Jump to content
turbojet

Muslim Teenaged Ms. Marvel

Recommended Posts

I don't think it's just the comics industry; we're having this massive social flux where presenting something as neutral or even as a positive thing is seen as an attack to others. Defy peoples belief, and somehow there's a problem even if no harm was meant, which is understandable if done blindly, but others are bigots being bigots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll also point out that your rant is incredibly scattershot, covering so many broad (and in a couple cases, fairly overblown) points that it's hard to even get what your main point is. Are you complaining about anti-Muslim sentiment post-911 that spills over into comics? Misogyny in comics? Short shelf lives of minority characters? Spiderman fans? Lack of representation of black people in mainstream comics? Whether or not Muslim practices are oppressive to women in real life?

 

I can't connect all of them into a single point, because Ms. Marvel now being a Muslim (nevermind people reacting by cracking jokes about it or thinking it's just a publicity stunt) doesn't really have anything to do with Spiderman fans wanting Peter Parker as Spiderman no matter what else happens or whether or not Blade is a good character to use as a role model; so what are you trying to argue?

The connection is that I've seen this before. Every time a POC gets a role in an otherwise mainstream comic book role that just so happens to have been previously taken by a white character, they get the shaft and are seen as something negative. When Hawkeye was replaced by a white woman, no one gave a shit and there was not one comment about her being feminine or a woman. Robin gets replaced for the umteeth time by someone who isn't an black haired white kid and there is not any backlash. Batman has been replaced by so many characters that the only connection between all of them is that they are all white men. No one complained about him getting replaced and fully expected it to be temporary. Wonder-woman, white women. Spider-man? Replaced by two white clones of Peter Parker, his own daughter and a white hispanic before Miles Morales. If there were any comments about them, it was about their character and that was after the character was formerly introduced.

 

But as soon as a huge icon becomes represented by something other than a white character, then it becomes a fucking problem. When Hal Jordan was replaced by Kyle Raynor for Green Lantern, people did not give a shit. Then Jon Stewart assumed the Green Lantern role, then people were pissed and started using the same arguments against it as they are now in spite of both Kyle Rayner and Hal Jordan still having their own books. Then the Muslim Green Lantern, Simon Baz, appeared and people still are calling it a publicity stunt in spite of the those characters still being around. Captain America gets replaced by three white dudes. Nightrunner gets shat on for not representing the majority of the French population for just being Algerian even though his appearance was supposed to be one-shot. Now we have the same thing happening again with characters like Miles Morales and Kamala(who has only appeared in 3 panels) in which they aren't going to fill out stereotypical roles of race like Blade and Luke Cage, but people bring up the equality argument or publicity stunt argument as if these is the only reason why they exist. Also, O'Brian is not the only person who made a comment about the character, but at the same time, why, of all things, is her race and religion being joked about?  We don't know shit about her other than her being inspired by the previous Ms. Marvel and being Pakistani-Muslim girl from Jersey. We don't know the extent of how she practices Islam, but let's joke about polygamy when it involves a teenaged girl because it is funny because she is Muslim. 

 

Here is the point of these so-called publicity stunt minority characters. They would not be considered a publicity stunt if they were white replacements. It is an elephant in the room because she is not the default representation and what is traditionally represented when it comes to her culture in media does not spell hero and that is why people are calling it a publicity stunt: it subverts their view of people of her description. So they hide behind every excuse to call her an affirmative action hero thus demeaning her existence because of her race and culture. Or we expect her not to be too religious as we have sen in this very fucking board in spite of characters like Captain America being super protestant or characters regularly referring to God. It is a double fucking standard that I am tired of seeing in comic book fandoms.

 

...Yeah, I caught that part, comrade. What I'm saying is that, if they intend to treat this characters religious aspect as just another sort-of significant trait, then the marketing is both misleading and probably a good deal disappointing to audience it's marketing towards.

She is being written by a Islamic convert. Her religion is a significant part of the character.

Edited by turbojet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to be honest in that, while I somewhat encourage having a minority take the mantle of an icon, I'd also like a major push for more original icons to get some focus.

