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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

We Can Be Heroes

Writer of New Ms. Marvel Talks Representation

There’s been a lot of scrutiny of the character since the announcement, particularly because of her Muslim faith. Do you feel like there’s extra pressure to treat her as a representative for all Muslims?

“There’s a burden of representation that comes into play when there aren’t enough representatives of a certain group in popular culture. So the few ones that do exist come under increased scrutiny and pressure, because they’re expected to represent everybody. Obviously, you can’t do that with one character and you shouldn’t, because it would stifle the narrative and prevent them from becoming a fully-realized person. So I think in situations like that, you just have to tread lightly and trust your gut. Kamala is not a token anything in any way. She’s very much her own quirky, unique, wonderful person. She’s not a poster girl for her religion and she doesn’t fall into any neat little box.

If you put the shoe on the other foot and said we’re going to have one Christian character that represents all Christians, the ridiculousness would be obvious right away. Are you talking about white Methodists from Oklahoma? Are you talking about Anglicans in Africa, who are the fastest growing group of Christians on planet Earth? It’s patently impossible for a Muslim character to represent ‘all Muslims.’”Wired has a preview of the new Ms. Marvel, in which the titular heroine is Muslim teen Kamala Khan. There’s also an interview with writer G. Willow Wilson. The whole thing’s a good read, but this answer is my favorite bit.

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  • Gordon Borland

    I cant wait for this.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I dunno. The top three or four threads (don’t quote me on the exact number) make some decent, if satirical and heavy-handed points.

  • Anonymous

    some of them are horrible to read!

  • Nicholas

    I’m currently reading her novel Alif the Unseen and am quite enjoying it. Definitely a good sign.

  • Anonymous

    I’m on board for this and I’m happy to see them attempting another book with a non-white heroine. ComicsAlliance recently did a piece I hadn’t even thought about, but they basically pointed out that it’s sort of a problem that pretty much all the women currently getting any sort of push from Marvel and DC (or the fans) are white. Like, REALLY white.

    Which is also why I’m hoping the rumors about Rashida Jones ending up as the Wasp are true.

  • Dessa Brewington

    Honestly, the Mary Sue has about the only comment section that I don’t have to brace myself for before reading.

  • Dessa Brewington

    Okay, this looks really great. For someone who never buys comics, how difficult/expensive would it be to catch up on this one?

  • Gordon Borland

    It’s not released yet, the first issue is out in February I think, I’m not sure about the price yet though.

  • Amourah

    She shouldn’t be a representative of all Muslims, bc that would be impossible. There are over a billion Muslims worldwide, from hundreds of different countries with their own traditions and values that majorly influence how they practice.

    But there are certain things that unite them all, certain traditions and values that all partake in.

    As a Muslim myself, my fear is that they will “whitewash” Ms. Marvel out like most positive Muslim characters that make it to the mainstream. Most of the positive (i.e. not a terrorist) Muslim characters are very Westernized to make them more palatable to the majority. Not that there aren’t Westernized Muslims – it’s just…. I’m really scared it won’t be done right. Am I making sense? :(

  • Saraquill

    Out of curiosity, do you read/watch “The 99?” I find it to be a well written superhero series, that goes out of its way to portray Islam as something decent, with universal traits.

  • Amourah

    I’ve heard about it – I think they are also trying if they haven’t already gotten it to be an animated series. I know I saw an animated episode somewhere. I liked it :)

  • Saraquill

    Season one’s on Netflix. I saw the whole season.