x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Marvel Comics brings Ms Marvel back as Muslim teenager

This is Ms Marvel, a 16-year-old named Kamala Khan, who can grow and shrink her limbs and body.

The new monthly Ms. Marvel is debuting as part of the Company’s popular All-New Marvel NOW! initiative. AP Photo / Marvel Comics
The new monthly Ms. Marvel is debuting as part of the Company’s popular All-New Marvel NOW! initiative. AP Photo / Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics is bringing Ms Marvel back as Kamala Khan, the 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City.

The character – among the first to be a series protagonist who is both female and Muslim – is part of Marvel Entertainment’s efforts to reflect a growing diversity among its readers while staying contemporary much like it has since the creation of Spider-Man and the X-Men in the early 1960s.

The writer G Willow Wilson and the artist Adrian Alphona, working with the editor Sana Amanat, say the series reflects Khan’s vibrant but kinetic world, learning to deal with superpowers, family expectations and adolescence.

“I wanted Ms Marvel to be something young women could relate to. High school was a 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,” said Wilson, a convert to Islam, whose previous comics work includes the graphic novel Cairo and the series Air.

This Ms Marvel can grow and shrink her limbs and her body and, ultimately, she’ll be able to shape shift into other forms.

Last autumn, DC Comics relaunched its Green Lantern series with Simon Baz, an Arab-American and Muslim. The character reflects the writer Geoff Johns’s Lebanese ancestry and his upbringing in the Detroit area. There have been a few others: Marvel Comics has Dust, a young Afghan woman whose mutant ability to manipulate sand and dust has been part of the popular X-Men books. In late 2010, DC Comics introduced Nightrunner, a young Muslim hero of Algerian descent brought up in Paris. – AP