 

...of course, I don't need to be told how much of a pipe dream that is when the media heads will make you change it to a non-minority. But time will tell how long that holds on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really, if you want a character to stay true to their beliefs while not shoving doctrine down the unwilling throats of the public, the obvious answer is to just have your superhero act according to their beliefs and talk about it at length sparingly. Show, don't tell, as the old adage goes. The non-religious audience or audience of other religions appreciate the lack of lectures, and the religious audience enjoys the evidence that someone can be a follower of their beliefs and still be a superhero.

Kitty Pryde regularly mentioned that she is Jewish. Matter if fact, she makes it a point to lecture people about it.

all-new-x-men-13-kitty-m-word-jewish-spe

The character has been around for decades and no one complains. Now Kamala is expected to not be religious for the sake of the audience? Fantastic. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The character has been around for decades and no one complains. Now Kamala is expected to not be religious for the sake of the audience? Fantastic. 

INCORRECT! We want her to be written like a regular teenager, we are not saying that she can't be proud of her religion, it's just that religion today to a teen and religion 20 years ago to a teen aren't the same thing. The fact that she is religious should not be a big deal. She's a Muslim, Whoopdy do. How does that move the plot or even have any significance? If you want to make something addressing xenophobic issues in the US, fine go nuts, just note that comicbook writers aren't the best at writing complex dialogue. Think of one Comic writer, besides the big 3 (Alan Moore, ?Frank Miller?, and Gale Simone) who can write complex and natural dialogue in ways that move the story along. Religion today is just a moral crutch, no matter how you put it, it is just a moral crutch. We are worried how they will portray her as a character and not how this character is portrayed by the religion. We hope that this character's religion isn't shoehorned in the story and that it will be just a thing brought up in casual conversation. Cause in the real world, if you drag on about religion in a normal conversation most people will turn away. Same goes with comicbooks. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

INCORRECT! We want her to be written like a regular teenager, we are not saying that she can't be proud of her religion, it's just that religion today to a teen and religion 20 years ago to a teen aren't the same thing. The fact that she is religious should not be a big deal. She's a Muslim, Whoopdy do. How does that move the plot or even have any significance? If you want to make something addressing xenophobic issues in the US, fine go nuts, just note that comicbook writers aren't the best at writing complex dialogue. Think of one Comic writer, besides the big 3 (Alan Moore, ?Frank Miller?, and Gale Simone) who can write complex and natural dialogue in ways that move the story along. Religion today is just a moral crutch, no matter how you put it, it is just a moral crutch. We are worried how they will portray her as a character and not how this character is portrayed by the religion. We hope that this character's religion isn't shoehorned in the story and that it will be just a thing brought up in casual conversation. Cause in the real world, if you drag on about religion in a normal conversation most people will turn away. Same goes with comicbooks. Sorry, but that's the truth.

Brian Michael Bendis(Miles Morales and Kitty Pryde as shown. It helps that he himself is Jewish and has adopted an African child as well as raised two daughters). Matt Fraction(He is just great at dialogue really). Brian K. Vaughn(Nico Minoru, a Catholic Japanese American; the Runaways). Christos Gage(Avengers Academy). If it is worth a damn, anybody that writes X-Men in general has to be knowledgeable of cultural practices and has to be able to elucidate about discrimination at length because that is the entire point of it. And this is Marvel. There are characters tailor-made for that. Eli Bradley's entire struggle as a character is being a black man in an America who refuses to see subtle racism. He damn sure lectures about it because he is the great grandson of the forgotten Captain America.

Edited by turbojet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I made the same point in my post Turbo, it was to make sure she doesn't just become that Muslim character. In order for her to not be a token, she has to be other things besides Muslim too. Am I right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see the issue with this. Then again, I don't really care about Ms. Marvel. I will admit I was miffed they killed off Peter, but Miles is a seriously awesome Spidey. We should get other alternate Spideys...that aren't fucking Doc Ock. Seriously, what the hell is with that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian Michael Bendis. Matt Fraction.

I'll give you Bendis. But Matt Fraction? He won one Eisner for a sort of OK run of the Invincible Iron Man. Unlike Bendis who has won multiple Eisner awards, Fraction has won 1, and he didn't really write the whole run on his own, Salvador Larroca wrote most of it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I made the same point in my post Turbo, it was to make sure she doesn't just become that Muslim character. In order for her to not be a token, she has to be other things besides Muslim too. Am I right?

