Mighty, Muslim and Leaping Off the Page

George Gene Gustines, New York Times, November 6, 2013

With most superheroes, when you take away the colorful costume, mask and cape, what you find underneath is a white man. But not always. In February, as part of a continuing effort to diversify its offerings, Marvel Comics will begin a series whose lead character, Kamala Khan, is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City.

No exploding planet, death of a relative or irradiated spider led to Kamala’s creation. Her genesis began more mundanely, in a conversation between Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker, two editors at Marvel. “I was telling him some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim-American,” Ms. Amanat said. “He found it hilarious.” Ms. Amanat and Mr. Wacker noted the dearth of female superhero series and, even more so, of comics with cultural specificity.

When they told G. Willow Wilson, an author, comic book writer and convert to Islam, about their idea, she was eager to come on board as the series’ writer. “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.’ ”

Ms. Amanat said, “It’s also sort of like when I was a little girl and wanted to be Tiffani-Amber Thiessen,” from “Saved by the Bell.”

Kamala will face struggles outside her own head, including conflicts close to home. “Her brother is extremely conservative,” Ms. Amanat said. “Her mom is paranoid that she’s going to touch a boy and get pregnant. Her father wants her to concentrate on her studies and become a doctor.” Next to those challenges, fighting supervillains may be a welcome respite.

The creative team is braced for all possible reactions. “I do expect some negativity,” Ms. Amanat said, “not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.”

But “this is not evangelism,” Ms. Wilson said. “It was really important for me to portray Kamala as someone who is struggling with her faith.” The series, Ms. Wilson said, would deal with how familial and religious edicts mesh with super-heroics, which sometimes require rules to be broken.

{snip}

Kamala Khan

Kamala Khan

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  • IstvanIN

    Do they have comic books in Pakistan for girls? Thought not.

    • Sick of it

      One might say the same about books in general.

      • D.B. Cooper

        Typical of minorities to take what whites have already established. I put all of those pictures of the REAL Ms. Marvel on this thread to prove a point.
        What can this teenaged Kamela Khan do other than be an imitation? The white Ms. Marvel didn’t even have super powers when she turned 18, but Carol Danvers still decided to be a hero.

  • Oil Can Harry

    In issue #1 this Pakistani superheroine helps bin Laden hide from the authorities in plain sight.
    In issue #2 she flies to Britain and assists her people in child grooming white preteen girls.

    • Sick of it

      In issue #3, she helps her aunt hold down her little cousin so the family can perform the traditional clitoridectomy.

      • JDInSanD

        Wow, I was gonna say in Issue #3 she plucks her uni-brow hair from the bridge of her nose but yours is sinisterly (is that a word?) better.

      • Extropico

        In Issue #4 she attempts a suicide detonation of a brokerage house in Londonistan to teach those infidels a lesson about retaining control of Britain. Unfortunately, her magic costume insulates her from the explosion and she discovers that she really is the bomb.

        • dukem1

          In issue #5 she learns to drive a car.

          • Issue #6 is quite surreal she actually jumps out of the comic to kill the cartoonist when unbeknown to himself he had mocked Islam.

          • Extropico

            In Issue #7, after killing the original cartoonist for mocking Islam, our heroine is nearly stoned to death by Wahabi tribesmen for declining to wear a burka. However, a wealthy sheik saves her after she promises to take a year off to have septuplets while on welfare in a formerly Western nation.

          • Whirlwinder

            In Issue #8, she goes to her OB/GYN without a muslim male excort and is raped. She cannot produce 4 witnesses required by Islam and is given 100 lashes. Subsequently Marvel cancels the character since readership has bottomed out.

          • me

            LOL! Nice! BUT, she would probably get murdered in the premiere issue for daring to go out alone in public without her burka.

  • Jefferson

    When will Marvel Comics create a Black lesbian Muslim superhero ? Black lesbian Muslims are vastly underrepresented in the world of comics.

    I am tired of Marvel Comic characters being made up of mostly Heterosexual White males.

    • knuckledragger

      They already have that, its called DMV Woman.

