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Marvel Comics Introduces Ms. Marvel, A New Muslim American Teenage Superhero

Submitted by on November 8, 2013 – 11:29 amNo Comment

There’s a new superhero in town and she’s not at all who you may think.

Like many female superheroes before her, Kamala Khan was once a normal 16-year-old teenager with boy problems and strict parents. But Kamala is Muslim and that makes her unlike any other superhero of her time. In February of next year, Marvel Comics has announced the introduction of Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American teenager with powers from New Jersey.

The idea spawned from a conversation between Marvel editors Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker. “I was telling him some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim-American,” Ms. Amanat told The New York Times. “He found it hilarious.”

According to NYT, “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.”

The addition of the new Ms. Marvel will add some much needed diversity to the realm of comic book heroes. “I wanted Ms. Marvel to be true-to-life, something real people could relate to, particularly young women,” said series writer G. Willow Wilson, who is a convert to Islam. “High school was a very vivid time in my life, so I drew heavily on those experiences—impending adulthood, dealing with school, emotionally charged friendships that are such a huge part of being a teenager. It’s for all the geek girls out there, and everybody else who’s ever looked at life from the fringe.”

And while the creators are optimistic that Ms. Marvel will be able to kick butt and take names with the best of them, they are expecting some sort of negative response.  “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.”

But Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso isn’t worried and stands behind his new superhero. “At her core, Kamala is just a 16-year-old girl,” he says, “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.”

That adventure begins with Ms.Marvel’s debut in January’s “All-New Marvel NOW! Point One Comic Book,” before starting her own series the following month. Are you ready to marvel at Ms. Marvel?

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