Islam is an orthodox religion. Being that Muslim character is pretty much a given for her if the author does it justice. It should be as simple for her as to breathing air because that is how she was raised if she is a practicing Muslim. They have leeway with the hijab because she does not have to wear it at her age, but I'd be pretty pissed if a character is supposed to represent my minority and then starts disagreeing badmouthing Martin Luther King Jr.

I don't see the issue with this. Then again, I don't really care about Ms. Marvel. I will admit I was miffed they killed off Peter, but Miles is a seriously awesome Spidey. We should get other alternate Spideys...that aren't fucking Doc Ock. Seriously, what the hell is with that?

I don't read Ms. Marvel either.If they killed Carol Danvers(which they didn't) and replaced her with a white woman, this would not be a problem and there would not be the publicity stunt argument or an equality argument. It is hypocritical.

 

As for Spock, here is another point. Before Ultimate Pete died, Ultimate Spider-man was outselling 616 Spidey. Then Miles Morales shows up and he sells something comparable to 616 Spidey at first. Then, Spock debuts and it has been consistently top ten every issue in spite of it being essentially everything they complained about Miles Morales to be about. 

 

I'll give you Bendis. But Matt Fraction? He won one Eisner for a sort of OK run of the Invincible Iron Man. Unlike Bendis who has won multiple Eisner awards, Fraction has won 1, and he didn't really write the whole run on his own, Salvador Larroca wrote most of it. 

Read Hawkeye and his Amazing Spider-man Annual celebrating the marriage of Peter Parker and Mary Jane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So wait. Superior Spider-Man is outselling Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man? That's a travesty.

 

(Hope I was reading that right.)

It is outselling every comic book since it's inception. Think about that for a second.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Islam is an orthodox religion. Being that Muslim character is pretty much a given for her if the author does it justice. It should be as simple for her as to breathing air because that is how she was raised if she is a practicing Muslim. They have leeway with the hijab because she does not have to wear it at her age, but I'd be pretty pissed if a character is supposed to represent my minority and then starts disagreeing badmouthing Martin Luther King Jr.

 

This is what I mean though. There's a good way to do it and a shit way to do it. A black character doesn't have to be quoting MLK and fighting Klan supervillains to be a black superhero, it's corny and it makes him a token. How often they want to "remind" us she is a Muslim and how often she is just a girl (as opposed to a Muslim girl) will determine if she is a token or not, and also how natural this all comes through in the writing. Some good issues they could touch on are secularism, how she feels about intermarriage, pressure from friends regarding her observances, being a superhero on Ramadan (lol like one of those Spider Man without webbing stories), I dunno. This is without even touching on the obvious racism/terrorism arguments you could unfold in the book. But I would also hope for a rich character besides all that. Fact is if she was not Muslim we would not be talking about her. Also the hijab is a matter of opinion is it not? Some people feel required to wear it. It's presumed she speaks for Muslims but it's hard to speak for everyone in any one group, another problem you don't encounter writing for a white character. White characters are just presumed to be generic. She should be allowed to be "generic" in that sense too, while also being Muslim.

Edited by American Psycho

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny you should mention John Stewart as Green Lantern, I'm one of the people who was exposed to Green Lantern through the Justice League cartoon and came to best associate John with the Green Lantern name, and John was an awesome lantern.

 

As long as they handle this right, I don't really see the problem with this. Comic book fans will complain about changing the status quo more often than not, many times with good reason. Addressing the issue of Spider-Man, Superior Spider-Man was hardly the worst thing to ever happen to the comics - certainly not worse than One More Day, the Clone Saga, and all those patently ridiculous other ways writers have tried to change up Spider-Man over the years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll give you Bendis. But Matt Fraction? He won one Eisner for a sort of OK run of the Invincible Iron Man. Unlike Bendis who has won multiple Eisner awards, Fraction has won 1, and he didn't really write the whole run on his own, Salvador Larroca wrote most of it. 

