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Ms. Marvel: Genre, Medium and an Intersectional Superhero

Erika Chung

Superhero comic books are not known for their diverse representation of characters in their storytelling. Dominated by stories about men as heroes who save the day, women and people of colour are often left to the sidelines. However, the 2014 release of Ms. Marvel, a superhero comic book series that featured a young Pakistani-American Muslim girl as its protagonist, challenged and demonstrated that there is room in comic books for diverse representation. This paper examines the superhero genre, the comic book as a medium, and intersectionality, in relation to Ms. Marvel, in order to understand how meaningful and nuanced representation of women of colour can be included in superhero comic books.

Keywords: Ms. Marvel, Kamala Khan, comic books, representation, superhero

Erika Chung is a PhD student in the joint Communication and Culture program at Ryerson University and York University. Her research interests include comics, fandom and popular culture. She is currently a research assistant on the Comic Con Research Project.