Marvel's latest character is a teenage Muslim girl


(AP Photo/Marvel Comics)

Marvel comics is giving an old character a new makeover. The tall, busty, blonde Ms. Marvel is coming back as a 16-year-old Muslim teenager named Kamala Khan living in New Jersey.

Ms. Marvel first appeared in a Marvel comic as Carol Danvers, a mortal member of the United States Air Force in 1968. After her character went through a supernatural mutation she became the hero of her own comic series in 1977.

According to the Associated Press, the new Ms. Marvel is part of Marvel Entertainment's efforts to reflect a growing diversity among its readers. Kamala Khan is a dramatic departure from the original with her modest attire and nerdy demeanour.

Writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona, working with editor Sana Amanat, wanted to create a character that real people -- especially young women -- could relate to. Amanat said, "it's for all the geek girls out there and everybody else who's ever looked at life from the fringe."

Amanat got the idea to update the character based on her own experiences as a Muslim teenager. She calls the new Marvel series a "desire to explore the Muslim-American diaspora from an authentic perspective," and what it means to be young and lost amid expectations of others while also telling the story of a teenager coming to grips with having amazing powers.

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