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Kamala Khan

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Kamala Khan
Ms. Marvel
Kamala Khan.jpg
Textless variant cover of
Ms. Marvel #2 (March 2014).
Art by Jorge Molina.
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceCaptain Marvel #14 (August 2013)
Created bySana Amanat
Stephen Wacker
G. Willow Wilson
Adrian Alphona
Jamie McKelvie
Voiced by
In-story information
Alter egoKamala Khan
SpeciesInhuman
Team affiliationsAvengers
Champions
Secret Warriors
Protectors[1]
New Avengers
PartnershipsCarol Danvers
Miles Morales / Miles Morales
Sam Alexander/ Sam Alexander
Daisy Johnson
Spider-Man
Abilities
  • Morphogenetics
  • Superhuman Strength and Durability
  • Elasticity, Plasticity and Malleability
  • Appearance Alteration
  • Regenerative Healing Factor
  • Bioluminescence
  • Shapeshifting
  • Size Alteration
  • Biomass Manipulation

Kamala Khan is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker, writer G. Willow Wilson, and artists Adrian Alphona and Jamie McKelvie, Khan is Marvel's first Muslim character to headline her own comic book. Khan made her first appearance in Captain Marvel #14 (August 2013) before going on to star in the solo series Ms. Marvel, which debuted in February 2014.

Within the Marvel Universe, Khan is a teenage Pakistani American from Jersey City, New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities who discovers that she has Inhuman genes in the aftermath of the "Inhumanity" storyline and assumes the mantle of Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers after Danvers becomes Captain Marvel. Marvel's announcement that a Muslim character would headline a comic book drew widespread attention, and the first volume of Ms. Marvel won the Hugo Award for best graphic story in 2015.

Iman Vellani is set to portray Khan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Disney+ series Ms. Marvel (2022) and the film The Marvels (2023). The character was voiced by Sandra Saad in the 2020 action-adventure video game Marvel's Avengers.

Overview[edit]

Creative origins[edit]

In November 2013, Marvel Comics announced that Kamala Khan, a teenage American Muslim from Jersey City, New Jersey, would take over the comic book series Ms. Marvel beginning in February 2014. The series, written by G. Willow Wilson and drawn by Adrian Alphona, marked the first time a Muslim character headlined a book at Marvel Comics.[2] However, Noelene Clark of the Los Angeles Times noted that Khan is not the first Muslim character in comic books, which include Simon Baz, Dust and M.[3] The conception of Kamala Khan came about during a conversation between Marvel editors Sana Amanat and Stephen Wacker. Amanat said, "I was telling him [Wacker] some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim American. He found it hilarious." The pair then told Wilson about the concept and Wilson became eager to jump aboard the project.[4] Amanat said that the series came from a "desire to explore the Muslim-American diaspora from an authentic perspective."[5]

Artist Jamie McKelvie based Khan's design on his redesign of Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel and on Dave Cockrum's design of the original Ms. Marvel.[6] Amanat requested that the design "reflected the Captain Marvel legacy, and also her story and her background."[7] Amanat stated that Khan's costume was influenced by the shalwar kameez. They wanted the costume to represent her cultural identity, but did not want her to wear a hijab,[8] because the majority of teenage Pakistani-American girls do not wear one.[9] Amanat also stated that they wanted the character to look "less like a sex siren" to appeal to a more vocal female readership.[8]

Marvel knew that they wanted a young Muslim girl, but stated that she could be from any place of origin and have any background. Wilson initially considered making her an Arab girl from Dearborn, Michigan but ultimately chose to create a Desi girl from Jersey City.[10] Jersey City, which sits across the Hudson River from Manhattan, has been referred to as New York City's "Sixth borough".[11][12][13] It therefore forms an important part of Khan's identity and the narrative journey of her character since most of Marvel Comics' stories are set in Manhattan. Wilson explains, "A huge aspect of Ms. Marvel is being a 'second string hero' in the 'second string city' and having to struggle out of the pathos and emotion that can give a person."[14]

The series not only explores Khan's conflicts with supervillains but also explores conflicts with Khan's home and religious duties. Wilson, a convert to Islam, said "This is not evangelism. It was really important for me to portray Kamala as someone who is struggling with her faith." Wilson continued, "Her brother is extremely conservative, her mom is paranoid that she's going to touch a boy and get pregnant, and her father wants her to concentrate on her studies and become a doctor."[4] Amanat added,

