MS. MARVEL (2014) #1. Kamala is just a girl trying to find her way.

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When I heard my childhood comic hero Spider Man was going to be rebooted as a young black boy I will be honest I was very skeptical, I didn’t think they could do it justice. Marvel knocked my socks off. Miles was not only capable of being Spider Man, but he is strong and weak and childish and smart in all the ways Peter was too. He wasn’t a clone of Peter (comic book world or otherwise), he was his own person, a complete person. It’s the first comic I regularly read in a really long time.

So when Marvel announced its reboot of Miss Marvel, part of me was excited, but a bigger part of me wondered if they could do it twice. It seems like they have, woah. It’s pretty slim pickings when trying to find good representations of Women of Colour (WoC) in the media. I won’t go into all the stereotypes because they’re pretty depressing, the main thing is that we’re rarely given the freedom to screw up. It is rare that you see a female character of colour have the freedom to make mistakes, to be goofy, cute and silly. You’re more likely to see us as being strong. That at times can be as damaging as the negative stereotypes because we’re still painted as one dimensional people without a full scope of emotion.

Ms. Kamala Khan is anything but one dimensional. From one book alone they’ve managed to convey her as a complete person, as a friend you might know, with struggles of her own. Like any typical teenage girl, she wants to fit in, she wants to belong. She feels alienated, but still loves the part of her that she sees as the source of her alienation. The ideal of the pretty blonde girl wreaks havoc on her self esteem, and she is very clearly struggling with her own self worth. Her religion is a part of her identity and so readily discussed, but we’re not being preached at to convert. So far, I’m really enjoying this. I hope the quality of content remains high, because it’s so great to see a complete person. After reading interviews with the people who are involved in the project I can’t imagine that the rest of the instalments would be anything but awesome.

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