REVIEW: ‘Women of Marvel,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Women of Marvel #1 - But Why Tho?

Women of Marvel #1 is a special anthology comic published by Marvel Comics. There are numerous stories within this book, containing work from many writers, including Mariko Tamaki, Nadia Shammas, and Sophie Campbell. The art team has figures such as Maria Frölich, Peach Momoko, and Kei Zama. Colourists feature Tríona Farrell, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Brittany Peer. Letters by Ariana Maher.

This anthology one-shot collects short stories and strips starring some of Marvel’s most powerful and fascinating women. Some are small, very brief moments in time while others have a slightly longer story to them. Many of these characters are well-known, such as Hela, Lady Deathstrike, and Jean Grey. But there are those that aren’t as established, for example, Peggy Carter’s Exiles character in which she has taken up the mantle of Captain America.

The design of many of the comics is built around fun and humour. There is a fantastic tone to several of the strips. Some of them are single-page stories, so the joke has to be concise and effective quickly, which for many of them are achieved brilliantly. They have a similar style to classic comics such as the Beano and Dando. In these strips, a joke was set up, tested, and had a punchline within a few panels. Many of the shorter stories are written by Tamaki, who mimics that style expertly. They follow a similar structure, often based within the character’s downtime or private lives. This is a fantastic concept as they feel like very brief glimpses into the challenges these women face with their abilities.

There are also longer stories, but none are longer than 3-5 pages. Each writer accesses the personalities of each protagonist and adds lovely pieces of comedy and heartwarming moments to these small fragments of their lives. It shows that a writer doesn’t need 5 issues to tell a beautiful and emotional story. One of the most powerful excerpts is the Peggy Carter chapter, “Operation Spyglass,” by Elsa Sjunneson and Naomi Franquiz, with Peer on colours. The amount of content that is presented in a short amount of space is phenomenal, telling a stunning and poignant tale. Instead of humour, it is sweet, sad, and dramatic.

The art teams differ massively within each individual story. Everyone has a different style, befitting the setting and the character. The artists appear to present the same feeling of fun as the writers, with overexaggerated expressions and movements. In “Cretaceous Flirtatious,” a tale focused on Rogue and Mystique, artist Joanna Estep excels in making both women vary in almost every aspect. Rogue’s hairstyle and facial expressions are way larger and expressive than Mystique’s because the lines on her face are bigger. However, the blue-skinned shapeshifter defines herself more through physicality, exhibiting fantastic martial arts moves. 

A  recurring factor that occurs throughout Women of Marvel #1 is the emotional tone that lightens the mood of the entire comic. The characters are often shown as happy, or proud. The cheerful ending that most of the stories feature leads to several positive experiences as the reader makes their way through the book. Fun is the resounding theme of the issue.

The colour artists wonderfully create an atmosphere and help differentiate the stories. On occasion, the colours emulate how the characters look within their own series, should they be in one. Primary examples of this are Jean Grey and Gamora. Rosenberg is the colourist on both strips, but the shades and style in both comics are extremely diverse. Thus, Jean’s story feels like it has been taken straight out of a deleted scene from an X-Men issue, whilst Gamora’s is similar to a Guardians of the Galaxy comic. The same colourists being used for multiple stories is a brilliant exhibition of their ability to adapt to the art style they are working with

Speaking of adaptability, Maher’s lettering is superb in this respect. She letters all of the word balloons and yet they don’t look repetitive and out of place. As with the colours in Jean Grey’s one-page story, the font appears to homage that used in many X-titles within this era of comics. 

Women of Marvel #1 is a fabulous display of talent. Each story stands out on its own irrespective of how long they are. All of the brilliant creators involved seem to have had a lot of fun in the construction of the comic strips, and that radiates out of the pages. These are incredibly enjoyable asides to main stories that show off the amazing variety of characters that Marvel has at its disposal. 

Women of Marvel #1 is available where comics are sold.

Women of Marvel #1
5

TL;DR

Women of Marvel #1 is a fabulous display of talent. Each story stands out on its own irrespective of how long they are. All of the brilliant creators involved seem to have had a lot of fun in the construction of the comic strips, and that radiates out of the pages. These are incredibly enjoyable asides to main stories that show off the amazing variety of characters that Marvel has at its disposal.