If you’re a fan of strong, female role models, you don’t need to look any further than Marvel’s newest superhero! In its effort to diversify their league of heroes, Marvel has announced a new lead character
: Kamala Khan, a New Jersey Muslim teenager.
G. Willow Wilson, an author, comic artist, and convert to Islam, was eager to start the project once she heard the news. Marvel will bring her on board as the head writer for Khan’s new series.
“Anytime you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk,” Wilson said. “You’re trying to bring the audience on board and they are used to seeing something else on the pages of a comic book.”
Kamala Khan is said to be a devoted fan of Carol Danvers, the second superhero to take on the name of Captain Marvel. When Khan discovers her powers, she will take up the name Ms. Marvel in tribute to her hero.
“Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for. She’s strong, beautiful, and doesn’t have any baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different’.”
Khan will face the challenges of any superhero with a double identity. At home, she will have to handle her brother’s conservatism, her father’s dreams for her to become a doctor, and her mother’s fear that she will shake a boy’s hand and become pregnant. After all that, fighting a bad guy or two would help anyone blow off some steam.
The project’s creative team knows that not everyone will be happy with Khan’s character. “I do expect some negativity, not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”
However, Wilson reveals that she doesn’t want this project to turn into something evangelical. She wants to portray a superhero who struggles between family, religion, and their powers. With a whopper combo like that on your shoulders, even Superman might break a few rules.
Kamala Khan joins the Marvel line-up of non-white superheroes. As Ms. Marvel, she will join Elektra and She-Hulk as female superheroes with their own individual series in the coming year.