Nov 6 2013, 5:58am CST | by Sumayah Aamir
The integration of Islam and Muslims into the mainstream comic book culture of America is about to happen. While this may reek of tokenism it is a necessary step in race relations. That is why Ms. Marvel is returning in the guise of a Muslim female teenager named Kamala Khan. The Muslim super girl is a 16 years old daughter of Pakistani immigrants who are living in Jersey City.
The whole thing began as an interesting conversation between Muslim Americans. They were working on comic book super heroes and heroines. While many foreign elements had been added in Marvel Comics, there was the lack of a Muslim presence. Finally, after much brainstorming, a Muslim teen Ms. Marvel by the name of Kamala Khan was chosen to represent Ms. Marvel character. She would be from Jersey City and would have a finicky mom and dad as well as a strict brother. Besides being engaged in a struggle with her religious worldview, Kamala Khan would fight with the bad guys on the side.
Comic books often depict superhuman beings that have supernatural qualities. Think of Superman, Spiderman and Batman and a lot of powerful abilities come to mind. Kamala too will be a very special girl. She will be coping with the gift of superpowers as well as her puberty and parental restrictions. It will be a chaotic world she will be facing.
Marvel Entertainemnt's creative team is expecting negative reactions. But they are ready to face it. One Marvel editor, Sana Amanat said, “I do expect some negativity, not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”
The comic is mainly an attempt at revealing the joys and sorrows of the Muslim Diaspora in the United States in current times. The protagonist, Kamala Khan faces the dilemma of balancing her personal identity with the rare powers she has been given. It will surely prove to be a source of happy reading for Muslim teens everywhere.
Like the author and comic book writer, G. Willow Wilson said, “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. But This is not evangelism. It was really important for me to portray Kamala as someone who is struggling with her faith.”
Source: The New York Times
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