    • me

      I’m waiting for the first transgendered Black-Asian-Mexican cross-dressing furry atheist Marxist joo.

  • dd121

    I wish I bought Marvel Comics so I could stop buying them and send a message.

  • MekongDelta69

    Marvel Comics has literally lost their minds in the last five decades.

    Or – to expand on that – the left has literally lost their minds in the last five decades.

    • Sick of it

      They weren’t too bad, maybe a bit too leftist but not all that bad, before the 90s and certainly the 2000s.

  • Jesse James

    If ever I have seen a predictable commercial failure this is it. Who exactly do they think would read this comic book? How many Muslim fathers would let their daughters read this junk? Who else would want to?

    • D.B. Cooper

      At least the blonde haired blue eyed Carol Danvers has always been drawn as Caucasian female perfection, which is why she is under attack from the left. I didn’t read her own book back when she had one, but I know her from the Avengers.

      • Sighisoara

        She may not be blonde, but I’ve always liked Jessica Drew.

  • Spartacus

    “With most superheroes, when you take away the colorful costume, mask and cape, what you find underneath is a white man.”

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Well, they have to keep some minimal realism, even in comic books .

    • Manaphy

      It is hard to picture a black or a Muslim as a superhero. I have never in my life seen a Zulu or a Muslim go to an impoverished nation and hand out food and items. I have never seen a black or a Muslim go to any charity event. I have never seen a black or a Muslim donate anything. I have never seen a black or a Muslim do anything that isn’t selfish and self-serving. Only whites have enough heart and heroism to help out others and to be genuinely altruistic. While I firmly believe that whites should only help out and serve other whites, I have only seen whites helping blacks and Muslims in my lifetime, but never the other way around.

      • 1stworlder

        Suicide bomber girl

  • D.B. Cooper

    Sorry, boys and girls THIS is the Ms. Marvel I remember reading about way back when Mr. Peanut was the president. Carol Danvers: Height (5’11”) Weight (124 lbs.).

    • IstvanIN

      5’11” and only 124 lbs and built like that? Wow!

      • D.B. Cooper

        I just looked up who that is. That girl in the Ms. Marvel costume is porn star Lexi Belle, who is only 5’3″ and 105 lbs.
        Terminator 3’s Kristanna Loken, or tennis player Victoria Azarenka are about the same size as Ms. Marvel.

        • IstvanIN

          Oh, I change my vote from wow to yuk.

          • bigone4u

            Just did a google images search for lexi belle porn. Scrolled through several hundred images in minute or so and found NO interracial featuring her. Maybe she’s a race realist, such as wanting to avoid STDs.

          • D.B. Cooper

            I was just merely looking for the best real woman in a Ms. Marvel costume. Lexi’s obviously too short, but she did wear the costume the best.

    • William Krapek

      The War of the Marvels? Utter awesome. 🙂

  • bigone4u

    Marvel might have put a little more thought into this. Some muzzie imam is going to object and the outcome is going to be dead cartoonists and a bombed out headquarters. What’s it called, a fatwa?

  • knuckledragger

    Faster than a speeding car-bomb! More powerful than an angry mullah! Able to leap tall checkpoints in a single bound!
    Look!
    Under the veil!
    Its a turd! Its a stain!
    No!….its HAAJI GIRL!
    Yes, it’s Haaji Girl, come to Jersey with rights and entitlements far beyond those of Caucasian Men.
    Haaji Girl! Who, disguised as an ill-tempered activist for an urban immigration lobby, fights a never-ending battle for Sharia! Social Justice! and the exclusion of Whites everywhere…

    • Able to leap tall checkpoints in a single bound!

      Edit: Able to bomb tall buildings with a a single incendiary device.

      • bilderbuster

        Able to defeat the world’s greatest air defense system with a single box cutter.

    • 1stworlder

      Don’t you mean al hijra the Islamic war via the womb? Squatting out armies while sucking up welfare.

    • MekongDelta69

      Can it be stopped with Baconite?

  • DaveMed

    Fortunately, this shouldn’t be too difficult for white parents to combat. Buy other comic books for your children (e.g. Asterix), or, better yet, novels.

