Seattle author creates Muslim comic book heroine
SEATTLE -- Mighty. Marvel. Muslim.
This brand new hero in her own solo book comes to the Marvel Universe this week.
Ms. Marvel is the code name now used by a teenage girl from New Jersey. When Kamala Khan develops shape-shifting powers, she decides to become a hero and adopts the code name once used by her favorite Avenger, Carol Danvers.
Writer G. Willow Wilson explains what makes this new Ms. Marvel different on Marvel.com:
"The Ms. Marvel mantle has passed to Kamala Khan, a high school student from Jersey City who struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. So in a sense, she has a 'dual identity' before she even puts on a super hero costume. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don't really understand what her home life is like.
This makes her tough and vulnerable at the same time. When you try to straddle two worlds, one of the first things you learn is that instead of defending good people from bad people, you have to spend a lot of time defending good people from each other. It's both illuminating and emotionally brutal. That's what makes this book different."
Kamala is part of a larger event - the Marvel Universe in the aftermath of Infinity and Inhumanity but the initial story is of the young hero at odds with herself.
"In the first arc, Kamala is her own primary obstacle. She has to grapple with overwhelming new powers, decide whether it's safe to tell anybody, and juggle becoming a teen super hero with the expectations of her conservative, Pakistani family.
It's an origin story in every sense of the word. She's so young-only 16-that the normal trials and tribulations of being in high school are still very much a part of her life, even as she's becoming something different and amazing. Crises. Kebabs. Coming-of-age. It's all there," Wilson said.
Runaways artist Adrian Alphona designed the new Ms. Marvel -- you can see more of Kamala's supporting cast here.
Wilson will appear at Emerald City Comicon 2014.
Kamala is the first Muslim character to star of her own comic book series. M (aka Monet St. Croix) is a Muslim of Algerian descent who was a member of Generation X and X-Factor and is now part of the all-female X-Men series. Dust is a young mutant from Afghanistan rescued by Wolverine and is now a student at the Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men comics. Last year DC Comics introduced Simon Baz, a Lebanese-American who became the Green Lantern for Earth.
Ms. Marvel #1 arrives Wednesday.