Ms. Marvel's America
An in-depth exploration of the current Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan
Contributions by José Alaniz, Jessica Baldanzi, Eric Berlatsky, Peter E. Carlson, Sika A. Dagbovie-Mullins, Antero Garcia, Aaron Kashtan, Winona Landis, A. David Lewis, Martin Lund, Shabana Mir, Kristin M. Peterson, Nicholaus Pumphrey, Hussein Rashid, and J. Richard Stevens
Mainstream superheroes are becoming more and more diverse, with new identities for Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man. Though the Marvel-verse is becoming much more racially, ethnically, and gender diverse, many of these comics remain shy about religion.
The new Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, is a notable exception, not only because she is written and conceived by two women, Sana Amanat and G. Willow Wilson, but also because both of these women bring their own experiences as Muslim Americans to the character.
This distinct collection brings together scholars from a range of disciplines including literature, cultural studies, religious studies, pedagogy, and communications to engage with a single character, exploring Khan’s significance for a broad readership. While acknowledged as the first Muslim superhero to headline her own series, her character appears well developed and multifaceted in many other ways. She is the first character to take over an established superhero persona, Ms. Marvel, without a reboot of the series or death of the original character. The teenager is also a second-generation immigrant, born to parents who arrived in New Jersey from Pakistan.
With essays from and about diverse voices on an array of topics from fashion to immigration history to fandom, this volume includes an exclusive interview with Ms. Marvel author and cocreator G. Willow Wilson by gender studies scholar Shabana Mir.
"Overall, the collection presents a wide range of examinations of Ms. Marvel. In this manner, the essays provide ways to look at Kamala Khan and the series while the last two parts of the collection present teachers with ways to incorporate Ms. Marvel into the classroom and challenge the still-prevailing myth of comic book readers as solely white males. At the end of the collection, Shabana Mir's interview with G. Willow Wilson touches on the themes that the essays in the collection explore. "- Matthew Teutsch, International Journal of Comic Art
"Teenaged Pakistani American Kamala Khan, a. k.a. Ms. Marvel, is unapologetically Muslim in a low-key Jersey way. Ripe for interpreting, she's the superhero everyone wants to think with, whether the subject is US imperialism, Islam and gender, race and racism in America, or diversity in comics. This interdisciplinary collection, ably edited by Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid, is wide-ranging and very smart. I highly recommend it. "- Kecia Ali, professor of religion at Boston University and author of Sexual Ethics and Islam: Feminist Reflections on Qur’an, Hadith, and Jurisprudence
"[Ms. Marvel's America: No Normal] plows the ground for a fertile new field of scholarship and opens up lanes of discourse for the continued discussion of the character and the reader’s response to her."- Michael Dittman, Science Fiction Research Association Review
"Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal, edited by Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid, is the first collection of criticism to take on, in an interdisciplinary way, the success and impact of Ms. Marvel. The book effectively makes the point that Kamala Khan and Ms. Marvel provide a rich ground for interpretation of America’s relationship with Islam, gender, race, and diversity in mainstream comics."- Micheal Dittman, Science Fiction Reaseach Association Review
"Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal is a fantastic and necessary addition to any academic library, as well as college and university classrooms. Both undergraduate and graduate students will benefit from its interdisciplinary approach to research, which may inspire their own comic studies scholarship."- Victoria Rahbar, ImageText Journal