Marvel has announced that the new heroine in the “Ms. Marvel” series will be Kamala Khan, a 16-year old Muslim girl from New Jersey.
image from Marvel
Khan is a Pakistani American teenager who discovers her superpowers after the events of “Infinity.” Her powers include shape-shifting abilities according to Marvel, and she takes on the title of Ms. Marvel because her idol is Carol Danvers, who used the name before she became Captain Marvel.
G. Willow Wislon will write the series. In a press release Sana Amanat the series editor said
“The inspiration for the new ‘Ms. Marvel’ series stemmed out of a desire to explore the Muslim-American diaspora from an authentic perspective and yet, this story isn’t about what it means to be a Muslim, Pakistani or American. Those are just cultural touchstones that reflect the ever changing world we live in today.”
image from Marvel
You can read Marvel’s full Q&A here.
I first heard about this from my wife who was watching one of her social/entertainment shows and they brought it up. She asked me, “Why are people freaking out about Marvel’s first Muslim hero?” I had to ask for more clarification and discovered that people were assuming that this new series will be about Marvel’s first Muslim hero and one of Marvel’s first series with a female lead.
For the comic book fans out there, you will understand why this upset me. Marvel has female heroes and Islamic heroes; this is not new. There are plenty of Marvel series with a female as the lead, “Captain Marvel” is one of them. What is new, however, is that this is the first comic series with a Muslim female with her own series from Marvel. The other Muslim heroines do not have their own series, but are characters that we see time and time again in comics. I can understand the confusion from the news sources my wife was watching simply because comics aren’t one of the things they normally talk about.
So just to set the record straight, here are two of the most obvious precedents for Marvel’s new series.
M: Her real name is Monet St. Croix, her powers include superhuman strength, speed, reflexes, and healing powers. M was first introduced in “Uncanny X-Men” in 1994 and is a Muslim woman from North Africa.
Dust: Real name is Sooraya Qadir, her powers are that she can turn herself into a sand-like substance. When we first met Dust in the pages of “New X-Men” back in 2002 slave traders had kidnapped her. Using her powers she flayed them alive and was later found by the X-Men joining their ranks and becoming one of my favorite mutants at “Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters.”
Read their full bios at Marvel’s Universe Wiki by clicking on their names above.
I have never read any of the Ms. Marvel or Captain Marvel comics myself, but I have always enjoyed her in the "Avengers" comics. I'm pretty excited to see how they will incorperate the new Ms. Marvel into the universe and think it would pretty sweet to see some awsome mentor moments.
Ms. Marvel will hit shelves in February 2014