This past summer, the first cartoon series produced in Pakistan introduced a new superhero called the Burka Avenger, a schoolteacher fighting crime and protecting girls’ education. Now Marvel comics has stepped up with a brand new superhero series—Kamala Khan, will be taking on the mantle of Ms. Marvel now that her personal hero, Carol Danvers, has traded the moniker in for the title of Captain Marvel.
Kamala is a Muslim teenager growing up in New Jersey, and her emergence is another part of Marvel’s efforts to continue diversifying their comics. So what’s in store for her?
G. Willow Wilson, comics writer and convert to Islam, is going to be writing the series. She is excited for the project, though she knows it will inevitably create controversy. As she told The New York Times:
“Any time you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk. You’re trying to bring the audience on board and they are used to seeing something else in the pages of a comic book.”
Marvel editor Sana Amanat is also bracing for the reaction:
“I do expect some negativity, not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”
Kamala’s heritage will not be glossed over in the series—many of her struggles will come from the home, her Pakistani family, and her feelings of being different from other teenagers around her. It’s possible that becoming a superhero will be a welcome break from her life. Her faith will also be a component of the story, with Wilson acknowledging that often becoming a superpowered person leads to challenging the rules one has set for their life.
Kamala’s powers include the ability to change shape, perhaps a bit like Mr. Fantastic? No word yet on how these powers develop or why.
All in all, an exciting beginning for a brand new comic! We hope to see more about Kamala Khan soon….