Meet Kamala Khan: she’s a 16-year-old Pakistani American girl living in Jersey City. She loves Marvel comics and even writes her own fan fiction about The Avengers. But she believes, “My chances of becoming an intergalactic superhero are even slimmer than my chances of becoming blond and popular.”
But when Captain Marvel herself gives Kamala shape-shifting powers, she has to create her own identity and embrace her Islamic heritage as the newest incarnation of Ms. Marvel.
The overwhelmingly positive reaction to Marvel’s update proves that being blond isn’t a prerequisite for popularity anymore. For many years, Marvel presented Ms. Marvel as the buxom and scantily clad Carol Danvers. Like many of us, Kamala grew up idealizing this narrow representation of female superheroes.
Recently Mirius Gallery presented visual artist Sandra Chevrier’s, Les Cages: A Fractured Gaze, which explores this dysfunctional relationship between females and their comic book representations through multimedia works.
“The comic book collages, at once anesthetizing and alluring, echo rather entertaining pop-art references that eventually [belie] the bitter irony that these females have been silenced, smothered, and even blinded by the very mechanisms that seduced us into their existence,” Mirius’ website states.