Character sketches of Kamala Khan, second from left, with her family. Illustration: Adrian Alphona/Marvel
Wed, Nov 6, 2013 3:26 PM EST

The newest addition to the Marvel Comics family is not just a female superhero. And she's not only a teen, she's Pakistani and Muslim and living with her family in Jersey City. Her name is Kamala Khan (or Ms. Marvel) and she's a 17-year-old with the ability to change shape. Khan's character represents the first time someone of Muslim faith has headlined a Marvel comic.

Khan is the creation of Marvel editors Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker and the creative team G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona. Wilson and the team spoke with Marvel about what readers can expect from superhero teen Khan, whose book will be released in February 2014:

The Ms. Marvel mantle has passed to Kamala Khan, a high school student from Jersey City who struggles to reconcile being an American teenager with the conservative customs of her Pakistani Muslim family. So in a sense, she has a "dual identity" before she even puts on a super hero costume. Like a lot of children of immigrants, she feels torn between two worlds: the family she loves, but which drives her crazy, and her peers, who don't really understand what her home life is like.

This makes her tough and vulnerable at the same time. When you try to straddle two worlds, one of the first things you learn is that instead of defending good people from bad people, you have to spend a lot of time defending good people from each other. It's both illuminating and emotionally brutal. That's what makes this book different.