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The New Arab Staff

Photos of Marvel's first Muslim title character leaked

Sana Amanat is one of the creators of Ms. Marvel [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 May, 2021

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Photos of actress Iman Vellani dressed as Marvel superhero Ms. Marvel have been leaked online.
Fans of the Marvel universe have been treated to the first glimpse of actress Iman Vellani in full costume as Ms. Marvel - the first Muslim superhero to have their own title with the animation and comics giant. 

The photos were posted on Instagram by the account @msmarvelseries and show character Kamala Khan in full outfit, including her trademark red scarf and thunderbolt dress.

Previous onset pictures have shown Vellani’s character dressed as another superhero, Captain Marvel, but the most recent leak is the first time fans have seen her in full costume. 

Kamala Khan was first introduced to the Marvel universe in 2014, appearing in the comic book series Ms. Marvel. In the comics, as she will be in the show, Khan is a teenage Pakistan American Muslim girl who has the ability to shapeshift. 

Instagram Post

In a 2013 Q&A with Khan's creators, Sana Amanat, expanded on the decision behind Khan's religious background.  

"As much as Islam is a part of Kamala's identity, this book isn't preaching about religion or the Islamic faith in particular. It's about what happens when you struggle with the labels imposed on you, and how that forms your sense of self," said Amanat.

"It's a struggle we've all faced in one form or another, and isn't just particular to Kamala because she’s Muslim. Her religion is just one aspect of the many ways she defines herself."

The character of Ms. Marvel received high praise when she was first introduced.

"The character of Kamala Khan has the opportunity to offer something new to pop-culture portrayals of Muslims. She is born in the United States, appears to be part of the post-9/11 generation and is a teenager," said Hussein Rashid for CNN.

While Muaaz Khan, writing for The Guardian, likened the character to that of Malala Yousafzai. 

Read more: Talking representation and Hollywood with Zoha Rahman: Marvel's first hijabi character in Spider-Man

The actress chosen to portray Ms. Marvel, Iman Vellani, shares a number of similarities with her superhero character, also being the child of Pakistani immigrants. This will be her first onscreen role. 

Ms. Marvel is set to hit streaming service Disney Plus in late 2021 and the character will move to the big screen in 2022 when she will feature in The Marvels, scheduled to be released in cinemas on 11 November. 

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