Mainstream superheroes are overwhelmingly almost always white and male. Seriously, I love Thor and Captain America as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’d be nice to see more people who look like me in the action-packed flicks. If anything, Black Panther’s massive success is proof that diversity in superhero movies can have a positive impact, both financially and critically.
Knowing that, it’s no surprise that Marvel Studios is now on a mission to recreate Black Panther’s magic by bringing more diverse characters to the big screen. And with their latest announcement, they might very well succeed in doing just that.
In an interview with the BBC, Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige dished on the studio’s plans post-Infinity War, which will most likely include the introduction of Ms. Marvel, aka Kamala Khan, into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“Captain Marvel’s shooting right now with Brie Larson,” Feige said. “Ms. Marvel, which is another character in the comic books, the Muslim hero who is inspired by Captain Marvel, is definitely sort of in the works. We have plans for that once we’ve introduced Captain Marvel to the world.”
Though that wasn’t a definite greenlight on a Ms. Marvel film (or even a film appearance), it’s about as close to one as fans will get for the foreseeable future, and for that reason we should all celebrate.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is notorious for relegating its female characters to either the role of spirited sidekick (Black Widow, Valkyrie, Okoye) or worried girlfriend (Pepper Potts), regardless of race, but women are finally getting some shine beginning with Captain Marvel, premiering in March 2019. So, bringing Ms. Marvel into the fold would be a huge, double win for both strong female characters and women of colour.
Khan, a Pakistani American teen from Jersey City, New Jersey, made her first appearance in Captain Marvel #14 in August 2013, before going on to star in her own solo comic series Ms. Marvel, which debuted in February 2014.
Like Peter Parker, Khan’s a bit of a teen outcast who soon discovered she had inhuman genes and possessed typical superhuman traits like speed, super strength, and the ability to shapeshift. She was a huge fan of the Avengers, specifically Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel), and assumed the mantle of Ms. Marvel shortly after Danvers became Captain Marvel.
So while Feige's announcement may be a tad premature, it’s good to know that Muslim women of colour might soon be getting the representation they deserve. It doesn’t hurt that she’s a total badass, either.
Plus after Thanos’ fatal snap in Infinity War, the Avengers will need the help of all the heroes they can get going forward. You know, in case there are any more guys out there like him.
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