With the news that Ms. Marvel will be getting a makeover — the new Ms. Marvel will be Kamala Khan, a 16-year-old Muslim born to Pakistani immigrants living in Jersey City — let’s take a look back at some of the other Marvel and DC superheroes who have been reimagined to reflect the increasing diversity among comic book readers.
Khan won’t be the first Muslim superhero in the Marvel universe but will be the first to headline a monthly comic book.
There is no one Green Lantern. Those who are deemed worthy to possess the power ring and green lantern are chosen by the Guardians of the Universe (GotU). While Green Lantern’s shoes have been filled by many characters in the series’ 70+ year run, two notable Lanterns have been John Stewart and Simon Baz.
Stewart, recognized as one of DC’s first black superheroes, made his first appearance in Green Lantern vol. 2, #87. An architect from Detroit, Stewart was chosen as a backup Green Lantern for Hal Jordan (the first human Lantern). After proving his worth, Stewart filled the Green Lantern role once Jordan stepped down from his duties.
In the animated universe, Stewart is one of the founding members of the Justice League.
In an alternate storyline, it’s Simon Baz who replaces Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern. Baz, a Lebanese-American from Michigan, was bullied after the 9/11 attacks due to his ethnicity when he was child. As an adult, Baz was questioned by Hal Jordan for being a suspected terrorist. Baz inherits the Green Lantern ring and begins a road to redemption and to prove his innocence.
Miles Morales is just your regular, mild-mannered New York kid. Until, of course, he gets bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider. Sound familiar? Like Peter Parker, Morales’s powers include super human strength, speed, agility, and the ability to cling to most surfaces. Unlike Parker, though, he also has the ability to camouflage with his surroundings.
Not ready to accept the responsibility that comes with his powers, Morales tries to lead a normal teenage life until he witnesses Parker’s death and feel extreme guilt at not helping prevent it. After being given a new red and black Spider-Man suit from Nick Fury, Morales begins a life a crime fighting.
Kate Kane, known as Batman’s love interest in the Sliver Age, is now a lesbian crime fighter. Daughter to Colonel Jaob Kane and Captain Kane, she followed in her military parents’ footsteps and attended West Point. At West Point she was dishonorably discharged per the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.
After being saved by Batman from a mugging in an alley, Kane decided to become a vigilante. Using her father’s resources and family’s wealth, she amassed an arsenal comparable to Batman’s.