I’m waiting to meet up with my friends at the end of the work day today to head to our Local Comic Store (LCS) to pick up (among all the other comics I need to pick up from the last two weeks), the first issue of the new Ms. Marvel written by G. Willow Wilson.
Without even having read any of this book, I’m already fiercely protective of this character. Ms. Marvel is breaking barriers and it’s about time that Marvel did something like this.
You see, Ms. Marvel is Kamala Khan, Pakistani-American Muslim teenager superhero from New Jersey. She’s going to kick so much ass and take so many names, and be everything comics fans will love to read about.
Unfortunately a lot of old school comics fans seem to be all up in a knot about this new character – her costume, the original Ms. Marvel (nevermind that Carol Danvers is a Captain now). She doesn’t belong, she shouldn’t be allowed to have that name, her hair should be different, her costume should be different, her name should be different, she shouldn’t exist at all.
The people who make disparaging comments about Kamala are people I assume would talk to actual 16-year-old girls like this. Because that’s what they’re doing – they’re telling all of the teenage girls, the girls who don’t see enough of themselves in popular culture, let alone in comics, that they don’t belong. They’re telling that to my younger sisters, to my daughters, to the girls I volunteer with, and the girls I want to grow up to write their own stories, to be the heroes of their own lives.
So that, my friends, is why I will fight for this book. For this character. For this ideal in popular culture. That is why I will stand up for Ms. Marvel.
Of course, Kamala doesn’t really need my help. She’s a superhero after all.