Women of Marvel #1 empowers fresh voices in the comic book industry using Marvel’s deep roster of fan-favorite heroes.
Comics have come a long way since the release of Marvel Comics #1 in 1939. As Louise Simonson stresses in her introductory letter for the female-focused anthology Women of Marvel #1, the landscape of the comic book industry has grown to become more welcoming and inclusive with the passing of time. With that in mind, Women of Marvel #1 shines a spotlight on many fresh, rising voices in comics. By using Marvel’s deep roster of heroines, the publisher is able to give some of today’s rising stars and industry veterans a showcase with fun, imaginative stories that will surely make readers smile.
In total, Women of Marvel #1 features 11 stories of various lengths, with 5 one-page stories and others that range between five and seven pages. The stories themselves feature major stars like Jean Grey, Emma Frost, She-Hulk and Mystique to lesser-known characters like Peggy Carter’s alternate reality Captain America or the ’90s mutants Marrow and Feral.
Of the longer stories, “Wild Rhino Chase” by Nadia Shammas, Skylar Patridge, and Tríona Farrell is a particularly strong adventure. Featuring She-Hulk facing off against the Rhino in Manhattan’s Museum of Natural History, the story is fresh, fun, and feels perfectly suited for the character. Patridge’s art is detailed and expressive, which is complemented well by Farrell’s lively color palette.
The same applies to “Saturday Morning in Harlem” by Anne Toole, Kei Zama, and Ruth Redmond. The story features Misty Knight solving a mystery surrounding a small burglary in Harlem, and it concisely captures the spirit of the character by bringing Misty back to her detective roots. While it’s a dense six-pages. the art team of Zama and Redmond feel well equipped to tackle the task of an explosive series, and Marvel would be wise to bring them together again for future stories.
The one-page stories written by Mariko Tamaki are fun little gags that cleverly play with a few heroines as they experience remarkably mundane problems in a distinctly Marvel method. The Jean Grey story with Marika Cresta and Rachelle Rosenberg on art stands out as a particular bright spot, with Jean failing to keep a plant alive on Krakoa. Hela’s struggle to get a good night’s sleep and her creative solution also make for a great joke later on in the issue. These stories break up the more serious features and keep the book bright and cheery.
At its core, Women of Marvel #1 never takes itself too seriously. Even when Peggy Carter is fighting against Nazis, the book keeps a sense of whimsy that makes it accessible to a wide range of readers. This is a great book to hand to young readers who are curious about Marvel. This one-shot easily could have tackled more serious subjects, like the previous Marvel Voices one-shots have often done, but the decision to keep things light helps to distinguish this book and give it a voice all its own.
Overall, Women of Marvel #1 is a cheery anthology that spotlights the whimsy and wonder of the Marvel Universe through the eyes of its deep roster of heroes and a talented slate of creators.
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