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Ms. Marvel: the generation-defining hero we need

A review of Ms. Marvel

Ms. Marvel.
Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

There is no more joyful, hopeful comic in the game than Ms. Marvel. It’s the story of Kamala Khan, a shape-shifting Muslim American superhero who, at the end of the day, wants to save Jersey City and maybe snag a cheeseburger and a date along the way. The creative team behind the character and comic — writer G. Willow Wilson, artist Adrian Alphona, and editors Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker — has created an intelligent, endearing story that soars and redefines who superheroes are, what they stand for, and how we see them.

It’s hard to read Ms. Marvel and not reflect on our own world and the Islamophobia that is alive and well in it.

Wilson and Alphona imbue the comic with grace while steering clear of “after-school special”-of-the-month types of stories. Kamala’s is a personal tale where we see the intimate nuances of her life as a Muslim American girl growing up in the US, smashed up against her duty to save Jersey City.

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.