Asked & Answered with the Women of Marvel.com
Close out Women's History Month with the editors of Marvel.com!
To close out Women’s History Month, we got the chance to speak with the super talented, all-women Marvel.com editorial team for Marvel Digital Media: Robyn Belt (she/her), manager, content editorial, Marvel Unlimited; Rachel Paige (she/her), editor; Meagan Damore (she/her), associate editor; Marika Hashimoto (she/her), associate editor; Faith D'Isa (she/her), assistant manager, audience development; and Christine Dinh (she/her), senior editor—and editor of this column.
There is a lot of caffeine consumed by this group. They are completely divided on whether or not they want to know the future. They are amazing Women of Marvel. And we had some questions for them.
We asked, they answered.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Marika Hashimoto: I make coffee.
Rachel Paige: I check my phone.
Robyn Belt: I check Slack or my phone.
Faith D’Isa: I'm usually a phone girl. I used to wake up and immediately go and play Mario Kart on my phone every morning. But I've gotten better at waking up and starting to read now because I've discovered I'm a better morning reader than an evening reader.
Meagan Damore: I definitely doom scroll a little bit.
Christine Dinh: Yeah, I either cycle through checking my work email, Slack or looking at the news on Twitter.
What was your favorite book/movie/TV show as a kid?
Christine Dinh: I haven't heard anyone ever talk about it, but the book series I was really obsessed with was about the Wayside School, like Wayside School is Falling Down and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. And I don't know why I was allowed to read it as young as I did, but I read a lot of Fear Street books in elementary school. As for TV shows, it was definitely Sailor Moon and Batman Beyond.
Robyn Belt: Oh my god, Batman Beyond was awesome. Yeah, I loved X-Men: Evolution and X-Men: The Animated Series. And then for books, there were these historical fictions that were like princess diaries of real-life princesses, and all these powerful historical figures and I loved those.
Meagan Damore: I have to second X-Men: Evolution. That was my big one. Then, for books, I admit Harry Potter was a big part of my personality — not so much anymore. Also, the Tamora Pierce books: Tortall and Circle of Magic. Anything by Tamora Pierce.
Faith D’Isa: A lot of them are the big broad, like everyone I was into Harry Potter. I was into Pokémon, as was anyone with common sense. My big specific one was A Series of Unfortunate Events, which I think explains a lot about me as an adult. I go back and re-read them now, and I'm like, that was a little dark for me to be reading at the ages that I was reading it. I was also a big Beauty and the Beast kid; Belle was the OG for me. Again, all this — the Series of Unfortunate Events and Belle — just ties back into how I was a book kid. I was a big ‘brains above all’ kind of nerd.
Rachel Paige: I was obsessed with Animorphs, like to a stupid degree, and I thought I could become one. That was part of my childhood.
Faith D’Isa: What animal would you be if you were an Animorph, Rachel?
Rachel Paige: I just kept trying to get powers from my dog at the time. I would pet her for a long time and be like, I can become my dog.
Christine Dinh: Did you ever watch the show? Because Shawn Ashmore.
Rachel Paige: I did watch the show with Shawn Ashmore! I feel like that's why Bobby Drake became one of my first mutant crushes because I recognized him.
Marika Hashimoto: I actually just re-watched one of my favorite films last night, Kiki's Delivery Service. I watched all the Studio Ghibli films [as a kid]. It got me very emotional, it’s still so good. I also used to watch all the Disney movies. I distinctly remember when I had my first piano recital. I was terrified and had to be bribed into performing by a VHS copy of The Little Mermaid. And that was my first Disney movie. I was traumatized when I read the real story about The Little Mermaid; it's very different from the Disney version.
What is your favorite book/movie/TV show now?
Faith D’Isa: I would be completely off-brand if I didn't point out that yesterday was the seven year anniversary of the greatest film of all time — the 2015 adaptation of Cinderella with Lily James and Richard Madden. It's my favorite movie, ever. It's perfect because I was not a Cinderella kid, and that movie made Cinderella my favorite princess because it kept her story and gave her agency. Obviously, I like WandaVision and Stranger Things, but Cinderella (2015) is it, and it turned seven yesterday, which is crazy because I feel like I saw it in theaters yesterday.
Robyn Belt: This is a tough one. I was so late to the Star Trek: The Next Gen-fold and then I became a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan. I think that that's actually my current favorite.
Christine Dinh: I've just been really into soft content lately. I've been reading a lot of romance novels, and I started a Percy Jackson reading club with a group of us on the team. As for TV shows, basically, the Brits have it down with Great British Bake Off and the Great Pottery Throwdown. Oh, and I can’t forget Summer Camp Island, which basically kept me together these past few months.
Rachel Paige: I just re-watch a lot of TV, always all the time. My favorite show is Lost, so I'm just constantly re-watching clips and scenes from that…If I'm going to watch all of it, I have to start at the beginning and watch it all the way through. I try and stop myself from doing that by only watching certain scenes.
Meagan Damore: I've always been a really big fantasy fan, so I'm obsessed with Shadow and Bone, the book series and the show, right now. Anything high fantasy, like The Witcher; I've been going through that pretty slow and love that.
