Revealed: The Muslim Ms. Marvel

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Marvel Comics, makers of such iconic characters as Spider-Man and the X-Men, have released the first images from the new Ms. Marvel issue starring 16-year old Kamala Khan. A shapeshifter, or “polymorph” in more knowing circles, Khan is a second-generation Pakistani-American who struggles with her identity.

Khan is Marvel’s first Muslim superhero, a fact about which much was made when the comic book giant announced the new Ms. Marvel last November.

“There’s been some hate from people who don’t read comics, which I ignore because in terms of this medium, they are illiterate,” G. Willow Wilson, Khan’s creator and the comic’s writer, told Wired. “There’s this sense that [Muslims] shouldn’t even be there because it’s somehow un-American”.

“On the other side, there’s a certain amount of apprehension from the Muslim community about whether or not [Kamala] is going to be a stereotype or a whitewashing,” Wilson continued. “But I think that [apprehension] will go away when the book actually comes out”.

Muslim Ms Marvel

“Kamala is not a token anything in any way. She’s very much her own quirky, unique, wonderful person. She’s not a poster girl for her religion and she doesn’t fall into any neat little box”, she explained.

Based on the images released so far, Kamala looks like a Mipster (Muslim + hipster) to us. Meanwhile, Wilson is herself an American Muslim and her children are half-Egyptian.

Wilson’s 2010 memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, details her conversion to Islam and her first graphic novel, Cairo, is set there, Wilson’s home in her twenties. She also wrote Alif the Unseen, a tale about a young, Arab-Indian hacker struggling to maintain his cover in an unnamed Middle Eastern security state.

Check out the below preview of the new Ms. Marvel, which comes out on Feb. 5.

 

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WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss our interview with Magdy El-Shaffee, acclaimed Egyptian graphic novelist and the author of revolutionary comic, Metro, which is banned in Egypt.

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