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The Long Beach Expo took place this past weekend in Long Beach, California. One award garnered quite a bit of attention. This year the Second Annual Dwayne McDuffie Diversity in Comics Award went to Ms. Marvel’s G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. It’s fantastic to see a book featuring a Muslim get recognition in the comic book industry.
Ms. Marvel features a 16-year-old Pakistani-American named Kamala Khan. She is Marvel’s first Muslim to star in her own comic book. Khan first appeared in Captain Marvel #17 just three months before her solo comic premiered. It’s no surprise that she is a Carol Danvers fan.
One of the unique things about Ms. Marvel being Muslim is we see her struggles with her faith as well as her heroics. The religious aspects of Islam are presented in a way which does not preach. It’s treated as one of many characteristics which define her rather than the ONLY thing which defines her. It gives a realistic and positive look at Islam and Muslims when there are so many misconceptions due to popular media and politics.
They beat out other nominees that included Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven by Brandon Easton and Denis Medri, Fresh Romance edited by Janelle Asselin, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur by Amy Reeder, Brandon Montclare and Natacha Bustos, and Zana by Jean Barker and Joey Granger.
Ms. Marvel is really starting to rack up the accolades. Previously, the won the Hugo Award in 2015 for Best Graphic Story and has been nominated for five different Eisner Awards. It was the best selling graphic novel in 2014 and has been featured on the New York Times Best Seller List for all three trade paperbacks making it into the top five each time.