Sunday, November 10, 2013


... as detailed in the New York Times.

In February, as part of a continuing effort to diversify its offerings, Marvel Comics will begin a series whose lead character, Kamala Khan, is a teenage Muslim girl living in Jersey City. ...

The creative team is braced for all possible reactions. “I do expect some negativity,” Ms. Amanat said, “not only from people who are anti-Muslim, but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light.” ...

[T]he quest for cultural diversity in comics is not always successful. The market can be unwelcoming to new characters and attempts at inclusion can seem like tokenism when not handled well. Then there are the firestorms: In September at DC Comics, the writers of Batwoman, announced that they were leaving the series because of editorial interference, including an edict that would prohibit the lesbian title character from marrying. Dan DiDio, the co-publisher of DC Comics, said the decision was about keeping true to the mission of the Batman characters, who have sacrificed their self-interests for the greater good. They “shouldn’t have happy personal lives,” Mr. DiDio told fans at the Baltimore Comic-Con. ...

Probably we won't be seeing this particular comic book character (I'm going out on a limb here) turned into a TV cartoon in the near future. Or a live-action movie franchise.

The idealist in me thinks it's a good idea to have heroes that break the mold and provide role models for under-represented demographic groups. But that's relatively easy to do in a low-circulation comic book. If and when Marvel boosts Kamala Khan to a higher profile position in the entertainment universe, there might be a sh*t-storm or three.

Warners seems to be a bit squeamish with a lesbian character; so what will Diz Co. end up being with a female super hero of the Islamic faith? A half-dozen angry letters, and smelling salts will be broken out of executive medicine cabinets there inside the Team Disney building.


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