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Marvel Unveils Pakistani-American Teenage Girl Superhero

The new Ms. Marvel
The new Ms. Marvel (via marvel.com)

Marvel is launching a new solo superhero series, which in and of itself wouldn’t be that exciting — except the star will be a Muslim Pakistani-American teenage girl from New Jersey.

For those who stopped reading superhero comics around when they hit puberty, here’s a recap: the current Captain Marvel is a woman, Carol Danvers, who was formerly Ms. Marvel. Now that she’s assumed the coveted captain title, it’s time for a new Ms. Marvel, and the company has chosen (well, created) Kamala Khan, the teenage daughter of Pakistani immigrants. The series will be written by G. Willow Wilson, who, according to the New York Times, is a convert to Islam; drawn by Adrian Alphona; and the idea for it came from Sana Amanat, a Muslim-American editor at Marvel.

Khan won’t be the first Muslim comic-book character ever, but her introduction is novel for a number of reasons, offered by Andrew Wheeler at Comics Alliance:

The new Ms. Marvel will be the first Muslim character to get her own ongoing solo series at Marvel, one of a growing number of female solo leads, and the only person of color headlining a solo book in the Marvel Universe.

The only person of color!

Concept art by Alphona for the series (via comicsalliance.com)
Concept art by Alphona for the series (via comicsalliance.com)

Kamala will apparently struggle with her ethnic and religious identity and the feeling of being “different,” as well as a conservative brother, overbearing parents — and, you know, supervillains. It sounds almost like Buffy with a twist.

The new Ms. Marvel will be introduced in a comic called “All-New Marvel NOW! Point One,” coming out in January, and then starting as its own series in February, according to the LA Times. I, for one, am really looking forward. In the meantime, can anyone explain Ms. Marvel’s porcupine sidekick with Hulk-like green fists?

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