On Sunday, July 23rd, The Women of Marvel panel came back on the stage. It is based on the popular podcast, the panel discussed what it is like for women working in the industry today and what is next for Marvel’s women-led projects. The panel included Sarah Brunstad (editor), Sana Amanat (executive producer, Marvel Studios’ Ms. Marvel), Jessica Malloy (VP of digital media marketing), Charlie Jane Anders (New Mutants: Lethal Legion), and Jody Houser (Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi). 

A recap was shared by this site. Here are some highlights: 

> In September, the new season of The Women of Marvel podcast returns.> They discussed Escapade, a trans mutant featured in New Mutants. 

“Mutants have always been a metaphor for people who feel rejected and stigmatized by society. Escapade and these other characters are mutants, but they are also other things that are also stigmatized. It was such a gift getting to write and explore that” – Charlie Jane Anders. When talking about Marvel Unlimited Infinity Comics, which started less than two years ago in a vertical format, it was a way to show great content on smartphones. Since its launch, they have over 800 comics on the platform. 

> New installments of Marvel Unlimited are coming at the end of July, and they released that Marvel Meow will be following the animals in the Marvel Universe. Jody Houser gave advice on how to build an engaging story, “Think of the character most ill-equipped to be in the situation because they will have the most challenges.”

Image from: https://aiptcomics.com/2023/07/23/women-of-marvel-panel-spider-gwen-obi-wan/

> The big announcement that was featured on most recaps was the limited series, Spider-Gwen on Tour, written by Melissa Flores with art by Enid Balam, which will be on sale in December. 

> More details were shared about the November release of Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi #3, written by Jody Houser, and art by Salvador Larroca. 

> After working on the title Renew Your Vows, Jody Houser and Gerry Conway are teaming up for What If – Dark Spider-Gwen. Houser said she loves alternate universe stories because “you can do almost anything and kill almost anyone.”

And here are some highlights from the Q&A portion: 

Question – how do you deal with internet backlash? Melissa Flores: “You have to focus on your own voice and avoid those negative opinions. Have fun, and love what you’re doing. If you love the franchise, the fans will love it with you.”

A fan thanked Marvel for having a meaningful representation of a Pakistani lead. Sana Amanat said she was happy and believes this sort of diverse representation will only get better and more normalized. 

There was also a question about portraying different disabilities, not just physical but invisible, in comics. Jody Houser shared she hopes to have more portrayals, “I’m actually someone who got diagnosed with ADHD during the pandemic because the systems we put in place collapsed.” Sarah Brunstad agreed and added, “People who are neurodivergent tell different stories because our brains are not like everyone else.” 


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