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Monday, May 22, 2023 

Marvel's latest publicity stunt is putting the Muslim Ms. Marvel in the grave

A decade after Marvel, under Axel Alonso, came up with a Muslim character to take over the codename Ms. Marvel from Carol Danvers, now they're turning Kamala Khan into publicity stunt material, as if anybody will truly care, and in the pages of Spider-Man. From Entertainment Weekly, which wasted no time sugarcoating the propaganda angle:
Over the past decade, Ms. Marvel, a.k.a Kamala Khan, has risen to become Marvel's most iconic new superhero. Originally created by writer G. Willow Wilson, artists Adrian Alphona and Jamie McKelvie, and editor Sana Amanat, Kamala headlined her own solo comic for years, became an Avenger in no time, and now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Spider-Man. She's even made her way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Iman Vellani playing the title character in last year's Ms. Marvel series and reprising the role on the big screen in The Marvels later this year.

It may come as a shock, then, to learn that she's going to die. And yet, EW can exclusively reveal that's exactly what's going to happen in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #26 later this month. [...]

Kamala's status as Marvel's most visible Muslim superhero and her ongoing MCU spotlight make this decision especially shocking, but Marvel is not making it lightly. Later this summer, the publisher will release a special issue focused on the impact of Kamala's death. Fallen Friend: The Death of Ms. Marvel will show the other heroes of the Marvel universe gathering to remember her. The issue will be written by three writers who each have a history with Kamala: Wilson, one of her original creators; Saladin Ahmed, who wrote the most recent Ms. Marvel ongoing comic series; and Mark Waid, who wrote her in Avengers and Champions. Look for that special issue to hit stores July 12.

In some ways, Kamala's death means she really has joined the upper echelon of Marvel icons like Captain America, Doctor Strange, and the original Captain Marvel, who all died before her. Like Kamala, Strange died just months before the release of a major MCU movie (last year's Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness). It remains to be seen whether Kamala will returns to the living like Steve Rogers and Stephen Strange or stay dead like Mar-Vell, who has never recovered from his 1982 death.
What might make this a surprise, apart from some of the worst propaganda writers Marvel ever hired working on the character's potential curtain call as much as her introduction, is that a character with a protected class background would be killed off in any capacity.

As hugely disappointing as it was that Marvel would stoop to promoting Islamic propaganda at the time, it doesn't mean the character's death is something to celebrate, because as a fictional character, it's not Khan's fault she was created as a follower of the Religion of Peace, and the stories starring her even built on disturbing anti-white tropes, along with apologia for Islam itself. It's the writers and editors' fault, because they resorted to some of the most repellent ingredients ever seen in mainstream sugarcoating, rivaled only by DC when they created a Muslim Green Lantern around the same time. Anybody who's going to do that clearly doesn't have much love for their own creations.

The "event" has indeed sparked outrage among the usual SJWs, and Boing Boing has a commentary about it, laced with the expected PC:
For months, Marvel Comics has been hyping a major death in Amazing Spider-Man #26 (Legacy #920). Series writer Zeb Wells joked in an April interview that his editor, "told [him] not to do any comic conventions after this issue comes out (laughs). People will be upset." This led to speculation that the company might go as far as to kill off Mary Jane Watson, who recently broke up with Peter Parker (again) and started a family of her own.

