The New Ms. Marvel is a good thing – Here’s Why

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Marvel have always been pretty obvious in regard to their announcements, with teaser images that mirror Apple in their flat-out pre-announcement before any official statement is released. This time round they put out a rather fetching poster with “Ms.” front and centre in bold font. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Marvel were hinting at the return of a Ms. Marvel series, what was up for discussion though was who. Who could replace Carol Danvers, who could take up the tight-fitting leotard and gravity-defying unmentionables? Well that’s what we all wanted to find out!

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Marvel had already announced that Carol would be reprising her new role as Captain Marvel following the characters positive reception (I’ve actually yet to read most of this so I can’t really comment!) so we knew there was going to be a replacement, we also know that this one is going to be permanent due to the whole Carol Danvers still being alive (meaning they can’t just resurrect Carol to get rid of this newcomer if the public hates her!). This meant that Marvel needed to be sure on this decision, something that they’re not the best at (hell even the awesome Miles Spider-man reboot was relegated to the Ultimate series). This is only a small part of the reason I respect Marvel so much for what they’ve done, the announcement came in; the new Ms. Marvel is a teenage Muslim girl called Kamala.

This is great news. I can only imagine the number of people angry about this, but there is absolutely no reason that anyone should be, this is a very good thing. For starters, while Marvel does have a couple of Muslim characters in its universe, they aren’t exactly at the forefront, and none of them have their own book. This in of itself is a great thing, but that isn’t even looking into the possibility that Kamala could become an Avenger – this, this is huge. Apart from Luke Cage the Avengers are full of attractive Caucasian people who are all stylistically similar in look and build. Let’s be honest here, how many of us can relate to a super buff genius billionare, or a super spy with an impossibly perfect rear end? I’m going to wager very few of us. But look at the design for the new Ms. Marvel…

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Does that not look a bit more relatable? None of this super skin-tight clothing, none of these “impossible-to-do-in-real-life” poses. Just a girl, in some casual clothes, being a teenager. Good Job Marvel, seriously, thank you.

This massive step forward isn’t even the most exciting part of this announcement, oh no! What’s even better is that the writer of this new book is a lady called G. Willow Wilson. A writer well known for being able to translate her own experiences as a Muslim living in today’s world, she also said this on the book:

“I wanted Ms. Marvel to be true-to-life, something real people could relate to, particularly young women. High school was a very vivid time in my life, so I drew heavily on those experiences–impending adulthood, dealing with school, emotionally charged friendships that are such a huge part of being a teenager”

“It’s for all the geek girls out there, and everybody else who’s ever looked at life from the fringe.”

She’s also being joined by artist Adrian Alphona whose work on Runaways I absolutely adored. So all good then!

Personally throughout all of this the thing that gets me more excited than anything is the idea of having another “teenager discovering powers” story that’s more about the teenager than it is the powers. This is why I loved Runaways as much as I did, it was more about teenagers and their experiences than it was their powers (although the powers came into it heavily at points too). I think the reason I’m looking forwards to this book is, more than anything, summed up in this quote from the Series’ editor, Sana Amanat:

“The inspiration for the new Ms. Marvel series stemmed out of a desire to explore the Muslim-American diaspora from an authentic perspective and yet, this story isn’t about what it means to be a Muslim, Pakistani or American. Those are just cultural touchstones that reflect the ever changing world we live in today. This is ultimately a tale about what it means to be young, lost amidst the expectations bestowed upon you, and what happens when you get to choose.”

I can’t wait for this, Kamala is making her first ever appearance in January’s issue of Marvel now, and then the actual book is debuting in February, keep and eye on this one ladies and gents, I’m really hoping it’s going to pave the way for more relatable characters in the future!

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