Can't speak for his awards, but Immortal Iron Fist and his current Hawkeye run is some of the best stuff I've read in comics in a long ass time. Fraction is a really, really great writer and is one of the few that can make their characters sound like people instead of cliches. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never been much of a comic book fan, aside from the odd series like Preacher, so I'm pretty indifferent to what comic books have in them. Since it's entertainment the only thing that really matters is the quality of the art and the writing, after that you can just love it or hate it or whatever. What is, however, important is how muslim women are treated in the real world, which is like chattel. Anybody showing the gusto to point out how fucked up cultures exploit people, no matter what the excuse (like religious belief, fuck that one already), has my support. I don't expect serious social commentary from superhero comics or even the entertainment industry. It's great when it does happen but it's more important when people get together in the real world and speak their minds.

 

Millions of people are being treated like utter shit on account of self-appointed religious authority figures and it's wrong. End of. One doesn't need a fucking comic to make that sort of point, nor should they expect anything but an entertaining story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't read Marvel comics, but I'm hoping she doesn't come off as a token minority. It is inevitable that females, homosexuals, non-Christians etc. will end up in any comic book because that's just how it is in real life. Just don't make it so you may as well paint a sign on them saying "I'm minority X!" The Walking Dead, for example, has had some gay characters, but it's usually only mentioned once (or shown, as in the case of one guy kissing his boyfriend after he was worried sick about him) and isn't really the focus of their character. They are depicted pretty much as... well, the same as anyone else; they just happen to like the same sex.

 

The whole point is probably to show that she's not different and is in fact just like everyone else. Hence, her being a Muslim superhero is intended to be seen as no big deal.

And precisely for the reason Mechano mentions here. You're from a minority group, and apart from some small quirks, you're pretty much the same as everyone else. As for this character, I'm hopeful we'll see her pray in a mosque maybe once or twice, but it won't be something that really important other than a "Hey, by the way, this character is a Muslim" on the part of the writers.

Of course the most pious characters are often depicted as crazy; it's not because "religion = crazy," but because they want to illustrate how too much focus on a subject really can make you crazy. There are non-religious folk who are crazy too, but likewise, they often are unhealthily devoted to something.

The characters who are religious but not crazy aren't sane because their religion isn't a big part of their character, but because to them there are more important things than being all preachy. Furthermore, excessive display of religiosity probably can alienate readers, especially in a generation as heavily atheist and agnostic as ours.

We're taught that sexuality, race, religion, etc. are a key part of who we are, but at the same time, there's merit in rendering it as mundane as whether you prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream: it's meant to show it really isn't that important in how we interact with each other. I mean, when you meet someone of another skin color, do you go, "Oh my god he's color x!" or "Oh he's another color, but that doesn't matter really."

Edited by Ogilvie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dad actually showed this to me the other day. And my reaction: meh.

 

I mean, as a comic book reader, I don't really care about the fact that she's a Muslim. When it comes to being in a story, you can be whatever you want! As long as you don't do something really obvious to show that they're [insert sex / religion / race etc. here] by using stereotypes, and just write the characters well, then I'm all set.

 

(and here I was, ready to make a tl;dr post about this.)

 

That said, I'm interested as to how the story plays out.

 

 

Funny you should mention John Stewart as Green Lantern, I'm one of the people who was exposed to Green Lantern through the Justice League cartoon and came to best associate John with the Green Lantern name, and John was an awesome lantern.

 

 

Same here. That Green Lantern was just on so many levels of awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't read Ms. Marvel either.If they killed Carol Danvers(which they didn't) and replaced her with a white woman, this would not be a problem and there would not be the publicity stunt argument or an equality argument. It is hypocritical.

 

I'd certainly like to know how.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't get it, there's already a Muslim Marvel character named Dust:

 

Dust_016.jpg

 

A new Ms Marvel shouldn't be as big of a deal as people are making it out to be.

This is the whole question here. The comic is being mangled by the Marvel Marketing Machine. What should've just been a new comic is being presented as LOOK HOW PROGRESSIVE WE ARE, which automatically makes others raise their shields.

That said, I think it's got potential and will be willing to give it a read. In case they decide to explore a bit the question of a muslim trying to make it on the superhero world, I hope she gets to talk to Dust then, at least.

Also, Spectacular Spider-Man's the most fun Spider-Man's been in years. Don't diss it before you try it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.