When it comes to having compelling female superheros most comic fans agree of the big two, DC leads the charge. Marvel isn’t without any interesting ladies in spandex though (most of them being in the X-Men), and among those names stands Carol Danvers, the former Ms. Marvel.
You heard me, former.
You see in 2012 Carol took over the mantle of Captain Marvel, the name of the former male character she had been made into the female equivalent of back when she first gained her powers. There have been a few characters to use the name over the years after the original Captain Marvel died, but none stuck around long enough to have any lasting impact. Both Carol and Marvel were making a statement with Carol taking up the mantle of her much beloved male counterpart.
This bold move however left Marvel with a problem, what to do with the name Ms. Marvel. While Carol taking up the mantle may have been great for the character and showing the more progressive side of Marvel, it also left them with one of their most well known and beloved female titles completely vacant.
So to correct this Marvel is set to relaunch the book with an all new character taking up the name. This new Ms. Marvel will be 16 year old Jersey Girl Kamala Khan, a young Muslim woman who gains powers due to the Terrigen Mists Inhuman ruler Black Bolt, spread across NYC activating powers in people with Inhuman ancestry. This is fitting as the first Captain Marvel was a a member of the alien race known as the Kree and both Carol Danvers gaining powers and the Inhuman race coming into being are due to interactions with the Kree. Marvel is tapping G. Willow Wilson, a talented writer who has drawn inspiration from her own Muslim faith in her previous comic works Cairo and Air to bring Kamala to life with co-creator of The Runaways Adrian Alphona on art duties.
Wilson had this to say about the upcoming series:
“I wanted Ms. Marvel to be true-to-life, something real people could relate to, particularly young women. High school was a very vivid time in my life, so I drew heavily on those experiences–impending adulthood, dealing with school, emotionally charged friendships that are such a huge part of being a teenager. It’s for all the geek girls out there, and everybody else who’s ever looked at life from the fringe.”
This move shows is just further proof of how much Marvel is on the top of their game right now (the heinous mismanagement of Spider-Man aside). The House that Stan Built could of thrown any female character in the role as a simple stopgap measure, instead they took it as a chance to get creative and do something interesting. While Kamala isn’t the first female Muslim created in Marvel’s history, she will be the first to star in a solo series.
With Ms. Marvel premiering in February of next year and Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez relaunching Captain Marvel in March it is fine time to be a Marvel fan. I will be picking up both these titles when they come out, happy to see more of my good friend Carol, and to make a new friend in Kamala.
Are you excited about the new Ms. Marvel? Are you going to pick either it and/or Captain Marvel up when they come out? Let us know in the comments below. Also let us know who your favorite female Marvel character is. Mine’s Mary Jane.