Marvel Comics got a boatload of attention recently for its upcoming relaunch of Spider-Woman, but not for any reasons they liked. Now the company’s editor-in-chief is trying to clear the air.
Marvel’s Axel Alonso opened up in an interview with Comic Book Resources about Milo Manaro’s variant cover for the new Spider-Woman launch, and apologized for any “mixed messaging” that fans and the general public might’ve interpreted because of it. The cover has become a lightning rod in recent days, with many media outlets and fans alike calling out the company.
Alonso says they would not have used that artwork as the main cover, but felt comfortable issuing it for collectors as a variant. Here’s an excerpt from his mea culpa:
“We always listen to fans' concerns so we can do better by them. We want everyone -- the widest breadth of fans -- to feel welcome to read ‘Spider-Woman.’ We apologize -- I apologize -- for the mixed messaging that this variant caused.
And that's what this cover is. It's a limited edition variant that is aimed at collectors. While we would not have published this as the main cover to the book, we were comfortable publishing this as a variant that represented one artist's vision of the character -- a world-renowned artist whose oeuvre is well-known to us, and to collectors. It is not the official cover for the issue. It is a collector's item that is set aside or special ordered by completists -- and it doesn't reflect the sensibility or tone of the series any more than the Skottie Young variant or Rocket and Groot ‘Spider-Woman' variants. If you open up the book, you'll see that this series has everything in common with recent launches we've done, like ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Ms. Marvel’ and ‘She-Hulk’ and "Captain Marvel." It's about the adventures of two women that have complete agency over their lives, and that are defined by what they do, not how they look.
We're far from perfect, but we're trying. It's been a priority for me as EIC to make our line and our publishing team more inclusive. We're at an industry high of around 30 percent female in editorial group, about 20 percent of our line is comics starring women, and our Senior Manager of Talent, Jeanine Schaefer, actively looks to bring more female writers and artists into the fold each month. In fact, very soon we'll be announcing new series and creators that I'm very excited about.”
We absolutely agree that Marvel is pushing the boundary these days in regard to strong female characters — and this cover seems to be more an odd step than the sign of a systemic problem. But at least the company has the guts to, mostly, face the music when they feel they've made a mistake.
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)