Some of the best Marvel Comics of all time were written by women. These comics show classic characters in a new light and explore real-life issues that other comics haven’t addressed. Many women writers have contributed to Marvel by writing original storylines that help modernize outdated characters and reintroduce them to future generations.
There are a vast number of talented women writing comics for many different publishers today, Marvel included. Without these comics and writers, heroes like Ms. Marvel or America Chavez might not have been deemed interesting enough or have enough storylines to be included in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, let alone have their own series on Disney+.
10 Phoenix Song Echo (2021) – Rebecca Roanhorse
Penciled by Luca Maresca and colored by Carlos Lopez
Phoenix Song Echo is a solo series for Echo after she is chosen as an avatar for the legendary Phoenix Force. Rebecca Roanhorse spins a dramatic story as Echo tries to figure out why she was chosen as the avatar, as she only sees herself as a street fighter.
Echo goes on a journey to discover her self-worth and slowly learns the secrets of her new power. Phoenix Song Echo digs into Echo’s Cheyenne culture while featuring the classic comic book arc of learning and honing her capabilities to become the best that she can be.
9 Ironheart (2018) – Eve Ewing
Penciled and inked by Kevin Libranda and Luciano Vecchio, colored by Matt Milla
Eve Ewing gave Riri Williams her first solo comic with the Ironheart series of comics. The comic takes Riri away from her team, the Champions, and shows her capabilities to adapt and create without her mentors and friends like Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, and Miles Morales.
Ironheart has to grapple with her place in Tony Stark’s shadow and everything that comes with being a young adult in Chicago. The comic will likely come into play in the Ironheart show coming to the next phase of the MCU.
8 Black Widow Vol. 4 (2010) – Marjorie Liu
Black Widow has been one of the leading female heroes in Marvel for a long time. However, Marjorie Liu wrote one of the best series starring Black Widow in 2010. Black Widow Vol. 4 contains characters that fans are familiar with, like Iron Man and Bucky Barnes, but also new villains for Black Widow to test her mettle against.
Liu’s take on Natasha Romanoff shows just how powerful of a super spy she is. Romanoff didn’t take center stage in the MCU until 2021’s Black Widow, which was set up to fail by being released to streaming and not in theaters. However, this 2010 comic puts her in an even bigger spotlight than other comics and the MCU. The comic explores what it means for Natasha to be vulnerable and how she can save herself from a secret villain that wants to see her fall.
7 Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal (2014) – G. Willow Wilson
Art by Jake Wyatt and Adrian Alphona
G. Willow Wilson introduced the world to Kamala Khan in 2014 in her debut comic, Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 No Normal. No Normal explores what life is like for a teenager who idolizes superheroes to get powers and work alongside Avengers like Wolverine who she looks up to. But as with other Marvel Heroes, Kamala is distracted by the standard parts of life, like getting heartbroken and not wanting to let her favorite heroes down.
The comic presents a unique conflict as Ms. Marvel goes head to head with the hybrid-bird-clone Thomas Edison and his plot to weaponize disaffected teens. This allows Kamala to step up and show herself as a valuable hero to The Avengers and explore how her powers can help keep Jersey City safe.
6 What If…? Vol 1. #27 (1981) – Jo Duffy
Penciled by Jerry Bingham, inked by John Stuart, and colored by Carl Gafford
What If…? is one of Marvel’s most popular series, and Jo Duffy contributed to the series with a new X-Men story. The comic questions what would have happened if Dark Phoenix had never died and the impact that would have had on the X-Men.
Jo Duffy explored every avenue of what could have happened to Jean Grey while breaking fans’ hearts by killing some of the most popular characters in the series, including Jean Grey’s husband Cyclops and Magneto’s daughter Polaris. This all happens when Jean is engulfed by the Phoenix Force once again. This expanded on the Dark Phoenix Saga and the various outcomes the series could have had. Duffy has been a prominent name in comics, but What If…? Vol 1. #27 was one of the best examples of her creativity.
5 Beware The Claws Of The Cat #1 (1972) – Linda Fite
Penciled and colored by Marie Severin, inked by Wally Wood
In 1972 Marvel capitalized on the second wave of feminism by releasing three new comic series about female heroes by women writers (Source LitHub). The introduction of Greer Nelson as the Cat marked the first woman hero written by a woman for the comic giant. Unlike other female heroes of the time, Beware The Claws Of The Cat #1 didn’t start with the hero being the sidekick to a male hero or a gender swap of an existing hero.
Lina Fite wrote Greer Nelson with new motivations for the period and showcased a hero that felt free without a husband rather than falling apart in grief when he died. Beware The Claws Of The Cat #1 still holds up today as an influential feminist comic.
4 A-Force Vol. 1 (2015) – G. Willow Wilson And Marguerite Bennett
Penciled and inked by Jorge Molina, colored by Laura Martin
Secret Wars has been a must-read in Marvel Comics for a long time, but it also brought about the A-Force series, which proved to be just as good. A-Force presented an all-female Avengers roster, similar to what fans saw in Avengers: Endgame but on a bigger scale.
The storyline written by Wilson and Bennett flowed easily alongside Secret Wars and put a new spotlight on characters that hadn’t been highlighted in big series crossovers, including Dazzler and Medusa. With She-Hulk as the leader of A-Force, the comic could easily be adapted into the MCU in the near future, which would be a delight to fans who loved the series.
3 Captain Marvel Omnibus (2022) – Kelly Sue Deconnick
Captain Marvel has come a long way from being an underrated secondary hero to taking on the Marvel universe’s most powerful villains. Kelly Sue Deconnick helped change the character’s identity and develop her into a more powerful presence.
Captain Marvel Omnibus shows the change in Carol Danvers, including her involvement in an intergalactic war that tests the limits of her powers. The bind-up shows how Captain Marvel interacts with other Marvel heroes like Spider-Man and The Avengers, which wasn’t delved into during her time with The Avengers in the MCU.
2 Jen Walters Must Die (2016) – Mariko Tamaki
She-Hulk has gained a reputation for being one of the best gender-flipped heroes in Marvel. Mariko Tamaki highlighted the complexities of Jen Walters in the Jen Walters Must Die story arc. In this story, The Leader returns and sets his sights on She-Hulk.
Tamaki wrote She-Hulk when she was in her grey phase, which took away some of the comic’s funny quips and meta elements, making it more serious and dark. In the grey phase, Jen Walters is her own worst enemy and may destroy herself thanks to The Leader’s influence. By showing a new side to She-Hulk, Mariko Tamaki established that Jen Walters could be more than the comedic relief in the Marvel Universe and was just as emotionally complex as other characters.
1 America Vol. 1: The Life And Times Of America Chavez (2017) – Gabby Rivera
America #1 The Life And Times Of America Chavez kicked off America Chavez’s first solo comic series. The comic discusses the differences between a hero feeling satisfied with their super heroics versus their personal life. America Chavez has to find a balance in her life outside the Young Avengers and the Ultimates.
One of the unique elements that Rivera included was fans recognizing America, adding another obstacle to America’s life. The comic features Chavez teaming up with WWII-era Captain America to show how she can move through time and better explains her powers and how they can be utilized in the multiverse.
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