Next year, Marvel Comics will be kicking off a new Ms. Marvel story line with a very new Ms. Marvel—Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American from Jersey City.
This news comes just a few days after DC Comics announced that they're developing a Native American superheroine.
In the new Marvel story, Khan comes from a conservative Pakistani family, and idolizes Carol Danvers, the original Ms. Marvel who retired the mantle to become new Captain Marvel. In the words of Ms. Marvel writer G. Willow Wilson (herself a convert to Islam), Khan admires Danvers because she is "strong, beautiful and doesn't have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and 'different.'" When Khan discovers she can change shape, she assumes the title Ms. Marvel as a sort of homage to her own hero Danvers.
It's really refreshing to see a minority superhero front and center. It seems like the bigger superhero titles are often either only manifested as minorities in secondary or other-dimensional storylines or their character development merely relies on cultural stereotypes as opposed to being plot-driven.
But the Ms. Marvel writers seem committed to exploring Khan as a teenager, as a girl, as a South Asian American and as a Muslim. Wilson aims to take a look at "how familial and religious edicts mesh with super-heroics, which sometimes require rules to be broken."
The series is due to kick off next year, but all you lady cosplayers can get started on your long-awaited kickass brown superheroine outfits anytime.
Images via Marvel