News broke yesterday that Marvel will be launching a new "Ms. Marvel" series in February (It probably had something to do with my new holiday, NAAMD). The twist that makes this mainstream news worthy is that Ms. Marvel will be a Pakistani-American Muslim girl named Kamala Khan. My first thought was some kind of shrug, but then I thought about the rarity of a female person of color having their own mainstream comic series and grew a bit more excited at the prospect. Kamala Khan doesn't fit in to the decades old standards of comics. Sure there are female and POC superheroes, but a lot of them don't get their own book right off the bat. Miles Morales had to inherit the mantle of Ultimate Spider-Man from Peter Parker after his death, and diversity seems to go more into team books, but Marvel is diving right in with Kamala Khan. She has new powers and is taking up a B-list mantle with no introduction in another series. So often are the title characters of DC and Marvel white men that when something like this happens it makes the normal people news. Go Marvel!
Ideal amounts of diversity in comics aside, the thing that excites me most about this series is automatic originality that can come from it. Creating a character with a completely different background than the average should lead to some interesting stories. The shift in perspective alone should be enough to make some really solid arcs and characterization. I plan on picking up at least the first issue to see what happens (I promise it isn't just to figure out what the hedgehog thing is).
Original story from the New York Times