KARACHI: The official poster for an upcoming Ms. Marvel television series reflects the Pakistani heritage of its first Muslim superheroine, the artist behind the graphic said on Thursday.
Produced by Marvel Studios, the series is based on Marvel’s popular comic book of the same title. Co-directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, it features Pakistani-Canadian teenager Iman Vellani as the lead character, Kamala Khan — a Pakistani American girl from New Jersey.
The series' official poster — featuring artwork by Pakistani illustrator Shehzil Malik — was unveiled by Marvel on Wednesday.
“It is great that Marvel reached out to Pakistani artists to add a layer of realness to the story of a Muslim Pakistani American superhero,” Malik told Arab News, adding that her work aimed at representing the teenage superheroine’s heritage and be a nod to women and girls from the same part of the world.
“It feels amazing to have the art be seen in the global context as a vibrant representation of our lives,” she said. “The themes of Muslim identity and being comfortable in your skin are also there.”
The character of Khan was conceptualized by Sana Amanat, executive producer at Marvel, based on her own experiences of growing up as a Pakistani-American.
With the series, the company, which is also the home of Captain America, Spider-Man, and other colorful heroes, is introducing its first onscreen Muslim and Pakistani superhero.
The comic books on which the story is based have already received a number of awards, including the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story and Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics. The series has also been praised by Muslim rights groups for its unique perspective on Muslim Americans and diversity.
As the series is scheduled to premiere on streaming platform Disney+ on June 8, Malik, like other Marvel fans is excited about the release, but even more so as it features a Pakistani girl.
“I am a Marvel fan!” she said. “And I’m very excited to see a show where we will be able to see ourselves and our communities as heroes, especially a young Pakistani girl kicking ass.”