Here’s an intriguing media juxtaposition. The Wesleyan Argus, powered by undergrads at Connecticut’s Wesleyan University, is “the country’s oldest twice-weekly printed college newspaper.” It’s been around since 1868.
The paper was named after a hundred-eyed giant from Greek mythology and this week, via contributing writer Billy Donnelly, it casts an approving glance in the direction of a pop culture artifact that would have been unthinkable for most of the newspaper’s span: a teenage Muslim comic book superhero. The character of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel, first announced at last fall’s edition of New York Comic Con, gets a big thumbs up from Donnelly:
A seasoned comic book writer known for her work on the Vertigo Comics series Air and her novel Alif the Unseen, [G. Willow] Wilson is herself Muslim, and clearly knows how to construct complex characters. Though initial descriptions of Kamala’s life in interviews made me concerned that the characters would be strictly adhering to flat Muslim stereotypes, these concerns were mitigated after the first three pages.
Unlike previous Muslim comic book characters, such as the X-Men’s Dust, Wilson’s characters are not characterized solely by their Muslim heritage but instead are treated as real people with real thoughts, feelings and motivations.
Donnelly has only a few minor complaints overall with Issue #1. He also notes that Wilson does a great job, within limited panel space, of allowing each member of the Khan family to articulate their different ideas of what it means to be Muslim. Read the rest of his review here.
The digital version of Issue #1 is available for $2.99. Issue #2 is scheduled to arrive March 19.[Image courtesy: marvel.com]