As one of the more dominant mega-franchises in history, the longtime focus of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a storytelling vehicle for tales of white men emerging triumphant—through its Thors, Tony Starks, and Captain Americas—has finally begun to dissipate, beginning with the phenomenon that was this year’s Black Panther. The studio has now unveiled plans to broaden its spotlight on diverse characters, with studio head Kevin Feige revealing that the character Ms. Marvel—the secret identity of Kamala Khan, a Pakistani-American high-schooler—is headed to the big screen.
Khan, a creation of Muslim comics author G. Willow Wilson, debuted in 2013 and immediately rose to prominence within the shared universe of Marvel Comics through stories of her attempting to balance her shapeshifting-based brand of heroism with a conservative Muslim home life—think of her as an intersectional Peter Parker. The titular series featuring the character has been widely acclaimed, even going on to win a coveted Hugo Award in 2015.
The announcement of Ms. Marvel entering the Marvel Cinematic Universe has already been met with near-universal enthusiasm, especially among prominent Pakistani-American celebrities such as Mindy Kaling, Riz Ahmed, and Kumail Nanjiani the three of which already seem to be sorting out scriptwriting duties amongst themselves:
— Riz Ahmed (@rizmc) May 16, 2018
Riz! I am obsessed with this comic book, I’ve read them all. I love Kamala Khan. https://t.co/f3PevhfUzv
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) May 16, 2018
Ms. Marvel’s introduction to the MCU is the latest part of what seems to be a post-Black Panther push for more variety at the forefront of their franchises, including a standalone Black Widow film, and the upcoming Captain Marvel (who just happens to be a idol of Kamala Khan’s and the inspiration behind her superhero name—meaning we might just see Ms. Marvel sooner than we think).