As much as Islam is a part of Kamala's identity, this book isn't preaching about religion or the Islamic faith in particular. It's about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self. It's a struggle we've all faced in one form or another, and isn't just particular to Kamala because she's Muslim. Her religion is just one aspect of the many ways she defines herself.[2]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Khan develops her superpowers following Marvel's Infinity storyline when the Terrigen Mists are released. Her dormant Inhuman abilities are activated by the Mists on a rare night when Khan decides to be rebellious and sneak out after her parents forbid her from attending a high school party.[15][16] Screen Rant highlighted that Khan is classified as a "polymorph" with moves that "are basically Ant-Man and Mister Fantastic's combined".[17] According to academic Sarah Gibbons, Khan's powers of body morphing are paralleled by the flexibility required of the in-world characters who live in her home city of Jersey City, and that her unusual superpowered body shape carries a non-conforming message in terms of current neo-liberal ideologies.[18]

Khan's most well known power is elongation, which allows her to extend her limbs, torso, or neck to great distances. Her other powers include the ability to alter her size, allowing her to shrink and enlarge herself.[19][17][15] When she enlarges, she can lift up to 75 tons. Khan has even used this ability to make her body as thin as paper.[20] Khan has a healing factor, which is capable of healing from bullet wounds, which works when she is not using her other polymorph abilities. However, if Khan extensively heals, she will become heavily fatigued.[19][15][21] She can shapeshift into other people, and even inanimate objects, though she uses this rarely.[22][17][21]

When asked about the transition of Khan from comic book to live-action, Wilson stated, "I think there're some characters who are very much set up for the big screen; they're very naturally sort of cinematic. But with Ms. Marvel, we really weren't interested in creating something that had very obvious film potential. [...] She's got very comic booky powers. God bless them trying to bring that to live action; I don't know how that's going to work out in a way that doesn't look really creepy".[23]

Publication history[edit]

Volume one (2013–2015)[edit]

First appearance of Kamala Khan from Captain Marvel #14 (August 2013) by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Scott Hepburn

In the series, Khan takes the name Ms. Marvel from Carol Danvers, who now goes by the alias Captain Marvel. Captain Marvel writer Kelly Sue DeConnick revealed that Khan actually made a brief appearance in Captain Marvel #14 (August 2013) saying, "Kamala is in the background of a scene in Captain Marvel 14 ... She is very deliberately placed in a position where she sees Carol protecting civilians from Yon-Rogg."[24] According to Wilson, Khan idolizes Carol so when Khan acquires superhuman abilities, she emulates Danvers.[14] "Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for. She's strong, beautiful and doesn't have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and 'different,'"[4] Wilson explained. "Khan is a big comic book fan and after she discovers her superhuman power – being a polymorph and able to lengthen her arms and legs and change her shape – she takes on the name of Ms. Marvel," Amanat elaborated.[25] Khan is one of several characters who discover that they have Inhuman heritage following the "Inhumanity" storyline, in which the Terrigen Mists are released throughout the world and activate dormant Inhuman cells.[16]

In the series' first story arc, Khan faces off against Mr. Edison / the Inventor, an amalgam of man and bird. Wilson created the Inventor to be Khan's first arch rival in order to mirror Khan's own complexity. Wilson characterizes the Inventor, and the overall visual look of the opening story arc as "kooky and almost Miyazaki-esque at times", owing to the art style of illustrator Adrian Alphona, which balances the drama of the threats which Khan faces with the humor of Alphona's "tongue in cheek sight gags." During the storyline, Khan also teams-up with the X-Man Wolverine against the Inventor. Because Wolverine is dealing with the loss of his healing factor during this time, Khan is placed in the position of having to shoulder much of the responsibilities, as Wilson felt this was a role reversal that would subvert reader expectations that Wolverine would take the lead in such a team-up.[26]

At the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con International, writer Dan Slott announced that Khan would team-up with Spider-Man beginning in The Amazing Spider-Man #7 (October 2014) during the "Spider-Verse" storyline. Slott characterized Khan "the closest character to classic Peter Parker,"[27] explaining, "She's a teenage superhero, juggling her life, making mistakes, trying to do everything right."[28]

Beginning in June 2015, Ms. Marvel tied into the "Secret Wars" crossover event with the "Last Days" storyline, which details Khan's account of the end of the Marvel Universe. Wilson explained, "In the 'Last Days' story arc, Kamala has to grapple with the end of everything she knows, and discover what it means to be a hero when your whole world is on the line."[29] In the storyline, Khan rushes to deal with the threat in Manhattan. However, Wilson revealed, "She will face a very personal enemy as the chaos in Manhattan spills over into Jersey City, and she will be forced to make some very difficult choices. There will also be a very special guest appearance by a superhero Kamala—and the fans—have been waiting to meet for a long time."[30]

Volume two (2015–2018)[edit]

