Marvel Comics Introduces New Superhero: Muslim Teenager, Kamala Khan

 
on November 05 2013 7:12 PM

Marvel Comics is further broadening the diversity of its characters with a new lead character, Kamala Khan. Khan, according to the New York Times, will be a Muslim teenager living in Jersey City, N.J., who discovers a vast array of powers. G. Willow Willson, the series writer, told the Times Kamala’s story would be “about the universe experience of all American teenagers, feeling kind of isolated and finding what they are.”

New York magazine reports that Marvel is also introducing two more series with female lead characters, Elektra and She-Hulk. Khan’s character came to fruition after a conversation between Sama Amanat and Steve Wacker, two editors at Marvel Comics. Amanat tells the New York Times the idea came from an anecdote she told Wacker about growing up as a Muslim-American, and the srory grew from there.

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

Khan, whose family will be from Pakistan, will also go by Ms. Marvel, a name she will have adopted from Carol Danvers, a blue-eyed blonde who goes by the name of Captain Marvel. Amanat told the New York Times, “It’s also short of like when I was a little girl and wanted to be Tiffany Amber Thiessen from ‘Saved by the Bell.’” Khan’s many powers will include shape-shifting.

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