Marvel's newest Ms. Marvel is a sixteen-year-old Muslim American girl from Jersey City named Kamala Khan, and she's one of the greatest superheroes Marvel's put to print. Kamala technically is an Inhuman who got her powers from a Terrigen Mist bomb that went off in the city while she had snuck out. The first volume of her comics are amazing, to say the least. They follow Kamala through her discovery of her powers and her struggle with keeping them from her strict Pakistani parents. Kamala is so important to the Marvel Universe, not just because she's a superhero, but because she also teaches young Muslim girls to be themselves and to love being them. Her message reaches out to people of all ages and colors, and even as a young adult Kamala is teaching me so much. Here's what I've learned.
Even Across Cultures, Teens Still Rebel
(Via: Comic Pow)
...and parents still ground you.
Not that I didn't think that this didn't happen, but it shows that no matter your cultural, religious, or other background teens are still going to be dramatic and parents are still going to loose their cool. We aren't all that different from each other.
Big Brothers Are All The Same
They'll promise to rally their brothers from the mosque in your honor, then tell you you're toast all in the same breath just the same. Again, I didn't except their family dynamic to be different than the "normal American family," but it's interesting to see the little differences, and they're the differences that matter.
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I feel like everyone can relate to this panel. Whether your BLT is a new car you can't afford or a food you can't eat for religious or medical reasons. Nakia may not understand why Kamala is doing this to herself, but there's a certain satisfaction with looking and dreaming.
She's shown me what it's like to feel like an outsider.
(Via: Jaggerylit )
Kamala spends most of the first volume struggling with her self-image and her intense want to be "normal". As she realizes in the panel above, her rejecting her culture just made it seem like she had risen above them, that they were inferior. As a white person, I've never had to struggle with wanting to be a different race. Kamala serves as a huge and wonderful role model for young girls of color, because she realizes by the end of the first volume that she doesn't want to be a tall blonde. She doesn't want or need to be the old Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers), she needs to be herself. She's reinvented the Ms. Marvel title in only a way she could.
Protect your hometown.
(Via: Comicsalliance )
Kamala's fierce love of Jersey City fuels her need to protect its inhabitants. While the Avengers are off saving the world and big cities like New York, Kamala brings it back home and helps save her neighbors and friends. Her hometown is weaved into her personality so much that it is critical to her. I feel this applies to almost everyone. Even if you hate your hometown, you can't change where you grew up.
Kamala's most important lesson to all of her readers is to be yourself. As I said before, she spends most of the first volume struggling to find herself and who to be with these newfound powers. She dabbles with trying to be Carol Danvers, the first Ms. Marvel (now Captain Marvel). Eventually, she realizes (like in the panel above) that she can only be a hero if she is herself. Of course, her dad might've also had an inspirational speech in between his groundings.
If you are a Marvel or comic fan, I cannot recommend the Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) series enough. They're so worth the read.