NOCs of the Roundtable: The New Ms. Marvel

Yesterday, Marvel Comics made a splash by announcing the launch of Ms. Marvel #1, written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Adrian Alphona (best known as the co-creator of Marvel’s Runaways). And while launching another Ms. Marvel book isn’t usually big news, the reason for all the attention this time centers around the teenaged girl assuming the mantle — Kamala Khan. In order to process this announcement from Marvel, we convened a “roundtable” of fellow Nerds of Color to talk about their thoughts on this new series from Marvel.

Borne from the childhood experiences of Marvel editor Sana Amanat — who will also edit the new series — Ms. Marvel will tell the story of Kamala, a Pakistani American teen from Jersey City who idolizes Carol Danvers (the original Ms. Marvel who now goes by Captain Marvel). Kamala takes on Danvers’ old codename after she discovers her own shape-shifting super powers. The new Ms. Marvel is part of Marvel’s ongoing quest to spotlight more women and characters of color in their books. After all, Ms. Marvel is coming out on the heels of Mighty Avengers and the all-female mutant X-Men. Overall, I think it’s a net positive to have a high-profile book be fronted with a teenaged girl of color who is also Muslim. Whether or not the narratives inside the pages fall victim to old stereotypes remains to be seen, but I think Marvel deserves credit for making the continued attempts to diversify their superhero roster.

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The First Romance of a Casual Fangirl of Colour

yellow-rangerTo some degree, I think it’s inevitable that all of us who were born and raised in the 80’s, who now look back at that decade with equal parts mortification and nostalgia, and most importantly, who share the special brand of being born and raised an 80’s kid of colour, are to some degree nerds with a special connection to comic books and all other things fandom.

Personally, I stumbled into the role of fangirl, and I still have a hard time fully claiming the title. There are plenty of folks out there with obviously better nerd cred than me – I spot several of them within the esteemed ranks of this site’s bloggers. These are the folks who can quote verbatim Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore’s From Hell, who can keep straight what happened and who died in which Crisis (and might even be able to point you at which issue of which title is relevant to your particular question), and who can gleefully cite the names of each X-man created by Chris Claremont before descending into a heated debate over whether any of them would win in an epic deathmatch against Iceman.

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