She's young, full of life and ready for a fight. Marvel's introduced its newest crimefighter: Ms. Marvel, the first female Muslim superhero from a mainstream comic publisher to get her own series.
"Meet superhero Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Muslim living in New Jersey. Her power is she's able to grow and shrink and is learning to shape-shift." (Via CNN)
The original Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers, was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed CIA agent in the 1960s. She fought in her own series and alongside The Avengers and was one of Marvel's most powerful heroes, becoming Captain Marvel in a relaunched series ... (Via Comic Vine)
... which allowed the fictional 16-year-old to step into her boots — combatting villains and her struggle navigating her teen years as a Muslim American woman. (Via MSNBC)
According to Marvel: "Kamala has all of her opportunities in front her and she is loaded with potential, but her parents' high expectations come with tons of pressure. When Kamala suddenly gets powers that give her the opportunity to be just like her idol, Captain Marvel, it challenges the very core of her conservative values." (Via Entertainment Weekly)
Ms. Marvel is being written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphone, under the direction of editor Sana Amanat. They say this series is "for all the geek girls out there and everyone else who's ever looked at life from the fringe." (Via The Independent)
"This character, first of all, appeared at the end of the 1960s, and it's really Pamela Anderson. … I don't think people expect their superheroes to be blonde, blue-eyed chiseled men anymore. I think this reflects that." (Via BBC)
And while the authors are expecting some negativity, overall, the comic industry has featured Muslim characters successfully.
There's the Burka Avenger Chronicles, where a Pakistani teenage superhero fights with books and pens to defeat misogyny, corruption and defend the right to an education in her traditional, albeit ninja-fied, burka. (Via YouTube / Burka Avenger)
And don’t forget DC’s relaunched Green Lantern, Simon Baz, in 2012. The Lebanese-American character is currently a member of the Justice League, with the word "Courage" tattooed on his arm in Arabic.
Or Marvel’s Dust, who was added to the X-Men universe in 2002. The Afghanistan immigrant transforms into a living sandstorm to defeat her opponents. Oh, and she's also a good guy.
Ms. Marvel will be kicking butts and taking names in a special issue in January 2014 before the series debuts in February.