Introducing Kamala Khan, Marvel’s New Teenage Female Muslim Superhero

If you’re one of the Marvel fanboys (or Lou Dobbs, perhaps) that freaked the f*ck out when Miles Morales was introduced as a “new” Spider-Man in the Ultimate Comics back in 2011, then you might want to sit down for this news. In February, Marvel will roll out the first issue of a new series for Ms. Marvel, who just so happens to be a teenage Muslim girl named Kamala Kahn this time.

Created during a conversation between Marvel editors Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker, and being written by G. Willow Wilson, Kamala will fight not only the standard crew of villains and general Jersey City scumbags, but she’ll also cope with the daily troubles of a teenage girl who sees herself as different from everyone else, not only because of her unusual powers, but also because of her religion and family.

“Any time you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk,” Ms. Wilson said. “You’re trying to bring the audience on board and they are used to seeing something else in the pages of a comic book.”

Kamala, whose family is from Pakistan, has devotedly followed the career of the blond, blue-eyed Carol Danvers, who now goes by Captain Marvel, a name she inherited from a male hero. When Kamala discovers her powers, including the ability to change shape, she takes on the code name Ms. Marvel — what Carol called herself when she began her superhero career.

“Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for,” Ms. Wilson said. “She’s strong, beautiful and doesn’t have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and ‘different.’ ” (Via the New York Times, which published this very insightful feature on the birth of a new type of comic book hero)

Now, I’m not entirely positive about the bells and whistles of Ms. Marvel’s powers and abilities, but judging by this image, she’s going to have some sort of a porcupine sidekick that may or may not have Hulk hands.

So watch out, villains, because if you accidentally touch Horkupine’s back, it’s probably going to hurt a little bit.

(Images via Marvel)