the gigs listed above are one-time jobs. There are six variant covers up there; that’s not steady work. Avengers #0 is a one-shot, and 1602 With Hunter Angela is done in October, with basically the same creative team launching Angela: Queen of Hel. So it’s great that Marguerite Bennett and Stephanie Hans are sticking around, but their multiple credits this month will go down to just one credit each in November unless they land more jobs. Marvel’s posted some very low numbers, and they’re not even sustainable. They’re going to need an influx of ladies doing more just to maintain their paltry total next month.
It is, however, a good month for female characters. Several of the new series star women, including books headlined by Angela (now the queen of Hel, it seems), a new female Blade, Spider-Gwen, and Squirrel Girl. More will be coming next month, I’m sure. Several other female-led books have been announced but aren’t yet on the schedule.
Ultimately, it’s 2015, gang. If a massive publisher like Marvel with 70 or so books and well over 150 different creators can’t hire at least 10 female creators, they’re just not trying hard enough. There are so many talented women doing amazing work in this industry right now. It’s not hard to find great female cretors. Marvel’s usual response to a lack of diversity is to point out that there’s more coming, and that’s all well and good, but tomorrow is not today. And today, these numbers are rough. It’s even worse because it’s their big relaunch month. At a time when all eyes will be on Marvel, female creators will be few and far between. Not cool, Marvel. Sort of shameful, Marvel. Get it together, Marvel.