Meet Kamala Khan; the New Teenage, Shape-Shifting, Muslim Ms. Marvel

There’s no doubt the Marvel NOW! soft relaunch has benefited the publisher and its characters, and none more so than Carol Danvers, former Ms. Marvel recently promoted to Captain Marvel. Her solo title from Kelly Sue Deconnick has not only sold well but established a strong fan following, the Carol Corps. And it’s a fanbase that exists not only in our reality but within in the Marvel-verse as well. One of Captain Marvel’s biggest fans is Kamala Khan, a young Pakistani-American Muslim who upon discovering her shape-shifting abilities takes on the title, Ms. Marvel, in tribute to her favorite hero.

Soon to appear in her own book written by G. Willow Wilson, Kamala is a New Jersey youth longing for acceptance. (Aren’t we all.) Speaking with the New York Times, Wilson said,

Anytime you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk. You’re trying to bring the audience on board and they are used to seeing something else in the pages of a comic book. Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for, she’s strong, beautiful, and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different.’

Editor Sana Amanat, a Muslim-American herself and co-creator of the idea for a new Ms. Marvel with fellow editor Steve Wacker, clarified,

It’s also sort of like when I was a little girl and wanted to be Tiffani Amber Thiessen [from Saved by the Bell]. 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.

Kamala’s experiences as a Muslim-American will indeed be explored in Ms. Marvel, but it won’t be the series’ sole focus. Wilson, a convert to Islam herself, added the book will explore, “the universal experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.” A theme Marvel is well acquainted with.

No artist was announced when Wilson and Amanat spoke with the NYTimes, but since then Newsarama reached out to Marvel and learned Adrian Alphona, co-creator of Runaways with Brian K. Vaughn, will be the artist when the series debuts in February 2014.

What do you think, Kabooooomers? I’m all for more positive representations of Muslims in media, and of course, more diversity among supers to boot. Plus, her costume design is adorable! I imagine it’ll be cosplayed aplenty at conventions very soon. Welcome to the Carol Corps, Kamala!

Ms. Marvel will first debut in January’s All-New Marvel NOW! Point One. Make sure you add it to your pull!

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