In an attempt to broaden their scope and cultural relevance, Marvel has decided to follow in the footsteps of D.C. Comics and launch a new hero of Islamic faith. D.C. comics recently did this with their new Green Lantern, Simon Baz who is part of the Justice League of America. Marvel’s attempt is a little more front and center with this character getting her own series. Ms. Marvel, who now goes by Captain Marvel will be replaced by a character named Kamala Khan. Kamala is a Muslim-born Pakistani-American teenager, just 16 years old and her current setting will be Jersey City.
The concept around this character is that Kamala has shape-shifting abilities and is rumored to have other powers. In an attempt to honor her hero, the original Ms. Marvel, Kamala takes the name and enters the superhero world. She will get her own ongoing series entitled Ms. Marvel and it launches in February 2014. The series will be penned by G. Willow Wilson with artwork by Adrian Alphona. It is rumored that this series will tie directly into a new Marvel storyline, Inhumanity.
This series is a big step for Marvel because it is the first title character of Islamic faith for the power-house comic company. While there have been some minor characters over the years, putting one front and center and taking a fairly famous hero name shows a lot of support from Marvel and might be a sign of things to come for other series that could use new life. While D.C. Comic’s Simon Baz hasn’t made too many waves, being part of a team, Kamala Khan stands to be in a brighter spotlight as the lead for her series.
Marvel stated that a special prologue style issue, All-New Marvel NOW! Point One, will be made available in January, the month before the series launches. I, for one, am excited to pick this series up and see where they take this new, young hero.