G. W. Wilson Talks About Creating Marvel’s First Muslim Heroine


Victor Kalil

G. W. Wilson answers questions from the audience.

Badra Kalil, Reporter

Earlier this afternoon, fans of Marvel’s first female Muslim hero, who stars in the new Ms. Marvel, comic series gathered at Hancher Auditorium to attend a talk by G. Willow Wilson, one of the creators of the heroine Kamala Khan. Wilson spoke of the many hardships that came along with creating this character, from worries about hate mail to what kind of unique superpowers to give the heroine

“It was immediately harder than I thought it would be.” Wilson said on the process of creating the character. She referred to the character as having all three aspects of the “death trifecta”. The character was not only new, but it was also female, and a member of a minority. Wilson worried that creating a successful character that was all of these things would be extremely difficult.

During this process, Wilson worked closely with Marvel’s Sana Amanat, and said that they wanted the character to resemble their experiences as teenagers.

Even though she had some trouble with what kind of superpower to give Kamala, Wilson said she immediately ruled out telepathy and flight. She also refused to give her the “sparkly glitter” powers that are usually associated with female heroes.

“What was left over were power sets deeply connected with violence.” Wilson stated. “When those powers come in people that we consider normal, we don’t think of those powers as being political. But if we were to give those powers to a Muslim character, all of a sudden it would be given political meaning.”

After the Boston Marathon bombing, Wilson felt a deep connection with the unfinished character, and realized what kind of heroine she wanted to have. Wilson said that the character sort of sprang onto the page.

“It wasn’t like I created her. It was like I met her on the street.” Wilson said.

Wilson and Amanat believe they took the character in a different direction than the media may have expected. They gave Kamala an intact family to show that Kamala was not motivated by revenge, but rather by pure intentions of making the world a better place. They wanted Kamala Khan to be a character that teenagers could relate to, unlike many of the millionaires or aliens that populate Marvel’s comics.

Wilson said that she was both very excited and shocked by the amount positive feedback.

“The secret [to the success], really and truly, was the audience.”