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.

ms marvel

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.


  1. Oops, you’re right about that. Danvers is Captain Marvel. It’s strange, I find it interesting, and somewhat disturbing that mainstream comic companies have no confidence in minority characters succeeding on their own as new characters. Miles Morales has to be Spider-Man. Kamala Khan has to be Ms. Marvel. In the movies, we have a black Nick Fury. Why can’t they take new names instead of clinging to the familiar? It’s the same “bigotry of lowered expectations” that affects society in general. I would respect a SHIELD boss named Fick Nury who is black better than a shoehorned minority replacing a long-term character who was created as another race. That’s really like saying certain minorities can’t make it on their own merits, they can only replace existing white characters. I don’t believe that.

  2. “I find it interesting, and somewhat disturbing that mainstream comic companies have no confidence in minority characters succeeding on their own as new characters.”
    As much as I’d like to see more “mainstream” comic companies putting minority characters front-and-center, I don’t think they don’t have confidence that minority characters can’t succeed on their own as new characters. The problem is that no new characters seem to be able to succeed on their own, regardless of race, gender, or any other characteristic you care to mention. Gravity was, in all the ways that matter, a very good update of Spider-Man who was another white male lead. Sank like a stone to the point where, as usual, his mark in Marvel history was his death (or did they undo that?).

    The audience for Marvel and DC doesn’t want new, which is also why I’m putting “mainstream” in scare quotes.

  3. “I find it interesting, and somewhat disturbing that mainstream comic companies have no confidence in minority characters succeeding on their own as new characters.”

    One of the things DC got right for a number of years was its commitment to legacy characters. I love the idea that as characters retire, die or grow into new identities, there are new characters to pick up the mantle. One of my favorite things about cape comics, and one of the few super hero concepts that actually acknowledge the passage of time.

  4. I think sales data shows that it’s hard for Marvel and DC to launch any new character in the current market place. A new series called “Ms. Marvel” is likely to have better sales than a new series with an unknown name. Regardless of the ethnicity of the character in question. Besides which, it sounds like the premise of this book has a legitimate justification for the title. If this is how Marvel can become more diverse right now, I’m all for it.

  5. No beef with the concept, but wouldn’t it be better to try and build demand for her as a character in a more popular book before launching a solo? Marvel has trouble keeping even extremely durable characters like Dr. Strange and Silver Surfer in ongoings, so an unknown with a moderately recognizable name (albeit one that’s never been super helpful at sustaining a book) with a no-name writer seems like a poor choice.

  6. I’m late to the comments here. Reading this – it’s time’s like this I wish Marvel would reboot their line. Only because it would give characters like this a chance to stand out, be equal with other characters also starting from their early days again.

    Unfortunately, I don’t see Ms Marvel selling well and I know I shouldn’t say that, I’m not saying that to be negative, it’s a book I’m definitely going for. But only because the way Marvel tends to promote “books that sell” (Spidey, Avengers etc) and also because its current audience doesn’t want new, as Edward Liu said it better above.

    Just look at Fearless Defenders or FF, compared to Avengers or All-New X-men.

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