First off, let me give you some background in case you do not know who Kamala Khan is. Kamala is the current Ms Marvel, the 4th character to take the title, she is a geeky teenager from New Jersey, who is most interested in pursuing her fun gaming life style and writing her fan fictions about the marvel superheroes. But things change for Kamala when she sneaks out of her house to go to a party and accidentally gets exposed to the spreading terrigen mist (explained in Infinity). After being exposed Kamala is rendered unconscious, when she awakes she finds that her body has been changing (not like that) and she is now… a young Carol Danvers in her warbird costume.
Before she has much time to address this, she hears one of the party goers calling for help and rushes to help them, where she uses her new power to save her. Kamala’s new powers allow her to manipulate her body; growing, stretching, shrinking etc. and the ability to change her general appearance. Upon returning home she finds herself returned to normal, and from this point on she is on a journey of discovering how her powers work, meeting her idols and becoming the perfect new hero for young people to look up to.
OK, backstory over. So Kamala is a young hero, but there are also characters like the new Nova, Sam Alexander, and heck even Miles Morales why aren’t you calling them the new Spider-Man? After all Miles literally is. Well that is because I feel Kamala quickly touches onto a subject that is very important for young readers and that is a feeling of disconnect from society. One thing I have specifically not brought up yet about Kamala is that she is a Muslim superhero, the first to star in her own title, and as such works as a good model for a group that has been made to feel derided by society and that they don’t positively contribute. And this very thing was very important in writer G. Willow Wilson’s mind when coming up with the character, she gave an excellent Ted talk which I advise you all to watch. As she explains growing up now feels very different: in the past it was a time of excitement and ingenuity where anyone could go on to do great things. But this generation are almost encouraged to think the opposite, the future is bleak and we are a good for nothing generation, who think nothing of anything but ourselves, things that can make you feel guilty for living. But Kamala wants to give hope, that even if you are different you can contribute and whatever people they tell you, you fight through it, to be who you dream you can be.
The most shining example of Kamala talking to her young audience comes from her second volume of her first run, Generation Why. This volume mostly tackles her fight against The Inventor, a giant cockatiel who is an imperfect clone of Thomas Edison… OK, you have to just let a few things slide in Comic books.
Soon after this encounter she discovers that he has been kidnapping teenagers to use as power sources for his machines… Again, comic logic. Of course, she tries to rescue them, and succeeds, but only to learn that they did not actually want to be saved. The teens have come to believe that this is the way they can be most useful, to just stop being around and use them for power. And this is where Kamala gives her speech to them that if we accept that we are a waste of space then what future can we fight for and while the world is in a difficult situation we have to keep living or what’s the point in saving it.
Like how Spider-Man was in the 60s, representing the average teenager that is what Ms Marvel is doing now for the modern generation. And this is why I give her the distinction of being the modern age equivalent of what Spider-Man originally was. Personally, when I first saw Ms Marvel I was sceptical. It felt like it would end up being a preachy series, and I wasn’t too interested, but I am glad that I was wrong. The series is a very fun and charming read and I personally recommend them to everyone, the series continues to be one of my favourites from Marvel.
Currently Ms Marvel is an Avenger and on tony Stark’s side in the ongoing Civil War II. She is also in a bit of a love triangle (which she denies) with Sam Alexander and Miles Morales, who knows how that will play out (#TeamMiles). At any rate Ms Marvel looks set to continue great stories for some time to come and I really recommend that you all check her out (I will lend you the comics!).
Oliver, The Green Falcon