NY Daily News: Marvel Comics is adding some needed color to the world of costumed superheroes.
The publisher announced it’s introducing a new Muslim superheroine, a revamped Ms. Marvel, whose secret identity is that of a Pakistani-American teenager from Jersey City.
Sixteen-year-old Kamala Khan is the brainchild of writer G. Willow Wilson, an Islamic convert herself, and Muslim editor Sana Amanat in an effort to reach out to segments of the comic book reading public that haven’t had their own heroes.
“At her core, Kamala is just a 16-year-old girl, exploring the many facets of her identity when she is suddenly bestowed with super-human powers that send her on the adventure of a lifetime,” Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said in a release.
Khan will debut in January’s “All-New Marvel NOW! Point One Comic Book” before kicking off her own “Ms. Marvel” series a month later. The creators promised the title would focus as much on her interaction with her more traditional parents as it would with battles with super villains.
“Any time you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk,” Wilson told the New York Times. “You’re trying to bring the audience on board, and they are used to seeing something else in the pages of a comic book.”
Khan’s introduction comes a year after rival publisher DC Comics introduced its own major Muslim character — a Green Lantern from Dearborn, Mich., named Simon Baz.
“It continued to reinforce that our readership is extremely diverse, so we want to continue to diversify the characters in our universe,” creator Geoff Johns, himself a Lebanese American from Dearborn, told the Daily News at the time.
From the NY Times:
Kamala, whose family is from Pakistan, has devotedly followed the career of the blond, blue-eyed Carol Danvers, who now goes by Captain Marvel, a name she inherited from a male hero. When Kamala discovers her powers, including the ability to change shape, she takes on the code name Ms. Marvel — what Carol called herself when she began her superhero career.
Kamala will face struggles outside her own head, including conflicts close to home. “Her brother is extremely conservative,” Ms. Amanat said. “Her mom is paranoid that she’s going to touch a boy and get pregnant. Her father wants her to concentrate on her studies and become a doctor.” Next to those challenges, fighting supervillains may be a respite.
Gee, I wonder if her super powers will include fighting the challenges against rape, acid throwing, honor killings, forced marriages, forced prostitution and the buying and selling of women? Somehow I doubt it.