Comic character Ms. Marvel is now Muslim teen

WASHINGTON - Marvel - the US comic book giant behind Spiderman, The Hulk, Captain America and many others- is bringing back Ms Marvel, but this time, she is a Pakistani-American Muslim teen from New Jersey.

The new monthly comic, which will debut in February, will give the classic character a new alter ego: Kamala Khan, Marvel said in a press release.

Kamala is "just a 16-year-old girl, exploring the many facets of her identity when she is suddenly bestowed with super-human powers that send her on the adventure of a lifetime," says Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Axel Alonso.

The lead writer will be G. Willow Wilson, an American woman who converted to Islam and who has already authored several comic books as well as articles on modern religion.

She said she drew from her own teenage years for the new series, aiming to create a Ms Marvel who is "true-to-life, something real people could relate to, particularly young women."

"It's for all the geek girls out there, and everybody else who's ever looked at life from the fringe," she said.

The illustrations will be done by Adrian Alphona.

The last Ms. Marvel was blonde, blue-eyed Air Force major Carol Danvers, who later morphed into Captain Marvel.

Kamala will swap her sneakers and oversized sweaters for the classic superhero's red tights and blue mini-dress.

For series editor Sana Amanat, the inspiration for Kamala comes from "a desire to explore the Muslim-American diaspora from an authentic perspective."

But, she said, "this story isn't about what it means to be a Muslim, Pakistani or American."

"This is ultimately a tale about what it means to be young, lost amidst the expectations bestowed upon you, and what happens when you get to choose," she said.