DUBAI: There is a new superhero set to join Marvel — and he is Muslim.
Joining Pakistani-American teen superhero Ms. Marvel, also known as Kamala Khan, is Amulet, an Arab American hailing from Dearborn, Michigan.
Readers will be introduced to the new character in the latest edition of “Magnificent Ms. Marvel #13.” The brainchild of Dearborn native and writer for “Magnificent Ms. Marvel,” Saladin Ahmed and Jordanian-American illustrator Sara Al-Fageeh, Amulet is described as a Lebanese-American named Fadi Fadlalah.
Speaking to Detroit Free Press, Ahmed said: “As an Arab American who basically learned to read from Marvel Comics, being able to team up with the phenomenally talented Sara Al-Fageeh to bring Amulet into the Marvel Universe is literally a dream come true.”
According to the writer, Amulet is “fun” and “mysterious” and will be “playing a role in ‘Magnificent Ms. Marvel’ for years to come.”
The illustrator took to Twitter to share the first glimpse of the new character and reveal how much fun she had creating him: “Four years ago, reading Ms. Marvel Vol 1 convinced me to become an illustrator. Amulet means so much to me as a nerdy lil Arab kid. (sic)”
When it comes to the character's design, Al-Fageeh wanted to pay homage to his Arabian roots by drawing inspiration from the blue and white colors of “Nazar,” the ubiquitous Middle Eastern symbol that protects wearers from the evil eye.
“We tend to associate sharp corners and edges with evil, and rounded designs and circles with good. This character is a gentle giant, so I wanted to make sure that even with his size he was shaped like a friend,” she explained.
Recently, Marvel has introduced more diverse characters. Ms. Marvel, a female Muslim superhero, made her comic book series debut in 2014. She was created by G. Willow Wilson, also a Muslim woman, who wanted to ensure that fans gain an accurate portrayal of what it means to be a Muslim female in America.
Ms. Marvel’s story arc revolves around coming of age, dealing with society, her culture, parents and maintaining her Muslim identity, all while balancing her shape-shifting super-powers.
Amulet joins other mainstream Muslim superheros, including DC Comics’ Lebanese-American Green Lantern and Nightrunner, who is Algerian-French.