Muslim superheroines?

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November 5, 2013 by Julia

Marvel is apparently “bringing back” Ms. Marvel (the new character looks up to Carol Danvers and borrowed the name) as a teenage Muslim girl.  I think the story sounds really interesting, and I intend to pick up the first issue in February, especially since Avengers Arena is going to be over soon and I’ll need something else to look forward to every month.

Why does it sound interesting?  I couldn’t care less about the character’s religious background, but I think it’s intriguing to see a teenage character that has a religious background in the first place, which adds another layer to a life that is probably already difficult enough, given that she is (1) a teenage girl (2) discovering her super-powers.  There is a chance that Islam will be used as more of a gimmick than a component of a complicated character, or that the title will get preachy (on alleged bias, not on the tenets of Islam, although I suppose that is possible).  I really hope neither of those things happen, though, because the character as presented sounds like someone whose stories I might enjoy.

We on the right tend to see the insertion of any minority into comic books as a token nod to political correctness, not a real story development.  It’s not that rank political correctness doesn’t happen (see Spyke and his magical changing race), but if there is a compelling story told about that character–whether or not that story depends on the character’s minority status–the character clearly serves a purposed within the story.

This is all to say that the comments on this article (the one linked on Drudge) piss me off.  They fall into three camps: the people complaining about political correctness, people complaining about Islam, and people mocking the treatment of women in the Middle East.  Now, I happen to lean toward the camp that makes fun of liberal feminists who refuse to address the treatment of women in the Middle East, but that criticism is completely out of place here, because the new Ms. Marvel is from New Jersey.  New Jersey is kind of an awful place, but it’s definitely not in the Middle East, and women are equal there.  Equally miserable, given that it’s New Jersey, but still.

(off topic, Chris Christie is a RINO, so I don’t care that he won tonight)

And yeah, I definitely don’t subscribe to the “all Muslims are terrorists” theory.  I get that taqiyya makes it difficult for some people to trust moderate Islam, but I know moderate Muslims, and they are horrified by radical Islam.

All of those people commenting are clearly not comic book readers, and thus they consider external political implications instead of the internal possibilities for the stories and the world.  Seriously people, you and the feminists can stay out of my geekdoms.  Leave me in peace with my stories, and I’ll report back on Ms. Marvel after I’ve read the first issue.

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