The October 5 issue of long running weekly New York magazine The Village Voice features a familiar face on the cover, painted by Autumn Whitehearst - that of Kamala Khan, the current Ms. Marvel and one of the core members of the Champions, the young Marvel team whose first issue also hit stands this week.
The cover story, entitled "The Super Hero For Our Times" profiles Kamala's co-creator and primary writer G. Willow Wilson, with a focus on the new status of female and minority heroes in comic books - though she says she and editor Sana Amanat did not create Kamala out of any kind of agenda. Rather they drew on their own experiences as Muslim women to bring a new voice to superhero comic books.
"There's that quote, 'You achieve universality through specificity,'" Wilson explained. "We didn't have a political agenda to prove to the world that Muslims are like this or not like this. You get to know Kamala Khan through the fact that she really wants to eat a BLT and she would really like to have her first kiss. And then you get to know that yeah, she's a Muslim. She goes to mosque."
Amanat herself quoted Marvel's Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada, calling Ms. Marvel their "Spider-Man story."
"[Spider-Man] was about a young teenager struggling to fit in, and the obligations that come with trying to be an adult and find yourself. The connection you have and respect you feel toward your family. That's really Peter Parker. His struggles are the balance between his superhero life and his home life, and the guilt he feels about his uncle. [Khan's] are about her identity struggles. Her trying to find herself. They're told through different perspectives, but it's two very similar kind of arcs."
Kamala Khan currently stars in both Ms. Marvel and Champions. The Village Voice can be found all over New York City - fitting, that this week is also New York Comic Con.