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Every day, millions of fans around the world open up the pages of a comic book to catch up on the latest adventures of their favorite characters. However, for years the industry had been slow to reflect the different races, creeds, and sexual orientations of those very readers. Thankfully in recent years, comic book writers, artists, and editors have attempted to fix this by making the colorful world of superheroes reflect the world we see when we look out our windows every day.
Last week, Marvel made another step toward a more diversified comic book world by announcing that the new Ms. Marvel would be a Muslim teenager from New Jersey named Kamala Khan. She will debut this February in her very own book, Ms. Marvel #1.This is a big step for the publisher, which doesn’t currently feature a Muslim character in a starring role, much less one from Jersey.
Diversity has been tackled in independent comic books for decades, but it finally looks like the mainstream is beginning to catch up. And to celebrate this new frontier, we’re here to educate you on Famous Firsts: A History of Diversity in Superhero Comics.