Marvel Comics has revealed the future of Kamala Khan, a.k.a. Ms. Marvel, a young woman destined to become President of the United States.
The reveal comes at a welcome time for fans of the younger generation of heroes. Marvel's "Fresh Start" initiative hasn't exactly been good news for Marvel's so-called "Legacy Heroes." Miles Morales's Spider-Man comic is on hold, while the publisher seems to be teasing the end of its All-New X-Men. With Marvel's original, better-known heroes making high profile returns, it's nice to learn at least one of these heroes seems to have a promising future.
Tom Taylor's popular run of All-New Wolverine, too, is coming to an end. But his final arc "Old Woman Laura" is a glimpse of the future - unlike the Old Man Logan story it takes its name from, the future is not a dystopia. In this future timeline, the world's greatest heroes sacrificed and succeeded in bringing peace to Earth.
Laura herself has eschewed the names of "X-23" and "Wolverine," becoming ruler of Madripoor. She's not the only superhero to lead a nation, either, as the issue also introduces readers to the future President of the United States - Kamala Khan.
If any superhero was destined for political office, it's Kamala Khan. The teenager was introduced back in 2014, a 16-year-old Pakistani American hero putting a new twist on the classic "Peter Parker" template: Kamala is an everyday hero who struggles with day-to-day life and friendships just as much as she does with supervillains. She's actually become something of a real-life political symbol, too.
When the anti-Islamic American Freedom Defense Initiative purchased bus ads in San Francisco, fans responded by spray-painting Ms. Marvel's logo on them. In the face of Donald Trump's Executive Order limiting travel from Middle Easter countries was seen as a sort of "Muslim Ban," Marvel artist Phil Noto wasted no time in using previous artwork of Kamala to make a statement.
In the comics themselves, Kamala has swiftly become a symbol of hope. She refuses to believe the worst about people, instead inspiring them to step forward and change the world. Giving a sense of Kamala's influence, her most recent arc has actually seen her step down as a superhero (her friends, inspired by Ms. Marvel's example, suited up to try to fill the void!). Kamala was also the obvious team leader of the Champions, a teenage superhero group striving to find a new way to fight evil. Champions has been a very politically aware book, daring to face real-world issues such as human trafficking, and Kamala's bold leadership has been a key feature.
The idea of Kamala taking political office, then, seems entirely natural. She's a superhero because she wants to make a difference, not just to beat up the bad guys. What's more, there are deliberate parallels between Kamala's sometimes-"preachy" nature and Kitty Pryde, introduced as a teenage X-Man back in the '80s. Kitty, too, is noted for her fiery speeches - and when legendary writer Chris Claremont contemplated Kitty's future in X-Men: The End, he had Kitty become President of the United States as well. The parallels between Kamala and Kitty are sure to make fans smile.
Given the fear superhumans often receive in the Marvel Universe, it's certainly a pleasant surprise to see Ms. Marvel in the Oval Office. But as has proven to be a defining feature of Kamala journey, it couldn't feel any more timely or appropriate.
All-New Wolverine #33 is available now from Marvel Comics.