A Marvel Comics superheroine.

Ms. Marvel II (alter ego: Sharon Ventura) spent her formative years under the shadow of her domineering father, an officer in the US Military. After being expelled from military school, Sharon embarked upon a difficult regimen of physical training, becoming extremely proficient in all kinds of athletic endeavors.

While working as a stuntwoman, Sharon met Ben Grimm, and they developed feelings for each other. She also joined the female wrestling team named "The Grapplers", under the supervision of the malicious Auntie Freeze. Freeze told Sharon her employment with The Grapplers was dependent upon Sharon's undergoing treatments to enhance her strength, using drugs provided by Dr. Karl Malus.

With the help of Grimm, Sharon escaped Freeze's clutches before the final addictive dose of the drug could be given. Grimm then offered Sharon membership in The Fantastic Four.

Shortly after Sharon joined the group, she and Grimm were exposed to cosmic rays which mutated them both, making Sharon take on the physical aspect of Grimm's first incarnation as The Thing for a short period of time. The condition was not permanent, and Sharon continued to mutate, gradually losing her mental capacity until finally she had to be restrained in Reed Richards laboratory. Ultimately, she escaped, and was last seen roaming the wilderness.

All characters contained herein were created by Marvel Comics.

A member of the super-hero team the Avengers published by Marvel Comics.

The original Ms. Marvel was introduced in the 1970's during a time when Marvel comics was introducing a number of heroines based upon their more famous male counterparts. She-Hulk, Spider- Woman and Ms. Marvel were all derivative heroines who often were under-utilized or under-developed.

Carol Danvers is the woman who became Ms. Marvel. She was an Air Force Academy graduate who worked in for the CIA for a time. During her time with the CIA, she came into contact with Logan, a Canadian agent who would later become the X-Man Wolverine.

After her stint in the CIA, Danvers worked with NASA and during that time she came into contact with the Kree warrior Mar-vell. The two became close friends during this time. At one point, she was captured by Mar-vell's enemy Colonel Yon-Rogg. Mar-vell rescued her but during the rescue the two were caught in an explosion of the Kree Psyche-Magnatron. The device altered Carol's genetic code, making her a human-Kree hybrid with increased abilities and even passing on Captain Mar-vell's military training. In this way, Carol became Ms. Marvel.

Initially, Carol had no memory of her experiences as Ms. Marvel, with the two parts having distict personalities. She had the ability to fly and change costume at will, as well as increased stamina, strength, and an increase in her intuitive abilities, referred to as her sixth sense. Eventually, the two parts of her personality merged and Carol experienced all of the adventures she had as Ms. Marvel.

Ms. Marvel became a member of the Avengers for a time. During her tenure, she was manipulated by Marcus,the son of Immortus, the master of time. He abducted her and impregnated her without her knowledge. Returning her to the Avengers, Carol discovered she was pregnant. Confused by the circumstances of her pregnancy and shaken because the pregnancy progressed at a rapid rate, Ms. Marvel was vulnerable to Marcus's further manipulation. Giving birth to the child, it rapidly grew up into its father and Carol accompanied Marcus back to Limbo. There he continued to age at an accelerated rate and died, leaving Carol in Limbo and free from his mind control.

Feeling betrayed by the Avengers for their lack of caring, Carol returned to Earth, but not to the Avengers. While in San Francsisco, she was attacked by Rogue, the ability absorbing villainess, who absorbed both her powers and her personality. Driven mad by having both personalities within her, Rogue threw Carol's unconscious body from the Golden Gate Bridge. She was rescued from drowning by Spider-Woman, who contacted Professor X to aid her friend. Using his telepathic abilites, Xavier was able to restore some of Carol's personality.

Carol remained with the X-Men for a time. During one of their adventures, Carol was captured by the Brood who performed experiments upon her, releasing the full potential of her Kree/Human hybrid. Dubbed Binary, Carol possessed much greater power. She was linked to a white hole, giving her incredible power. She accompanied the Starjammers, a group of space heroes working for the Shi'ar empire during this time.

Eventually, she returned to earth, helping the Avenger Quasar to defend the Earth's sun. The effort left her greatly weakened and she spent time recovering at the Avengers Mansion.

