Marvel Rolls out Muslim Girl Superheroine

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke  11/6/13
It must be really exciting being a kid today. Denied the strength that “lies in our diversity,” youngsters languishing in the unenlightened 1960s had to content themselves with banal white male superheroes such as Superman, Spiderman and Ironman. But not only has affirmative action created a Hispanic Spiderman (perhaps a white Hispanic?); a homosexual Pink…I mean, Green Lantern; and a Batwoman reintroduced in 2006 as a lesbian (the irony is that she was originally introduced in 1956 as a romantic interest designed to dispel rumors about Batman’s homosexuality); now Marvel Comics is giving us a female Muslim superheroine. Writes The Telegraph:

Marvel Comics is bringing Ms. Marvel back as a 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City named Kamala Khan.

The character – among the first to be a series protagonist who is both a woman and Muslim – is part of Marvel Entertainment’s efforts to reflect a growing diversity among its readers while keeping ahold of the contemporary relevance that have underlined its foundation since the creation of Spider-Man and the X-Men in the early 1960s.

Writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona, working with editor Sana Amanat, say the series reflects Khan’s vibrant but kinetic world, learning to deal with superpowers, family expectations and adolescence.

But the really exciting part involves Kamala Khan’s unique superpowers. According to my sources, she can:

• leap tall bacon-processing plants in a single bound;
• turn a slave-owning warlord into a prophet;
• crush ancient Buddhist statues with her bare hands;
• turn back time to the eighth century;
• don an x-ray impermeable burka;
• be 72 virgins all by herself;
• use the I slam Ray to turn Western dummies into dhimmis in double time;
• straighten out the homosexual superheroes;
• be sexually attacked and not be charged with adultery; and
• avoid getting married to a man 35 years her elder until she’s at least 12.

The one thing she cannot do, however, is obtain a driver’s license.
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16 Responses to Marvel Rolls out Muslim Girl Superheroine

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Oh, good grief. I had no idea that Marvel had queered-up some of these old superheroes, let alone are proposing a Muslim one. And that seems like an oxymoron to me, especially a female one.

    What would make more sense would be a female Muslim who learns to leap tall buildings, avoids honor killings and clitorectomies, and fights the forces of evil — especially including Islam. She could do so as an apostate (maybe a born again Christian or orthodox Jew, but I won’t quibble on this point).

    My hat is off to the ninnies at Marvel who, instead of upholding the traditions of the Good Guys, have joined the herd in moral relativism (aka “the Bad Guys”). And do these ninnies plan on perhaps including a drawing or two of Mohammed in this new comic?

  2. Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

    As an unregenerate collector of Silver and Golden Age comics, you must realize that the medium is not what it used to be. Consumption is way down and any gimmick to get even a blip in sales is fair game. Thus, we have Superman renouncing his citizenship and every skeevy permutation of post-modernity entering into the genre. The early days of books costing 10 to 12 cents are long gone and books in excess of 5.00 are not uncommon. Also interesting to note is how these mercenary attempts at publicity often fall flat on their faces and frequently disappear. Comics no longer have a set story line and multiple universes exist where characters lead different lifestyles in a multiplicity of situations. In falling prey to the deconstruction of virtues and noble ends, comics, which ultimately are a mirror that reflects the common culture, have swallowed the poison pill of post-modernity and few really care about fictional characters who are as screwed up as the reader is. And moreover, there is that pesky thing about reading comprehension that has made comics the equivalent of novels to many a wretched moron who is more at home with “The cat sat on the Mat.”

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      In falling prey to the deconstruction of virtues and noble ends, comics, which ultimately are a mirror that reflects the common culture, have swallowed the poison pill of post-modernity and few really care about fictional characters who are as screwed up as the reader is.

      LOL. So true. And one of my beefs of this increasingly narcissistic culture is that all art must indeed mirror people’s attitudes and such. But didn’t we once go to a movie or pick up a book to be transported out of ourselves, to see things we hadn’t seen before, to think thoughts we hadn’t thought before?

      Not anymore.

  3. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    Another sign of our cultural collapse – this is really sad, Selwyn. Great list of her super-powers, though! I remember years ago when Marvel did its first gay superhero (I forget his name), and it was predictably politically-correct self-righteous twaddle, but this is much worse. It’s very sad – I haven’t paid much attention to comics for at least 15 years, but I was a big fan once. Over at DC, things are even worse – they’ve completely absorbed that spirit of dark nihilism that pervades so much of youth culture today. And I think they got their Muslim superhero last year – Lord help us.

    There was a comic that more realistically portrayed Islam, but I can’t remember its name although it was featured on Frontpage Magazine some time ago.

    • faba calculo says:

      The first Marvel gay character I recall was the mutant Northstar in Alpha Flight. It was written then by John Byrnes, who, in terms of intellectual fairness, was about the best writer (and artist) I’ve even seen in the fields. But he made no friends in that industry by having Northstar be dying of AIDS.

      In the ultimate turn of politically correct stupidity, after Byrnes left, they did a retcon on Northstar so that he wasn’t a mutant but a magical being from a magical realm whose sickness wasn’t AIDS but merely suffering from not being in the magical kingdom. What made this so utterly stupid, in addition to the above, was that they didn’t say “magical being”. They just came right out and said it was a faire. So I’m sitting there and laughing my ass off, wondering if they were really that clueless or if it was actually one final oblique dig at gays.