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      I was always a fan of Tintin as a child. The Belgians had a good sense of humor before they decided to flood their country with North Africans.

      • I bought a couple of TinTin books when I heard that they might be banned.

  • Jesse James

    I tell you a far left comic book I might buy just for the ridiculousness of it: “New York Busted Wide Open” the wacky and improbable tale of a far left pudgy white Beta and his Nubian lesbian princess who take over the government of NYC and wage war against evil white capitalist as they lead the way for American’s thirsting for social justice and fundamental transformation. Only in a comic book could such an improbable thing happen… right?

    • Kenner

      That’s not a comic book, that’s DelBlasio.

    • Kenner

      Okay, Jesse…It took me a minute, but I now have a firm grasp of the obvious.

    • MekongDelta69

      I think the new anti-white, black wannabe, communist mayor of NYC fits that bill very well.

      I give you – Bill de Blackio and his ‘lovely’ family…

      • Jesse James

        Forward to genetic dissolution!

      • me

        What….a….charming….urp…..family?

  • Pelagian

    Are there any Jewish superheroes? Oh yeah, they all are subtextually.

  • Homo_Occidentalis

    The Marxists have been in charge of the comic industry since its inception. At first they kept their themes and their heroes very conservative in order to appeal to the popular conscience of white, Protestant America. Beginning in the “silver sixties”, however, the Marxists decided the country was ready for a heavier exploration of more “complex” themes, and the leftist brainwashing became more overt. Things have gotten even worse since then, with fully fledged “re-imaginings” of previously white characters as non-whites.

    • IstvanIN

      Because a black skin can’t do nuthin for himself.

      • Pelagian

        Well, the people in Detroit have finally decided that.

    • 1stworlder

      I can’ because unwashed black skin is a mix of turds and yellow urine.

  • Luca

    Oh good, our new Muslim superhero can drive out Al Qaeda from Pakistan, stop female genital mutilations, rescue rape victims from being stoned to death, stop car bombers, dispose of roadside IED’s, stop the burning of churches in Egypt, intercept missiles flying into Israel, use X-ray vision to thwart suicide bombers and maybe even rescue some 11-year old’s from a forced marriage.

    It will be tough doing that and flying around in a burkha, she’ll probably crash into a few buildings before she gets the hang of it.

    This should be quite a money-maker for Marvel considering most kids don’t care about religious heroes and Muslim parents wouldn’t let their kids read this stuff anyway.

    Aren’t they worried this will offend Muslims? They might start another riot in Libya and burn our embassy again.

  • D.B. Cooper

    They couldn’t even make this Kamela Khan good looking. Don’t you realize the female super hero has to be attractive to keep the guys interested? Nowadays, writers feel they have to make a woman super hero act and fight like a man, which is probably why people are relatively cool toward the Black Widow, but women admire the seductive Catwoman.
    Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman, Joanna Cameron’s Isis, and Lindsay Wagner are still popular, and nearly all women old enough to have watched them over 30 years ago mainly have nothing but positive things to say about those three superheroines. However, these women acted like women, and that doesn’t fit the leftist agenda. Is it no wonder why the Bionic Woman and Wonder Woman reboots failed miserably? Researching pictures, I now see why Isis was one of the few Saturday morning shows my stepdad bothered to watch with us.

    • willbest

      There are some comic book art styles I just don’t get, and that is one of them. She will look hot when they swap artists out after 8 issues to try and save the title.

    • Pumpkin breasted Wendy Williams was Wonder Woman for Halloween.
      Not impressed.

      • me

        Ugh!

  • Dave4088

    Kamala will need a scimitar for beheadings, a Koran, and shouts of Allah Akbar!! Oh, and she’ll need her sexual organ mutilated in keeping with Sharia law. No doubt the super villains will be evil white people.

  • willbest

    Now that Marvel is owned by Disney it can push an agenda rather than rely on people actually buying comics.

    • bigone4u

      Pushing the agenda buys political influence, such as with the IRS.

