Who Really Is Marvel’s First Black Female Writer?

So, who is actually the first Black woman to write for Marvel? That’s the question being posed after Roxane Gay was celebrated as the first.

But then questions started to pop up…

In an article written on The Blerdgurl, it reported that Nilah Magruder is the first Black woman of record to write for Marvel Comics.

Magruder is a comic book writer, animator and illustrator and won an award for her work before writing for Marvel. She wrote a one-off comic for Marvel, which was published digitally, about the adventures of Tippy and Rocket.

Magruder’s work is being diminished for many reasons…

  • She’s not writing about Black superheroes (as Roxane Gay is)
  • Her work is one edition and not part of an on going series (as Roxane Gay’s work will be)
  • Magruder’s comic was published digitally (but Roxane Gay’s will be published both digitally and physically)

At the end of the day, arguing about who should wear “The First” tag takes away from the main issue…

That in its 77-year history (founded in 1939), Marvel Comics waits until 2016 to hire its first three Black female writers (if we include Yona Harvey as well since she’s joining Gay in writing for the Black Panther companion series World Of Wakanda). With the number of Black fans, it should not have taken this long.

But as Blerdgurl states, this should not diminish the achievements of both Magruder, Gay and Harvey…

If [Marvel Comics] are legitimately trying to make changes we have to acknowledge that and then spend our money on those titles otherwise, those changes won’t be permanent. At the end of the day, I’m really happy that black women are finally getting a chance to shine on the main stage and I too send my congrats to Nilah MaGruder, Roxane Gay and Yona Harvey for being amazing writers and creators and getting recognition for their achievements.  I look forward to reading all of their work and I’m honestly hoping that they aren’t Highlanders and that we will see more women of color writing comics at Marvel, DC and other comic book companies like Image, Vertigo, and the smaller comic book outfits as well.