Marvel Comics' cast of characters are nearly exhausted when it comes to Hollywood properties. Almost every character has a movie named after it, usually followed by a 2, 3 or a Roman numeral. That means that new characters are needed in the Marvel universe, and as has been Marvel's strategy of late, those characters should be relatable to markets that Marvel is interested in targeting. Enter Kamala Khan, the teenaged, Pakistani-American girl from New Jersey. Her superpower is that she can grow the size of her hands to enormous proportions... for... pimp slapping, perhaps?
Not to deny an underrepresented audience their superhero, but putting the character's ethnicity before their story smacks of formulaic focus group invention. Putting in a little something for everybody does not a compelling character make. For example, in order to relate to the family pressures experienced by children of immigrants, Kamala Khan's family is entirely intact! The first rule of superhero pathos is they need to have at least one dead parent! If there is any superhero with two parents at the beginning of a series, it is only because one or both of them will be brutally murdered in episode two. Harsh but true. What is this character's motivation? To challenge average American's perceptions of what a Pakistani-American Jersey girl with giant hands is capable of? I hope it consists of more than opening jars.
But, perhaps we have judged too soon. The comic hasn't been released yet, which means its at least 3 years away from having a $250,000,000 action film named after it (unless Kamala becomes a backup dancer in the next Avengers flick).
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