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Marvel confirms first Muslim superhero Ms Marvel on the big screen

In May 2018, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed that Marvel “had plans” to introduce Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In an interview with the BBC, Feige noted that :”Ms. Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works. We have plans for that once we’ve introduced Captain Marvel to the world”.

A superhuman teen with shapeshifting and healing abilities

Since she first appeared in the Marvel universe in 2013 in the Captain Marvel #14, Khan has become a fan favorite. The young superhero has even been starring in her solo series since February 2014. Ms. Marvel tells the story of a young Muslim girl learning to embrace her religious identity and coming into her own while discovering the world. The superhuman teen with shapeshifting and healing abilities navigates her world as a young Muslim teen, while battling villains.

She has been a fan favorite since her introduction to the Marvel universe and the series has won multiple awards. Her story has resonated with many Marvel fans of all background and brought forth a new depiction of Muslim youth in America. As a young Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey, Kamala represents a minority that has long been ignored by the comic world. Today, Khan is the first Muslim character to headline its own series in the Marvel world. Bringing the award winning coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to the big screen further confirms Marvel’s intention of bringing diversity stories to the forefront.

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Social changes mirrored in Marvel comics

Marvel comics have always mirrored the social changes and everyday lives of men and women from all walks of life. Identity and social justice are often at the forefront of their character’s stories. X-Men for example was created as an allegory for the civil rights movement of the 1960s highlighting the plight of the African American communities in white America. Marvel also introduced the first black superhero in comics : the Black Panther. The 2018 Black Panther movie was the first time a black character ever headlined a Marvel movie and was not only praised for its mostly black cast but also for its record breaking streak at the box office across the world.

Marvel has also brought forth many prominent female characters such Storm, Echo, Black Widow, Mockingbird or even Wasp. However, since the release of the first Marvel movie over a decade ago, none of them have focused on these important female characters or position strong women as main protagonists. Some have appeared in Avenger and X-Men movies but none ever headlined the show. This will change in 2019, with the release of Captain Marvel played starring the actress Brie Larson.

In the past few years, Marvel Comics has made an effort to diversify its characters by introducing new versions of its classic superheroes. Ms. Marvel would follow this trend and could, according to Feige, follow the Captain Marvel movie due for release in 2019. Ms Marvel’s movie would not add to the diversity efforts of the Marvel movies but also highlight a positive image of Muslim youth in pop culture.

Published on 29 June 2018