This week, Kamala Khan enters a new chapter with The Magnificent Ms. Marvel from writer Saladin Ahmed and artist Minkyu Jung. In Magnificent Ms. Marvel, Ahmed will take Kamala in a slightly darker direction as she ages into young adulthood.
Ahmed takes over Ms. Marvel’s adventures from G. Willow Wilson, Kamala’s co-creator and the writer of more than 50 issues of her solo series, and with this new ground he plans to take her out of her comfort zone, out of Jersey City, and even as far as outer space.
With so much on the horizon, Newsarama spoke with Ahmed ahead of Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1’s March 13 release to find out what lies ahead as Kamala grows up and into the role of a full-fledged superhero.
Newsarama: Saladin, you previously wrote an older, alt-universe Kamala Khan in Exiles. What’s it like taking on the contemporary, core Marvel Universe version in Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1?
Saladin Ahmed: It's a thrill and a challenge. Both as exciting and as intimidating as any project I've taken on.
Nrama: Where’s Kamala’s life at going into this new series?
Ahmed: Readers have spent the past five years watching Kamala figure out her place as a superhero and a person. There's been a lot of struggles but she's done a pretty good job of it. The big problem with life of course is that often the moment you think you are on top of things, everything goes to hell around you. There's a little bit of that headed Kamala's way...
Nrama: You’re the first writer to tackle Kamala’s ongoing solo adventures since her co-creator, G. Willow Wilson. What are your goals for this new series?
Ahmed: To take Ms. Marvel new and sometimes darker places without betraying the warmth and heart that made readers fall in love with Willow's stories.
Nrama: What’s Kamala up against to start out?
Ahmed: Ferocious alien monsters have landed in Jersey City - meanwhile something big is happening at home...
Nrama: Future solicitations for Magnificent Ms. Marvel mention “devastating loss” and hint at Kamala being a “chosen one.” What’s at stake for Kamala in this story?
Ahmed: Well without giving too much away, the first few issues will see her swept up in this sort of epic quest - the sort that teenage girls who look like her don't often get to go on in stories. But that quest will have some pretty heavy consequences…
Nrama: On that note, she’s also going into space, and she’s got a mysterious travel buddy. What can you tell us about that?
Ahmed: Not a lot! Top secret!
Nrama: Fair enough! One thing that’s not a secret is you’re working with Minkyu Jung on this series, who seems like a perfect fit for Ms. Marvel. What’s your favorite thing Minkyu has drawn so far?
Ahmed: Minkyu's great. His art really gets the human heart of these stories while keeping it superheroic. My favorite thing that he's drawn is a spoiler! But keep an eye on the last page of #1!
Nrama: Kamala is in a unique place in the Marvel Universe where she’s aging and getting older, in the way Peter Parker did for many years. How do you approach Kamala as a young adult versus as a teenager?
Ahmed: That's going to be an extended conversation Kamala has with herself, her friends, and her family. She's still a high school girl, but she's got scars and earned wisdom she didn't have when we first met her. So who is Kamala now? There will be...wrinkles complicating her attempts to answer that.
Nrama: Bottom line, what makes Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 a must read for Kamala fans?
Ahmed: A gonzo, full-of-heart story centered on an amazing hero, told with eye-popping art. The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 is a must-read not just for Kamala fans, but for new readers as well!