November 08, 2013
Muslim Girl Power

Meet Kamala Khan, a teenage superheroine of Pakistani descent in Jersey City who can change shape, even as, like other American teenagers, she still sometimes struggles with her identity.

by Magdalene
Culture
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Move over Peter Parker, here comes Kamala Khan, the Muslim superheroine.

Kamala, a teenage girl living in Jersey City, is Marvel Comics’ attempt at diversifying its offerings, according to a New York Times report. The series will begin in February.

Kamala, whose family is from Pakistan, takes on the code name Ms. Marvel with powers that include the ability to change shape. She is described as “strong, beautiful and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different.’”

The series will deal with how familial and religious edicts mesh with super-heroics, which can require rules to be broken. It is also about “the universal experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.”

Marvel’s slate of titles with female or minority leads includes an X-Men series spotlighting its women and “Mighty Avengers,” whose roster includes many nonwhite heroes. Next year two more female characters will get series: She-Hulk and Elektra.
In terms of cultural diversity, in 2011 Marvel revealed the character of Miles Morales, a black Hispanic teenager and an alter ego of Spider-Man.