Marvel Comics in Nov. 2013 announced that it would debut a superhero named Kamala Khan, a teenage Muslim girl with Pakistani roots living in Jersey City. She is a shapeshifter who takes on the name Ms. Marvel and bears a lightning bolt symbol on her chest.
Marvel Comics rolled out "Ms. Marvel #1" on Feb. 5, introducing readers to the new superhero and her alter ego Kamala Khan -- "a teenager struggling to find their own path who is suddenly granted great power, and learns the responsibility that comes with it," said Marvel editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.
The fact that Kamala is female and a first-generation American who struggles with the values and authority of her immigrant parents might give her story different shading, but ultimately, her story is universal.
- Axel Alonso, Marvel Comics editor-in-chief
Khan's origin story revolves around the 16-year-old grappling with her new powers, high school and her conservative Pakistani family.
Ms. Marvel, aka Muslim teen Kamala Khan from Jersey City, set to make historic comic book series debut
The Kamala Khan character will go through challenges common to teenage superhero characters, including isolation and seeking one's identity, but also those faced by some immigrants to the U.S., such as having religiously conservative relatives and overprotective parents, and struggling with religious faith.
Any time you do something like this, it is a bit of a risk. You're trying to bring the audience on board and they are used to seeing something else in the pages of a comic book.
- G. Willow Wilson, comic book writer
Marvel plans to roll out a series dedicated to She-Hulk and Elektra, two of its female superheroes, in 2014.
Marvel announced July 15 that in October, the famed character Thor would be re-cast as a woman. "This new Thor isn't a temporary female substitute," said Marvel editor Will Moss. "She's now the one and only Thor, and she is worthy!