In March 2015, Marvel announced that Khan would join the Avengers in All-New All-Different Avengers FCBD (May 2015) by writer Mark Waid and artists Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar, which takes place in the aftermath of "Secret Wars".[31] A second volume of Ms. Marvel starring Khan by Wilson, Alphona and Takeshi Miyazawa also debuted following "Secret Wars" as part of Marvel's All-New, All-Different Marvel initiative.[32] Amanat said,

By the time this new launch comes around, it will have been almost two years since the premiere of Ms. Marvel—and boy, has Kamala Khan been through a lot since then. She's been slowly coming into her own, dealing with the challenges of navigating adulthood and being a super hero. But her training is over now and it's time for the big leagues; the question is can she handle it? ... As much as Kamala has a right to be there—it's still a bit of a culture shock. Dreaming of being an Avenger and then suddenly being one is a lot to take on for someone of her age. So, she'll be a little awestruck, a little overly ambitious.[33]

In March 2016, Marvel announced that Ms. Marvel would tie into the "Civil War II" storyline by releasing a promotional image illustrating a rift between Khan and Danvers.[34] Amanat elaborated that this storyline would center "around self-discovery and identity, and a part of that exploration includes separating yourself from those you put on pedestals. [...] It has to do with growing up and realizing that you perceive the world differently from even the ones you love".[35] Academic Sandra Eckard wrote that "Kamala at first follows her mentor's lead until she realizes that she is not comfortable with putting people in jail for crimes they may commit. The idea of 'predictive justice' that Kamala fights against leads to a domino effect of her friends abandoning her and Captain Marvel dismissing her from duty in her group and friendship. Kamala, broken and hopeless, goes on a journey to find herself in Pakistan".[21] Eckard stated that through this journey Khan comes to the realization that places can't fix a person and problems within oneself "must be figured and sorted out by that person".[21]

In July 2016, Marvel announced that Khan would join the Champions, a team of teenage superheroes who split off from the Avengers following the conclusion of "Civil War II". The team, featured in a series by writer Mark Waid and artist Humberto Ramos, consists of Khan, Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Nova (Sam Alexander), Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Viv Vision, and a teenage version of Cyclops. Waid said, "The first three are the kids who quit the Avengers proper. That was an easy get. Those three, in and of themselves, form a nice little subteam. Their dynamic is great. They all show up in each other's books, and even though they have their arguments and stress points, clearly they're good together."[36]

In August 2016, Khan made an appearance in Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10 by writers Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare. In the issue, Khan acts as a mentor to Moon Girl (Lunella Lafayette) who is also a young Inhuman that suddenly came into her powers. Amanat stated that Khan sees much of herself in Lafayette and by teaching her, Khan learns much about herself.[35]

In November 2016, Marvel announced that Khan would join a new incarnation of the Secret Warriors in a series by writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Javier Garron that debuted in May 2017.[37][38] The team is composed of "Inhumans who are a little outside traditional Inhuman culture,"[39] such as Quake, Karnak, Moon Girl, and Devil Dinosaur, and was formed in the wake of the "Inhumans vs X-Men" storyline. Rosenberg stated that there is some conflict and friction amongst the team members explaining, "Ms. Marvel and Quake are really fighting for the soul of the team in a lot of ways, while Moon Girl will continue to really do her own thing. They will all be tested and challenged, they are superheroes after all, but they are going to do things their way."[37] The first five issues of the Secret Warriors series was tied to the Marvel event storyline Secret Empire.[40][41]

In March 2017, Marvel announced that Khan would team-up with Danvers in a one-shot issue of the limited anthology series, Generations by Wilson and Paolo Villanelle. Wilson stated that the issue would explore Danvers' and Khan's mentor–student relationship, but "at its heart, [it] is about growing up, and a big part of growing up is discovering that your idols have feet of clay – and forgiving them for their flaws as you gain an adult understanding of your own."[42]

From April to August 2017, the Champions series was also involved in Secret Empire storyline. In the final story arc for second volume of Champions, Khan survived Weirdworld with her teammates.[43][44]

Marvel Legacy relaunch[edit]

In December 2017, Ms. Marvel began the "Teenage Wasteland" story arc, as part of the Marvel Legacy relaunch. Wilson said, "Since the events of 'Civil War II', there's been friction between Kamala and her mentor, Captain Marvel. In this arc, we're exploring how complicated legacies can be when they're passed from generation to generation ... She's questioning a lot about herself and her mission. Her friends end up stepping into some very important—and unexpected—roles. So in a sense, the arc is really about a bunch of chronically under-estimated teenagers who pull together to fight evil."[45]

