I am a super comic book nerd. I started very young—mostly DC: Superman, Batman, Justice League, and Teen Titans. My Marvel was limited to the X-Men. And some Fantastic Four (don’t judge). Most of the money from my babysitting jobs went to buying more comic books. Forbidden Planet in NYC was my happy place.
But it’s been a while since I’ve gone out and purchased a comic book. My spending slowed a bit in college due to a combination of a lot of assigned reading (all those literary novels cut into my fun reading time), and the fact that I needed a constant influx of burritos and coffee to survive (and that kind of fuel costs money).
But lately I’ve been binge watching so much Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Arrow and The Flash. So, when I stopped by The Strand this week, I ended up buying a bunch of new comic books.
And thus the vicious cycle of addiction continues.
And Kamala Khan is my new drug of choice.
Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City–until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm, and prepare for an epic tale that will be remembered by generations to come.
*Cue sonic screams of excitement*
What Intrigued Me: Okay, I’m going to lose nerd cred for this, but going in I wasn’t familiar with Carol Danvers. I didn’t know her as Ms. Marvel, and I still haven’t read Captain Marvel (I know, I know, I HAAAAVE to). So the iconic costume and famous mantle didn’t actually mean much to me. All I know was that this character was a girl who was a teenager like I used to be: awkward and goofy and nerdy and trying to find where she fits while her world is changing (both in normal teen ways and in crazy superpowered ways).
(Okay, maybe I didn’t have to deal with the superpowers)
What Hooked Me: Kamala is living the dream: she’s a fangirl who becomes part of the canon. She writes fanfiction. She wears geeky t-shirts. She makes video game and Star Wars references. She cosplays.
It’s like if I went to comic con dressed as Hermione and discovered I’m a witch. It’s complete fantasy, and Kamala gets to live it. It’s what every super fan wants. So I am both jealous and rooting her on.
What Made Me Fall In Love: It all comes back to Kamala. It’s the same with any comic book, you need to root for the Hero. And Kamala is a Hero with a capital “H”.
As a character, she’s so rich. She’s a believable teenager, juggling school and family and fighting crime (and avoiding her curfew). She’s Muslim and a Pakistani-American, which sometimes conflicts with her idea of what a typical American teenager is supposed to be like. She is a female superhero, but isn’t sexualized like so many other female crime fighters before her (to which I say “THANK YOU”). She is funny and stubborn and conflicted and regretful and confused and honorable and naive and—above all—human. Kamala jumps off the page and takes up residency in your heart.