Marvel’s Muslim Superhero Gets Her Own TV Show And Video Game

Kamala Khan – a.k.a. Ms. Marvel – will headline Disney+’s live-action show Ms. Marvel and will be a playable character in an upcoming video game.

Marvel’s Muslim Superhero Gets Her Own TV Show And Video Game

Kamala Khan – a.k.a. Ms. Marvel – will headline Disney+’s live-action show Ms. Marvel and will be a playable character in an upcoming video game.

By

Sara S. & Wali Ahmad

Kamala Khan, a 16-year old Muslim, Pakistani-American character from Jersey City will be taking over our screens in the upcomings months. Also known as the superhero “Ms. Marvel” in Marvel’s comics, she has the ability to shape shift. 

Marvel Studios revealed that Kamala Khan will get her own live-action television Disney+ series at the D23 convention in California in August 2019. Titled “Ms. Marvel”, the series will be produced by Marvel Studios and written by British writer Bisha K. Ali. It is said to tie directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films – the show will share continuity with Marvel’s latest films, Avengers: Endgame and Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as future feature films. This makes sense, given that Kamala Khan’s superhero name is a tribute to Captain Marvel, who headlined the first female-led superhero film in the MCU. The series is expected to be released in 2022.

 

In anticipation for Khan’s appearance in Disney+ series, a video game featuring the character has also been announced less than two years before her TV appearance.The game’s publisher, Square Enix, announced that the next Marvel Avengers game would include Kamala Khan as one of its main playable characters and will make her central to the plot. This received praise from fans and industry insiders. 

Putting Kamala Khan at the forefront of superhero television and gaming comes as a result of Marvel’s push for more diversity and representation in its various outlets. In addition to the successful 2018 feature film Black Panther, which consisted of primarily Black cast and crew, Marvel continues to diversify its production both on and off screen with future films such as The Eternals and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings and Blade

Representation remains important in shaping and influencing the cultural identities of children growing up as part of a minority culture. For many adults today, racial, religious and/or cultural representation on any form of media while growing up was generally not readily available. Maria Afsar, a 25 year-old gamer, said that Khan’s video game appearance was something she has been waiting for “her whole life.” She first heard of Ms Marvel a few years ago and thought it was “so cool” that she had a background the same as her, being Pakistani, Muslim, and a girl.

Kamala Khan’s comic character was co-created in 2014 by Marvel editor and director Sana Amanat. As a Muslim-American herself, Sana Amanat wanted to create a character young girls of  a similar background could identify with and look up to. Kamala’s costume also represents her cultural identity.

“I think it’s absolutely insane that Kamala is in one of the biggest Marvel games that we’ve done,” she said during the promotion of the game. “The fact that she’s the entry point character in this game makes so much sense. People from all backgrounds can relate to her.”

READ MORE: What’s With The Islamophobia In Netflix’s ‘Never Have I Ever’?

Jordanians Call For Change After So-Called Honor Killing Of Ahlam

Ahlam was murdered by her father who shortly after, sat down and drank tea beside her body.

Trigger warning: violence, domestic violence

In Jordan, a woman named Ahlam was murdered by her father in what is recognized as an “honor killing.” The attacks began after a dispute unraveled between Ahlam and her father. Her father hit her with a brick and continued the harm as Ahlam attempted to escape. She managed to start running as she was screaming for help, but her father chased her. She passed away after multiple hits to her head. Neighbors tried intervening, however, they were allegedly stopped by Ahlam’s brothers. As her body laid on the ground, Ahlam’s father sipped back on a cup of tea and smoked a cigarette. 

Ahlam had been previously in jail on a charge for misdemeanour by her father who then paid for her bail a month later. Investigations have opened on a report that someone complained of a woman being assaulted. There had been notifications that she was facing abuse at home, and no one stepped in to address the violence. 

Jordanian law allows for criminal indictment reduction under reason of honor; this can be seen in the Jordanian Penal code, Articles 98 and 99. Therefore, the father could reduce his crime under reason of Ahlam bringing dishonor to the family. Many Jordanian women have gone on social media to share that Jordanian laws continue to silence women while using Ahlam’s story as a horrifying example.

 

Jordanians flooded Twitter with anger and sadness. However, there were also comments that supported the murder. Comments such as “If she did something that touches the family’s honor then she deserves it…” escalated the issue. The father is facing the charges at Grand Criminal Court in Amman after Ahlam’s story garnered attention in the media. 

A similar incident occurred in Jordan when a man had killed his 14-year-old daughter after she made a Facebook account in May 2020.

There is a lot of growth to be made in the Jordanian government to address issues for Women’s Rights. A petition was made and began circulating online calling for the end of Articles 98 and 99 which now has more than 35,000 signatures. The translation of the petition urges the abolition of articles 98 and 99 in the Jordanian law. The petition is also asking for the end of Article 52, which gives families the right to waive the right to life of their children.

READ MORE:  OP-ED: Another ‘Honor Killing’ In A Family