    • bilderbuster

      So I guess having a Rabbi as her arch villian isn’t in the cards then?

      • willbest

        I would buy that comic book, then bag it an bury it before the authorities come around and have it burned.

  • Virus, Smiley

    And this will make money for Marvel how? If making money is the end goal of any labor or capital investment, then a businessman must know something about his potential customers.
    Does Marvel believe that minority yoofs are going to buy this comic on the basis of solid business analysis?
    Traditionally, white boys from lower and upper middle class homes were comic collectors. Multi-cult really does make people stupid.
    This series is already dead.

    • Bobbala

      … state subsidy … like the Volt, etc. that people would gladly buy with YOUR money.

      • Virus, Smiley

        No doubt.

    • D.B. Cooper

      I’m beyond the comics I read as a boy, which did expand my vocabulary. I learned what a pension was thanks to the first Daredevil comic I ever read back in late 1980. As a 45 year old, I do enjoy those Walking Dead volumes, and I did like reading the Watchmen graphic novel a few years ago.

      • Kenner

        I learned all about frugality from Scrooge McDuck.

  • William Krapek

    Yes. And replacing my favorite character Ms Marvel (who is been promoted to Captain Marvel). Is this a joke?!

  • She’d look more convincing dressed in all black, with a face-veil and just a slit for her eyes. But I guess the Taliban have copyright on that.

  • Pelagian

    Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster: Superman
    Bob Kahn and Milton Finger: Batman

    and then, in contrast, you had the everyman Goy buffoon with Al Caplan’s “Lil Abner” and the “girl super hero” there was the impossibly zaftig/buxom … and dumb “Daisy Mae” who wore what later would be called “Daisy Dukes” shorts.

    These were all begun in the 1930s. You gotta hand it to them, they found a way to get into every American home, well before television came along. NOT saying that they didnt make good, readable, entertaining stuff. Just saying they found a way.

    And the concept of a Superman should have rung a few bells for a few people, coming off the Leopold and Loeb trials.

    Leopold was 19 years old at the time of the murder, and Loeb was 18. They believed themselves to be Nietzschean supermen (Übermensch) who could commit a “perfect crime” (in this case, akidnapping and murder).[6] Before the murder, Leopold had written to Loeb: “A superman … is, on account of certain superior qualities inherent in him, exempted from the ordinary laws which govern men. He is not liable for anything he may do.”[10]

    • me

      Well, L & L were just practicing what their parents taught them.

      • Pelagian

        The defense of Clarence Darrow was that they were doing what their *Professors at College* taught them. That saved them the noose. But then, by contrast, Wigmore found the leniency totally heinous.

  • mgs166

    In issue 1, she meets her end rather quickly by stoning since she was caught driving.

  • CourtneyfromAlabama

    If she were really proud to be Muslim, shouldn’t she be covering her hair?

  • mobilebay

    Might as well…our leaders have surrendered to the M&Ms, and our grandchildren will pay dearly for it. A new textbook has a 35-page chapter on the religion of Islam and only scattered mentions of Christianity and other religions. I’m old enough to remember when our elected officials turned away our enemies. Now, they are welcomed.

  • Sighisoara

    I’m sure this comic is going to be a top seller. Heh.

  • Pelagian

    Her secret weapon: a removable unibrow* that she can hurl at bad guys at high speeds like a bat-a-rang.

    Truly, I have a lot of respect for Muslim women, I just think they should be “over there” instead of “over here”.

    *Muslim women are forbidden by haram from plucking their eyebrows.

  • D.B. Cooper

    She’s always worn that red sash ever since she started wearing that costume way back when Jimmy Carter was the President, and Iran had our hostages. I think it’s a part of her original red costume, but I like the navy blue one she started wearing around 1979.

  • me

    LOL!

  • Pelagian

    The corollary of that satirical NY Times headline: “World To End Tomorrow; Minorities, Women Worst Affected”

  • De Doc

    Good luck finding an audience for this bizarre, PC contrived character. Maybe the Saudi Royals will boost sales by buying up all the extra copies that will no doubt be collecting dust on the comic book racks.