Today, the shocking death has been revealed as Kamala Khan, also known as Ms. Marvel. A super-powered Muslim teenager, Ms. Marvel has been a breakout character since she first debuted in 2014; last year, she starred in her own TV miniseries on Disney+, and this fall, she'll co-star in The Marvels, the next installment of the big screen Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Ms. Marvel has starred in over 75 issues of her own comic book, the most recent volume of which came to an end about two years ago. Since then, she's made a number of appearances throughout the Marvel Universe. Most recently, she's been a background supporting character in Amazing Spider-Man. working as an intern in her civilian identity alongside Peter Parker at OsCorp, the corporation owned by Norman Osborn, the former Green Goblin (who is now sort of a good guy, because of reasons that I swear make sense in-story but aren't important right now).
Since they mention the Green Goblin, I'm not amused by that in-story defense they seem to be serving up at all. Norman murdered Gwen Stacy back in 1973, and now, we're supposed to overlook that? It was decidedly a mistake to revive him towards the end of the 1990s, yet that's the harm commercialism led to, laced with the worst PC on the market. That aside, it's long been grating how these MSM sources repeatedly claim Khan's been "iconic" and a "breakout" character, despite largely poor sales, whose figures are never highlighted by the press, because they know a comic selling 20,000 copies or less on the market is unintentional comedy gold.
It's not unheard of for Marvel (or DC, for that matter!) to kill off beloved characters for hype in the midst of an ongoing storyline. Just a few months back, they gave Magneto the epic hero's death he deserved. These moves (usually) make for good PR, because shock value sells. But shock value can make for good stories, too, even when you know it might get undone. Some cynics will roll their eyes and say that such deaths are always a cheap move, because these characters always eventually return. Others assume that the shocking news is a permanent move — like five years ago, when Marvel revealed that (a version of) Captain America had "always" been a Nazi. A volatile political climate can certainly contribute to extreme reactions, too, especially when you're turning an already-Aryan superhero into a literal white supremacist, or murdering a brown-skinned Muslim girl.
They seem to be setting up a very far-left angle here, implying racism has anything to do with this, when the people who created this character with political components attached are the ones now writing Khan being slain. And they add insult to injury by parroting a leftist slur calling Steve Rogers "aryan". Umm, with a name like that, wouldn't he be more of Scottish descent? Besides, even Slavic peoples of eastern Europe can have blond hair. What they're saying about Cap only makes clear they despise Kirby/Simon for ever daring to create him. And while there are some good examples of shock value, quite a few since the turn of the century have been severely repellent.
In the case of Kamala Khan, there seems to be a greater weight of outrage. If you're going to kill off a Pakistani-American in the middle of Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month, in another character's book, as part of another character's storyline, you might expect some people to take it as a slap in the face. To add insult to a community-wide industry, Marvel's Editor-In-Chief C.B. Cebulski, who has served in the role since 2017, is a white man who previously published comics under a fake Japanese identity in order to skirt around some of Marvel's freelancer rules.

It's not my place to say whether Cebulski's words or actions since that time are worthy of forgiveness. But I can understand why some AAPI comic fans might be upset that an EiC who did yellowface approved the death of a prominent South Asian American character during AAPI Heritage Month.
Hmm, proof these leftists still won't let Cebulski's "sin" slide. Most of the negative reactions to this stunt clearly seem deliberate, based on the character's Islamic component; to some, if not all, Islamophiles, that's simply unacceptable, because a character created as such is thus considered protected class status. There's no chance those SJWs complaining about this would ever have the same misgivings over Mary Jane's marginalization; that's why the Spider-marriage was so easy to demolish over 15 years ago.

Bounding Into Comics highlighted some of the far-left reactions, which you can be certain wouldn't turn up if Mary Jane was the character they killed, and it also says:
Wells had done enough damage to Mary Jane as a character during the run, set up in issue #1 where Mary Jane is shown with children from another man. It’s later revealed she was trapped in an alternate dimension where time moved at a different rate, and so she had her children and eventually came back.

Peter, meanwhile, continued to follow her around like a sad puppy dog in one of the cringiest iterations of their relationship.
Even if this dreary stunt hadn't taken place here, the continued abuse of Mary Jane is already alienating enough. Also notice how the same people hypocritically touting realism are perfectly willing to employ surrealism, so long as it serves their PC goals, here by resorting to a parallel universe for which MJ and the other guy can be stuffed into so they could make their changes according to PC mandates.
Ms. Marvel’s death in Amazing Spider-Man is also confusing as Peter Parker and Kamala Khan don’t have a long history together. They are not close as characters, and she is not involved in the Spider-Man mythos in any meaningful way, only having appeared in a handful of panels in the book prior to this. It further adds to the feel of a cheap publicity stunt with the issue.

The issue didn’t please the extreme-left of the fanbase either, many of whom are proving to be the most upset by the character’s death. Readers are taking to Twitter to call Zeb Wells racist and misogynist. “Hey so what the f*** were Zeb Wells and Nick Lowe thinking by killing off Kamala Khan – the ONLY mainline brown character Marvel has – in a Spider-Man book Shit feels racist and misogynistic,” tweeted one fan. [...]

Regardless, with this being Marvel, we can expect the character back in a matter of months. Kamala’s demise won’t be permanent, just like any other death in Marvel Comics, and so the emotional impact for the storyline is minimal at best. It makes fans wonder how many times Marvel will be able to pull off a stunt like this and still have readers care.
Somebody clearly never heard of Bonita Juarez/Firebird, who could also be described as "brown". In any case, the point's made that it's bound to be yet another short-lived "character death", and won't last long, with the saddest part being that the political components of the Ms. Marvel character are bound to continue employment, no matter how alienating and divisive they are. Exactly why Marvel's collapsing artistically.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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