Marika Hashimoto: I replaced all content during the pandemic with K-Pop. I did read a really good book recently called Kim Ji-young, Born 1982. It's about a South Korean woman who starts speaking in the voices of the many women in her life, both dead and alive. It talks a lot about the society she grew up with and the misogyny she encounters. It was really thought-provoking.
Super-power of choice?
Rachel Paige: I want to fly.
Meagan Damore: I'd teleport. I love to travel, but I hate the actual act of traveling, so I would want long-range teleportation.
Faith D’Isa: Probably some form of telekinesis; it'd be completely off-brand for me not to pick that because most of these people know, no matter what the show or book, if there's a person who has like some sort of psychic or telekinetic abilities, they're probably my favorite character. Whether it's the most convenient or useful one? Probably not. But it would be completely off-brand if that's not what I went with.
Robyn Belt: Yeah. T.K. powers would be cool. I was thinking like Dani Moonstar; I would love a psychic rapport with animals.
Marika Hashimoto: I'd like the ability to start and stop time so that I can catch up on things. But different from time travel! I don't think I'd want to travel through time. I just want to hit pause every once in a while.
Robyn Belt: The power to delay a deadline.
Christine Dinh: Everyone always chooses like powers for good, but the power I would totally choose is mind control.
Faith D’Isa: Christine, I have no doubt in my mind that that's what you pick. That's a compliment. That's just completely on-brand for you.
Christine Dinh: I would bring about world peace by now, by way of oppressing the truly horrible people, of course.
What’s your late-night, I-have-to-post-this-piece-before-daylight, go-to snack?
Rachel Paige: I have a really bad habit of eating gummy bears and goldfish. Not necessarily together, but like I'll eat a bowl of gummy bears, and then eat goldfish, and then sometimes I'll go back to the gummy bears.
Faith D’Isa: I drink a lot of soda because I don't like or drink coffee. Soda is my go-to caffeine kick. Usually when I'm working late, you will find me with like three or four of these Cherry Vanilla Coke Zeros just piled up like discarded corpses on my desk.
Meagan Damore: OK, I'm glad I'm not the only non-coffee drinker in this group because I also do not like coffee. I do Diet Coke as well. But as far as snacks go, I'm limited. I have Celiac, so I'm limited in my range. So I usually go with popcorn or something like that.
Robyn Belt: I love the Sun Chips; like a whole bag of really salty chips.
Christine Dinh: Yeah, I like the sweet and salty combo, so always M&Ms and some type of chip.
Marika Hashimoto: I'm definitely a coffee person, and I keep an emergency stash of chocolate, and I did in the office as well.
Dog person, cat person, flerken-person, land shark-person, etc.?
Christine Dinh: Land shark.
Rachel Paige: I'm a dog person. All dogs all the way.
Faith D’Isa: I am also a dog person.
Meagan Damore: I'm a dog person.
Robyn Belt: I thought I was a dog person, and now I'm realizing I'm both cats and dogs.
Marika Hashimoto: Cats and dogs, but I'm deathly allergic to cats, so I go towards dogs who are less likely to kill me.
Rollercoaster or Merry-Go-Round?
Faith D’Isa: Merry-go-round.
Rachel Paige: Rollercoaster.
Meagan Damore: Rollercoaster.
Robyn Belt: Rollercoaster.
Christine Dinh: Neither because I would get motion sickness, and I'm also scared of roller coasters.
Marika Hashimoto: Neither because same.
Faith D’Isa: Rollercoasters are scary.
Snow or sand?
Faith D’Isa: Snow.
Meagan Damore: Yeah, snow.
Rachel Paige: This is really tough for me because I moved away from the snow, and I also hate sand. So let's go with snow.
Robyn Belt: Oh yeah, I hate sand. It's course and rough, so snow.
Christine Dinh: I also hate sand, it's glitter of the nature world. It's always, always everywhere. I would go with snow because it melts away.
Faith D’Isa: Like if snow gets where you don't want it, it'll eventually disappear. Sand is insidious and you're finding it seven months later.
Marika Hashimoto: I hate cold so I'm sand.
Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy?
Faith D’Isa: Jeopardy! I live at home still because student loans, and my parents and I watch Jeopardy every night. No question.
Meagan Damore: Jeopardy.
Rachel Paige: Jeopardy.
Marika Hashimoto: Jeopardy.
Robyn Belt: Jeopardy!
Salty or Sweet?
Christine Dinh: Both.
Meagan Damore: I'd have to say sweet.
Faith D’Isa: Sweet.
Rachel Paige: Yeah I'm going sweet.
Marika Hashimoto: I like salty
Robyn Belt: I like salty, too.
If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?
Christine Dinh: That life isn't a linear path. All the things that I had laid out for myself; don’t worry about it because it all just goes out the window.
Faith D’Isa: That in 10 years, it's going to be really cool to be into comic books, so don't stress too much about everyone making fun of you for it.
Robyn Belt: Yeah. Similar to Faith, this will be good for Marvel trivia down the line. Keep reading!
Meagan Damore: I'd say you're in for a wild ride.
