It’s Women’s History Month, which makes Marvel’s Women of Marvel a great pickup for a variety of reasons. Not only is the anthology good, but the new trade paperback features 2010’s Girl Comics. At 200 pages, there’s a good amount of content too with this trade paperback totaling more pages than the norm. So what do you got to lose? Let’s take a look and see!
This collection opens with a new introduction by Women of Marvel podcast co-creators Judith Stephens and Sana Amanat. It’s a good intro talking about the origins of the podcast and how it evolved over time. It also adds insight into why it needed to be made. These creators also founded Girl Comics, giving the inclusion of that series a bit more purpose.
After that is a complete reprinting of Women of Marvel from 2021. It starts with an introduction by Louise Simonson that helps define the history of women who have worked in Marvel’s offices. It helps to understand real progress that has been made over the decades and applauds the important people who helped normalize women writing and drawing comics at Marvel.
Of the eleven stories, five are one-page tales that are cute, funny, or clever. Really, they’re all fabulous, and a reminder that anthologies allow for different story lengths you just don’t get anywhere else in comics. These tales are all written by Mariko Tamaki and act as great mini-stories before diving into slightly lengthier tales. The first focuses on Lady Deathstrike getting a manicure (art by Peach Momoko), Emma Frost using her powers in a creative way for fashion (art by Nina Vakueva), Medusa having a bad hair day (art by Rachel Stott and Rachelle Rosenberg), Jean Grey working with a testy plant (art by Marika Cresta and Rachelle Rosenberg), and in the final one-pager, Hela just wants to get comfy (art by June Brigman, Roy Richardson, and Rachelle Rosenberg).
The remaining six stories range from Elseworlds tales, like the time Peggy Carter became Captain America, to fight scenes with a twist, like when She-Hulk fights Rhino. In general, it’s a good mix of different types of stories. Props to Sarah Brunstad for curating a solid anthology.
One of my favorite stories is called “Date Night” by Zoraida Córdova, Maria Fröhlich, and Rachelle Rosenberg. The tale has Gamora go on an adventure that puts her into an intergalactic Bachelor-like TV show, only the bachelor is a scummy villain. It’s a nice issue thanks to the bond between Gamora and Rocket, but also how it weaves in a familiar thing like The Bachelor.
Next up in the collection is a one-page story from Marvel’s Voices #1 by Roxane Gay and Brittney L. Williams. It features She-Hulk who is not pleased with a man who assaulted a woman getting only 18 months in prison. She rectifies that the next day.
Next up is Girl Comics #1-4 featuring an eclectic mix of artists telling short anthology tales about various superheroes. The most evident thing when you get into these stories is how incredibly different the art is, especially for Marvel. There are very different styles in use from watercolor to cartooning more akin to comic strips. Not every tale is as good as the last, but it’s refreshing to see familiar Marvel heroes in cleverly written or drawn stories.
Closing out the book is back-matter with interviews and essays from prominent women at Marvel. An interview with Peach Momoko is a highlight as well as an interview with Black Widow director Cate Shortland. It’s a nice mix of creatives. Rounding out the extras are variant covers by Jen Bartel celebrating Women’s History Month along with a few other variants by Peach Momoko and others.
All in all, the Women of Marvel TPB is a great celebration of women creators across a wide spectrum of stories. Paired with the excellent back matter it’s an easy purchase for anyone who wants the complete package of content.
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