Who was the first prominent Marvel woman that resonated with you as a fan?
Stephens: Mystique. I loved that she was weird, especially her skin color, and that she didn’t care. Plus I loved how she blurred the lines between hero and villain.
What about the first woman on the creative side that you connected with?
Roché: Louise Simonson.
Stephens: Christina Strain. I met her way back in the late 2000s when she was coloring RUNAWAYS, and she was the first creator that remembered my name, and always said hi when I went through artist alley. Plus we both did anime cons.
What steps did you take to get involved in comics?
Stephens: Although not my real intention to stay here for 14 years, I applied to be an intern here at Marvel in winter of 2006 because a friend suggested I would like Marvel per my passion for anime and Manga.
Roché: I mean, my path is really interesting. I actually went to law school and worked in politics before I started working at Marvel but I will say that even while working in politics I used my journalism degree to continue writing cultural and entertainment pieces about movies, TV, comics, and other topics "in genre" including pieces about some of my favorite Marvel characters. I obviously also continued being a huge fan of all things Marvel.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
Roché: Being able to work with and talk to the incredible artists and fans that make the Marvel Universe so special and unique.
Stephens: Being able to experience the impact that we can have on fans, from making fans into heroes on Marvel Make Me a Hero, or telling their stories on Marvel Becoming. It’s that moment at conventions and via social media that I realize what we do really matters.
How do you feel the presence of women characters and creators has improved at Marvel over the years? And more importantly, what still needs to happen?
Roché: The greatest thing about the Marvel Universe is that it is a reflection of possibility and I think the Marvel Universe continues to grow, evolve, and reflect the stories that readers relate to and love. That includes stories that give an in-depth perspective of women characters that are strong, powerful, complex, and fully actualized.
Stephens: I do believe we have made tremendous leaps over the many years, but we can only keep moving forward, especially as there are still so many more unique stories to be told.
The Women of Marvel podcast assembles to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes are released every other Thursday, co-hosted by Sana Amanat, Judy Stephens, and Angélique Roché. You can find Women of Marvel on Marvel.com/podcasts and Apple Podcasts.