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Marvel Comics Debuts Female Muslim Superhero

Offbeat  (tags: Marvel comics, superhero, female superhero, muslim superhero, Ms.Marvel )

- 1655 days ago -
Marvel Comics is bringing Ms. Marvel back as a 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City named Kamala Khan. The character - among the first to be a series protagonist who is both a woman and Muslim - is part of Marvel

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Beatrice B (112)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 9:27 am
Marvel Comics is bringing Ms. Marvel back as a 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City named Kamala Khan.

The character - among the first to be a series protagonist who is both a woman and Muslim - is part of Marvel Entertainment's efforts to reflect a growing diversity among its readers while keeping ahold of the contemporary relevance that have underlined its foundation since the creation of Spider-Man and the X-Men in the early 1960s.

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

Amanat calls the series a "desire to explore the Muslim-American diaspora from an authentic perspective" and what it means to be young and lost amid expectations by others while also telling the story of a teenager coming to grips with having amazing powers.

"I wanted Ms. Marvel to be true-to-life, something real people could relate to, particularly young women. High school was a very 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 Willow, whose previous comics work includes Vertigo's "Cairo" and the series "Air."

"It's for all the geek girls out there and everybody else who's ever looked at life from the fringe."

She can grow and shrink her limbs and her body and, Willow said, ultimately, she'll be able to shape shift into other forms.

The idea came after a discussion with senior editor Stephen Wacker as they compared stories about growing up.

From there it germinated into a "character for all those little girls who are growing up now the way you are growing up," she recalled. Wilson was brought on board to write the series and the team quickly got approval from Marvel's creative committee to move forward.

DC Comics last fall relaunched its "Green Lantern" series with Simon Baz, an Arab American and Muslim. The character reflects writer Geoff Johns' 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. DC Comics in late 2010 introduced Nightrunner, a young Muslim hero of Algerian descent reared in Paris.

The creative team said that Khan's backstory, growing up Muslim, is an element of the story, but not the critical foundation, either.

"Kamala is not unlike Peter Parker," said Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso of the teenager turned wall crawler. "She's a 16-year-old girl from the suburbs who is trying to figure out who she is and trying to forge an identity when she suddenly bestows great power and learns the great responsibility that comes with it."

Alan Lambert (91)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 9:31 am
Very glad to see that Marvel is trying. There should be whole teams of Muslim supers unless they are all killed off as soon as they manifest power. 'Children of the Atom" or mutants should be in the same proportions in Asia as they are in the West.

Beth S (330)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 9:52 am
Don't tell me -- she has 200 children, sends all the boys off to be martyred, has acid thrown in her face by her husband but isn't injured. He tries to honor kill her and messes it up. Her clitoris shrivels up and falls off by itself, and she has a burqa surgically attached to her head.

Beth S (330)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 2:13 pm
She also flies through the air, as she trips over her floor-length burqa. She single handedly uses IEDs to blow up thousands of churches, Buddhist and Hindu temples and synagogues, while beheading the congregants.

No matter how many times she has marital relations with her husband, her hymen grows back quickly every time, rendering her a perpetual virgin, so her husband thinks he's gone to that great mosque in the sky.

Without anesthetics, she cuts off her own labia majora and minora, and doesn't feel jealous when her husband does it with his thee other wives.

She sews through the night making thousands of suicide vests that fit four-year-olds and hold the maximum amount of explosives possible.

When her husband wants to beat her for not having dinner ready exactly on time, she hands him a variety of electric cords, because she knows that she must submit to his beating as the Qur'an says.

She pretends not to know how to read and that she's ignorant, because the Qur'an says she must not know a lot, especially if it makes her husband looks stupid. After all, Muhammad said that hell is filled with Muslim women and non-Muslims.

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This is yet another pathetic attempt to try to increase the self-esteem of religious political victims (of their own making) who already suffer a cognitive dissonance from being told they are superior to non-Muslims, when they know quite clearly that they are not.

Stan B (123)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 4:49 pm
How do we know it isn't a fella under a burqa?

Past Member (0)
Wednesday November 6, 2013, 8:02 pm
This to me is very strange--I just can't imagine it flying off the shelves. will the worthless raping mongrels attempt to rape the pages now...thanks

Shil O (0)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 1:49 am
well I suppose this pure fantasy is the only claim to greatness that islam has mastered in 1400 years-- and that from a woman although she seems to be carrying a book on the hadith and I find that difficult to relate to justice for non muslims-- but as I said Fantasy

Past Member (0)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 11:32 am
When I read the article I thought it was very interesting. Then I read the comments and most of them are disgusting. Not every muslim is a fanatic psychopath. I can't believe that even in this community people stereotype others. I think that what Marvel does is good. It shows to the Americans that there is a whole world besides America and they need that, because they tend to forget it. Also, maybe it will help people respect different cultures.

Suzanne L (99)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 12:21 pm
One might think of this character as an oxymoron, but then think again about Malala Yousaieff. Think about all the other teen Muslim girls who are attending school in Wales or other countries because they are serious about getting an education - and their families are behind them. Think about all the Muslim women in Saudi Arabia who organized and got out on the same day to drive their cars - despite it being banned and as one cleric said "would destroy their ovaries". Things are changing and young Muslim women might just be one of the strongest agents of change for the better. I don't know how this character will be received. I hope it does not lead to mass violence anywhere.

Stardust Noel (38)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 1:02 pm
I don't understand why they would do this, when I think of Muslims all I think of is they want to kill all the Americans they can, I don't like the idea of this comic ,make heroes of them? After all they've done to us?

Birgit W (160)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 2:32 pm

Lois Jordan (63)
Thursday November 7, 2013, 5:46 pm
Noted. I was kind of dozing off last night, so I don't remember if this was on The Daily Show or Colbert....but find it interesting and appropriate that the comics are diversifying.

Jay S (116)
Friday November 8, 2013, 2:35 pm
Do they have Hindu, Mormon, Jewish, Atheist, Buddhist etc characters too? Hmmm. Wonder why not...

Tom Y (33)
Sunday November 10, 2013, 8:55 pm
I wonder if the writers will be daring enough to have this heroine deal with the insularity and problems of the Islamist family experience. Probably not. It's a peace offering, marketed to keep its publishers out of the crosshairs -- it'll only inflame every Wahhabi cleric alive.
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