In an increasing effort to be more diverse, Marvel Comics will be releasing a new series this February whose lead character is a teenage Muslim girl named Kamala Khan.
Originally from Pakistan but living in Jersey City, Khan will struggle to not just combat super-villains with her kick-ass superpowers, (she can shape-shift!) but also address personal conflicts between her family’s expectations and her own desires.
Khan’s character originated from a conversation between two Marvel editors, Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker. As Amanat explains, “I was telling him [Wacker] some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim-American. He found it hilarious.” According to Amanat, Khan will face challenges that will provide both humor and hopefully familiarity to readers: “Her brother is extremely conservative. Her mom is paranoid that she’s going to touch a boy and get pregnant. Her father wants her to concentrate on her studies and become a doctor.”
The series writer, G. Willow Wilson, says that Khan’s story will be “about the universal experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.” This time, however, the experience will be explored through the eyes of a Muslim-American girl—a girl who just happens to have superpowers.
And while the creative team is expecting a variety of reactions, some inevitably negative, Amanat and Wilson are not discouraged. As Wilson explains, “this is not evangelism. It was really important for me to portray Kamala as someone who is struggling with her faith.”
Kamala Khan is not the only female character to get a series. Next year, female characters She-Hulk and Elektra will also join in the Marvel awesomeness.
Thanks to The New York Times
Image via The New York Times