If you’ve spent any time on the internet this week, then you’ve probably noticed (or at least heard) about the recent controversy from Marvel Comics.
Over the last year or so, there’s been a lot of negativity surrounding one of the company’s flagship titles, “The Amazing Spider-Man.” Everybody loves Spider-Man…..except for the writers and editors at Marvel Comics apparently. At least that’s what it feels like based on many of the questionable decisions they’ve made regarding his character. Over the last few years alone they’ve erased his marriage, they’ve killed him, and this most recent run has been panned by fans for it’s handling of the character’s overall relationship with Mary Jane Watson.
Surprisingly, none of those things are what set people off this week though. As if Marvel wasn’t already content with making Spider-Man fans angry, the comic book company decided to drag another character into this mess.
On Tuesday it was revealed that in the next issue of Spider-Man the character of Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel will die. Yes, this is the same character that just debuted one decade ago, and who stole the hearts of many with her own live-action series on Disney+ last year. To say people were furious would-be an understatement.
Now, there have already been some people trying to downplay this by saying that characters die in comics all the time and that it is likely she’ll just be brought back some other way. It happened to Captain America. It happened Johnny Storm. It even happened to Peter Parker. But that’s part of the problem.
In 2023, the act of killing off a superhero in comics just feels lazy – mostly because everyone knows this obviously isn’t going to be permanent. So it’s just one big waste of everyone’s time. We’re still counting down the days until Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man or Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow return. The latter has even already been teased on What If…?
But that’s not the only thing wrong here. What really makes this whole thing feel gross is the way it was set up. Kamala isn’t even being killed in her own book. Her death doesn’t show her being surrounded by her loved ones. It’s in a Spider-Man comic with characters she doesn’t even have that much of a connection to.
Marvel hyped this issue up saying it was going to be the most “shocking issue” in the title’s history. So it only made sense for people to assume that it would be a Spider-Man related character. Just recently they added Kamala into his story – and for no other reason other than to have what they thought would be a more surprising death. They not only used her for shock value, but her death also goes back to another tired trope of storytelling called “fridging”, or the belief that a woman’s value is solely to empower a male. In other words, Marvel is killing off a female character for no other reason than to motivate their main male hero..
The other thing that’s disgusting about this is that they’re killing off their first major Muslim hero. Kamala is a character that is beloved by so many people because she represented an entire body of people that don’t normally get to be in the spotlight or are viewed as heroes. This news has led to racists and bigots online actually celebrating her death, and thanking the company for killing her.
While I should be surprised and speechless, all I really can say (sarcastically) is, “Way to go Marvel. You gave those guys exactly what they wanted. I hope it was worth it.”
Once again, we know the character is not going to stay dead. Funny enough, we’ll see her in a movie coming out later this year! It’s just the way this whole thing was handled that really rubs fans (including myself) the wrong way. At this point, the only thing we can hope for is that maybe Iman Vellani can call Marvel up, talk some sense into them, or maybe tell them that they shouldn’t try to pull the same thing with the live-action version any time soon.