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    Is Marvel Planning More Female-Led Titles For Marvel NOW! Phase Two?

    By | July 22nd, 2013
    Posted in News | 5 Comments

    That’s an open-ended question. I realize you’re probably coming in here to find an answer to that question. I’ll sort of offer one, so just bear with me.

    With Comic Con weekend coming to a close and all the general bits of previous speculation dying down based on what was or wasn’t announced, there’s one little thing that came to my attention that seems to have slipped through the cracks. I sat on it for a bit waiting for a proper announcement, but one never came.

    Perhaps no one else heard about it? Perhaps it is nothing. Lets find out as I go through some rumors and speculation I heard coming out of the con and mix it all up.

    What I heard is that, as part of Marvel’s second roll-out for the Marvel NOW! line, there are plans in place to improve the ratio of male character to female characters within their line. Hooray!

    What we saw via the announcements, though, didn’t exactly go with this. Out of all the things Marvel announced, it all seems male-character centric: Nightcrawler coming back, Longshot’s new book… I think the closest that you get is that the “Young Avengers” New Year’s Eve party will have lots of female characters in attendance.

    I sort of expected more. We’ve lost “Journey into Mystery” and “Red She-Hulk,” plus “Astonishing X-Men” by Marjorie Liu was recently cancelled. Shouldn’t we have something to replace those?

    You can tell that Marvel is trying to dip their toe in the water. There’s “Fearless Defenders,” after all, as well as Brian Wood’s “X-Men.” There was an even an “X-Men”-related announcement in terms of a new Lady Deathstrike.

    But I was expecting something big. “Amazing X-Men” is about as close as we can get to that for the con announcements, I guess, as it is a new book that has a team with both male and female characters including Storm and Firestar (which, to my knowledge, is her first appearance since “Young Allies”). This assuredly will have some sort of effect on “Wolverine and the X-Men” and what Kitty Pryde is up to, although what it is, I’m not quite sure (all these rumors about Wolverine dying are getting confusing to follow against the announcements!), but I’d guess that the book could be “Kitty Pryde and the X-Men” at the rate things are going — which, again, is a toe dip in the water at best.

    One of the rumors I heard, and this is obviously something Marvel is keeping under wraps, is that with “Mighty Avengers” featuring two mystery characters — one that I’ve openly speculated is Miles Morales — the identity of the new Ronin would be female. Wouldn’t that be rather excellent, assuming it were true?

    Ronin, if you remember, was originally Echo, the character David Mack created in the pages of “Daredevil” that Bendis then used throughout the Marvel U. Wouldn’t it then be awesome if Ronin was Echo returned from the grave; her ninja connections certainly make it seem plausible that she would come back, and she would fit the team ideal of being Marvel’s minority-centric team.

    That’s just a guess, though — and perhaps wishful thinking (I was sad to see her go in “Moon Knight”). A new character would be perfectly welcome as well.

    But still. The way that it was passed along to me — as far as rumors go — suggested that Marvel was aware of the uneven divide between how many male characters they have in ratio to the female characters and how to appropriately address this in their output. But we didn’t get any big announcements along those regards, which is strange.

    Perhaps they just weren’t ready? That’s assumedly understandable. When in doubt, announce a Longshot book.

    But jokes aside, Marvel needs more books from Kathryn Immonen and the aforementioned Liu, especially with “Journey into Mystery” gone. And, honestly, perhaps this is me overstepping my bounds in what to expect from a SDCC announcement (especially based on a rumor) but I half-expected Marvel to announce a book starring Dazzler (we got Longshot…) or even Spider-Woman, who has had a great increase in visibility lately. Honestly, could you imagine if Kelly Sue DeConnick wrote a “Spider-Woman” ongoing to go with her “Captain Marvel” ongoing (perhaps spinning out of “Avengers Assemble”)? tumblr would just break.

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    I’d still love to see that, mind you. I’m willing to accept a NYCC announcement, or even just one next week!

    All of this should be taken with a grain of salt. We’re no Bleeding Cool when it comes to rumor-reporting, and I am happy (well, happy’s not the right word…) to admit I could be wrong. However, should this in fact be the case and we see one or more of this come to life, it would be quite wonderful to see. I’d love to see Marvel up the ante in terms of having more diversity amongst their lines and I would love to see Immonen and Liu have more work with the company (“Journey into Mystery” was a personal favorite of mine), let alone DeConnick who is currently writing one of my favorite books with “Captain Marvel.”

    We’ll see, though. I think, should the rumor have any truth to it, Marvel could be taking a great step in the right direction for their line. If Phase Two will feature the revolution, I’d be happy for it to be led by women.

    I also could’ve missed an announcement. Did I? Let us know what you think in the comments, as well as what books you’d like to see.

    Matthew Meylikhov

    Once upon a time, Matthew Meylikhov became the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Multiversity Comics, where he was known for his beard and fondness for cats. Then he became only one of those things. Now, if you listen really carefully at night, you may still hear from whispers on the wind a faint voice saying, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine is not as bad as everyone says it issss."