NEW YORK (PIX11) – Starting in February 2014, Marvel Comics will feature a new Ms. Marvel with local ties and Pakistani Muslim heritage in an effort to address its diversifying readership.
In the new plot, 16-year-old Kamala Khan from Jersey City, New Jersey, dons extraordinary body-morphing powers and follows in the footsteps of her hero, Captain Marvel to eventually become Ms. Marvel.
According to G. Willow Wilson, who’s on the creative team, Khan is a high school student who “struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family.”
She adds that the future Ms. Marvel has a “dual identity” even before she puts on a costume.
“Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don’t really understand what her home life is like,” Wilson said.
Her first challenge is herself and deciding the perennial superhero dilemma of whether or not to tell anyone.
“She has to grapple with overwhelming new powers, decide whether it’s safe to tell anybody, and juggle becoming a teen super hero with expectations of her conservative, Pakistani family,” Wilson said.
Wilson also makes a point that Islam as a custom is a part of her maturation.
“Islam is both an essential part of her identity and something she struggles mightily with,” Wilson said. “She wants to go to parties and stay out past 9 p.m. and feel ‘normal.’ Yet at the same time, she feels the need to defend her family and their beliefs.”
Khan will interact with the rest of Marvel Universe and meet her hero Captain Marvel in the comic.
The series editor of the project, Sana Amanat says Khan is part of the bigger picture in Marvel.
“As you’ll discover in the story, Kamala is part of a much larger even in the Marvel U—which she won’t really understand the ramifications of until later down the road,” Amanat said. “We will definitely get there; we just want you to get to know Kamala first.”
Written by Christopher Brito.