Debut of a Female Muslim Superhero in February 2014

The New York Times recently reported of the introduction of a female Muslim superhero. In writer George Gene Gustine’s words:

“In February, as part of a continuing effort to diversify its offerings, Marvel Comics will begin a series whose lead character, Kamala Khan, is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City.”

[…]

“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.

“‘Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for,’ Ms. [G. Willow*] Wilson said. ‘She’s strong, beautiful and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different.’ ‘

[…]

“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.”

*Ms. Wilson is an author, comic book writer and convert to Islam, who will be writing the new Ms. Marvel.

Because not everyone who reads comics is white and/or male, and there are so many stories outside the white male Anglo-American perspective. More like this!

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