Two months after their “Women of Marvel” variant cover line catapulted them to 20 different female creators for the first time in ages, Marvel remains firmly in the low teens yet again. Several other comics publishers are making big strides for female representation, but Marvel is lagging behind. While their May solicits show some growth from April, it’s not a lot. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in May 2015:
- Amanda Conner: Secret Wars #1 (variant cover)
- Ariela Kristantina: Wolverines #19 (interior art)
- Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (art and cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #15 (writer)
- Kathryn Immonen: Operation: S.I.N. #5 (writer)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel #15 (writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: A-Force #1 (co-writer), Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (co-writer), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #3 (writer)
- Nicole Virella: Return of the Living Deadpool #4 (interior art)
- Prudence Shen: Secret Wars Journal #1 (writer)
- Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #3 (co-writer)
- Stacey Lee: Amazing Spider-Man #18 (variant cover), Silk #4 (interior art)
- Stephanie Hans: A-Force #1 (variant cover), Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (art and cover), Storm #11 (cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Amazing Spider-Man #18.1 (variant cover), Secret Wars #2 (variant cover)
All together, there are 13 different female creators scheduled for 17 different books in May, slight increases from April’s 11 and 16. There are some new names in mix, however. Both Prudence Shen and Yasmine Putri are making their debut at Marvel.
May is also a big month because A-Force debuts. Not only is it written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett, the lineup in all women characters, and it sounds fantastic. The cover shows pretty much every female Avenger ever, so this book should be a blast. A few other new titles boast female characters as well; Medusa is in Inhumans: Attilan Rising (they’re really trying to make the Inhumans happen, aren’t they?), Kate Bishop is on the cover of Secret Wars Journal #1, and Inferno seems to be about Magik, though they don’t mention her by name.
While the numbers aren’t growing substantially, there does seem to be a slight shift in what women are doing at Marvel over the year thus far. There’s a lot more interior art and writing than we usually see. Not that covers aren’t great, but it’s a rather isolated and rarely long term gig. The slow growth of women with regular jobs inside the comics is a definite positive step for Marvel.
Nonetheless, they still lag far behind. DC has more than double the female representation in May, and several publishers, many of them far smaller than Marvel, easily have more than 13 female creators scheduled for their May books. A-Force is great, and it’s wonderful to see Marvel continuing to focus on female characters, but their progress with female creators is painfully slow. There are a lot of them out there and Marvel have hired a great many of them sporadically over the past few years. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to hire more of them now.