In January 2018, Secret Warriors was cancelled after twelve issues.[46][47] Khan continued to lead the Champions which relaunched with a third volume also in January.[48][49] IGN highlighted that "writer Jim Zub will be sticking around, and he'll be joined by new artist Stephen Cummings as the two explore what happens when Ms. Marvel takes the team global".[49] In July 2019, it was announced that Champions was cancelled and that issue #10 in October would be its final issue.[50][51]

Ms. Marvel #31—the 50th issue of Ms. Marvel featuring Khan—was released in June 2018. To mark the occasion, Marvel brought in additional collaborators for the issue including writers: G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, Rainbow Rowell, and Hasan Minhaj; and artists: Nico Leon, Bob Quinn, Gustavo Duarte, and Elmo Bondoc.[52]

The Magnificent Ms. Marvel (2019–2021)[edit]

Beginning in March 2019, Khan headlined a new series titled, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel, written by Saladin Ahmed and illustrated by Minkyu Jung. Wilson stated that she had been planning her departure from the series for over a year, stating that she originally anticipated that the series would only last for ten issues and was excited by the fact that she had written 60 issues. Ahmed said the new series will have much wider scope, "while still maintaining that intimate tone that people have loved about it."[53]

From April to September 2019, Khan headlined in the ongoing relaunch of Marvel Team-Up.[54][55] The first three issues focused on Ms. Marvel and Spider-Man; it was written by Eve Ewing and illustrated by Joey Vazquez.[56][57] Issues #4-6 focused on Ms. Marvel and Captain Marvel; it was written by Clint McElroy and illustrated by Ig Guara.[58][59] The series was cancelled after issue #6.[55]

In July 2020, Marvel announced that Khan would star in an original graphic novel, published in conjunction with Scholastic and aimed at younger readers. Titled Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin, the book is written by author Nadia Shammas and illustrated by Nabi H. Ali. It was released on September 7, 2021.[60]

In October 2020, Khan was a central focus of the one-shot Outlawed #1 which kicked off the Outlawed storyline in both The Magnificent Ms. Marvel series and the relaunched Champions series. The Champions ran a protection detail for a young climate activist speaking at the Coles Academic High School since the speaker is being targeted by Roxxon Oil Company. As the fight between the Champions and Roxxon spirals out of control, the high school collapses. Khan is able to save the speaker, however, she is critically injured and is not in her costume. As a result of the Coles Disaster, the government passes the Underage Superhuman Welfare Act which bans superhero activities for those under the age of twenty-one. Given her injuries at the Coles Disaster, the law is renamed "Kamala's Law"; however, Khan's secret identity is kept intact.[61][62]

Champions #1 and The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #14 pick up six months later as they deal with the fallout of "Kamala's Law".[63][64][65] CBR highlighted that "without disclosing her true identity, Ms. Marvel rejects Kamala's Law and publicly vows to continue her superhero activities alongside the Champions regardless of her age. [...] Kamala's message has quickly split the young superhero community. Several agree to continue their double lives as usual in open defiance of the controversial law, while others believe Kamala is in the wrong and they should leave superhero activity to the adults".[66] Over the course of the Outlawed event, the Champions take responsibility for their actions and expose that Roxxon is using their government contract to place young individuals with super abilities into brutal reeducation camps. This leads to Roxxon losing their contract and the government pauses enforcement of "Kamala's Law".[67][68]

After the Outlawed event, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel concluded its run with issue #18 (the 75th issue of Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel comics), published April 2021.[69][70] Khan continued to appear in the Champions series which covered the repeal of "Kamala's Law".[71] The Champions series was then cancelled with its last issue in October 2021.[72][73]

Limited series (2021–2022)[edit]

Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit[edit]

Khan next headlined a new limited series titled, Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit, written by Samira Ahmed and illustrated by Andrés Genolet.[74][75] Entertainment Weekly highlighted that "Ms. Marvel comics have only been written by Muslim writers so far [...]. But Samira Ahmed will be the first South Asian female writer to write a Ms. Marvel series".[74] Ahmed is known for her YA novels and Beyond the Limit is her first comic series.[74] It ran for five issues from December 2021 to April 2022.[76][77] Khan ends up on a multiverse adventure after visiting her cousin Razia who is a scientist with a specialization in "multiversal theory".[78] The trade paperback collecting the five issues is scheduled to be published on June 7, 2022 – Bleeding Cool commented that this is one day before the premiere of Ms. Marvel television miniseries.[79]

Ms. Marvel and Wolverine[edit]

