Excerpt:

Consider the ways you could misstep in updating a classic comic-book superhero. Now imagine that your protagonist is A) female, B) 16, C) a Pakistani-American and, oh yeah, D) Muslim.

Could there be a tougher assignment? If you avoid gross errors in depicting halal meat or headscarves, you might lurch in the other direction and fail to endow the heroine with any meaningful cultural signifiers at all. And then there's the matter of her struggle to define herself as she approaches adulthood. How can the timeworn superhero format possibly express the complexity of a modern teenage girl's experience — all without objectifying her bod?

You can put it in the hands of G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, that's how. Faced with one of the trickiest problems a creator could imagine — rebooting Marvel Comics' decades-old heroine Ms. Marvel — Wilson and Alphona rise to it and burst through.


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