How the new Miss Marvel takes up two mantles
Over the years Spider-man has changed. The high school kid living with his grandma and having trouble finding a date to prom is a thing of the past. Peter Parker is still Spiderman, but he’s an adult now.
He has been a reporter and a scientist and has also been married and divorced (via magic and the Devil if memory serves) But most importantly of all, Peter moved out of his aunt’s house. Spiderman has evolved as a character over the years and that is a good thing, an important thing.
But it’s left a hole.
Most young characters in Marvel are kids but may as well be adults. Even Molly Hayes of Runaways is arguably the most childlike of any teen character, has spent most of her life on the lam from the government or super villains. The younger characters in the X-men live at a boarding school that blows up and/or is attacked by psychic ninjas every few months.
It’s safe to say the problems that come with living with parents, siblings, and family is not a big part of the marvel universe, and that’s understandable since there are bigger issues out there. But it leaves a market that up until recently has been vacant.
Enter Kamala Khan. She is a 16 year-old girl from New Jersey. She writes Avengers fan fiction, and is also a huge fan of Captain Marvel. In addition, she was recently gifted with the ability to shape shift.
Kamala still lives with her parents, which is an issue for a young superhero. She has superpowers and a curfew. That makes her relatable in a way that other young hero’s are not.
On the night she gets her powers, Kamala is sneaking out of the house to go to a party that her parents forbid her to go to. On her way in, she is caught sneaking back and gets severely grounded. That will be a factor in the story that we don’t get a lot of these days in superhero comics.
Much like Spiderman, she is figuring out her powers at the same time she is hiding them. She has responsibilities to her family as well as her new status as a hero. Miss Marvel has been a shining example that not every story needs to be the end of the world to be compelling, a trope that a lot of modern comics fall into.
Kamala Khan is set to fill the void Spiderman left when he grew up. She is a young hero with grounded problems at home and fantastic problems behind the mask.