In April 2022, Marvel announced that Khan would next headline in a series of one-shots where she teams up with three heroes: Wolverine, Moon Knight, and Venom.[80][81] The first issue will be written by Jody Houser and illustrated by Zé Carlos; it is scheduled for release in July 2022.[82] CBR reported that the series is being marketed as "a jumping-on point for Ms. Marvel newcomers, as the new saga will lay the groundwork for the character's next era. [...] The series of one-shots begins shortly after Khan makes her live-action debut in the new Disney+ Ms. Marvel series".[81]

Reception[edit]

Initial reaction[edit]

Marvel's announcement was met with widespread reactions online. Fatemeh Fakhraie, founder of Muslimah Media Watch, a diversity advocacy group, told Al Jazeera America that "She is going to be a window into the American Muslim experience" and that she "normalizes this idea of the American experience as Muslim."[83] Brett White of Comic Book Resources said, "With Kamala Khan, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City, Marvel Comics has shown yet again that it wants to include groups of the American population that have yet to be personally inspired by their heroes."[84] Hussein Rashid writing for CNN said, "The character of Kamala Khan has the opportunity to offer something new to pop-culture portrayals of Muslims. She is born in the United States, appears to be part of the post-9/11 generation and is a teenager."[85] Muaaz Khan of The Guardian compared Kamala Khan to Malala Yousafzai and indicated that the rest of entertainment industry should follow Marvel's example.[86]

However, Dr. Leon Moosavi of the University of Liverpool felt that the character's family would reinforce the stereotype of restrictive Muslim parents and that her shape-shifting ability resembled several anti-Muslim stereotypes, especially taqiyya:[87] a legal dispensation whereby a believing individual can deny his faith or commit otherwise illegal or blasphemous acts while they are at risk of significant persecution.[88]

Political satirist Stephen Colbert, whilst parodying right-wing commentators on his show The Colbert Report, remarked, "A Muslim cannot be a superhero — for Pete's sake they're on the no-fly list."[89] Comedian Conan O'Brien also made a joke via Twitter, linking the character's religion to polygamy, but later removed it due to public backlash.[90]

Critical reaction[edit]

2014–2018[edit]

Meagan Damore of Comic Book Resources said, "There is nothing not to love about Ms. Marvel #1: every character is well formed and distinct; the story, lovingly crafted; the art, meticulously planned and—at times—downright funny."[91] Jen Aprahamian of Comic Vine said "Ms. Marvel makes a delightful debut, showing confidence and heart even before she puts on a mask. Kamala is not your average superheroine and her stories seem like they're headed in an exciting direction. Kudos to Marvel for expanding its range; amping up the diversity factor in a way that doesn't feel token or temporary is a great move, and Ms. Marvel is launching with a solid first issue and a world—a universe, even—of story possibilities."[92] Joshua Yehl of IGN said, "Ms. Marvel introduces a vibrant and troubled character that you can't help but love."[93] George Marston of Newsarama said, "Ms. Marvel is a solid debut issue, and that in itself should be a victory not just for G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, but for Marvel Comics itself ... It's not exactly edgy, and Kamala Khan is not exactly the first reluctant teen hero in Marvel's long history, but Ms. Marvel is one of the strongest debuts for a new character that Marvel has had in a long time."[94]

In 2016, USA Today commented that Khan "broke onto the comics scene a few years ago and has since stolen awards, sales and, oh right, our hearts. Her solo comics, written by G. Willow Wilson, are entertaining and fly off the page, and her appearances elsewhere have only increased".[95] Alex Abad-Santos, for Vox, wrote that "Wilson and Alphona imbue the comic with grace while steering clear of 'after-school special'-of-the-month types of stories. [...] As you see Kamala slowly figure out the ways of superheroism and the balance of her own life, you can't help but feel like she represents an alternate path that can save us from the ugly stuff threatening to strangle our hope, our joy, and our love. That's why superheroes were first created, and it's why Ms. Marvel is one of the greatest heroes of our generation".[96]

Katie M. Logan, for Salon in 2017, said that Khan "signals an important development in cultural representations of Muslim-Americans. [...] Kamala Khan is precisely the hero America needs today, but not because of a bat sign in the sky or any single definitive image. She is, above all, committed to the idea that every member of her faith, her generation and her city has value and that their lives should be respected and protected".[97] Joshua Davison, for Bleeding Cool in 2018, wrote that "Ms. Marvel #31 is the landmark 50th issue of Kamala's beloved series. G. Willow Wilson never ceases to amaze me at how she can have me invested in mundane activities like a sleepover. This is done through a good balance of endearing characters, solid drama, and the quirks and detours one can expect from a superhero comic. [...] Mix that with some talented artists, and you have a book well worth recommending".[98] In a 2018 review of the entire series, the Wisconsin Muslim Journal stated that the story "is a rare burst of authenticity in what can so easily become clichéd and cheap. In short, Kamala Khan has a refreshing amount of depth".[99]

