Kamala Khan is going to have to take sides in Civil War II. In fact, I keep hearing that everyone is. The crossover is coming to Ms. Marvel's doorstep with issue #8 of her current series. The "Civil War Reenactiment" variant cover pretty clearly positions her as the Spider-Man of this version (meaning the initially naive character who switches sides), although the scene of her unmasking is presumably just a reference to that, and not something that will happen this time around.
Ms. Marvel has won the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award For Diversity In Comics at a ceremony held this weekend at Long Beach Comic Expo. Aside from honoring Ms. Marvel and other diverse works being published today, the event celebrated the life and career of the late McDuffie, with friends and collaborators in attendance to share stories and lessons from the legendary creator.
The 2015 Hugo Awards took place at the 73rd annual Worldcon in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday, recognizing achievements in science fiction and fantasy storytelling. Administered by the World Science Fiction Society, the awards are considered the most prestigious in their field, and many of this year's winners reflected the progressive edge of the genre --- a trend perhaps exemplified by the winner for Best Graphic Story (aka the comics category); Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal, by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona and Jake Wyatt, published by Marvel.
When you think of the term superhero, what instinctively comes to mind? Is it a straight white man with bulging muscles and a scarlet cape? Or a brooding vigilante with an aggressive streak and a heart of gold? Whatever your thoughts on mainstream superheroes, Kamala Khan, otherwise known as Ms. Marvel, effortlessly dismantles them.
Debuting on this day in 2013 in a cameo in the pages of Captain Marvel, the Pakistani American Muslim teenager quickly became one of the most honest and relatable heroes in the Marvel pantheon.
Today the 2015 Eisner nominations were announced for the awards ceremony that will take place on July 10th during San Diego Comic-Con International. There aren't a ton of surprises in this year's list --- books like Ms. Marvel, Saga, Multiversity, and Bandette led in terms of total nominations --- but as always it's good to see quality books get their due, and it was a year of positive movement in terms of gender diversity, with multiple women nominated in most major categories. We still have a ways to go, but seeing progress is a good sign.
Kamala Khan is a superstar now. Introduced only a year ago by Marvel, she’s become a bona fide figurehead for the publisher. A young Muslim girl in America who develops powers and uses them to try and help people, her story has caught on with a mainstream audience and turned the Ms Marvel series into a real, actual hit, especially among the growing digital readership.
What’s fascinating about the character, though, is how clearly she’s embedded into the tradition of superhero comics, and how you can draw a direct line from her back through Marvel’s history, to some of the company's most popular female superheroes. Kamala broke through at just the right moment in time, in just the right way, for the readership to embrace her, but she owes a debt to several characters that came before her.
Costume design is one of the great strengths of the superhero genre, a way to establish distinctive visual shorthand for a character and reveal key details about concept, purpose, and personality. But which is the best superhero costume of all time? This month, we’re asking you to decide, by voting up your favorites and voting down the rest. When we have your votes, we’ll compile a list of the greatest super-costumes of all time.
For day three, it's the magic hour; five of the finest, flashiest, most flamboyant witch-and-wizard costumes in the business, ranging from the Gothic Lolita look of Runaways' Nico Minoru to the fishnet-and-top hat classic stage magician (with fishnets) look of Zatanna --- and not forgetting the weird robes and curlicued collar of Doctor Stephen Strange himself.
Next Saturday at the Long Beach Comic Expo the first ever winner of the Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity will be named, and today the organizers revealed an impressive roster of nominees that includes a tribute to the first Chinese-American superhero, a blaxploitation revival, and the most prominent Muslim superhero in North American comics.
I was excited for Ms. Marvel from the moment it was announced. I reblogged it, retweeted it, called my mother about it, chatted it up at my local comic shop. But secretly, I was more than a little certain that it would suck in all the usual ways. Sure, the cover was splashy, and sure, I was hearing good things about G. Willow Wilson. But I was girded for — and expected — twenty or so lackluster issues before cancellation.
The first issue came out, and it was good. Really good. It was bright and fun and electric with personality in every way a comic can be, from its color palette to its ending splash. Still, though, I was unconvinced — fantastic first issues have given way to mediocrity before.
But the second issue was great. And the third. And the fourth. And with the fifth issue and the first arc completed, I feel that I can finally let out the breath I've been holding and say that Ms. Marvel is truly wonderful work.
James Baldwin once described America as a "country devoted to the death of the paradox." He was right, of course. We're more comfortable seeing things in extremes, in black and white. A person from one culture or background can be instantly labeled as an upstanding citizen, exemplifying everything good about "real America." Superman is from Kansas, not San Francisco.
But if you're from another background, you can be instantly labeled as something else entirely: lazy, entitled, a thug, "Un-American." To many, there are those who fit into a certain label based on where they grew up, what school they went to, what church they attend. To think otherwise, to consider that there is more to us than blanket, largely basely assumptions, isn't as easy. And for many, it's too uncomfortable. It's too much work.
Ms. Marvel #1 stands in stark contrast to that sentiment. Written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Adrian Alphona, each major character introduced in this first issue is a celebration and exploration of the paradox. It is a book full of characters who remind you of people you know, or people you knew. It's a book that's unique, but nonetheless familiar. It is also, by almost any measure, one of the best first issues of a superhero comic in years. And, if we're being honest, it probably needed to be.