  4. Glenn Fairman Glenn Fairman says:

    It is perhaps interesting to note that the comics of the 40’s and 50’s generally showed a black and white dichotomy between good and evil and little nuance. Some may interpret this as a parochial perspective at morality, but now we have gone to the other extreme that buries morality in situational shades of gray. If I were to have my druthers, I would opt for the former rather than what we see in the arts to day…..where art is not art unless it satisfies the definition of cultural provocateur.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The basic problem is that too many people don’t wish to accept that there really are such things as good and evil. It’s handy when looking in a mirror (to the extent that any of them ever do).

    • faba calculo says:

      It’s also worth noting that the comic books of the 40s and 50s are just about unreadable. I followed the Flash from the time I was 6 or 7 until I was in my 40s and collected issues further back with abandon. I still recall their covers, which presented such interesting and dramatic themes, but the stories inside were just dreck. Ditto for the older Supermen, original Green Lantern, original Flash, etc. Fine for kids, perhaps, but that was it.

      As I aged and started having more money, I began collecting more titles. Each Thursday, I’d go down to Wally’s Book and Comic Exchange, order them in terms of how excited I was to read them beginning with the least exciting, and dive in. Unfortunately, though he was my first comic book love, Flash and the Justice League, the only two DC comics I had kept, inevitably floated to the top, with all the Marvels, with their actually interesting story lines, underneath.

      Nor did the abundance of dreck protect them from, even then, being infected with political correctness. See the cover of JLA #57, titled “Man, Thy Name Is Brother” with “U.N. WE BELIEVE” beneath it (see: http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Justice_League_of_America_Vol_1_57).

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        My younger brother is a huge collector of comic books…or used to be. Family takes priority these days. But it’s also true that the comics just weren’t much fun to read anymore. Oh, the graphics in them (following a trend of our hollowed-out culture) were superb. Silver foil. Embossed. 3D. Holograms. The covers themselves were often a work of art.

        But the stories inside were vacant. It mirrors the special effects craze in Hollywood. Movies literally spend tens of millions on special effects but they can’t seem to spare a quarter for a good screenwriter.

        My favorite comics to read was I was growing up was Dennis the Menace, The Fantastic Four, S.H.I.E.L.D., and a few of the “Ghost of Doctor Graves” type of comics. I was never into Superman or any of that because even then the stories were rather dull. Maybe The Hulk was one of the few exceptions in that genre.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I would be hard pressed to say what my favorites were 50 years ago, since I read quite a few (some of them probably intermittently). As an adult, most of my nostalgia buying has tended toward Uncle Scrooge (especially the old Carl Barks adventures).

        • faba calculo says:

          For me, the Golden Age of comics was when I was in grad school, with Marvel’s New Universe and things like The Sandman. The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman, has won wide acclaim; not so the New Universe. But with its actually letting the characters age, things actually seemed to move forward. Take DP7. Instead of “mutants”, everyone in the New Universe was either normal or a “paranormal”, a class of humans that suddenly came into existence one day during a bright flash of white light, later referred to as “the White Event”. DP7 was a group of 7 Displaced Paranormals (hence the name) on the run from “the clinic”, which, while claiming to be there to help paranormals, wasn’t. In the normal Marvel Universe, this would have meant dozens of issues with them on the run (ala the Hulk), but here, with them aging, things had to move forward, so within 12 issues they’d turned the tables on the clinic and taken it over, leading to another dozen issues of trying to herd cats as the racial and age differences tore the clinic apart. Then someone blew up Pittsburg, and that lead to a new plot thread, and…well, you get the point.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Sounds interesting. There are several good comic book readers out there for computers. I’ve got “Simple Comic” for the Mac which somebody turned me onto as well as a sampling of “Walking Dead.” I’m not sure what the status is for some of these things you can download for free. But they are out there. Maybe I can find DP7.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    It is perhaps interesting to note that the comics of the 40′s and 50′s generally showed a black and white dichotomy between good and evil and little nuance. Some may interpret this as a parochial perspective at morality, but now we have gone to the other extreme that buries morality in situational shades of gray.

    Abso-friggin’-lutely.

  6. faba calculo says:

    The one thing about comic books that always bugged me, and still does (besides the fact that they don’t age, which means that their lives never move forward), is that they couldn’t do a reasonable representation of Christianity are rarely even tried. I remember reading the first issue of “Archer and Armstrong”, noting that his parents were portrayed as total fundies, and thinking to myself then and there that they were going to turn out to be baddies. Sure enough, a few pages later, there they are cutting up and eating a dead girl as part of their “special communion”.

    Back then, the only exception of note was John Byrnes (who I’ve already praised, above) who had a blind priest in his Next Men series. He looked freaky, with his glassy eyes, and with the Archer and Armstrong example (and many other), I instantly concluded he’d be a baddie as well. Turns out, nope, he’s just a blind priest who tells the gospel to the heroes, leading one of them to convert. It was probably the biggest shock I ever had reading a comic book.

  7. cdjaco says:

    The good news is that Marvel isn’t subsidized by our tax dollars, and so when the market for this pap fails to materialize, this incarnation of the character will be quietly retired in a year or two.

    You know, just in time for them to re-launch The Hulk as a bi-curious runway model trapped in a monster’s body.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      You know, just in time for them to re-launch The Hulk as a bi-curious runway model trapped in a monster’s body.

      LOL. My younger brother is a huge Hulk fan. Perish the thought.

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