2019–2022[edit]

IGN highlighted The Magnificent Ms. Marvel on its list for "Best Comic Book Series of 2019".[100] Charlie Ridgely, for ComicBook.com, highlighted that The Magnificent Ms. Marvel was "an incredible challenge" for Ahmed since he had to follow the character's original creator Wilson. Ridgely commented that "Ahmed has leaned hard into the issues that plague our current lives while still making the comic uplifting" and that "every revelation that Kamala comes to is thoroughly earned and formed based on the specific experiences we see her confront. It's a master class in evolving a character while keeping them grounded in their own identity".[101]

Avery Kaplan, in her review of Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit for The Beat, wrote that "Beyond the Limit was a fun and interesting story that went to some unexpected places, all while allowing Kamala plenty of time to shine (and to make a lot of funny food jokes)".[102] Kaplan also commented that "Issue five brings the main conflict to a satisfactory enough close while promising further explanation in a sequel series (which I guess is an alternative to an ongoing series, probably based on the idea that marketing five-issue arcs which are subsequently collected into graphic novel-style TPB collections is easier than getting new readers to jump on at issue #546 – whatever, just give me more Kamala)".[102]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Winner/Nominee Result Ref.
2015 Hugo Award Best Graphic Story Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal Won [103]
Eisner Award New Series Ms. Marvel, by G. Willow Wilson & Adrian Alphona Nominated [104]
Writer G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel Nominated
Penciller/inker Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel Nominated
Cover artist Jamie McKelvie/Matthew Wilson, The Wicked + The Divine; Ms. Marvel Nominated
Lettering Joe Caramagna, Ms. Marvel, Daredevil Nominated
Harvey Award Best New Series Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics Nominated [105]
Best Writer G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics Nominated
Joe Shuster Award Outstanding Artist Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel Won [106]
Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona Nominated [107]
2016 Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for a Series Ms. Marvel, by Adrian Alphona and G. Willow Wilson Won [108]
Eisner Award Best Writer G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel Nominated [109]
Harvey Award Best Writer G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel, Marvel Comics Nominated [110]
Dragon Award Best Comic Book Ms. Marvel Won [111]
Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona Won [112]
2017 Hugo Award Best Graphic Story Ms. Marvel, Volume 5: Super Famous Nominated [113]
2019 American Book Award G. Willow Wilson (author), Nico Leon (illustrator), Ms. Marvel Vol. 9: Teenage Wasteland Won [114]

Sales[edit]

Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal was the best-selling graphic novel in October 2014,[115] and by November 2014, it reached No. 2 on The New York Times Best Seller list of paperback graphic books.[116] In April 2015, Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why debuted at #4 on The New York Times Best Seller list of paperback graphic books.[117] In July 2015, Ms. Marvel Volume 3: Crushed debuted at #3 on The New York Times Best Seller list of paperback graphic books.[118] In July 2016, Ms. Marvel Volume 5: Super Famous debuted at #3 on The New York Times Best Seller list of paperback graphic books.[119] As of August 2018, Ms. Marvel has sold half a million trade paperbacks, not including digital sales.[120]

During a slump in Marvel's market share in 2017,[121] David Gabriel, Marvel's senior vice president of print, sales, and marketing,[122] "blamed declining comic-book sales on the studio's efforts to increase diversity and female characters".[123] Gabriel then attempted to walk-back the statement.[122] George Gene Gustines, for The New York Times, stated that "the issue is more nuanced" and that sales are also impacted by frequent numbering restarts and fan opinions on various storylines.[121] Gustines wrote that, in February 2017, Ms. Marvel "sold an estimated 19,870 copies. It landed at 109 out of the top 300 comics for the month. But the series is known to be doing well digitally and with collected editions. There are also other signs of prestige. This week, a collected edition of the series, 'Ms. Marvel: Super Famous,' written by G. Willow Wilson and illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa, was nominated for a Hugo Award, which is given to the best science-fiction or fantasy stories".[121] Later in 2017, during Marvel's Legacy initiative, many titles featuring "diverse and new voices" were cancelled.[124] On the survival of the series, Joe Glass of Bleeding Cool commented that Ms. Marvel's periodical sales were only slightly higher than many of the cancelled titles, however, "it could be down to trades sales. It is generally held that these books survive on the popularity of their trades sales, not just in the direct market and local comic shops, but in book stores across the world" and at "Scholastic [book] fairs and the like".[124]