Returning to active status with the Avengers, Carol renamed herself Warbird. She found that her powers were weakening and that along with a drinking problem, caused Warbird to come into conflict with her fellow Avengers. Eventually, she quit the team rather than be placed on reserve status. She has since returned to the team, while she continues to battle her alcholism.

"EMBIGGEN!"

Comic book superhero, owned and published by Marvel Comics. Her real name is Kamala Khan, and she was created by G. Willow Wilson, Sana Amanat, Stephen Wacker, and Adrian Alphona. She had her first appearance as a background character in 2013's "Captain Marvel #14" before getting her own comic in February 2014, making her the first Muslim character to star in her own comic book at Marvel. 

Kamala is a teenager, a Pakistani-American, living with her family in Jersey City. She lives an entirely normal life, going to school, hanging out with friends, trying to walk the balance between being who your family wants you to be and being who you want to be. She struggles with her faith, has an affinity for science, and has a deep love for geeky pursuits, including writing fan fiction -- particularly fanfic about the Marvel Universe's superheroes, including her idol, Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel. Kamala even loves Carol's old identity as Ms. Marvel, complete with her "classic, politically incorrect costume."

A short digression for the sake of comic book continuity: Around this time, the Inhumans, a race of superhumans who rely on the Terrigen Mists to activate their powers, had discovered that vast swaths of humanity had Inhuman genes, and it wasn't long after that before a Terrigen Bomb dumped a ton of the gas into the atmosphere, exposing hundreds of thousands of seemingly normal humans to a substance that could give them superpowers. 

And one of those people... was Kamala Khan. 

Once she emerged from her Terrigen cocoon, Kamala discovered she had shapeshifting abilities -- she could stretch, she could shrink, she could grow (gaining extra strength in the process), she could disguise herself as anyone she wanted. She also gained a healing factor, though using it too much weakened her unless she had something to eat to regain her energy. Of course, as a superhero fangirl, she immediately started planning her superhero debut. After shapeshifting herself into a copy of Carol Danvers in the "classic, politically incorrect costume," she decided she couldn't handle the resulting "epic wedgie," so instead went with a costume based around a burkini

From there, Ms. Marvel hit the scene, fighting villains, meeting superheroes (including Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Captain Marvel), joining the Avengers, and kicking up a huge stir in the comics industry. Fan reaction to just the announcement of the character was intense, enthusiastic, and nearly overwhelmingly positive -- in a time when comics were under pressure to adapt to a more diverse world, the idea of a Muslim teenaged girl headlining her own comic was thrilling. There was also a lot of excitement about her costume, which was gloriously non-sexed-up. Anticipation for the character pushed her debut comic to the top of the sales charts, and reviews from both fans and critics were glowing. 

One of the great delights of the series is Kamala's supporting cast. Her father is traditional and very kind, but is always after Kamala to study more. Her mother is more traditional, extremely protective of her children, and not at all hesitant in speaking her mind. Her big brother Aamir is extremely religious and conservative, can't get a job, and almost as protective as his mom. Her best friend Bruno is super-smart, super-nerdy, and super-lovestruck. Her best friend Nakia is more traditional than Kamala, prone to fads, but very level-headed. Zoe Zimmer is the school Alpha Bitch who unexpectedly learns to be kinder after a global disaster. Sheikh Abdullah is a teacher at the local mosque who proves to be more understanding than his stern and unforgiving reputation would lead you to believe. 

The series is also wonderfully funny, thanks in part to Wilson's skills at writing thoroughly funny characters and in part to artist Alphona's ability to put impossibly hilarious gags in the background of almost every panel. In between saving the world, Kamala also ends up fighting giant frogs, a mad scientist with the head of a cockatiel, a giant robot wearing a pimp hat, and an extremely dim-witted clone army of... herself. Also, when the very first page of the very first issue makes you literally laugh out loud because the main character is standing in a convenience store drooling over bacon sandwiches while sighing, "Delicious, delicious infidel meat"... well, you may have a damn funny comic book on your hands. 

One of my favorite things about this character is how she ends up inspiring the occasional bit of real-life heroism. In early 2015, an anti-Muslim group bought a bunch of bus advertisements in San Francisco trying to drum up Islamophobia. People started covering the ads up with images of Ms. Marvel with anti-racism slogans. You get to see that periodically -- people taking inspiration to do good because of the influence of comic book heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Captain America -- but it's especially great to see people reacting the same way to a character so new to the comics scene. 

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