Marvel have announced that G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona will be the creative team for a new Ms Marvel series, starting in 2014. The ongoing series will star a new character in the title role – Kamala Khan. She’ll have a costume designed by Jamie McKelvie.
She’s also a Muslim character, something which I simultaneously want to play down and shout out. Marvel have a small handful of Muslim characters in their back-catalogue, including Monet and Faiza Hussain – but this is their first series with a Muslim character in the lead role, headlining a title. As a result, I hope you don’t mind that I make a pointed note of her religion in this article, because it’s an important aspect of the series and announcement.
Kamala has body-morphing powers, a power-set which sets her up for heroism – but also for problems at home, with her conservative family and social life. After she gains her powers, she’ll be taking on the Ms Marvel mantle in tribute to her hero, Carol Danvers, whom she will be attempting to follow in the steps of. In perhaps a telling quote from the announcement interview with George Gene Gustines, Wilson states:
Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for. She’s strong, beautiful and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different’.
Which speaks volumes about the personality of the character already. The series is both written and edited by Muslim women, which leads me to believe that this is a series which will be firmly in a smart and considered tone of voice and style. And also, let’s not stray too far from the simple fact that G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona are DOING A COMIC TOGETHER. That’s a brilliant creative team!
Marvel have been making a concerted and well-received effort to make their comics more reflective of actual American society, expanding their line to feature a more diverse line-up in as many respects as possible. Many of their best books have come about as a result of that ambition – and Ms Marvel looks like it’s going to be another unique, dynamic, and progressive series from the company. I couldn’t be more excited about it.