The hardcover collection Ms. Marvel Volume 1 and Volume 2 that together collected the entire 2014–2015 run plus non-MM appearances made the first 10 ranking of Diamond's Top 500 Selling Graphic Novels charts[a] for September 2020 with Vol.1 reaching #5 and Vol.2 reaching #9 on the charts.[126] In September 2021, Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal (2014) was #11 on the NPD BookScan's Top 20 'Superheroes' Graphic Novels Chart.[b][128]

Cultural impact[edit]

Creator Sana Amanat presenting Barack Obama a copy of Ms. Marvel Vol. 1 in the Blue Room of the White House during a reception for Women's History Month.
  • In January 2015, images of Khan began appearing over anti-Islamic advertisements on San Francisco city buses. The advertisements, purchased by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, equated Islam with Nazism. In response, street artists covered the ads with images of Khan alongside messages such as "Calling all Bigotry Busters," "Stamp out racism," "Free speech isn't a license to spread hate," "Islamophobia hurts us all," and "Racist." About the response, Wilson tweeted, "Some amazing person has been painting over the anti-Muslim bus ads in SF with Ms. Marvel graffiti ... To me, the graffiti is part of the back-and-forth of the free speech conversation. Call and response. Argument, counterargument."[129]
  • In March 2016, Sana Amanat introduced United States President Barack Obama at a reception for Women's History Month in the White House. In his opening remarks Obama replied, "Ms. Marvel may be your comic book creation, but I think for a lot of young boys and girls, Sana's a real superhero."[130]
  • In October 2016, Khan appeared on the cover of The Village Voice in an illustration by Autumn Whitehearst that pays homage to J. Howard Miller's "We Can Do It!" poster. The cover is accompanied by an article by Mallika Rao titled "The Super Hero For Our Times: Ms. Marvel Will Save You Now" that profiles Wilson, with a focus on the increasing diversity of comic book characters, creators, and fans.[131]
  • In March 2018, Merriam-Webster added 850 words to their dictionary, including the word "Embiggen". "Embiggen," which first appeared in the lexicon in a 1996 episode of The Simpsons, was popularized in the pages of Ms. Marvel as a way Khan describes her shape-shifting powers.[132][133]

Other versions[edit]

  • An older version of Khan appears in Inhumans: Attilan Rising by Charles Soule and John Timms as part of the 2015 "Secret Wars" storyline, which details Black Bolt's rebellion against Queen Medusa of New Attilan. In her review of Inhumans: Attilan Rising #2, Emma Houxbois of The Rainbow Hub said, "While [Khan has] had a few chances to shine in the core Inhuman book, her reintroduction (complete with character redesign by Dave Johnson and strong line work by John Timms) packs a real punch. Soule's evolution of her powers and costume will hopefully also coincide with further opportunities later in the story to learn more about her views on the resistance and reasons for supporting Attilan – solidifying this version of Kamala as a comparatively matured hero forced to make difficult moral choices."[134]
  • A future version of Khan appears as a member of the Exiles alongside Nick Fury, Blink, Iron Lad, Valkyrie and a chibi-style cartoon version of Wolverine, in a series by writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Javier Rodriguez. The series debuted in April 2018.[135]
  • Another future version of Khan appears in All-New Wolverine #33 (April 2018) by Tom Taylor and Ramon Rosanas as part of the "Old Woman Laura" storyline as the future President of the United States. Kieran Shiach of Comic Book Resources said, "Kamala as President of the United States makes a lot of sense. She's smart, resourceful and cares about her community ... It also helps solidify the world of "Old Woman Laura" as a 'good future,' presenting a President who is both a woman and Muslim as a possibility within our lifetime."[136]

Collected editions[edit]

