Marvel Comics have introduced a gladly welcomed dash of diversity into their ranks by relaunching the character Ms. Marvel as a 16-year-old girl of Pakistani-American heritage. The comic will centre on 16-year-old Kamela Khan, a Muslim schoolgirl living in New Jersey who is coming to terms with her teenage angst, strict traditionalist parents and her newly discovered super powers.
Khan as Ms. Marvel, with her spiney sidekick (Credit: Adrian Alphona)
The comic book giant announced its plans to relaunch the female superhero through an official statement released on Wednesday, 6 November, with her race and religion fuelling so much discussion. It marks something of a leap forward for comic books because altough Kamala won't be the first Muslim character to have ever been introduced into a Western comic, she is the first female lead character to be introduced into a Marvel comic with a Muslim background. Ms. Marvel's re-introduction comes just months after rival publisher DC Comics introduced their own major character of Islamic descent when Simon Baz was chosen as a Green Lantern corp.
The comic will feature a collection of recurring character (Credit: Adrian Alphona)
"At her core, Kamala is just a 16-year-old girl, exploring the many facets of her identity when she is suddenly bestowed with super-human powers that send her on the adventure of a lifetime," Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso said in a release (via The New York Daily News). The release went on to state that the comic will deal with her struggles with her strict upbringing as much as her battles with super villains, as Marvel look to introduce a character that can be relatable so a certain audience.
Kamala Khan will debut as Ms. Marvel in the 'All-New Marvel NOW! Point One Comic Book' in January, 2014, before she moved on to her own Ms. Marvel series in February.
The first Ms. Marvel will be on shelves in Feb. 2014. (Credit Sara Pichelli)