Event Title

Kamala Khan: Her Struggles with Her Identity and the Impact She Makes on the Ms. Marvel World

Faculty Mentor

Robert Prickett, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of English and Department of Interdisciplinary Studies

Location

DIGS 221

Start Date

20-4-2018 3:15 PM

Description

Within the Marvel Industry, there have been several depictions of Muslim characters; however, Kamala Khan has made a far more significant impact on comic readers and the representation of Muslim superheroes. In making this impact, though, Kamala did not emerge as a confident and unwavering hero but instead experienced an internal struggle as she searched for her identity not only as Kamala Khan but also as her own version of Ms. Marvel. Through an examination of several elements of Kamala’s life, including her origin as a superhero, her superpowers and costume, and her internal struggle to be herself, I argue that Kamala is not able to truly become Ms. Marvel until she reconnects with her identity as a Muslim and learns to draw strength from her faith instead of running from it. In addition, through the representation of Kamala’s struggle with her identity and finding a balance between her faith and heroics, Ms. Marvel achieves several things for her readers. Primarily, the representation of Muslim superheroes is shown to have shifted dramatically to depict a character that struggles with her identity as a Muslim American, accurately represents a Muslim individual, and creates diversity within the comic book world. Furthermore, the messages of Ms. Marvel extend beyond the borders of the pages as the challenges that Kamala faces connect to readers as a whole who struggle with their own individual identities, fitting in with others, and learning to be themselves in a world that promotes uniformity.

Course Assignment

WMST 450 – Prickett

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Apr 20th, 3:15 PM

Kamala Khan: Her Struggles with Her Identity and the Impact She Makes on the Ms. Marvel World

DIGS 221

Within the Marvel Industry, there have been several depictions of Muslim characters; however, Kamala Khan has made a far more significant impact on comic readers and the representation of Muslim superheroes. In making this impact, though, Kamala did not emerge as a confident and unwavering hero but instead experienced an internal struggle as she searched for her identity not only as Kamala Khan but also as her own version of Ms. Marvel. Through an examination of several elements of Kamala’s life, including her origin as a superhero, her superpowers and costume, and her internal struggle to be herself, I argue that Kamala is not able to truly become Ms. Marvel until she reconnects with her identity as a Muslim and learns to draw strength from her faith instead of running from it. In addition, through the representation of Kamala’s struggle with her identity and finding a balance between her faith and heroics, Ms. Marvel achieves several things for her readers. Primarily, the representation of Muslim superheroes is shown to have shifted dramatically to depict a character that struggles with her identity as a Muslim American, accurately represents a Muslim individual, and creates diversity within the comic book world. Furthermore, the messages of Ms. Marvel extend beyond the borders of the pages as the challenges that Kamala faces connect to readers as a whole who struggle with their own individual identities, fitting in with others, and learning to be themselves in a world that promotes uniformity.