Trade Paperback
Title Material collected Publication date ISBN Ref.
Volume one
Ms. Marvel Volume 1: No Normal Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #1–5, material from All-New Marvel NOW! Point One October 15, 2014 978-0785190219 [137]
Ms. Marvel Volume 2: Generation Why Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #6–11 March 18, 2015 978-0785190226 [138]
Ms. Marvel Volume 3: Crushed Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #12–15, material from SHIELD #2 June 10, 2015 978-0785192275 [139]
Ms. Marvel Volume 4: Last Days Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #16–19, material from Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #7–8 November 18, 2015 978-0785197362 [140]
Volume two
Ms. Marvel Volume 5: Super Famous Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #1–6 June 22, 2016 978-0785196112 [141]
Ms. Marvel Volume 6: Civil War II Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #7–12 December 14, 2016 978-0785196129 [142]
Ms. Marvel Volume 7: Damage Per Second Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #13–18 July 19, 2017 978-1302903053 [143]
Ms. Marvel Volume 8: Mecca Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #19–24 December 13, 2017 978-1302906085 [144]
Ms. Marvel Volume 9: Teenage Wasteland Ms. Marvel vol 4 #25–30 July 31, 2018 978-1302910785 [145]
Ms. Marvel Volume 10: Time and Again Ms. Marvel vol 4 #31–38 March 27, 2019 978-1302912697 [146]
The Magnificent Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 1: Destined The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1–6 October 16, 2019 978-1302918293 [147]
Ms. Marvel By Saladin Ahmed Vol. 2: Stormranger The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #7–12 April 1, 2020 978-1302918309 [148]
Ms. Marvel by Saladin Ahmed Vol. 3: Outlawed The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #13-18 May 5, 2021 978-1302925000 [149]
Limited series
Ms. Marvel Team-Up Marvel Team-Up vol. 4 #1-6 November 27, 2019 978-1-302-91831-6 [150]
Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit Ms. Marvel: Beyond the Limit #1-5 June 28, 2022 978-1302931261 [79]
Hardcover
Title Material collected Publication date ISBN Ref.
Ms. Marvel Volume 1 Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #1–11, material from All-New Marvel NOW! Point One August 25, 2015 978-0785198284
Ms. Marvel Volume 2 Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #12–19, Annual 1, Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #7–8 April 19, 2016 978-0785198369
Ms. Marvel Volume 3 Ms. Marvel vol 4. #1–12 June 27, 2017 978-1302903619
Ms. Marvel Volume 4 Ms. Marvel vol 4. #13–24 June 26, 2018 978-1302909130
Ms. Marvel Volume 5 Ms. Marvel vol 4. #25–38 August 27, 2019 978-1302917357
Omnibus and other collections
Title Material collected Publication date ISBN Ref.
Omnibus
Ms. Marvel Omnibus Volume 1 Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #1–19, Annual 1, Amazing Spider-Man vol. 3 #7–8, S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 and material from All-New Marvel NOW! Point One November 1, 2016 978-1302902018
Magnificent Ms. Marvel Omnibus Vol. 1 The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1-12, Ms. Marvel Annual #1 November 1, 2021 978-1846533280
Graphic novel trade paperback
Ms Marvel: Kamala Khan Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #1–11 and material from All-New Marvel NOW! Point One February 19, 2019 978-1302916404 [151]
Ms Marvel: Metamorphosis Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #12–19, S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #2 and material from Amazing Spider-Man (2014) #7–8 June 25, 2019 978-1302918088 [152]
Ms. Marvel Meets the Marvel Universe Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #6–9, #17–18, S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014) #2, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015) #10, Champions (2016) #1, material from Amazing Spider-Man (2014) 7–8 and material from Free Comic Book Day 2015 (Avengers) #1 May 12, 2020 978-1302923624 [153]
Ms. Marvel: Army of One Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #1-12 February 10, 2021 978-1302923631 [154]
Ms. Marvel: Game Over Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #13-24 September 8, 2021 978-1302929862 [155]
Ms. Marvel: Something New Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #25-38 October 12, 2021 978-1302931674 [156]
Marvel-Verse: Ms. Marvel Ms. Marvel vol. 3 #12, Generations: Ms. Marvel & Ms. Marvel #1, Ms. Marvel vol. 4 #38, and Miles Morales: Spider-Man #24.[c] August 16, 2022 9781302947811 [157]
Scholastic's Graphix line
Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin September 7, 2021 978-1-338-72258-1 [158]

In other media[edit]

In September 2016, Marvel Creative Consultant Joe Quesada stated that Ms. Marvel would appear in "other media" as result of the character's quick success amongst readers, which he noted "doesn't happen a lot" and acknowledged that it probably would not have happened ten years ago.[159]

Animation[edit]

Audio books[edit]

  • In August 2015, GraphicAudio released Ms. Marvel: No Normal, which adapts the first-five issues of the comic book series into audio format. Marvel and GraphicAudio have collaborated before in the past but Ms. Marvel: No Normal marks the first time that they have adapted an audiobook straight from a comic book. Jeff Reingold, Marvel's Manager of Licensed Publishing, said that "The challenge here was conveying the comic visuals into a strictly audio form without the use of a third-person narrator."[170]

Books[edit]

  • In March 2016, Marvel Press announced that they would release a 128-page chapter-book titled Ms. Marvel: Fists of Fury in October 2017. According to the official synopsis, the story focuses on bullying due to Khan's gender and background.[171]

Live action[edit]

Video games[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Note: This monthly sales chart no longer includes sales of DC titles due to DC Comics leaving Diamond Comic Distributors in July 2020.[125]
  2. ^ Note: The NPD Group states that their BookScan "covers approximately 85% of trade print books sold in the U.S., through direct reporting from all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Target, independent bookstores, and many others".[127]
  3. ^ 6" x 9" format aimed at middle-grade readers.[157]

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