Pow! Zap! Marvel Comics to present teenage, female Muslim superhero

Wed Nov 6, 2013 6:23pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Move over Black Widow and step aside She-Hulk: Marvel Comics is introducing a new superhero - a 16-year-old Muslim-American girl named Kamala Khan, to reflect the growing diversity of its readers.

The character, who will be the new Ms. Marvel, lives with her conservative Pakistani parents and brother in New Jersey. She will make her debut in January and appear in a monthly series starting on February 6.

"It is so important that we tell stories that reflect the ever-changing world that we live in and being a Muslim-American is so much a part of that," said Sana Amanat, the series editor, who also worked on Ultimate Spider-Man and Ultimate X-Men comic books.

Although the inspiration for the new series came from a desire to explore the Muslim-American experience, she said it isn't about what it means to be a Muslim, Pakistani or American.

"It is about a young girl who is figuring out who she is and what happens when these really extraordinary things happen to her," she added in an interview.

Khan is a big comic book fan and after she discovers her superhuman power - being a polymorph and able to lengthen her arms and legs and change her shape - she takes on the name of Ms. Marvel. The title had previously belonged to Carol Danvers, a character Khan had always had admired.

"It pays homage to the legacy character," said Amanat.


A new Marvel Comics cover shows Ms Marvel as Kamala Khan (2nd L), the 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants, in this undated handout provided by Marvel Comics. REUTERS/Adrian Alphona/Marvel Comics/Handout via Reuters