Marvel, the comics company that has built its franchise on superheroes with human problems — like Peter Parker’s lonesome quest to find something good on TV — will build a new comic book around a 16-year-old Pakistani-American girl named Kamala Khan, who has to balance superheroics with being a high school student and a first-generation daughter of Muslim immigrants who’d prefer she concentrate on getting into a good college instead of messing around with mutant supervillains. A big fan of Carol Danvers, the current Captain Marvel — the Marvel Captain Marvel, not the DC Captain Marvel, who everybody except Comic Book Guy just calls “Shazam” anyway — Kamala takes Danvers’ previous nom de spandex, Ms. Marvel, after she discovers her mutant superpower, the ability to morph her body. Which explains the big weird fist in the promo art, although nobody’s explained that porcupine with the Hulk Hands. Unless the critter is a mutant as well, we assume this means that characters in Marvel comics can buy licensed Marvel merch, too, though the royalties probably go to S.H.I.E.L.D.
Needless to say, the announcement has kicked up a bit of pushback in some predictable places; Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood” blog sneers at the new comic as part of a politically correct “effort to introduce ‘diversity’ into a comics universe historically dominated by white, male superhero characters.” And then there are the commenters, who deride the comic as part of Barack Obama’s agenda to bring Sharia law to America. And then there’s the brilliant analysis at Conservativebyte.com, which dismisses the entire premise of the comic as “silly,” because “Muslim women have zero rights and most aren’t even let out of the house,” which will probably be big news to the comic’s creators, who live in America, not Saudi Arabia. Again, the commenters are pure class — “how can she fight in a burqa?” “Superman had his kryptonite she’ll have her bacon bits to contend with” — haw haw!
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