I recently started the Ms. Marvel comic series and was so surprised by how not cliche it was, I felt I had to write about it.
So Ms. Marvel is actually average Brown girl Kamala Khan. As soon as I realised the main character was a female Muslim I internally groaned, expecting the entire series to just be some poor attempt at stereotyping, whilst pretending to not be stereotyping because the character is good. Or something like that, you get the picture.
But that is not the case with this series. Nothing about her personality is to do with her being brown or Muslim. Although some stereotypes of muslim parents is brought into the writing, it is never to make them seem like bad parents. It is usually just to move the plot forward.
Her life as a superhero begins when she wishes to be like Captain Marvel. Long story short, her wish comes true and she transforms into a blonde white woman with all the ideal body measurements to make gross men stare. Then Kamala decides that that is shit and gets her own costume that is made with some Muslim attire (a nice tough imo), and allows her to remain brown.
Popular culture recently, particularly on TV, doesn’t really fit with me when they go out of their way to make a character black, gay or Jewish or whatever. It seems like they don’t let you forget that the character is exactly that. Whereas with Ms. Marvel you are never really thinking about the fact the hero is a brown Muslim (except for now, whilst I’m writing this).
That’s what makes it so important. Whenever someone pictures comics and their characters, you think of hypersexualised white men and women. Because that’s what it mostly is. This series is nowhere near that. It’s an inclusive series that made me for the second time in my life realise graphic novels are great. The first time was when I was about seven.
And on that note, I ought to say…comics are not just for kids! I would highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys beautiful artwork and has a sense of humour.