Marvel Entertainment and Simon & Schuster subsidiary Gallery Books Group have partnered to create a line of non-fiction books exploring the history and legacy of Marvel Comics, starting with Super Visible: The Story of the Women of Marvel from writers Margaret Stohl and Judy Stephens.
Stohl is a long-time Marvel writer, both for comic books and other media such as video games and prose novels. She's best known for her run on Captain Marvel, exploring Carol Danvers' secret Kree history.
Meanwhile, Stephens is the co-creator, producer, and co-host of the fan-favorite Women of Marvel podcast, which has developed an entire fan community of its own including a tradition of well-loved and well-attended convention panels showcasing the female creators and characters of Marvel Comics.
"Super Visible: The Story of the Women of Marvel will tell the journey of the groundbreaking women at the House of Ideas from 1939 through today, with unprecedented access to essays, stories, images, and over 120 exclusive interviews with women and non-binary Marvel creators, writers, actors, and more, including the incredible leading women of the Marvel Cinematic Universe," reads Marvel and Gallery Books' announcement.
Stohl, whose Captain Marvel run culminated in the limited series The Life of Captain Marvel which explored the origins and history of Carol Danvers in a new, updated light, states that Super Visible represents the "real story" she's been waiting to tell since she began working for Marvel.
"My first Marvel job was writing Spider-Man for the original PlayStation in 2000. Twenty-one years later, I've written my way through most of the major Marvel canon, in everything from comics and novels to games," Stohl states in the announcement.
"I've sat in the Marvel Creative Council and been in the room where it happens," she continues. "It's an honor to finally get to tell the real story of everything I've seen behind the scenes - particularly the story of the women, the fantastically talented, ambitious, brilliantly creative Women of Marvel, who do so much and yet are so often overlooked in what is seen as a largely male-driven community."
As for Stephens, she states that co-authoring Super Visible is part of the culmination of her "monumental journey" exploring the history of women in Marvel Comics.
"In 2006, when I first started at Marvel, I never knew I would find an amazing family and be able to tell the stories of the women who have come before me," states Stephens. "The story told has been that women didn't read comics or work in the industry, but we've always been here. Working on this book has been a monumental journey as we look to tell the story of the many women and non-binary contributors to the Marvel Universe."
Super Visible: The Story of the Women of Marvel is only the first of what is planned as a series of non-fiction books relating to the history of Marvel Comics. Though none of the other planned titles have been announced, Marvel vice president of licensed publishing Sven Larsen hints at a wide variety of topics to be covered.
"Building on years of Marvel history and the continued decades-long success of How to Draw Comics The Marvel Way – one of our most referenced and iconic Marvel books to date – we're excited to work with Simon & Schuster again to continue evolving that legacy," Larsen states. "Our plans with Gallery Books have something for every kind of Marvel fan, and we can't wait to share more about our upcoming titles for next year."
The history of women behind the scenes at Marvel Comics is integral to the publisher's expansion through the 20th century - and to the growth of the direct market comic book industry in general. Perhaps Super Visible will explore the story of Marvel Comics' Carol Kalish, whose work as a 'retail ambassador' for the publisher helped bring Marvel Comics to totally new markets and helped form the basis of the burgeoning direct market.
"Collaborating with the amazing people in the 'House of Ideas' means the best kind of storytelling, successfully capturing that much-sought-after 'oh wow' factor," adds Ed Schlesinger, senior editor, and licensing manager of Gallery Books Group. "We think Marvel fans and comics enthusiasts everywhere are going to be delighted and enlightened at what this creative partnership has in store for readers."
Super Visible: The History of the Women of Marvel is due out in 2022.
Marvel Comics has a long history of superheroines - many of whom are among the best female superheroes of all time.