Rachel Paige: Yeah, I would say just take a deep breath and actually don't sweat the small stuff. It won't matter in a year.
Marika Hashimoto: I'd say travel as much as you can because you won't regret it.
Fortune Teller — Tell me everything or no thanks, I’ll be surprised.
Christine Dinh: Tell me everything.
Robyn Belt: Tell me everything. Maybe I can change it.
Faith D’Isa: No, thanks. I'd be surprised because if I was told things and I wanted to change it, then I would constantly be like, What is the decision I'm making now? Is it going to lead me to something different? My anxiety would go into overdrive. It's for the best I don't know.
Rachel Paige: I think, no thanks. I'll be surprised.
Meagan Damore: I'm with Faith and Rachel on that one, because I feel like I build moments up in my head, so if I know, I'm just going to make it worse.
Marika Hashimoto: There'd be too much anxiety if I knew what was going to happen.
What Marvel hero has your back in an event-culminating attack?
Faith D’Isa: Is it like who I want to have my back or who I genuinely believe has the best heart to be at my back?
Meagan Damore: If I go both, I'm going to say Nightcrawler.
Faith D’Isa: I knew you would.
Meagan Damore: Sorry. I know I'm predictable!
Faith D’Isa: I would say Scarlet Witch, so we're both predictable.
Marika Hashimoto: I would say X-23, and her whole family, if possible.
Robyn Belt: I think, Storm, because that's a lot of range.
Rachel Paige: I want to know what I did to get into this situation first before I know who's defending me from it. But I feel like knowing me and what I would probably would have done, I would say Spider-Man is going to swing in and help me figure this out.
Christine Dinh: Not my first choice, but I know the one who would keep at it until we're out of the situation would be Captain America. My first choice would be Silk, but that's just asking a lot for a person who's been in captivity for a decade.
Mantra or quote that keeps you going?
Christine Dinh: My mantra comes from a magazine I read nearly 20 years ago while in college about a parable of Chasing the Lion. It's just a story about a man who followed a lion into a pit not knowing the outcome and despite being afraid. It reminds me to go after things anyway; pursue anything and everything.
Faith D’Isa: Not to bring it all back to Cinderella (2015), the greatest movie of all time, but my mantra has always been the line from that, ‘Have courage and be kind.’ I was so convinced as a child I wanted to be nice to people and I have always tried to be nice to people. But growing up, you also have to realize there’s a balance – you have to be nice to people, but you also have to stand up for yourself and your values. Standing up for yourself doesn't mean me being a jerk to people, so it's like the perfect balance of things for me.
Rachel Paige: I don't know how corny this is, and I hate that I'm about to quote Shakespeare. I'm pretty sure it's from Othello. But the line is, “We lose it not, so long as we can smile.” All might be gone, but you still have the happy memories. That's just stuck with me for a long time.
Meagan Damore: It's Maya Angelou. The quote that goes, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That's what stands out to me in this moment.
Marika Hashimoto: There was a line that I once read and laughed at when I heard it, but it's kind of dark. It said, “The thing to do is not to die.” And it always makes me think that things are not that serious. Just try to survive each day. I also live by the mantra, “Life goes on.”
Robyn Belt: This is like maybe more of a personal mantra. We don't just have to tolerate or accept each other's differences, but embrace them. Or celebrate them.
Best thing about being a Woman of Marvel?
Christine Dinh: The best thing is that the number of us is significantly higher than it was when I joined six years ago, and especially, when I joined the industry 15 years ago. The amount of power and voice and support we have now feels really great.
Faith D’Isa: I have to agree with that, and it's about the community. Listen, things have gotten better and better every year, but it's still based on public perception that it’s a man's industry and a man's interest. So having this wonderful enclave of women and non-binary folks, and folks who break the norm of what it's “supposed to be” as a comic book fan based on public perception…there's no right way to be a comic book fan, but people have stereotypes. It's been those forged-in-fire bonds.
Rachel Paige: I never could have imagined this job, even five years ago, 10 years ago, so it's just insane to think that everything I did got me here. And also, I like that we’re an all-women editorial team. I like thinking that gives other young women and non-binary people out there the inspiration and hope that they can do this too. It isn't a male-dominated field anymore.
Marika Hashimoto: I like thinking that I'm making space for more than one. It's not just me representing myself, but that by connecting with others on my team, getting others to work with us, we can increase the space in which we're heard.
Meagan Damore: I'm the newest member of the team. I've only been here for about a month, so I am still carving out my own space here, but I will say that it has been so welcoming and so nice, and I've never felt so relaxed coming into a job.
Robyn Belt: Yeah, our power in numbers kind of refutes the stereotype. Community. Unique perspective. I started seven years ago when I was one of two women on a team, so this is, you know, major.
MacKenzie Cadenhead (she/her) is a children’s book author and an old school (Read: former) Marvel editor — not old-old but let’s just say she knew Gwen Stacy when she was dead. She co-authors the "Marvel Super-Hero Adventures" chapter book series for young readers and is a proud Woman of Marvel. You can see what she’s up to over at Instagram @mackenziecadenhead.
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