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Marvel Introduces Muslim Teen Superhero, Destroys Bad Guys And Stereotypes

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(Photo courtesy of Marvel Comics/DKC Public Relations)
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Marvel Comics is bringing back Ms. Marvel as Kamala Khan, the 16-year-old daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City, and the first-ever Muslim title character from Marvel Comics.Khan, among the first characters to be a superhero who is both female and Muslim, is part of Marvel's efforts to reflect the growing diversity of its readership, while maintaining the contemporary relevance that makes Marvel, well…Marvel.

The new teen character will be in good company. Marvel introduced niqab-clad Sooraya Qadir, code-named "Dust," as part of the X-Men universe in 2002. DC Comics relaunched its "Green Lantern" series with Simon Baz, an Arab American and Muslim, last fall according to the Associated Press.

The new Ms. Marvel will feature in a special issue in January before her series begins in February, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Khan is the brainchild of Marvel editors Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker, who created the character together after Amanat entertained Wacker with anecdotes from her Muslim-American childhood, according to the Huffington Post.

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But Khan's backstory -- growing up Muslim -- is just part of the story, not the critical foundation, the creative team said.

"Kamala is not unlike Peter Parker," Marvel Editor-In-Chief Axel Alonso told the Associated Press. "She's a 16-year-old girl from the suburbs who is trying to figure out who she is and trying to forge an identity when she suddenly bestows great power and learns the great responsibility that comes with it."